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Selecting the Right Shear for the Job

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Labounty Shear Yard Installed 2500 Hard Facing Jaw OpenIn selecting a hydraulic shear for your metal recycling business you are making an important decision that affects your employees, your productivity, and your bottom line. The shear must be sized properly for the work it will need to do and be the proper size for the carrier it will be mounted to. Most importantly, you need to understand the work you’re trying to accomplish with the shear, and size it accordingly.

Consideration must be given to the duty cycle of the hydraulic shear. With continuous operation, it would be recommended to go up one size above the selected model. This will provide a long-term benefit of lower maintenance and higher productivity. Applications, where the shear will only be operated part of the time, can be sized according to the material it will need to process.

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Here are some other considerations when selecting an hydraulic shear:

Do you Need Rotation Capabilities?

Rotation gives you manoeuvrability in processing but its not always necessary so you might consider eliminating that feature and beefing up the size of the shear instead. In some cases you are able to go up a size in the shear if you don’t need or want rotation capabilities.

demolition shears for metal cutting processing recycling hydraulics winnipegCarrier Size

The carrier that is selected to operate the shear must have the necessary oil flow and lift capacity to safely handle the attachment plus any material that may be held in the jaw.

Lifting Capacity

The maximum lifting capacity of the carrier must be equal to or greater than 1.3 times the weight of the attached shear. Consult your manual for the maximum lifting capabilities of your carrier. The maximum lifting capacity is usually at the lowest when the boom is at full reach so use that as your measurement.

Oil Flow

Each shear has a suggested oil flow and flow within this range is necessary for operation. However, consider the maximum cycle time the carrier is capable of providing the maximum required flow then compare the maximum oil flow requirement of the shear with the oil flow capacity of the carrier. It may be necessary to combine the flow from two pumps in order to provide the required amount. Remember each shear will require an additional low flow circuit to operate the hydraulic rotation motor.


What kind of material you are primarily working with? How thick is it? Knowing this will help determine the proper shear for the job as well. This will determine the size of the shear you will need for the majority of your work. Also, you need to know if you are going to pierce through a lot material or if the majority of the time you are going to be processing in the middle of the cut. Some material will always have to be processed with cutting torches, due to hardness, so evaluate material that is usually processed to make sure you can cover up to 80% with the shear package you choose.

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Contact us to discuss your needs as they will vary dependent on the material that you are working with at your work site.

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