Shear and Nibbler Attachments for Power Drills

A shear/nibbler attachment connects to a power drill and helps reduce stressful hand and wrist activity during cutting or nibbling materials.


The shear/nibbler attachments for power drills is an engineering control that can reduce stressful hand and wrist activity.  A shear/nibbler attachment is connected to a power drill for cutting sheet metals and building materials.

There are many types of shear/nibbler attachments for power tools for different tasks around a construction site such as: cutting sheet metals, backerboard, roofing materials, building panels, duct work, and other materials.

Malco Tools

The TurboShear CE TS1 from Malco Tools weighs 26 oz and is used for 20-gauge galvanized steel, 24-gauge non-hardened carbon steel and stainless steel, 16-gauge aluminum, and .050 inch copper.

TurboShear Accessories

The Malco TSS1 Asphalt Shingle Shear Drill Accessory weighs 2.79 lbs and is rated to cut up to 1/2" of asphalt shingles. There is a pneumatic version of this tool.

The Malco TSF2 Backerboard shear accessory weighs 2.87 lbs and cleanly cuts backerboard up to 1/2 inch thick. The TSF2 also cuts 5/16 inch fiber cement siding.  There is a pneumatic version of this tool. 

The Slate-Cutting Drill Attachment weighs 2.89 lbs and can make straight, angled or curved cuts in 4 mm to 8 mm natural roofing slate.

The Malco TurboShear Heavy Duty CE attachment weighs 2.61 lbs and can make straight and left cuts in a variety of building materials up to a thickness of 18-gauge galvanized steel. 

The Malco Metal-Cutting TS drill attachment CE weighs 4.53 lbs and has a cutting capacity of 16 to 26-gauge mild steel. A helical shaped foot permits easy left, right or straight cutting action. 

The Malco Power Assisted Crimper C5A weighs 3.5 lbs and crimps in large or small round duct and pipe.  Applications include 24 to 30-gauge galvanized steel duct, spiral duct, black stove pipe, or aluminum pipe. 

Bad Dog Biter

The Bad Dog Biter comes with a 2" cutting head which can cut corrugated, round, or flat materials up to 1/8 inch thick. It can also cut a 1/2 inch radius.  This tool is also available in a 4" cutting head for hard to reach or awkward cuts.

Risks Addressed:

Stressful hand and wrist activity, and hand-arm vibration can cause musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as muscle strains; hand/wrist tendonitis, which is inflammation of elbow and wrist tendons; or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is compression of a wrist nerve, resulting in finger numbness and loss of hand strength.  A shear or nibbler attachment for power drills can help reduce stressful hand & wrist activity by reducing the amount of manual cutting of building materials.

How Risks are Reduced:

A shear or nibbler attachment for power drills minimizes, stressful hand and wrist activity because it will reduce the amount that a laborer will need to manipulate hand-held shears/nibblers to cut building materials. 

Safety and health experts believe a shear or nibbler attachment for power drills will help to reduce stressful hand and wrist activity because it reduces the need to manipulate hand held shears or nibblers to cut various building materials. There have not been independent published studies measuring the effects of a shear or nibbler attachment for powerdrills on the incidence of stressful hand and wrist activity. However, studies have shown an association between stressful hand and wrist activities with MSDs. (Spielholz et al. 2006; Griffin et al. 2006; Da Costa et al. 2009).

Effects on Productivity:

A shear or nibbler attachment for power drills may increase productivity by decreasing the time that it takes to cut, shear, or crimp various building materials at the job site. 

Additional Considerations:

The weight of some attachments may deter some laborers from carrying and using them on the job site.

Using a shear attachment may produce less dust when cutting some building materials when compared to a different cutting tool.

Always follower manufacturer's tool guidelines and suggested use to avoid any potential injuries.


Dan Anton, PT, PhD, ATC; and Benjamin Tucker, SPT – Eastern Washington University

Hazards Addressed:


Bad Dog Tools Bad Dog Biter
To obtain information, visit or contact 1-800-252-1330

Corrugated Metal TurboShear Drill Attachment
To obtain information, visit or contact 1-320-274-8246

Return on Investment

To find out the potential return on investment (ROI) for this solution, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator.

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