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There is a certain comfort bred of familiarity. For instance, I know when I reach for my brad nailer or Skilsaw exactly how it feels in my hands from every angle. I don’t have to look — I know. It’s something that’s been trained into me for the past six years, and it frees me up to think about how the cut is going to line up or where the brad’s going to go. It sounds funny to some, but tools like that become extensions of your will rather than clunky objects. It’s this kind of familiarity Milwaukee is now working against in the snip market. Klein and Wiss are, for all intents and purposes, the standard in snips and have been for decades. However, Milwaukee thinks there’s room for improvement.

The new snips have features like a switch lock on the top handle and forged cutting heads. They conform to the standard system of yellow for straight, green for right cut, and red for the left curving cuts — so a pro can still look down into a pouch and grab the right tool the first time without thinking. The lock along the top and inset a shade won’t bump loose in a belt or toolbox. All these traits are dead-on for the tradesman that would need to have one at the ready, day in and day out.

We got a chance to play with the new snips at the Milwaukee event earlier this year, and they seem both sturdy and no-nonsense. The handles were at least as comfortable as others we’ve used and cut just as accurately. They’re as easy to cut with as the Wiss or Stanley models we have in the shop, and the 48-22-4030 here will cost about the same on the street as the competitors’ at around $18 per pair.

Really, the question is whether Milwaukee can convince tradesmen who’ve used a different product since Reagan was in office that this tool’s better than what they already know works. After seeing the snips and trying them out, we think they have a shot, but we’re not the tradesmen Milwaukee’s trying to convince.

What do you think? Let us know with your comments.

48-22-4030 Snips [Milwaukee]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


12 Responses to Preview: Milwaukee’s Aviation Snips

  1. PutnamEco says:

    I’ll continue trying to source US made products. Should Milwaukee wish to have my business, a “Made in USA” label would go far in convincing me to purchase their products. I would happily buy products from the EU as well.

  2. Shy Guy says:

    I agree, Brand names like Milwaukee could at least have their hand tools made in the USA. Our ship is sinking & more tools are being made else where, wtf ?

  3. fred says:

    I’m no longer sure where Wiss (Cooper Tools – are they now marketed by the Apex – Cooper-Danaher Joint Venture ?) are made. Midwest was another brand – along with Malco now selling snips to the trade. Lots of choice already – not sure what Milwaukee adds – particulrly if they are made in China

  4. Kevin says:

    agree with Putnam and shyguy, I’ll stick with ones made here in the States like Midwest tool & cutlery and Wiss , even though Wiss does make a fairshare of stuff overseas themselves.

  5. browndog77 says:

    @ Sean – Don’t be so sure that you aren’t the target customer demographic Milwaukee is shooting for. The HVAC guys probably represent the largest group of current owners, but as far as new customers, handymen & even one time users generate a lot of sales. This isn’t a tool that wears out quickly, even w/ steady use.

  6. Zor says:

    Regrettably, Milwaukee was bought years ago by TTI which is the cheapest of all the cheap crap manufacturers in the entire world. They also bought Ryobi. Companies that sell quality components like plastics, die castings and bearings are loathe to approach TTI with quality products. And rightly so.

  7. Brice says:

    When buying snips, buy ones with really good stiff handles. I can’t remember which ones I bought with plastic handles, but they flex so much that it often won’t cut to tip of the blades. Useless.

  8. Stan says:

    “Zor” is spot on. I find it comical that Milwaukee is actually owened by a Chinese company. I know all of the big companies make or buy some or all of their products overseas but at least the revenue is coming back to the US. Companies like Stanley Black & Decker and Irwin (aka Newall Rubbermaid) for example. Also, these snips look a lot like the Stanley FatMax versions I saw a few years ago. Looks like a knock-off to me but I have never tried either. I’ll stick with my tried and true Wiss snips.

  9. Blair says:

    Most people don’t realize that 99% of commercial carpentry anymore is steel stud, and track, rather than wood oriented, so almost all commercial carpenters carry at least One pair of “straight ahead” snips.

    I seriously doubt that the guys are going to trade off their tried , and true Wiss, etc. brand snips for these.

    Now the weekend warriors you see at the local big box every Saturday after “This Old House” is over may be tempted by both the name recognition, and the new design.

  10. David Hillier says:

    Hi I am from isle of man in uk bought milwaukee snips a while ago and they are excellent as good as wiss or midwest I have had them all I would definitely recommend them

  11. jim h says:

    I’ve been using wiss daily for the last 20 years installing acoustical ceilings and I actually prefer the new milwaukee snips to wiss. them being made in china instead of the us doesn’t bother me to much since most of our production is now being done by illegals instead of americans.

  12. Lee says:

    I do Commercial Roofing and and get subbed out to the HVAC side on occasion so I carry snips and I bought the Milwaukee’s save your money they’re annoying as hell they don’t stay latch to constantly pop open in your bags I’m getting ready to sell mine and buy a pair of Linox or wiss

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