Their handles are color coded and it's not just for decoration. Did Scientists Just Find a Way to Reverse Aging? We may earn commission if you buy from a link. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, The Best Handheld Vacuums for Busting Dust. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. America's Aircraft Are Barely Ready for War, Intelligent Life Can't Exist Anywhere Else, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. When using any of these snips, the orientation is important. Aviation snips, also called tin snips or compound snips (even though they are different), are the best hand tools for cutting sheets of metal. We Tested the Best Cordless Metal-Cutting Saws, How to Choose and Use a Handsaw: PM Tool Tips. Pro tip: They make quick work of that annoying plastic clamshell packaging that can be a bear to open. Those with nautical experience will find these colors familiar, as when you're at sea, red means port (left) while green means starboard (right). The grip with the nub that is closest to the cutting part of the tool is the top, and should fit snugly against your thumb. Besides metal, snips can be used to cut vinyl siding, wire mesh. Tin snip grips are typically colored red, yellow, or green, and it's not for cosmetic reasons. Each color signifies a different direction that the snips are made to cut. Yellow snips cut straight or left and right. Cutting in a straight line with tin snips is easy. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The different colors make it easy to distinguish between the three snips when searching for them in your tool bag as the snips themselves can look the same to an untrained eye. Aviation snips are color-coded to help users identify which direction they cut. Aviation snips, also known as compound snips, are ideal for cutting aluminum and sheet metal. How we test gear. It's making curved cuts that can be difficult, especially if you're holding the wrong tool. Aviation snips, also called tin snips or compound snips (even though they are different), are the best hand tools for cutting sheets of metal.