Even in this age of easily replaceable parts, auto body mechanics often must perform metal surgery. Most saws can be fitted with a metal cutting blade, but job-specific tools are available. Body shops prefer those that save time and labour.
Noisy, violent and imprecise, an impact hammer with a chisel attachment is used for rough work on severely damaged sheet metal that is beyond repair. Hammers are available in electric and air powered varieties, of which the air chisel is the most common.
The best cut-off tools are dedicated units with spark shields and high-torque motors. They feature reinforced abrasive cutting wheels that are great for more detailed work in tight quarters. Air and electric models are equally popular.
Metal shears and nibblers are the scalpels of auto bodywork. Manual, electric and air powered models are available, as well as slip-on attachments for drills. Powered units make fast, precise, almost effortless cuts in sheet metal at the touch of a trigger. Whether cutting away parts of a damaged panel or trimming a replacement, metal shears are worth their extra expense.
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