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wire-cutting pliers -- the ultimate test

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  • wire-cutting pliers -- the ultimate test

    A long video, but a thorough test to find the best value pliers.

    https://youtu.be/6bnqFwAf7HM
    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    I had already seen that video. I am not so sure that his methodology is all that valid.

    Just one point: he cuts HSS drill bits with them. Now, the cutting end of a HSS bit is hardened. But the shank is left soft so the chuck can get a better grip. and he seems to be cutting them near the area where the flutes end and the shank begins. Is that area hard or soft? And how much does the line between hard and soft vary from one bit to the next? Or to one made a day or a week later on the same production line? Even if he bought a batch of bits by the same manufacturer, there is no guarantee that they have the division between hard and soft at the same place.

    That is just one of the questionable areas I saw in that video. Just one.

    I worked in electronics and have a pretty good assortment of wire cutters. Most I use only on copper or brass wire. Some I will use on soft steel. And I have only one that I would use on a harder steel, like piano wire. I have just plain worn out one or two of them. Some have a questionable line-up between the two cutting edges which makes cutting small wires difficult. One had too much play in the rivet, but I fixed that with a punch. I have never broken a jaw or a handle. And I have never tried to cut a hard screw or a drill bit with any of them. That is NOT what they were made for.

    His video convinced me of nothing other than not to abuse my wire cutters.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
      I had already seen that video. I am not so sure that his methodology is all that valid.

      Just one point: he cuts HSS drill bits with them. Now, the cutting end of a HSS bit is hardened. But the shank is left soft so the chuck can get a better grip. and he seems to be cutting them near the area where the flutes end and the shank begins. Is that area hard or soft? And how much does the line between hard and soft vary from one bit to the next? Or to one made a day or a week later on the same production line? Even if he bought a batch of bits by the same manufacturer, there is no guarantee that they have the division between hard and soft at the same place.
      .
      This catch my eye also. He also seemed to cut the drillbits sometimes closer to flutes and sometimes from end. Quite a hardness change somewhere along there.
      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think force is a worthwhile metric. What I'd want to know is, take something fairly tough and do 300 cuts....whats the condition of the edges and pivot joint after that? If the best one that lasts forever needed 10% for effort to achieve a cut, whatever, that's the one I'd buy

        Here's my entrant for the worst cutting pliers ever. My resolve for only getting quality tools broke down and I bought one of the no name twisting plier, like this https://www.ebay.com/p/1800067088 from Amazon. First time I went to use it, cutting a length of the stainless wire that came with it, the wire made a bigger indent the cutting edge than the edge did in the wire.

        As for pliers, the Klein linesman pliers I bought an eon ago have been a pleasure to use. The edges look like new, but I don't use them on a drill bits or screws...that's what a small pair of bolt cutters is for
        Last edited by Mcgyver; 07-12-2021, 09:09 AM.
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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        • #5
          I Like lindsrom small cutters,
          mark

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
            ..........As for pliers, the Klien linesman pliers I bought an eon ago have been a pleasure to use. The edges look like new, but I don't use them on a drill bits or screws...that's what a small pair of bolt cutters is for
            Coincidentally, I've used 9" Klein Lineman pliers for decades, having been a Lineman for the provincial power utility. The most I've ever cut with them was #6 Hi-Con wire which is 3 strands of fairly hard galvanized steel twisted together in a long spiral which would slide into a hole in a splicing sleeve that was very close to 1/4". That was a two-hander and I only did it once out of necessity. Normally I used either a 24" or 14" bolt cutter. I bought the 14" out of my own pocket because of the weight savings (up a pole that counts) plus they were a lot less likely to short out uninsulated open wire secondary when I had to climb past it. Cheap bastard Supervisor wouldn't reimburse me for them but the company started issuing them very soon after that!

