Cutting Technique

Whether you use nippers or cutters cutting wire is something we all have to deal with.  For me cutting wire is a huge part of my daily life, and depending on the technique I use can make a inexpensive cutter last years, or a very expensive tool last only days.  Most of it comes down to leverage.  The more leverage you have, the less force you have to apply.  Less force is easier on the tool and increases it's lifespan.  


Using the correct tool for the task is really important!  

Trying to cut 14 gauge stainless steel using these would likely destroy the tool.  

Those cutters don't have a very thick cutting edge, and they're meant for precise cuts in small soft wire 19 gauge and thinner.  

However cutters like this would happily cut up to 14 gauge wire.  The cutting edge is much thicker and design of the handle will support more pressure before bending.


Beyond picking the correct tool for the job, cutting with the appropriate part of the blade can have a large effect on the lifespan of the device.  Generally speaking the further back (closer to the joint) the wire is placed the more leverage you will have, and the easier it will be to cut.  This is especially important on cutters where the blades are narrower at the tip (like in the first picture).  


Lastly, the material makes a huge difference.  The material has to be softer than the cutters.  Cutting wire that is too thick, or too hard with the wrong tool results in nicks like this, and can even break your tool.  


You should NOT cut these materials with a pair of cutters unless they are rated for it.  

  • Memory wire
  • Beading Wire
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aerospace Titanium(grade 5)
  • Spring Wire, Piano Wire
  • Steel and Iron Wire

We recommend these double flush cutters or these heavy duty diagonal cutters for cutting very hard materials.