Beverly Shear

Text: Jerry Blanchard

Gear | Some of you may be familiar with the Beverly throatless shear, having used one in your school shop classes, or perhaps you are lucky enough to own one. 

Kurt Nebel invented this tool in 1931 and refined it over a 10-year period into the design the company says has remained unchanged since 1947. Beverly shears have been in continuous production in their original Chicago plant since the beginning, a testament to the brilliant design, high quality materials, strength of the tools, and to the business acumen of the Nebel family. 

The frames of the shears are cast of alloy steel and heat treated. The tool-steel blades are removable and easily adjusted if they ever need sharpening. There are three sizes of throatless shears: the B1, B2, and B3. The B3 is the largest model and will cut 3/16-inch-thick mild steel, and 10-gauge stainless steel. The B3 weighs 58 pounds. 

Recently a friend gave me an early B3 shear in need of restoration. I took it all apart for wire brushing, sanding, and cleaning. I primed it and enameled it with Rustoleum gloss enamel in the original gray color. In the photo of my shear the hold-down is not on the shear. I have found the hold-downs just get in the way and are not really needed in most situations. The B1 and B2 shears do not have hold-downs, and I see some of the current models of B3's have deleted the hold-down. 

I have used Beverly Shears for over 50 years and have never had the slightest problem with them. If they are not quite indestructible, they are pretty close to it. 

There are copies of the Beverly Shear made by Harbor Freight and others, but if you want the gold standard of throatless shears, stick with the genuine article.