Power Seamers vs Hand Seamers

When installing a metal roof on any structure using metal panels by crimping method, you will need a seamer to fold them together.  There are dozens of seamers, but they fall into two main categories; the hand seamers and the power seamers. The hand seamers come in Phase One and Phase Two hand seamers. The power seamers can perform both steps.  Therefore, you might be saying – one-step beats two steps, decision made.

The power seamer has some safety features called the micro-switch. This is a safety feature to prevent the tool from falling off a roof while operating unattended. The micro-switch will also sense any “ride-up” of the seamer, sometimes caused by improperly formed pans or improperly laid down pans. The seamer can be taken off the seam at any time during seaming process by simply turning the switch to OFF position and pulling the locking handle up. The power seamer when placed back on the same position of the seam will continue to complete the job.


If you are going to use a hand seamer you will need to first use a phase One hand seamer to make the first fold and then the double lock seamer to complete the seam.  You can only complete about 8 inches at a time.  A hand seamer is time consuming and you need to use some elbow- grease.    A Power seamer can double lock as fast as 30 feet per minute and single lock as fast as 45 feet per minute.  So you might be saying then why would you ever use a hand seamer?

There are several conditions where a hand seamer is preferred; one condition would be on a short run a power seamer is impractical.  Another example is when using a hard to form material or when you are looking for a better-looking seam, a hand seamer is the better option.  In addition, the power seamer must have at least several inches of the seam prepared to perform its task.  Therefore, you need a hand seamer to prepare a seam for a power seamer.

In conclusion, the power seamer and the hand seamer make a great partnership. The hand seamer can perform the task on its own with two separate steps, but is best used only for small jobs. The power seamer needs the hand seamer to perform, and is preferred for a larger roof.

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