At a recent racing and automotive event I saw for the very first time a nibbler cutting tool being used and sold in the exhibition center. Thinking this might be a good gadget for cutting vintage metal tins and other found objects for my assemblage art projects, I spent a bit of time researching nibbler tools. The best reviews I found were for the CaNibble Professional Nibbler. It’s a fascinating piece of equipment, used by engineers, builders, plumbers and other construction professionals, but also a fantastic tool for art, craft and DIY enthusiasts. This tool can cut through flat or corrugated material, mild steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, Formica, chicken wire, cardboard, leather, and plastic. The CaNibble is best demonstrated in the full-length informational video below.
- CaNibble-Professional Nibbler
- Two spare punches
- Set of two bench mounting clamps
- Spare Die
- Straight and Circle Cutting Attachment
To utilizie the CaNibble tool you will need electric or air drill with a 9mm chuck capacity and a speed range of 1,500 to 2,500 RPM. Though you can use the CaNibble freehand, for accuracy and small projects I prefer it mounted to my workbench allowing my hands to guide the material. The CaNibble drive shaft inserts into the drill the same as a drill bit. When using the mounting clamps, the collar of your drill needs to measure 43mm in diameter. It was necessary for me to take one of my clamps shopping with me to Lowe’s to find a drill with that exact collar size. I ended up with the Hitachi D10VH 6-Amp 3/8-in Corded Drill, which is now a permanent fixture on my workbench. When in use the drill and tool cutting sounds can be quite loud, so some may prefer ear protection when using. Keep a bin or box below your work to catch the millions of tiny, sharp pieces (who’s shapes remind me of baby fingernail clippings) that will fall from the project you are cutting. And ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION when using this tool! With metal cutting it is important to apply a lubricant such as WD40 or light oil along the path of cut. Please visit the FAQ page of the CaNibble website for many more details and specifications for setting up and using.
One of my first projects using the CaNibble included cutting out the printed design from a vintage can that probably once held popcorn or potato chips. It worked GREAT!Cutting from the outer edge of your material is pretty straight forward, but if you need to cut a window from your piece you will need to use the CaNibble sheet drill attachment, or 1/2″ or larger drill bit to drill a hole within the window area in order to place the material over the top of the CaNibble tool for cutting.Here is a window cut through the lid of a vintage candy tin using the CaNibble. As I am getting the hang of using the CaNibble I have been guiding my work slowly while cutting small shapes, therefor my finished edges have been slightly ragged. In those instances I simply smoothed out the edges by sanding or with a small rotary tool with a grinding attachment. For the project below I inset the framework of a vintage metal automotive gauge into the window for a nice finished look.There are so many uses for the CaNibble in art, craft, and DIY projects and I’m excited to have it as a tool in my studio allowing me so many more options for creating assemblage art. There are still features I’ve yet to try, including the circle cutting attachment. Keep an eye on my Instagram feed for updates as I hone my CaNibble skills here in the studio! You can also check out the CaNibble LIVE next month at the Maker Faire in San Diego! CaNibble is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100. Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with all things CaNibble and the many uses and creations by others!
The CaNibble Bundle Giveaway
A $188.85 Value!
CaNibble Tools is giving away a complete CaNibble Bundle (full contents shown above) to one Just Something I Made reader! The lucky winner will receive a CaNibble, Spare Punches, Spare Die, Clamps, and a Straight and Circle Cutting Attachment.
- Entry open to US residents only.
- One Entry per person and household.
- Please leave a kind, relevant comment below.
- Enter by noon (PST) Friday, September 9, 2016.
- The winner will be randomly chosen, notified and posted her shortly thereafter.
- The CaNibble Bundle will be shipped to winner direct from CaNibble Tools.