How to use the proper Hand Seamer for you Sheet Metal Work

How to use the proper Hand Seamer for you Sheet Metal Work

How to pick the proper Hand Seamer for you Sheet Metal Work?

At first glance a hand seamer serves one function, to bend sheet metal.  Like most other tools, something so simple can be broken down into targeted styles depending on the application.  This entry will look into the different attributes of hand seamers and what to look for when making a purchase.  The main category of these products can be found under the sheet metal tools.

The HVAC Seamer 

A standard seamer in the HVAC industry that has a 1″ – 1 1/4″ depth with markings on the side.  The width across measures about 3″ and is found straight or offset.  The male and female ends are drop forged and secured well with a pin.  They range in price from $35-$45.  A quality product with versatile use for small, short bends but limited in depth and size. Fairmount tongs can be found at Red Oak Tools.

The Spring-Loaded Seamer 

spring-loaded seamer has the feature of opening back up after making a bend.  This is nice to have when making continuous bends but the springs will usually fail before the tool does.  The feel when closing the seamer as tight as possible against material is also looser because the spring wants to open up.  Full pressure is not achieved and this limits the gauge of metal that can be worked on.  Many brands make spring-loaded seamers and they will usually range in price from $25-$75.  A 24 gauge maximum with these seamers is probably pushing it because once the spring is shot, the tool is done. 

hand seamer


Offset Handle Hand Seamer 

Offset Handle Hand Seamer, Used to bend and flatten sheet metal. Makes uniform bends & reduces metal buckling & bowing between folds. Optimal handle span for maximum power and comfortable operating range.


The European Line of Seamers  (Clinching Pliers Straight lap joint)

This line of hand tongs is accepted as a long-lasting option with the power to bend thicker material.  The options run from 45°, 90°, straight, deep depth, and specialty corner tongs for work against the wall.  The depth of the seamer will not be less than 2″ and can be as deep as 3″.  The price ranges from $50-$100 dollars which is more expensive than most but if you are in the sheet metal business for the long haul, this investment is one you’ll appreciate as the years pass.

A little known detail of these seamers is the way the two forged pieces are held together.  The two style joints are a lap or box joint.  The box joint is the premier joint of the industry.  The box joint cannot be repaired if it were to fail but this is ok because it won’t.  Ever.  The joint cannot loosen.  The lap joint is called such because the two pieces overlap each other and are securely riveted. A perfectly acceptable way of securing the hand tong.

Clinching Pliers Straight lap joint

The 5 Best Sheet Metal Seamers Reviewed


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