Brand Spotlight: IRWIN TOOLS

Irwin spotlight

If you've been following our blog, then you know that we only spotlight the top quality tool brands in the metal roofing industry, so it is only right that IRWIN TOOLS have their time to shine.

Keep reading to learn about the IRWIN TOOLS' brand history, their best metal roofing products, and why professional roofers across the globe trust IRWIN TOOLS to get the job done.


IRWIN TOOLS was founded in 1885 when the first IRWIN Auger Bit hit the market, but the brand story begins before that in 1884 with Charles Irwin working at a pharmacy he owned in Martinsville, Ohio. One day, a customer came in with an idea. This customer was a blacksmith and he wanted to create a solid center auger bit. Irwin was impressed with the idea and quickly bought the rights to the invention. After patenting the invention, Charles Irwin joined forces with four business partners and IRWIN Auger Bit Co. was formed.

Four years later, in the small town of DeWitt, Nebraska, a Danish immigrant named William Petersen used his blacksmith skills to invent the very first pair of locking pliers. Petersen patented his new invention as the "Vise-Grip" and began to sell the tool out of his trunk. Petersen Manufacturing later changed its name to American Tool Companies in 1985 and by 1993 the company acquired IRWIN Tool Company.

Watch the Vise-Grip® technology in action here.

Today, IRWIN TOOLS manufactures and distributes professional-grade hand tools and power tool accessories worldwide for trade professionals who demand superior performance and durability on the job. IRWIN TOOLS' brand portfolio includes IRWIN®, Vise-Grip®, Marathon®, Quick-Grip®, Speedbor®, Strait-Line®, Marples®, Unibit®, and Hanson®.

AMSI carries a wide array of IRWIN highly rated, well-priced products for your project needs:


Aviation snips, also known as metal snips, are a must-have tool for professional metal roofers. A good pair of craftsman aviation snips must have a sharp edge that is tough enough to slice through the metal sheets that will be used for your roof panels.

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IRWIN TOOLS offers multiple different types of top-quality aviation snips for cutting through sheet metal roofing panels. IRWIN durable metal snips are color-coded by the direction that they cut:

  • Yellow Aviation Snips cut straight, to the left, and to the right. IRWIN's yellow metal snips have a blue accent on one handles to set them apart from other brands. AMSI carries two different types of yellow offset snips, one pair has an extra long cut length of 1-5/16" (33mm) and a cut capacity of 18ga C.R.S. or 23ga S.S. The other pair of yellow has a slightly standard cut length of 3/4" (19MM) with a cut capacity of 16ga C.R.S. or 18ga S.S.
  • Green Aviation Snips cut straight and to the right. These offset snips are most comfortable for left-handed contractors and they also have a cut length of 1-5/16" (33mm) with a cut capacity of 18ga C.R.S. or 23ga S.S.
  • Red Aviation Snips cut straight and to the left. These snips are generally most comfortable for right-handed roofing professionals. These aviation cutters have that same cut length of 1-5" (33mm) with a cut capacity of 18ga C.R.S. or 23ga S.S.

IRWIN TOOLS also makes a pair of Multi-Purpose Utility Snips with blue handles and yellow accents. These utility snips are perfect for cutting sheet metal, rubber, vinyl, plastic, and more. These multi-purpose snips deliver compound cutting leverage with Pro-Touch™ Grips to provide a comfortable grip and they resist twisting while you work.

Read more: The Roofer's Guide to Metal Snips.

Shop IRWIN Aviation Snips.

IRWIN Tinner Snips

IRWIN Tinner Snips are similar to aviation snips, but there are better suited for cutting thinner sheets of metal. IRWIN Tinner Snips can easily cut through metal or solid steel as easily as scissor blades through paper and they are best for cutting gutter hangers or long, straight lines.

Tinner snips can cut in every direction, though they can sometimes be difficult to maneuver. IRWIN snips, however, have precision-ground edges on the blades to ensure a tight grip for superior cutting quality, and the handles are encased in Plastisol with Pro-Touch™ Grips that resist twisting for more comfortable use. Unlike with other brands of inner snips, your hands won't get tired of using IRWIN Tinner Snips with a comfortable grip and the hot drop-forged steel blades offer maximum strength for long life.

AMSI carries six different sizes of IRWIN affordable straight-cut tin snips with cut lengths between 1-1/2" to 2-3/4" and Cut depths between 20ga C.R.S. to 26ga C.R.S.

Shop IRWIN Tinner Snips today.

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IRWIN Vise-Grip Tools

As we mentioned above, William Peterson invented patented the Vise-Grip technology in the late 1800s and late his company later merged with IRWIN TOOLS. IRWIN Vise-Grips are known for their unparalleled ability to grip metal or steel and lock it into place so you can easily hold a steel pipe or piece of sheet metal steady while you cut.


IRWIN TOOLS makes a wide variety of Vise-Grip tools for your every need: 

  • Vise-Grip Locking C-Clamps With Regular Tips have wide-opening jaws that provide greater versatility in clamping a wide variety of shapes and an easy-release trigger. This tool is also constructed of high-grade and heat-treated alloy steel for maximum toughness and durability. AMSI carries these C-Clamps in multiple different sizes:
  • Vise-Grip Locking C-Clamps With Swivel Pads are very similar to Vise-Grip Locking C-Clamps With Regular Tips but they have the added feature of Swivel Pads to hold tapered work, delicate projects, and awkward jobs without damaging the work surface. AMSI carries these C-Clamps in these sizes:
  • The Irwin Vice-Grip 8R Locking Sheet Metal Tool is perfect for bending, forming, and crimping metal or steel roofing panels, and the nickel-plated, heat-treated alloy steel clamp has a simple micro-adjustment screw mechanism.
  • Vise-Grip Straight Jaw-Locking Pliers make every job easier. These pliers have a 20% reduced hand span for increased user control and reduces hand strain. The wide-opening jaws can clamp a large variety of shapes and they come with an IRWIN Lifetime Guarantee. The Vise-Grip Straight Jaw Locking Pliers come in two sizes; 10" and 7" in length.
  • The Vise-Grip Curved Jaw Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter has all the qualities as a pair of Vise-Grip Straight Jaw-Locking Pliers, but the pliers are curved and they have a built-in wire cutter for convenient cutting jobs. The hardened teeth are designed to grip from any angle and hex key adjusting screws tighten to adjust pressure and draw materials together for a controlled release. AMSI carries the Vise-Grip Curved Jaw Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter in cut lengths of 5", 7", and 10".
  • The Vise-Grip Long Nose Locking Pliers with a Wire Cutter have a long, straight nose that allows access to narrow, otherwise hard-to-reach places. These pliers also have a wire cutter and they are ideal for precision work. AMSI carries the Vise-Grip Long Nose Locking Pliers with a Wire Cutter in cut-length of 4", 6", and 9".

Now that you're all caught up on the IRWIN TOOLS brand, you know who to turn to for your next metal roofing project.

Shop our IRWIN TOOLS now.

Contact Us with any questions or inquiries.