A shingle cutter, known also as a shingle shaper, or a shingle shear, is a specialty tool designed to easily cut and shape asphalt and fiberglass shingles. The best shingle cutter will be versatile and powerful, lightweight, and will feature a self-cleaning blade.
Shingle cutters are designed to be able to make repeatable and consistent cuts while requiring minimal set-up and adjustment. Using a shingle cutter not only reduces the amount of time it takes to cut a shingle.
Also, it increases the repeatability of cutting the same angle, providing a consistent roofing installation. The right shingle cutter can even cut through architectural shingles with ease (Source).
Shingle cutters work similarly to paper cutters. A hand-operated guillotine style blade is pressed down onto the shingles, cleanly forcing itself through them. This method of separating shingles is quick and easy and can transform an irregularly shaped shingle into a perfectly fitting roof tile (Source).
With there being so many tool websites to explore, and even more shingle cutters to choose from, figuring out which shingle cutter is best for your needs can be a difficult task. Before you buy a shingle cutter, Consider the weight, cost, and build quality, among other top factors.
In this review, we will examine the top-rated shingle cutters. All of the shingle cutters in this write-up will split shingles cleanly and evenly, whether you are a construction worker on a job site, or a homeowner performing a DIY roof repair.
What Is The Best Tool to Cut Shingles?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best Tool to Cut Shingles?
- 2 What Is a Shingle Cutter?
- 3 How Much Do Shingle Cutters Cost?
- 4 Reviews of Top 5 Products
- 5 1. AJC Tools 093-AJCSS Super Shear Shingle Cutter – Best Overall
- 6 2. Roof Zone 13806 Shingle Shaper and Shingle Cutter – Best for Asphalt and Fiberglass
- 7 3. Howard Tools 2003 Shingle Shear Shingle Cutting Tool – Best for Angle Cuts
- 8 4. Qualcraft 1000B Shingle Shark Shingle Cutter – The Most Versatile
- 9 5. Keyfit Tools CUTS ALL KNIFE – Budget Pick
- 10 Shingle Cutter Brands
- 11 Factors to Consider Before Buying Shingle Cutters
- 12 How to Use a Shingle Cutter
- 13 Ready to Use a Shingle Cutter for Your Next Project?
The AJC Tools 093-AJCSS is the best shingle cutter we found, as it cuts steel up to 26 gauge and aluminum up to 20 gauge. Additionally, it has a bracket and rubber feet that provide stability on roofs, unlike other models that lack this feature.
What Is a Shingle Cutter?
A shingle cutter is a tool used by professional roofing contractors and DIY enthusiasts that are taking on roofing projects. The primary task of a shingle cutting tool is to cut shingles.
A shingle cutter can deliver precise results and make multiple accurate cuts. Apart from ensuring the cuts are of the same lengths, some tools allow you to choose the angle. That can be incredibly helpful for roofing projects.
How Much Do Shingle Cutters Cost?
Most shingle cutters cost under $50, but these are not premium tools that will secure smooth and precise cuts. Instead, you will get a product you can use for cutting, but with uncertain results.
If you are looking for a reliable and professional-grade shingle cutter, you should be ready to invest at least $200. The good news is that you will get a high-quality product that should serve you for a long time, even if you use it every day.
Reviews of Top 5 Products
|AJC Tools Shingle Cutter|
|Roof Zone Shingle Cutter|
|Howard Tools Shingle Cutting|
|Qualcraft Shingle Cutter|
|Keyfit Tools CUTS ALL KNIFE|
1. AJC Tools 093-AJCSS Super Shear Shingle Cutter – Best Overall
However, the fact that it is light doesn’t affect its lifespan or usability in any way. Moreover, the chances are this will be your favorite cutting tool for years. It may be a bit costly, but it will pay off.
The unit can cut shingles made from various materials, including thick laminate. It is also capable of handling soft metals, as well as aluminum (max 20-gauge) and steel (max 26-gauge).
The product has integrated scales to assist the user during the process. They can measure roof pitch angles and lengths. You get additional stability with the connecting bracket and rubber feet.
2. Roof Zone 13806 Shingle Shaper and Shingle Cutter – Best for Asphalt and Fiberglass
You shouldn’t have any problems using the tool. The angle meter will help you if you need to make hip and valley cuts. The only issue can me that the maximum cutting length is 23 inches, and you will need to turn the tool around if your shingles are longer.
The product is lightweight, and it includes a handle. That makes it simple to move around, which means the tool can be a wise choice for professionals who often go from one job site to another.
3. Howard Tools 2003 Shingle Shear Shingle Cutting Tool – Best for Angle Cuts
Although it is light, the blade is of high-quality. It is made of aluminum, and it is 20 inches long. You can cut most shingles with that size, and the blade can also handle asphalt, fiberglass, and other types. It may be a bit inconvenient to work with thick laminate and other exceptionally hard materials.
The scale slides into the device, which reduces its overall size during transport. The angle guide is an excellent addition for angled cuts. You can use the product on steep pitched roof since it comes with rubber feet and a roof hook.
4. Qualcraft 1000B Shingle Shark Shingle Cutter – The Most Versatile
The blade is reliable and durable, and it features a self-cleaning system. Thanks to that, you do not have to take any breaks, which speeds up the entire process.
The tool is extremely powerful and versatile. Whether you are tackling thick laminate shingles or asphalt ones, it can do a great job. You can use the crosscut guide and set it to any desired angle. The unit will even show measures in both imperial and metric systems for your convenience. Nobody can deny the tool is a bit expensive, but it can be worth every cent, especially if you are a professional.
