Central Forge Throatless Shear

There are many complaints about the CF Shear among more "prestigious" (read: Able to throw more money at the problem) armourers. You don't have to go far to read stories of misaligned blades and a slew of other mishaps making the shear "worthless" all ending in the phrase "You get what you pay for." Well bullshit is, obviously, still free

My shear worked pretty well out of the box. Bolting it to my work bench was a simple matter (finding space was the hard part ;) ). I tried it first on 18 guage mild steel, and it cut beautifully. The curves were smooth and the edges needed very little cleanup. Then I moved up to 18ga. high carbon with little trouble, though I experienced some drag while cutting a tight turn I attribute this as much to the reclaimed steel as the shear. Finally I readjusted the blades for thicker metal and moved up to a piece of 16 gauge. It took a little more care and muscle to cut smoothly, but the cuts were as clean (possibly cleaner, though a sheet metal shim with measurements would have probably helped to adjust the blades to cut the thinner metal more cleanly as well) as the thinner material.

Unfortunately I have no stainless to test. However, I have heard (from the few armourers who respect a cheaper alternative) of people having good fortune cutting thinner stainless (20 - 18ga).

I really only have 3 major complaints about the shear.

  1. It took 3 weeks to get here, even on specialty items and items not sold "in house" I've never had to wait more than 6 work days to receive anything.
  2. One of the adjustment screws' hole was tapped poorly, allowing the screw to grip only when very far in. This prevents proper adjustment of the lower blade (A necessity of smooth, clean cuts). This was a small problem and easily fixed by either trimming the little push rod bit of the screw, or retapping the hole and replacing the screw. I plan to retap the hole eventually, but for now I just went with the quick fix and it works just fine.
  3. There is more side-to-side play in the handle's gear than I would like. This causes you to have to pull slightly inward or push outward to keep the handle steady enough to get an even cut. It's a minor waste of energy, but for someone who does all their cutting and prep work in one day, it adds up.

So, if you're looking for a good reliable shear at a low price or just something to hold you over until you can afford the more coveted Beverly B2, this 89.99 throatless can't be beat and definitely gives back more than you paid for it..

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Editor's note. In the 6 years since this was originally published, the price has increased $10.

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