            I just lent them out a couple of weeks ago to a friend who had to cut some tomato cages for his wife...perfect for the job!
            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

            Comment


            • #7
              Knipex. Close the thread!
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              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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              • #8
                With my model building I cut music wire on a regular basis. Up to 3/32 is cut with the few sets of side cutters and linesman's pliers that I've picked up over the years and found to be resistant to this tougher sort of wire.

                One pair of side cutters which have not been tossed but is no good for music wire is out where I use it for cutting soft bundling wire and welding rod. I know it's good for that due to the notch in both sides left by a piece of 1/16 music wire that literally crushed the metal of the jaws out of shape.

                No fancy brands though. All cheapie imports. I just got lucky with a few of them.

                I might just go posh for a change though and pick up a set of those Knipex. I like the compound action for the heavier music wire duty.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  I test all my side cutting pliers by nipping though live builders wire.

                  If the burn hole is useful for stripping the insulation on the wire, those are good cutting pliers! ;-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Totally useless for a #40 copper wire. Not much use even for a #24. #18, perhaps; but it is not going to be pretty.

                    This is part of why I have over a dozen wire cutters and I am always on the lookout for more. I have three of these Kline cutters for small wire sizes and several other, no name brands. They are also good for clipping soldered wires protruding below a PCB. They are for copper wires ONLY. That rule is just as stern as not leaving the chuck key in the drill press chuck.

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                    On the other end I have a pair of Kline lineman pliers, 9 or 10 inch, I am not sure. And yes, I have a pair of bolt cutters. They are very handy for places where I can not bring my band saw or just want to save time but for diameters less than 3/16" they are questionable. If I ever need to work with larger wires, like #0 and above, then there are cutters that are made for that too. I have used them and they work better than the lineman's pliers or the bolt cutters which are mostly for steel.

                    Working with modern PCBs I often want an even smaller pair. That's one thing that I am on the look-out for: for a good one, that is. I would probably get a second pair or even a third if the first one was any good.

                    "Close the thread!" Phooey! You don't have just one screwdriver, do you?



                    Originally posted by gellfex View Post
                    Knipex. Close the thread!
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                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paul -- 'I know this is gonna sound crazy, but have you ever tried using a pair of toenail clippers for the real small PCB's? I have, and it works great on really fine wires etc (think wire-wrapping -> PCB)

                      I would never allow anyone to use any of my wire cutters on anything other than copper. No matter how large or small or whatever. If I need to cut steel I'll use a zip disc, a file, or a hacksaw. Sometimes a jewelers saw if its very small.

                      I'll make an exception for fencing pliers: https://www.tekton.com/10-1-2-inch-f...liers-psp10010
                      after all, that's what they're made for.

                      Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                      Working with modern PCBs I often want an even smaller pair. That's one thing that I am on the look-out for: for a good one, that is. I would probably get a second pair or even a third if the first one was any good.

                      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                      • #12
                        Paul, have you ever tried these ?

                        https://www.mcmaster.com/tweezers/pr...e-end-cutters/

                        they're for really thin wires, and you need good finger strength, I had one from McMaster that is lost in the bowels
                        of my shop the replacement was cheaper and I never let it out of my sight.

                        The replacement - https://www.micromark.com/Tweezer-Sp...pruing-Tweezer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                          "Close the thread!" Phooey! You don't have just one screwdriver, do you?
                          I was only half joking. With the topic being hard 'wire', not big bolt cutter territory above 1/8" or electrical wire, Knipex IS the last answer! Like I said, I cut a LOT of hard wire from 0.020 to 0.187 for my work. Here's an example, it's a Lionfish costume for Finding Nemo on Ice:
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                          I've used 8" bolt cutters, Sargent parallel jaw pliers with cutters, sometimes a die grinder with a cutting disk, and for a long time my favorite were double action dykes similar to these:
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                          But then I admired the Knipex a client of mine had on her desk, and she got me a pair for the holidays! No comparison to any of those. I recently bought for myself the flush cutting version. Among it's other virtues, it literally makes cleaning up nails to make trash wood safe faster to cut them than hammer them out.
                          Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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