The use of polarised shear waves to detect the presence of crack-like defects seems to have received little or no attention in the past. The authors believe that the main reason for this appears to be the lack of a device with the capability to excite shear waves of different polarisations. In this paper, the authors, first, present the design of an EMAT that permits the excitation of two orthogonally polarised shear waves in metallic materials by means of two coils that are orthogonal with respect to each other. This is then followed by a 3D finite element analysis of the wavefield generated by the EMAT and its interactions with crack-like defects of different sizes, positions and orientations. Then a methodology of how this EMAT can be used to simultaneously measure material thickness and detect crack-like defects in pulse-echo mode is introduced. Good agreement between the finite element simulation and experimental results was observed which makes the presented technique a potential new method for simultaneous thickness measurements and crack detection.