Best Wire Cutters for Quik and Easy Clipping

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 6, 2017
If you can't decide which tool to get for snipping, there's hardly a more affordable and easy-to-use tool than a wire cutter. We have carefully reviewed the 5 best models out there to help you choose the right one for your needs. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Cutting capacity
Size
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The leverage handles ensure better force transfer to make it easier for you to cut wires and metalized cables.

CONS

The cutters aren't great for cutting bolts.

OUR VERDICT

If you need cutting pliers for small jobs, this model can be a great pick. Featuring long-lasting jaws and overall robust design, these cutters will serve you a lifetime.

detailed parameters
Type

Diagonal cutters

Cutting capacity

3/16"

Size

Length: 8.5"

Width: 2.3"

Height: 0.5"

Weight

0.57 lb

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The product is made of oil-hardened chromium-vanadium steel, so its wear resistance and hardness are undeniable.

CONS

The handles might slip in hand.

OUR VERDICT

The quality of Knipex clippers will be appreciated by any seasoned workman. Able to cut through nails and spring wires, this tool is a must-have thing in arsenal of any DIYer and professional.

detailed parameters
Type

Diagonal cutters

Cutting capacity

Up to 3/16" - nail and wire pin

9/64" - wire rope strand and steel wire

1/8"  - spring steel wire

Size

Length: 10"

Weight

0.86 lb

Warranty

Lifetime limited warranty

PROS

Angled at 21°, the cutting edges cut easily in narrow places.

CONS

The handles are positioned wide apart from each other. This may cause inconvenience in storage.

OUR VERDICT

This wire clipper will be a perfect choice for all those who are in search of an inexpensive tool for home light-duty cutting jobs. Despite a budget price, this cutter is very efficient and easy-to-use.

detailed parameters
Type

Flush cutters

Cutting capacity

1/20"

Size

Length: ~5.9"

Width: ~3.6"

Height:  ~0.8"

Weight

0.13 lb

Warranty

90 days

PROS

The model comes with 3 adapters for different connectors. The adapters are fixed to the handle, hence they're always at hand.

CONS

Quite weighty.

OUR VERDICT

The model is worthy of consideration if you need a robust tool to deal with coaxial cabling. The Etekcity tool will help you cut and crimp cables right at a spot.

detailed parameters
Type

Compression connector tool

Cutting capacity

Up to 1/4" - non-electrical materials

Size

Length: 9.05"

Width: 2.75"

Height: 0.91"

Weight

1.06 lb

Warranty

90 days

PROS

The rubber-covered handles provide a comfortable and non-slip grip.

CONS

The cutters might seem stiff when squeezing.

OUR VERDICT

This all-round wire cutter can be used for cutting wires and cables, as well as such fiddly objects as fishing line.

detailed parameters
Type

Diagonal cutters

Cutting capacity

~1"

Size

Length: 6-3/16"

Weight

~ 0.18 lb

Warranty

Lifetime Limited Warranty

What is a Wire Cutter?

Every self-respecting handyman possesses a set of tools for different tasks and occasions. Sometimes, it's enough to have a multi tool, but when it comes to professional jobs like screwdriving or sawing, dedicated tools are essential. The same is true when it comes to cutting wires, cables, or sheets and pieces of fine metal. Without an appropriate tool at hand, wire cutting will be a challenging task. However, if you try to do it with a wire cutter, you will unlikely have any problem and the results will surely satisfy you. A wire cutter, much like pliers, is a handheld tool that has two intersecting levers pinned in the center with a fulcrum. However, unlike pliers, wire cutters have sharpened jaws that make a cut as the levers are pulled together.

So, we offer you to take a look at our review of the 5 best wire cutters that are worth your consideration.

What Features to Compare

Type

Before choosing a wire cutter, first of all, you need to decide on the features you want it to possess. Like most home improvement tools, wire cutters fall into several types:

  • Flush cutters are excellent for snipping plastic and medium-gauge wires. Compared to other types of cutters, these ones provide very clean and precise cuts and thus, are often used by jewelers.
  • Diagonal cutters have intersecting jaws that can cut through a wider range of wire - from aluminum to steel.
  • Shear cutters can make very smooth and flat cuts, requiring little to none effort from a user. The downside is, they are prone to fast dulling.
  • End cutters have clawed jaws for efficient chopping of wires and nails and pulling nails.
  • Needle-nose cutters allow bending, snipping, and re-positioning of wires and are typically employed by electricians.

