Shearing, on a conventional straight shears, makes straight cuts in material of limited thickness using a scissors-like action.

Shearing offers a low cost way to make cuts of limited shapes. In straight shearing, shapes are mainly limited to convex polygons (e.g. rectangles, octagons, etc.)

Example uses of conventional shearing include preparation of sheet metal for other processes, rectangular signs, triangle signs, octagon signs, etc.

Shearing can be applied to most metals, plastics, composites, fibers and other rigid materials. Soft materials can pose difficulties.