First and foremost, the width of your hand seamer must fit over the width of your profile! If your seam stands 2″ high, there’s a good chance that the width across is not going to be 1/2″ and you are going to need a wider seamer. A common female profile stands 1″ high, 1/2″ across, and 3/8″ on the down leg. The seamers outlined in this post will follow that profile.

Who Needs Mechanically Locked Hand Seamers?

1) Larger contractors with big commercial jobs who will lock the panels to prepare them for an electric seamer.

2) Contractors who have short runs or are locking an entire roof manually.

Types of Seamers

ESE Seamers

Poor quality is never an issue with ESE.  Their first and second stage seamers are priced nicely and will max bend at 24 gauge steel, .032 aluminum, and 20 oz copper.

The ESE001-Classic is the most popular first stage seamer due to the removable handle.  Because it can be removed, the tool can fit in tight places such as against a wall or chimney.  Its price is also one of the lowest on the market.

ESE001-C First Stage Hand Seamer

The ESE099 is the only seamer that offers a clasp that fits onto the seam. The clasp must be open and closed when moving down a seam but is ideal for a short run.  It prevents the tool from rising off the seam and closing incorrectly.

ESE099 2nd Stage Hand Seamer

RAU Tools

RAU is a German company established in 1914 that specializes in sheet metal hand tools.  In Europe, the item #’s 111 and 117 are synonymous with first and second stage seamers.  A positive feature of these two tools is that your hand finishes in the upright position.  If you are locking a roof on a pitch, this could save you from bending over as frequently.  Both tools will bend up to 24 gauge steel and 20 oz copper.

2 tools that may not be as familiar are the RAU128 and RAU131.  These are stand up models that have telescoping handles which saves the back from bending as much.  These are better suited for a user who is not using a power seamer and is seaming an entire roof by hand.

The RAU119 and 127 should also be mentioned because they give the roofer the ability to lock the first stage on a curved panel.  The tool has a 2 3/4″ width which gives the ability to bend on a curve.

How do you curve a standing seam profile? This is mainly done when a machine like the Draco panel former curves a panel for a dormer or such.

Stubai Tools
A tool of interest from Stubai is their 2nd stage seamer. I’ve booked marked the video at the appropriate point and you’ll see why. For $250, the price is right.  A word of warning, the first stage does not fully hit the downleg but will still crimp underneath.