Cutting capacity

Cutting capacity is one more thing you should consider before buying a wire cutter and choose the one that can cut through materials you usually work with. For professional use, you’re likely to need several tools with different cutting capacity. Like we’ve mentioned above, not all wire cutters are universal to be used for different tasks.

Size and weight

To ensure that you can use the cutter comfortably, pay attention to its weight and size.Usually, cutters with long handles are easier to use as they require less squeezing. Cutters with shorter handles, on the other hand, are more convenient to store and carry around. Heavy tools may put a strain on your hand, although most of them, as a rule, offer more power and higher efficiency.This is where you need to set priorities and choose the cutter to meet your specific needs.

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Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter

Quality and Convenience All in One Tool

That Tekton is a leading manufacturer of hand tools leaves no doubt. And these cutters are the alternate proof of this. Made of hard alloyed steel, Tekton wire cutters are designed to serve you a lifetime and provide top-notch cutting performance and consistent results. With the Tekton tool, you will cut through any wires, bolts and metal rods that are up to 3/16" thick. Employing leverage handles, they transmit the force better, making it easier for you to cut through more dense materials (although cutting too hard and solid metals isn’t recommended). The jaws close flush, and the cutting edges fit across the entire length to provide straight and clean cuts. The stopper placed between the handles prevents excessive squeezing.

Review of Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter

Combines the Best Features

These wire cutters are not just efficient but also very convenient-to-use. Thanks to the rubber pads on the handles, the tool feels comfortable in the hand and allows for long-hour use. The handles here are long enough to let you cut wires and cables without applying too much force. Once you place a wire between the jaws and grip the handles, the cutter will do the rest for you. Cutting isn't the only thing the Tekton 3386 is fit for. It will also be good for stripping electrical insulation. Due to the loop that holds handles together, the Tekton 3386 wire cutter doesn't take up much space in a toolkit box and is very convenient to transport. 

Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter in the use

Safety Tips

Even when working with simple tools like wire cutters, following safety measures is important. Thus, before every use, make sure to inspect the tool for damages and cracks that may impede its performance and insulation. This is especially important for people who work with live wires. 

Detailed review of Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter

Best in Size

Owing to small overall dimensions, this wire clipper is easy to handle and compact to store.  

Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter
Tekton Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter
 

Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters

Impressive Cutting Abilities

Knipex tools are widely popular among users worldwide and it is no wonder why. Made of top-quality materials, these tools provide reliable and effective performance for years of use. One of the Knipex tools we'd like you to consider is the 7401250SBA wire cutter.  These 10-inch diagonal cutters provide enough strength to cut fine and dense materials alike, as well as chop nails, aluminum cables (ACSR), metal rods and even spring steel. Thus, it isn't surprising they are often found on the same list where other professional grade tools are.  

Review of Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters

Will Last a Lifetime

Casting a quick look at these wire cutters, you will say they are of high-class quality. And you will be right. Produced from chromium-vanadium steel hardened in oil, these diagonal wire cutters boast 64 HRC hardness and incredibly high wear resistance. As compared to many other cutters for wire, the cutting effort here has been reduced almost by 20% so it could be less tiresome to make successive cuts. No doubt, any handyman would love to have a tool this strong and reliable in his shed. 

Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters in the use

10-Inch Power

10-inch length seems quite a lot, however, most consumers admit using these cutters feels much more comfortable than using 8-inch cutters. Why is that you may wonder? Firstly, because of long handles, these cutters enable you to cut in hard-to-get and narrow places. Secondly, they provide more strength and thus, can grapple with denser materials. In these respects, Knipex cutters tick all boxes. The only thing we didn't like that much about this cutter is its too smooth handles. Under intense use, they may slip out of your hands. 

Detailed review of Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters

For All Jobs

Lifetime warranty is another proof of the quality of Knipex tools. You can use these cutters safely for hard jobs, not worrying they might break apart. Even if you accidentally drop them down from the height, these cutters will survive the impact.

Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters
Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cutters
 

Hakko Wire Cutter

The Strength Lies in Simplicity

All homeowners should stock up on the tools for different situations. And these tools should not necessarily be professional-grade and expensive. If you're not engaged in construction jobs and you don't need to cut wire after wire on a daily basis, we'd recommend you to consider this Hakko CHP-170 wire cutter, a tool with a mid-range price tag but impressive strength. Produced from 2.5mm carbon steel treated by heat, this cutter is made to be not only durable but also long-lasting and wear-resistant, as well as efficient for most minor jobs involving cutting and stripping that we usually deal with in everyday life. 

