Among the crucial tools we sell here at John Stortz & Son, which range from power seamers to snow guards, we sell a variety of hand seamers. Basic but essential to the abilities of the sheet metal roofer, hand seamers, seaming pliers and tongs can be used to create a number of precise manipulations along the edges of sheet metal, including, of course, the ability to start and finish seams.

So, what are hand seamers, how can you use them, and what types do we offer in our online shop?

Creating Seams in Sheet Metal

Hand seamers have jaws that are bent or offset. The reason for this lies with one standard use of hand seamers, which is to start or finish a seam in a piece of sheet metal, joining it to another panel on a sheet metal roof.

There are many different types of seams that can be used to join two panels of sheet metal together, on or off a roof. Among these are lap seams and variants, lock seams, and standing seams. Hand seamers can be used to start any of these, and, in the hands of a skilled sheet metal roofer, more than one type of hand seamer can be used to finish the job.

That said, using a hand seamer with straight jaws like our Stortz Deep Depth Seaming Pliers will offer you a lot of flexibility. These pliers have three inch wide and three inch deep jaws, for easy, precise manipulation of sheet metal.

While forming a lock seam is one standard use, hand seamers can be used to form a variety of other seams in sheet metal as well, including those listed above. While you can use a seamer with straight jaws, we also offer seamers with bent and offset jaws that facilitate the manipulation of the sheet metal.

Will My Hand Seamer Work for That? Or, Different Hand Seamers You Might Want

While one use of a hand seamer is creating and finishing seams along the edges of sheet metal panels, there is a great deal of variety in sheet metal seamers. If most seamers can be used to create the same basic seams, why then is there so much variation?

It all comes down to your intended purpose or speciality. In most situations, the less specialized a tool becomes, the more widely it can be applied, though it misses out on specialty applications.

For example, a pair of small seaming pliers with an offset bend can be extremely useful for fine detail work despite providing little value towards creating an actual seam. They’re also great for manipulating the edges of eaves or working them into place.

A pair of spring-loaded seaming pliers, especially a larger one with flat jaws, can be highly useful for sheet metal roofers who need to make long, straight seams ad infinitum. Spring-loaded models will open back up after pressure is released, which is not only convenient, but can help diminish fatigue. They’re equally useful at creating bends and seams as regular models, but it’s worth noting that the springs may need to be replaced as they will wear out over time.

Other Uses for Hand Seamers

In addition to forming basic seams such as lock seams and standing seams, hand seamers can be used for their basic, general utility as well. Let’s not forget that these are still just pliers with varying jaws.

Because of this, some seaming pliers can be used to make crimps, fold edges, and make other precise bends and folds along the edge of a sheet of metal in ways that a dedicated sheet metal bender would not be able to.

Seaming pliers and tongs can also be used to manipulate a sheet of metal or force it into location, as they can afford you a better grip, and a more precise one, than a gloved hand.

There are also a variety of other specialized tools in our shop that, while different from most hand seamers, are still highly useful. For example, our Stubai Double Seaming Pliers can be used to create double folded seams in sheet metal and can reach into places where other lock seamers could not.

Perhaps You Need a Metal Bender Instead

One word of note here is that if you are going to be making long, straight folds along the edge of sheet metal, as you would with seaming pliers, a dedicated sheet metal bender might be more valuable to you. They are faster, more efficient, and more precise at making uniform bends along the edge of sheet metal panels than seamers can be and can be highly useful for starting some seams that can then be finished with seaming pliers.

Follow Us for More Helpful Information

Interested in learning more about the different types of seamers and other hand tools that we sell here for the benefit of sheet metal roofers? Follow us on our YouTube channel where you can find many helpful videos and tutorials, and don’t be afraid to reach out to us at 888-847-3456 if you need assistance.