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Having the right cable cutters in your toolkit is essential for electricians, network installers, DIYers, and other professionals working with various wires and cables. But with the multitude of cable cutter options available, how do you determine which is truly the best for the job?

As an experienced electrician and wire work specialist, I've tested a wide range of cable cutters over my career. In this collection, I'll share my insights on choosing and using the best cable cutters for different applications based on key factors like sharpness, cutting capacity, durability, grip comfort, and versatility. I'll also highlight some of the top cable cutter brands and models on the market from Tonix Tools.

What are Cable Cutters?

Cable cutters are hand tools specifically designed and optimized for cutting various types of electrical wire and cabling. They feature sharp, hardened steel-bladed jaws that utilize compound leverage to shear through copper, aluminum, and steel wires and cables up to their stated cutting capacity when the handles are compressed. The precision ground jaws align and bypass one another, making straight, clean cuts without frayed ends or burrs.

Quality cable cutters have insulated, ergonomic handles that provide a comfortable, secure grip when hand pressure is applied to make cuts, especially for repetitive tasks. Durable construction from forged alloy steel resists damage from the cutting forces and maintains sharp cutting edges over sustained use.

Cable cutters are made in various sizes, jaw shapes, and cutting capacities to serve different wire-cutting applications. They are essential tools used by electric cable cutters, telecommunications technicians, HVAC mechanics, general contractors, and other trades to efficiently and safely cut and prepare wires and cabling for termination and splicing.

What are Cable Cutters

Structure of Cable Cutters

Here is an overview of the key structural components that make up cable cutters:

  • Cutting Blades - The sharpened steel blades are the most critical part, aligned to bypass in a shearing action that severs the wire or cable when the handles are compressed. The angle, shape, and sharpness determine the cutting performance.
  • Cutting Edges - The intersecting edges of the blades that make contact during cutting. Precision ground for maximum sharpness and wire gripping. Hardened to resist dulling.
  • Box Joint - The pivoting hinge that aligns the cutting blades as the handles are squeezed. Allows blades to pass closely.
  • Handle Loop - The metal or plastic handle loop that fingers grip to lever the blades for cutting. Provides grip and leverage.
  • Handle Arms - The metal handles extend from the box joint to the handle loop. Some feature molded plastic grips for comfort and control.
  • Mechanical Advantage - The compound leverage ratio designed into the tool. Determines cutting force amplification.
  • Shear Angle - The diagonal angle of the aligned cutting blades relative to the wire direction. Affects cutting action.
  • Cutting Capacity - The maximum wire or cable diameter the cutter can sever. Depends on jaw design and leverage ratio.

Overall, the combination of sharp cutter blades, ideal shear angle, robust box joint, and handle lever system of quality materials enables cable cutters to make clean, burr-free cuts through copper and steel wire cutter tools with great efficiency.

Cable Cutters Application

Here are some common applications and uses for cable cutters:

  • Electrical work - Electricians use cable cutters daily to cut various sizes of electrical wiring, from small low-voltage wiring up to large gauge cables. Good cutters like Kleins allow them to make clean, flush cuts through copper, aluminum, and steel wiring. This helps when splicing wires together or terminating them on devices. The cutters also have notches for stripping the insulation off the wire cutting tool. High-leverage models provide extra power to cut large cables as well as cut through nails or screws. Insulated handles protect the electrician from shocks.
  • Low voltage wiring - For low voltage wiring used in alarm systems, data networks, home theater setups, etc., electricians rely on precision cable cutters to carefully cut and strip cable ends. This helps maintain signal integrity across data or audio/video connections. Flush cutters are useful for cutting zip ties, trimming wire ends, and cutting small gauge wiring. Combination strippers with cutters allow efficient prepping of many low-voltage cable terminations.
  • Automotive wiring - Mechanics use heavy duty cable cutters to cut battery cables, spark plug wires, speaker wiring, and more. Insulated handles protect against shocks.
  • HVAC and plumbing - Cutting wire used for thermostats, valves, condensate pumps, and other controls. Durable cutters can handle stiff refrigeration wiring.
  • Telecommunications - Phone and fiber optic technicians use specialized cutters to prep cables and wires. Flush cutters provide clean cuts on small gauge wiring.
  • Electronics repair - Precision cutters help cut and strip fine gauge wiring in circuit boards, computers, and consumer devices. Look for micro-shears for detailed work.
  • Jewelry making - Cutting and shaping thin gauge wire for rings, necklaces, etc. Flush cutters leave clean edges.
  • Crafting - For lamp making, scrapbooking, wreath making, and other arts & crafts using wire cutter price. A comfortable grip makes repetitive cutting easier.
  • Fencing/Ranch Work - Strong cutters are needed to cut barbed wire and wire mesh for farm fencing and enclosures. Long handles provide leverage.
  • Demolition - For cutting wire rebar, guy wires, cables, and more during demolition work. Durable heavy duty wire cutters stand up to abuse.

