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A basic understanding of the three distinct types of wire cutters will get you well on your way to selecting the most appropriate pair for your needs. While they are all best suited for particular jobs, most can be put to more general use as well. Knowing the distinctions between the types and the additional capabilities of each will help you zero in on the one that best suits your needs.
Flush cut wire cutters, sometimes known as "combination" or "lineman's pliers," resemble standard pliers from the front, but their cutting blades are hidden behind one of the jaws. The blades in flush cutters are designed to make clean, straight cuts without deflecting into a dangerous point like those left by diagonal cutters. However, you might have to use more physical strength to cut the wire with these than with diagonal cutters.
The pliers' jaws can be used to cut, grasp, and bend thin cables and wires in addition to the blades. Some flush cutters feature bolt cutters that can cut screws and nails flush to the affixed surface, and others have wire stripping slots for removing insulation.
While flush cut pliers can be used for both cutting and gripping, diagonal cutters are reserved for the latter. One pair of the blades is curled and extends all the way to the tip. Cut wires at an angle with the blades' 15-degree diagonal offset. The v-shaped cutting blades of diagonal pliers are used to wedge apart the wire connections rather than cut with a shearing motion like scissors or flush cut pliers.
With their specialized cutting mechanism, they are the go-to tool for cutting electrical wire and other thin metals. They function similarly to flush cut pliers and can be used to make clean cuts in a variety of fasteners.
Some kind of pliers, known as "needle-nose" wire cutters, feature a set of cutting blades that are flush to the outside and behind one of the pliers' jaws. Nonetheless, needle-nose variants have jaws that narrow considerably toward the nose. Having such a thin prong allows the pliers to reach into tight locations and manipulate small wires that would otherwise be out of reach.
Needle nose cutters come with 45-degree and 90-degree nose bends, respectively, to facilitate material grasping in tight quarters. Similar to regular flush wire cutters, needle-nose pliers can come with extra tools including wire strippers and bolt cutters.
Handle design, size, and type
Think about how you'll be holding the dykes or angle pliers before you buy. Make sure the grips are comfortable and won't pinch if you squeeze them tightly.
If you want a lot of mechanical advantage, make sure the handles are somewhat long from the pivot. The cutting effort will increase if the handle is too short. Too much length adds unnecessary bulk to the device. Make sure the jaws aren't too far apart, and the grips aren't too far away. A single hand should be able to comfortably hold and use them. The ideal width for the bag's opening is 5.5 inches, however smaller is fine if your hand isn't particularly large.
Finally, pliers are available with three distinct grips: non-slip, comfort, and insulated. A wire cutter with insulated handles is useful if you frequently handle voltages above 1000V. Cutting wires and cables isn't something you do often, so if you're concerned about your hand slipping, look for cutters with non-slip handles.
The amount of effort required to complete a task is dependent on the hand tool's pivot. The quality of the cut you get from your wire-cutting pliers is also dependent on the design of the pivot.
The alignment of the blades is compromised by a loose and shaky pivot. Thus, the final products have a very variable quality of cutting. There shouldn't be any wiggle or play in the axle of a high-quality set of dyke or angle cutters.
If the blades on your cutting pliers aren't sharp and sturdy, it won't matter how well-engineered the pivot is. The highest quality shears and cutters are made from alloys of steel or hardened steel.
To get the most out of the blades' leverage, their cutting edges should extend as close to the fulcrum as possible. If you move the load towards the fulcrum of a first-class lever, you'll need less force to move it. When the weight is near the pivot and the effort is far, the mechanical advantage increases.
Whether you require flush cutters, dike pliers, or a crimper is largely determined on the intended application. Think about the wire's diameter and material before making a purchase. Are industrial uses planned for the cutter, or will it be used in the home? You'll require more or less pressure depending on the width of your cutters or strippers. If you don't want to squander money, it's important to give some thought to the cutter's intended use before making a final purchase.
It's best to choose a cutter that's built for creating the precise and accurate cut if you want to have a wide range of options for various applications. If you want to avoid buying a tool that won't do the job properly, it's important to pay attention to the shape of the cutter's head
How should you use wire cutters?
To use wire cutters, just open them up like a pair of scissors, slide the wire in between the blades, and close the cutters to sever it. Wire terminal connectors can be crimped using the crimping slot (if present), and wires can be stripped using the appropriate wire stripping slot.
How should you open a wire cutter?
When you release your grip on a wire cutter with a spring-loaded handle, the handle will open on its own. If the handles of the wire cutter aren't spring-loaded, you can open them by using your nondominant hand or by flicking your working hand.
Do I need to use any protective equipment with a wire cutter?
Safety glasses or goggles and protective gloves are mandatory when working with cutters to prevent eye and hand damage.
Do I need to oil my wire cutter?
You should lubricate your dike pliers more frequently to keep them from rusting and to make them easier to operate.
What more could you want? Those sniper pliers top all the others. They excel in a variety of uses, but cutting wires is where they really shine.