Rio Grande applies some minimums on cut size for our fabrication metals such as sheet and wire. There are two reasons for setting these minimums and both are related to the cutting equipment.
The first reason is safety; the smaller the cut, the closer to the blade the shear operator must work and the risk of injury becomes unmanageable.
The second reason is accuracy; finer, softer metals become very difficult to keep flat in order to achieve accurate cuts with the shear. This is especially true for sheet.
In general, we found that 1/2" is the smallest cut we can make and still maintain safety and accuracy.