Everyone can agree that shearing metal can be one of the most common and essential tasks in the fabrication business. Whether to use a hydraulic or mechanical method is the debate. When spending money on a shear, you'll want to know which one actually works better and the does the best job for your application.


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. 


What you need to know about shearing metal


Metal shearing is a precise cutting process in which producing a straight line is critical. In order to get that straight line, you need the right equipment which brings us to the debate – Mechanical vs. Hydraulic. Each method has its own set of pros and cons.


Mechanical Shears

Mechanical shearing machines have more safety concerns when compared to hydraulic shearing machines. A mechanical shear can cut remarkably fast, but it shouldn’t be operated continuously for long periods of time. The machine needs to 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 does not waste much energy. 


Hydraulic Shears


A hydraulic shear has a transmission and is smoother and more reliable in term of operation. They are slightly more accurate than a mechanical shear. Hydraulic shears are equipped with overload protection which can save you money because the machine will stop on its own if there is an obstruction or is close to maxing out the PSI. Hydraulic shears tend to be less expensive than their mechanical counterparts.




Both hydraulic and mechanical shears have great qualities. When evaluating the pros and cons of each machine, your decision should ultimately come down to which features you value the most.


Give Manufacturing Solutions a call and let us help you find a shear to suit your company’s needs.