One of the most common and essential tasks in the fabrication business is shearing metal. Everyone agrees on how important it is to be able to shear metal in a fabricating shop. What few can agree on, however, is whether a hydraulic method or mechanical method works better. If you’re going to spend the money on either a mechanical or hydraulic shear, you’ll want to know which one actually works better and does the best job.  

While the debate is still very much heated, we can give you some insight into which method is superior to the other. Here’s an introduction to metal shearing with a look at the pros and cons of both types of shear. This information will put you in a better position to make a wise and informed decision when purchasing equipment for your shop. 

What You Need to Know About Shearing Metal

When someone says that they’re shearing metal, they’re referring to a process in which a piece of a metal sheet is separated by making a straight cut. Metal shearing is a precise cutting process in which producing a straight line is critical. 

In order to get that straight line, you're going to need the right equipment which brings us to the great debate on mechanical versus hydraulic shearing machines. Like most varieties of equipment, each one has their own set of pros and cons to recommend. 

Pros and Cons of a Mechanical Shearing Machine

Aside from reliability and price, the number one concern you should have about any shearing machine, is accuracy. Mechanical shearing machines are operated manually while hydraulic shearing machines feature numerical controls. 

It’s worth noting that mechanical shearing machines have more safety concerns when compared to hydraulic shearing machines. That said, a mechanical shear can cut remarkably fast, but it should not be operated continuously for long periods of time. The machine will need rest and you’ll have to take time to adjust the blade gap.

Mechanical shearing machines are shock-resistant, simple, easy to maintain, and environmentally friendly. Due to the fact that mechanical shearing machines don’t require any hydraulic oil, they produce no hydraulic waste. Unlike hydraulic shearing machines which require cooling, a mechanical shear doesn’t waste much energy. 

Pros and Cons of a Hydraulic Shearing Machine

One thing that you should know about the difference between a hydraulic shearing machine and a mechanical shear is that a hydraulic shear has a hydraulic transmission while a mechanical shear has a mechanical transmission. What does that mean for you and your shop? The hydraulic transmission is generally perceived to be smoother in terms of operation and more reliable. That’s a pro for hydraulic shearing machines! 

Another thing you should know about hydraulic shearing machines is that they’re slightly more accurate than their mechanical counterparts. Hydraulic shearing machines are also equipped with a feature to prevent them from being overloaded. That overload protection can save you a lot of money as the machine will stop on its own whenever there’s an obstruction or when it’s about to max out the PSI of the shear.   

Finally, hydraulic shearing machines tend to be much less expensive than mechanical shearing machines which makes them quite popular in many fabricating shops. 

The Big Conclusion

In conclusion, both hydraulic and mechanical shearing machines have qualities to recommend. When examining the pros and cons of each and evaluating them your decision will ultimately come down to which factors you value the most. 

Do you want the speed of the mechanical shear? Or do you want the accuracy of a hydraulic shear? If your shop wants to maintain an environmentally friendly image you might be better off with a mechanical shear than a hydraulic one. It all depends on what you value the most and what you want to get out of the machine. If you want to move through material rapidly and don’t need to shear all day long, a mechanical shearing machine would be suitable for your needs. 

Find the Right Machine From the Right Source, Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales!

Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales has what you need! Whether you’re in the market for a hydraulic or mechanical shearing machine, you can find it for a steal right here at Southern Fabricating Machinery Sales.  

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