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May 6, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-Ion Nibbler Hands-On Review

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-Ion Nibbler Makes Cutting Sheet Metal a Breeze

There are a lot of ways to cut sheet metal and we’ve seen Pros in the field use grinders, reciprocating saws, and even jigsaws to make it happen. Of course, there are purpose-built metal cutting saws, too. But if you want to make the job more manageable, check out the Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-Ion Nibbler.


Pros

  • Cuts faster and cleaner than other tools with higher voltages
  • Manages corrugates and trapezoidal sheets better than other tools
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Simple cutting edge direction changes

Cons

  • Expensive

Recommendation

If your job calls for cutting a lot of sheet metal, especially corrugated and trapezoidal, do yourself a favor and pick up a Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-Ion nibbler. Its lightweight and cordless convenience make it much easier to use than grinders and saws.

This is a premium product and it has a high price tag compared to some of the mainstream brands. Use them side-by-side, however, and Trumpf’s performance and quality really stand out.

Using the Trumpf Tru Tool N 160 Li-Ion Nibbler

If you’ve never used a nibbler before you’re missing out. If you have, you should still give the Trumpf Tru Tool N 160 Li-Ion a shot. It’s a 12V max (10.8V nominal) tool and it puts 18V and even 36V grinders and saws to shame in sheet metal.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

We tested it on a variety of sheets, including 16-gauge flat, corrugated, and trapezoidal materials, making straight, curved, and plunge cuts.

Speed

One of the things that really impressed us was the cutting speed. Trumpf rates it for 1.9 meters per minute (6.2 feet) and it’s easy to see how it can reach that cutting thinner, flat material. Once you get the punch and die lined up, it chews through metal much faster than we expected for a 12V tool.

You control the speed with a variable dial on the side. This is really helpful when you’re cutting tighter curves or trapezoidal metal that requires more control to stay on your cutline. It’s also helpful as you’re getting used to controlling the tool for the first time or you’re training someone new to nibblers.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

Vibration Control

Another piece is that there’s very little vibration for a tool that’s doing such a tough job. It reminds me of using a Fein Multimaster compared to other oscillating multitools. The vibration control is so good that you can focus on making the cut and not the growing fatigue in your hands.

Punch Direction

When you make the shift from cutting flat material to corrugated, you can easily change the direction of the punch. Just loosen the dial behind it, turn in any of 8 positions, and tighten the knob back down. You don’t need any tools. When it comes time to replace the punch and die, it’s the same process, you just pull them all the way out.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

Size and Weight

With the battery, the tool only weighs 3.3 pounds. Its light weight and small, multitool-like body let you move in and out of corrugated curves very easily. On the off chance that the valleys are too deep and too close together, Trumpf has an extension that will let you reach in those areas.


If you’re new to nibbling, it takes a little practice to angle the tool as you work those curves. But give it some practice on scrap material and you’ll get a feel for it quickly.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

Price

We haven’t seen the Trumpf Tru Tool N 160 Li-Ion nibbler show up in any US retailers online just yet, but there are some in stock if you call around. Expect to pay around $1100 for the kit with a pair of 2.0Ah batteries and a charger. It comes with a Systainer-style case, a punch and die, and a belt hook.

That’s more expensive than some of the mainstream brands out there. However, you can feel the difference in performance and quality when you use them side-by-side.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler

The Bottom Line

If your job calls for cutting a lot of sheet metal, especially corrugated and trapezoidal, do yourself a favor and pick up a Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-Ion nibbler. Its lightweight and cordless convenience make it much easier to use than grinders and saws.

This is a premium product and it has a high price tag compared to some of the mainstream brands. Use them side-by-side, however, and Trumpf’s performance and quality really stand out.

Trumpf TruTool N 160 Li-ion Nibbler Specs

  • Model: Trumpf N 160
  • Voltage: 10.8 V
  • Working Speed: 1.9 m/min
  • Stroke Rate at Nominal Load: 2070 spm
  • Starting Hole Diameter: 22 mm
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs (with 2.0Ah battery)
  • Maximum Sheet Thicknesses
    • Steel 400 N/MM²: 1.6 mm
    • Steel 600 N/MM²: 1 mm
    • Steel 800 N/MM²: 0.7 mm
    • Aluminum up to 250 N/MM²: 2mm
  • Price: ~$1100

For more information about the Trumpf TruTool N 160 Nibbler, click here.

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Tim

It would have been nice to see it in action in a video. Maybe one can be added to this page. Thanks!

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