A good pair of diagonal or side cutters cut easier and more efficiently than any regular pliers with a cutting edge. Find out which diagonal/side cutter pliers are best for your project in this article.
You can use any type of pliers with a cutting edge to cut wire. However, if you need more precision and efficiency, it is best to use diagonal or bevel pliers.
Although the names side-cutting pliers and miter pliers can be used interchangeably, they refer to different types of pliers. However, the difference between these two types of pliers is so subtle that you may not realize it. Unless you are in the jewelry industry, the small differences don't matter. That's why it's easy to refer to a pair of diagonal shears as side shears, and vice versa. But what's the difference?
A diagonal cutter or dike is very similar to a side cutter. The two terms are often interchangeable. However, the two types of shears are designed slightly differently.
The cutting head of a diagonal cutter is slightly curved inward relative to the line of the handle, while the cutting end of a side cutter is straight and parallel to the handle. Therefore, the inward angle of the miter cutter allows you to cut material flush with the surface better than the side cutter.
Therefore, if you need to cut a line to be flush with the surface, a pair of dikes is best. However, diagonal cutters are usually not heavy-duty. This makes them more suitable for cutting soft aluminum and copper wire, cable ties, soft ties and plastic parts. For heavier cuts, such as cutting hardened wire, Romex MC cable, ASCR, nails and screws, a side cutter would be a better choice.
However, most of the time it is difficult to distinguish between an edge and a dike. You may find yourself using one type for all cutting tasks. However, when you are making precision cuts, it is less likely that you will mistake one for the other.
For example, in jewelry making, the difference between a miter cutter and a side cutter is obvious. A miter cutter cuts right through the material, leaving a flat cut, while a side cutter leaves the sharp end. This makes dikes better for cutting jewelry because they do not leave sharp ends. Sharp wire ends on jewelry can cause injury. They can poke your skin or grab your clothing, and no one wants that.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing wire cutters. Whether it's a miter cutter or a side cutter. The following are the most important.
When choosing a dike or angle pliers, consider the design of the handle and the type of handle. Make sure the handles are ergonomically designed to eliminate crushing when squeezing them together.
Make sure the handle is a reasonable length from the pivot to provide a great mechanical advantage. If the handle is too short, you will have to work harder to cut the material. If it is too long, it will make the tool unwieldy. Also, make sure the handles are not separated when the jaws are open. They should fit in the palm of your hand for one-handed operation. Ideally, the handles should not be wider than 5.5 inches when open, but if you don't have a large palm, you can choose smaller handles.
Finally, the pliers come with three grips: a non-slip grip, a comfort grip or an insulated grip. If you work near high voltage (no more than 1000V), you may need wire cutters with insulated grips. Otherwise, if you use knives frequently, consider a comfortable grip; if you rarely cut wires and cables, consider a non-slip grip.
The pivot of your handheld tool determines how much effort you need to put in to get the job done. In wire cutting pliers, the design of the pivot also determines the quality of cut you get.
If the pivot is loose and wobbly, the blades are not aligned. As a result, you end up with a very inconsistent quality of cut. A good pair of dike or angle cutters should have a solid pivot with smooth action and no wobble.
If the blades are not sharp and strong, your cutters will not cut properly, no matter how well the pivot is designed. The best cutters are forged from hardened steel or steel alloys.
In addition, the blade on the insert should be as close to the pivot point as possible to get maximum leverage. As a first-class lever, the closer the load is to the pivot point, the less force is required. In other words, when the load is close to the pivot and the force is greater, you will gain a greater mechanical advantage.
It matters how heavy or light a pair of pliers is to your hand. Pliers that are too heavy can cause fatigue and limit your productivity.
However, if you don't use pliers often, then the weight of the pliers doesn't matter. But if they are part of your daily work, then the lighter the better.
If you put light wire pliers in a tool belt, it is not only safe for your hands, but also your back.
Some wire cutters have additional features on the back of the pivot or the handle. For example, some come with crimpers or clamps, while others come with tether opening rings.
If you like pliers with extra features, then this may be a factor you can consider when choosing a diagonal pliers.
Klein diagonal shears are the best shears on the market. They are made in the USA and meet great American standards.
Klein wire cutting shears offer great mechanical advantages, due in part to the short distance from the center of the hot riveted pivot to the start of the blade. Another source of mechanical advantage for Klein dikes is the long handle and short jaws. This creates good leverage, allowing you to apply less force to the handle and thus a lot of force to the jaws.
Klein dykes' jaws are induction hardened for durability. You can test them by cutting through a drill bit and you will be surprised at how easily they cut through without a blow.
In addition, the jaws are slightly angled to allow for flush cutting. If you are a framer, you will find the pliers very useful for cutting nails that protrude from the surface. You can also use them to remove nails from wood panels while framing.
Klein 8-inch cutting pliers are among the lightest side-cutting pliers available. They weigh less than 300 grams and have very comfortable plastic dipped handles. This makes them the perfect edge cutter for everyday professional use by all tradesmen, including electricians, journeymen and framers.