5. Keyfit Tools CUTS ALL KNIFE – Budget Pick
However, we will focus on that part now. The blade can handle asphalt and fiberglass shingles, but it may have problems with thick laminate. Even if it manages to cut shingles, you probably won’t have the desired level of precision. The tool is lacking any angle meter, which means you need to rely on your experience. It is needless to say that it is almost impossible to cut evenly.
Despite that, people like the bargain deal this unit represents. If you are a DIY enthusiast or an amateur, it may be wiser to buy this tool instead of spending money on a professional-grade cutter.
Shingle Cutter Brands
A shingle cutter is not a cheap investment, especially if we are talking about premium units. That is why you need a manufacturer you can trust. You don’t want to waste money on a product that won’t last, which is why the brand selection is crucial.
Here are the top brands in the shingle cutting industry.
Everything started a long time ago with a man called A.J. Crookston that had an idea. Over time, the manufacturer became one of the biggest names in the industry.
Whether you are looking for residential or commercial roofing tools, AJC Tools has them. They are dedicated to quality and delivering long-lasting products. It is worth noting that the company has never abandoned the family-owned method of doing business, which is one of the reasons why they attract customer trust.
Qualcraft is another company that has been in business for decades. They have a six-decade-long history, and today their headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts.
The company designs a wide range of products to increase the efficiency of contractors at a job site. Apart from efficiency, Qualcraft also cares about the contractors’ safety. The company has strict quality control, and they ensure their products meet the latest standards. It is not rare to see innovative designs in the tools manufactured here.
Howard Tools is a company that designed the original Shingle Shear. Those who are in the roofing industry may be familiar with the tool that revolutionized the market.
Everything started with a story about a necessity. As a contractor himself, Howard needed a tool like Shingle Shear. He allowed a friend contractor to use it, and they all loved the tool. Today, the product has more than two decades of tradition. It was changed over time and received new features, but it remained reliable, light, and easy to use.
Keyfit Tools is an all-around company that doesn’t hesitate to offer tools for different markets. The company covers everything from irrigation to military-grade tools, and it also designs automotive equipment.
Although the tools seem reliable, most of them are not exactly premium solutions. The idea was to offer good value and convenient products to customers.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Shingle Cutters
Your search for the best shingle cutters begins with thinking about what kind of tool you need for the best way to cut shingles, etc. If you are unsure about your personal preferences, here are some factors to consider during the process.
What Type of Shingles Can It Cut?
The versatility is important for any tool, and shingle cutters are no exception. You are probably aware of the three main types of shingles:
The majority of shingle cutting tools can handle asphalt and fiberglass. However, you may encounter a tool that has problems with laminated shingles. Some shingles may come with thick lamination, which makes the job harder. It doesn’t work well with all types of laminated materials as well, like laminate flooring that needs a special type of cutter (find the best models here).
How Much the Product Weighs?
The total weight of the tool is important for shingle cutters, especially if you are a professional. Contractors will often take their tools with them when moving to the next job site. It is not easy to carry all those products, especially heavy units like shingle cutters. That is why your tool needs to be as light as possible.
The general rule is that shingle cutting units should weigh between 12 and 20 pounds. It would be great if they come with a handle as that can make carrying even more manageable.
What Other Features to Consider?
Here is an overview of other things you can consider when choosing a shingle cutter:
- Angled cuts – is the tool capable of making angled cuts? It will help if it has an angle meter.
- Maximum cutting length – the majority of roofing tear-off shovels can cut up to 20-25 inches lengthwise. If you want to cut longer materials than that, you will need to turn the tool around.
- Integrated scale – you need to measure what you are cutting, which is why you need a scale. Premium products will offer both metric and imperial measurements.
- Comfort and ease of use – although it is a matter of personal preference, it is essential that you feel comfortable using the product. The majority of shingle cutters work the same way, and you shouldn’t have any issues using them.
- Warranty – it can be a fine indicator of how much you should trust the product and the manufacturer.
How to Use a Shingle Cutter
You should use a shingle cutter on the roof as it is more convenient. While doing so, make sure to stay safe and protected at all times. Once you take care of your safety, here are the essentials you should know.
- Setup the tool. Pick a convenient location that allows you plenty of maneuvering. Make sure to read the instruction manual to discover all the details.
- Place the shingle into the tool. Take the shingle you want to cut and put it on the working surface. You want to position the part you want to cut below the blade or the cutting area.
- Cut the shingle. Use your hand to pull the handle and cut the shingle. Check the length and angle meter to ensure you set everything properly.
If you are still a bit unclear on how to use a shingle cutter, please take a look at this YouTube video. It explains how to cut a shingle effortlessly.
Ready to Use a Shingle Cutter for Your Next Project?
We hope that you now have the basic knowledge about shingle cutters. These tools can be incredibly useful, especially if you are a contractor to find the best way to cut shingles, etc. DIY enthusiasts can also benefit from the product, especially if a roofing project is expecting them soon.
The main idea is to simplify the process of cutting shingles. If you find the best shingle cutter for your needs, you will shorten the time needed to complete all upcoming projects. The benefits go beyond that because the tool will also deliver excellent precision and smooth cuts.
It is important to take your time when choosing products for your next project. Think about the specific needs and ways how you plan to use a shingle cutter. That should be your main consideration, and the only way to ensure the tool will deliver the highest value for your money.
Shingle cutters look different from what people would usually think a cutter would be, but it is designed especially for the job it’s intended to do, like these top-rated soil pipe cutters. Also, take a look at our review of the top electric rebar cutters.