So in summary, cable cutters are useful for any application involving shaping, stripping, or cutting wire. The right tool makes these tasks safer and easier.

Cable Cutters Application

Popular types of Cable Cutters

Here is a more detailed overview of popular cable cutter types:

Diagonal Cutters

The most ubiquitous style of cable cutters, diagonal cutters utilize angled cutting blades that bypass each other to slice through wires and cabling cleanly. The shear-type cutting action minimizes crushing and deformation of wires. Diagonal cutters excel at precision cutting of solid and stranded copper building heavy wire cutters, coaxial cable, electrical box wiring, automotive wiring, and other cylindrical electrical cabling. Their versatility makes them a staple in every electrician's toolkit.

Diagonal cutters come in a range of sizes and jaw capacities to handle small appliance wiring up to large 250 MCM cables. Models designed for electricians feature optimized knife and anvil cutting edge angles, allowing the jaws to grip and sever wires cleanly. Quality names like Klein Tools and Knipex offer ergonomic diagonal cutters forged from chrome vanadium steel for durability and long-lasting performance.

Flush Cutters

For applications where wire ends must terminate flush to a surface, flush cutters are ideal. Their precisely ground cutting blades trim wire ends perfectly flush, leaving no protruding metal that could short connections or snag. This makes flush cutters vital for cutting small gauge wire used in electronics like circuit boards, computer equipment, and medical devices.

Quality flush cutters will cut flexible wire smoothly without crushing. Features like micro-serrated jaws provide superior gripping and a clean shear cut. Flush cutters only accommodate smaller wire gauges, normally up to 16 AWG. Brands like Engineer offer mini flush cutters with a curved jaw designed to easily access cramped spaces when trimming wire cutter tool price ends.

High Leverage Cutters

Thick, hardened steel wire and cables or bundles of wires require substantial cutting force. High-leverage cutters optimize handle design to multiply cutting power through greater mechanical advantage. This allows clean cuts through rigid or multiple wires using only moderate hand-squeezing force.

The compound leverage in high-leverage cutters like the cable cutter tool permits easier cutting of piano wire, braided steel cable, cold rolled rod, and other hardened wire not possible with standard diagonal cutters. Deep knife-edge jaws securely grip thick wire to prevent slipping during cutting. High-leverage cutters are available in sizes up to 2-inch cut capacity.

Ratcheting Action Cutters

For cutting large-diameter wires or cutting multiple wires simultaneously, ratcheting action cutters make the task easier. Their mechanism drives the cutting blades through a series of progressive shearing strokes via a ratcheting motion of the handles. This reduces the amount of force that must be exerted.

The ratcheting mechanism allows the user to pause during the cut, enabling convenient hand repositioning before continuing. Compound leverage models provide substantial cutting force with minimal hand effort. Greenlee ratcheting cutters feature specialized jaws to cleanly shear through bundled MC cables. Ratcheting cutters work well up to 2/0 wire size.

Popular types of Cable Cutters

Where to Shop for Cable Cutters at Good Prices

When shopping for quality cable cutter prices, there are several good retailers to consider both online and in-store. One excellent source to check out is Tonix Tools.

Tonix Tools, located at 1942 Broadway Suite 314C Boulder, Colorado 80302, is a highly reputable seller of professional-grade tools for electrical wire cutter tools, telecom technicians, and other tradespeople. They carry an extensive selection of top-rated cable cutters and wire cable cutters from brands like Klein Tools, Knipex, Wiha, Channellock, and Irwin Tools.

Tonix Tools focuses on providing both quality and value. They offer competitive pricing on all products, with frequent discounts and sales that make high-performance tools affordable. Another advantage Tonix Tools offers is fast shipping across the U.S. and excellent customer service. When looking for your next set of durable, precise cable cutters, Tonix Tools at is a great option with amazing prices.

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