Finally, Klein Tools offers a variety of diagonal or side-cutting pliers. You'll find different sizes, different head designs and different handle designs. Some varieties even have a hook attachment on the handle for attaching a tether opening ring to keep them from falling off while working on the head.
Knipex 8″ diagonal cutters are the second best cutters after Klein. However, they are the most durable pair of dikes you will ever own. The diagonal cutters are forged from oil-hardened German chrome vanadium steel and meet the highest German standards.
German steel is unlike any other type of steel. It is flexible and you can feel the elasticity of German pliers handles. As a result, Knipex handles do not break under extreme loads, they bend.
Knipex diagonal cutters have cutting knives that are as hard as diamonds and can cut all kinds of things without dulling. You can use them to cut wire and cable, piano wire, deck screws, drills, staples and nails, and more. These pliers are the perfect companion for steelworkers cutting rebar ties on construction sites.
The jaws of the Knipex dikes are slightly angled like the Klein dikes so that you can cut nails and wires flush with the surface. You can use them as pliers to cut staples sticking out from decks and other woodworking projects.
Knipex are more durable and comfortable than Klein 8" dikes. However, they are heavier and require more effort to cut. In addition, they are a bit more expensive than most competing products. That said, Knipex 8" diagonal pliers are perfect for professional use, even in industrial sites. Just like any other type of Knipex pliers.
Irwin Side Cutting Pliers are another great pair of pliers. Although they are made in China, they are of superior quality and are one of the most indestructible knives available.
Irwin offers optimal leverage due to the short distance between the pivot and the tool's starting position. As a result, you can cut with less force. In addition, the bottom edge of the tool has no clearance. As a result, you can cut small wires as efficiently as you cut large ones.
The mold on the handle provides a comfortable grip. But some people find the handle a bit too fat. However, when the tool is used extensively, a comfortable handle can go a long way toward eliminating fatigue.
While the jaws are stiff, the rivets that hold them together are not. The weak point of the Irving dike fails. If you use the pliers regularly to cut hard materials, you'll notice a little wobble and the jaws may eventually fall apart.
So if you are looking for diagonal cutters that will stand up to a lot of abuse, Irwin cutters will, and pivots will not. As such, they are suitable for electrical engineering and DIY projects that do not involve cutting very hard materials.
Southwire is not a big brand, but Southwire cutters are a force to be reckoned with. They are one of the cheapest and most indestructible diagonal cutters available. The cutters weigh a little over 310 grams and are designed to be sturdy.
The cutters can cut through all sorts of things, including drills, without dulling the cutting edge. In addition, the hot riveted pivot joint provides butter-smooth action and more leverage. In addition, the distance between the pivot and the tool opening is no more than 6.5 mm, which positively affects the mechanical advantage of the tool.
The Southwire trimmer is rugged and offers great value for money. You can choose between straight and curved heads.
While Milwaukee is a leader in power tools, they also make some great hand tools. One of them is a pair of 8-inch Milwaukee miter cutters. The wire cutters are light in the hand and very versatile.
The Milwaukee dikes are strong and durable, and you can use them to cut a variety of materials, including wire, sheet metal and cable ties. The exterior of the head is specifically designed to ream metal tubing and smooth out rough edges.
The handles are comfortable and provide a non-slip grip. In addition, they have serrations next to the pivots so you can use them as clamps for pulling cables. This makes the Milwaukee 8-inch diagonal cutter the most versatile pair of dikes, perfect for electricians.
The only downside to the tool is that it doesn't offer the greatest impact. This is partly because of the relatively large clearance between the bottom of the cutting edge and the center of the pivot.
Channel Lock pliers score high in the competition, but these side-cutting pliers lag behind many brands. One reason for this is that the cutters are not hard enough to cut hard wire or drill bits. The cutting edge is somewhat ductile and dents easily.
Also, the rivets used at the pivot are too small and yield easily under a lot of pressure. The third reason is that you need more hand strength to cut than with most competitions.
Despite this, the Channel Lock diagonal cutters are light in the hand. They weigh less than 300 grams and are very comfortable to hold in your hand. You can use them to cut soft materials, including stranded copper wire and zip ties. They can also cut medium-hard materials, but not every day.
Therefore, the Channel Lock 8-inch dikes are perfect for home garages or electrical wiring. In my opinion, they are not built to withstand heavy industrial abuse.
CS Osborne is an American brand known for making some of the most heavy-duty hog ring pliers available. In addition to other types of pliers, the company also produces these excellent side cutters.
CS Osborne 8″ Side Cutters are sturdy but quite heavy. They weigh slightly more than three-quarters of a pound and require more force to cut. Fortunately, the plastic non-slip sleeve on the handle makes the pliers very comfortable in your hand.
You can use the Osborne dikes to cut soft and medium hard wire, but they are great for cutting hog rings. together with the Osborne hog ring pliers, these Osborne dikes make the perfect upholstery pliers set.
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