Review of Hakko Wire Cutter

What You Need to Know About these Cutters

This Hakko wire cutter has some great convenience features that simplify its use. Its cutting edges are a bit sloped to enable a better view of a cable or wire to be snipped or cut and allow its use in tight spots and narrow places. We also like that its spring returns the handles to the open position after each cut this way eliminating the need for extra movements and minimizing hand fatigue. The Hakko wire cutter has the dolphin-style handles that contour the palm to provide a firm and comfortable grip. Featuring a parkerized surface, this cutter doesn't glare in the sun nor rust even after years of use. The only weak point about it is distantly placed handles that complicate a bit its storage. Nevertheless, in view of all other useful features, this should not be a deal-breaker. 

Hakko Wire Cutter in the use

What You Should Bear in Mind

Many believe that wire snippers are ordinary tools the use of which requires little to none precaution. In some respect, it's true and yet, we would still recommend you to bear in mind some basic safety measures and rules while doing jobs involving sharp tools such as cutters. Thus, when cutting a wire, it's important that you hold a tool at 90° angle. Don't squeeze handles too hard, otherwise, the cutting edges may crumble and even crack. Be watchful of the surroundings where you work; if there are people around you, make sure to direct the handle to the opposite side. When cutting massive wiring, choose a confined space like a service pit, for example. When you don't use the tool, keep the jaws closed to avoid its breakage or damage. If the jaws open spontaneously, abstain from using the cutters.

Detailed review of Hakko Wire Cutter

An Addition to Your Toolbox

In a nutshell, this Hakko wire clipper is a good bargain in terms of price and quality ratio, and it will surely become a worthwhile addition to your toolbox.

Hakko Wire Cutter application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Hakko Wire Cutter
Hakko Wire Cutter
 

Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool

Pro in Coaxial Cabling

Coaxial cables are the most common wires used in security alarms, surveillance equipment, satellite and cable TV systems, etc. Naturally, installing this type of cables involves cutting, stripping, crimping, and other similar jobs that can't be easily done without a wire cutter. For these specific needs, we offer you to consider this crimping tool by Etekcity, an adjustable wire cutter specially designed for use with coaxial cables that features a number of adapters compatible with coax cables such as videlicet RG58, RG59, RG6, F, BNC, and RC.

Review of Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool Wire Cutter

Excellent Cutting Performance

Even though the Etekcity cutter can't be tagged as a professional tool, it offers sufficient strength and efficiency for domestic use. The biggest advantage of this tool is that it doubles as a cutter and a crimper, allowing you to grip and cut the cable quicker and more comfortably. The Etekcity cutter is well balanced. The handles are easy to open and close and feel quite rigid. The loop on the handles allows you to keep the jaws shut during storage and transportation. 

Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool Wire Cutter in the use

How To Crimp a Cable

In general, crimping is not a difficult process and shouldn't take a lot of time or effort if you have the right tools at hand. So, in addition to the Etekcity wire cutter, you will also need a wire stripper to remove the outer insulation of the cable after you cut it. The wire stripper has to be customized specifically for coax cables. When it's done, twist it 2-3 times around the cable until you feel the tool run freely. This will mean the insulation is cut. Pull the cable out from the stripper and bend the foil screen and the braid shield back onto cable jacket so at to get to the insulated core. Strip the core and cut it if necessary, then pull the connector over the cable, preferably by turning. Finally, place the connector with the cable into the Etekcity cutter and squeeze the handles. Done!

Detailed review of Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool Wire Cutter

You'll Never Lose Them

The cable adapters are stored on the tool's handle, so they are always within easy reach.

Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool Wire Cutter application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool
Etekcity Coax Compression Connector Adjustable Tool
 

Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier

A Nice Tool for A Nice Price

These Stanley diagonal cutters are one of the best solutions on the market for small tasks. Delivering excellent cutting performance they will come in helpful for cutting not only tough but also delicate materials like bead strings, fishing lines. And they won't struggle with high-strength wires either, owing to durable chrome-plated steel jaws capable of bearing considerable loads. What really matters, though, is that with the tool like these Stanley cutters, you can be confident that it will last and last you a lifetime (a lifetime warranty serves as a proof). 

Review of Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier

Company With Big Name

No matter which tool you use, the comfort is what matters. So, the handles of these cutters have been fitted with elastic covers made of a rubber compound to deliver a maximum comfort of grip. The rubber inserts, along with the overall cutting abilities and durable lifetime, make the Stanley 84-105 a worthy competitor among many peers in the same price sector. After all, do not forget these cutters are produced by Stanley, a company so popular that it doesn't need to advertize. This tool is another product in its line that boasts superb quality, comfort, and usability. 

Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier in the use

You Need To Keep Your Wire Clippers Sharp, Here's How

When cutters are used repeatedly, they eventually get blunt and start to cut not as precisely and accurately as needed. To sharpen wire cutters, you may either seek a professional assistance or do it yourself. Good if you've got a bench grinder in your workroom. If not, why not consider getting one, given how many tasks it can help you with? With a bench grinder, sharpening any tool with cutting edges will be a breeze. Thus, if you've got one, operate the machine at the minimum speed while holding the cutters at the level of the center of the grinding wheel. This will ensure that you don't cause any damage to the grinder nor to your own health. Push the cutting edges gently against the wheel turning them slowly to buff. When you see the edge glitter, this means it's sharpened. If you've got no grinder and don't plan to invest in one soon, you can use an abrasive stone instead. Be ready, sharpening with a stone won't be as quick and will require some effort. To keep cutters sharp for a longer time, you should use them right too. Don't use a plier for cutting materials tougher than it's designed for. Everything denser than aluminum and copper is a potential threat. 

Detailed review of Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier

Optimal Weight for Ease of Use

The cutters weigh only 0.18 lb, so you can take them along with you comfortably for whatever job you need.

Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier
Stanley Diagonal Cutting Plier
 

FAQ:

Q: How to grip a wire cutter?
A: Holding cutters, make sure that you keep fingers around the handle grips and don't place them in between the handles so as to avoid pinching your palm or fingers.

Q: What are safety suggestions for using wire cutters?
A: Before each use, inspect cutting edges to make sure they are sharp, clean, and not greasy. Blunt and dirty blades may increase the force and worsen cutting performance. Also, dull clippers increase muscle fatigue and may cause strain injuries. Make sure you are cutting at a right angle. Pull on the pliers and do not shove them away from you when applying pressure. Keep the handle grips firmly in hand so that the tool doesn't slip during cutting. 

Q: Do I need to use any protective equipment with a wire cutter?
A: Yes, you should wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from pieces of wire or insulation.

Q: Does my wire clipper need oiling?
A: Yes, it does. Oil the clipper regularly. Apply a drop of oil on the hinge. This will allow you to use the tool more comfortably. 

Q: Do I need to clean my wire cutter?
A: Yes, you should clean the cutting blades with soap water after every use. Also, it's recommended to wipe the blades with some alcohol-based detergent. 

Q: How to store wire cutters?
A: Store your cutters in a dry place and always oil them before putting away.

Q: Can I use a wire clipper for braided fishing line?
A: Yes, you can. A wire clipper can do this job easily.

Q: Can I cut a hardened wire with a wire clipper?
A: It's not recommended unless your tool is manufactured specifically for this use.

Q: Can I bend wire with wire snippers to break it apart?
A: No, you shouldn't do that. If you attempt to bend wire with a cutter, you will run a risk of denting the cutting edges. For these needs, it's better to use pliers with serrated jaws.  

Q:  Can I hammer nails with a wire cutter?
A: You may do that if you handle small nails and you don't have any other tool at hand. For longer nails, though, it is better to use a proper hammer. A wire cutter might not survive such impact and may break. 

Q: Can I pull nails with a wire cutter?
A: No, that's not what a wire cutter is designed for. Pulling nails is usually done with pulling pliers, they are much better at that.

Q: Can I extend the length of handles to gain greater leverage?
A: No, and if you try, you can break the handles. Use a larger cutter or a bolt cutter if you're going to cut something thick or dense.



Sources:

1. Hand Tools - Pliers and Wire CuttersCCOHS. October 2, 2013.

2. Guide to Using Cable Cutters and Cable PullerseBay. March 3, 2016.

3.  Jason Tung Wire Tools – Choosing the right tool for the jobJameco.

4.  How to Use Wire CuttersDoItYourself.

5. What Are Wire Cutters? wiseGEEK.

6. How to Sharpen Wire Cutters, eBay.

7. Diagonal pliers, Wikipedia. January 17, 2017.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-07 12:34:51