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Side Cutters
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Side Cutters
plushterry
Anyone got any recommendations for a decent set of fine side cutters that have got a bit of grunt to them?

I've been using the CK Ecotronic T3887 and T3883 which are OK for cheapies but they're only good for cutting copper (I've just crumpled the cutting edges on my brand new pair trying to cut a standard 2.54mm header pin (steel, I'm guessing) waah )

I've always had good faith in CK tools, used them for years at work, however these ones were suspiciously cheap (~£10) and do state on the handles they're only for Cu > 1.3mm so I've only got myself to blame.

I'm happy to spend upto £30/40 if they're a proper tool that will last me for years (although tools like this seem to be thin on the ground these days).

Thanks
Rowan
I use a pair of “Engineer NS-04” side cutters. They are really good quality, reasonably priced and Japanese made. I own several tools made by this company and they are all excellent quality.

You can pick them up for around £15 on eBay.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2 Fulk%2Fitm%2F251377737159
steviet
I'd also love to hear what people are using. I found this thread:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=126245&highlight=

But it looks like these are just good flush cutters, they aren't necessarily grunty. I blew through 2 pairs from Amazon over the course of a year, I'd like a nice tough pair as well.
plushterry
Thanks! How are the edges after cutting header pins? I checked out the listing, they look great until I got to this bit:



Quote:
cutting capacity (φ dia.): solid copper wire 1.2mm, stranded copper wire 2.0mm
material : S58C Carbon Steel (Hardness: HRC 58±4)
made in Japan (ROHS Compliant)

Please note: these pliers have an ultra sharp edge, but they are not for designed for cutting steel wire (piano wire, guitar strings etc)....they are designed for cutting PCB components, copper wire etc.
Rowan
I’ve had my pair for about 4 years and used them a lot and they still seem as good as new. They are my go to cutters for PCB work.... if it’s soldered on to a PCB I’ll use these to cut it. I’m pretty anal about tidy solder joints and these work well for me.
plushterry
Nice one, for £15 they're worth a punt. Thanks again.
fingerfarbensound
If the purpose is to cut pins on a pcb:

KNIPEX 78 03 125 Electronic Super Knips

Once you've tried these type of side cutters for cutting pins you will never want to use regular shaped side cutters (which are meant to cut cables, not pins)
Just so much faster & more convenient.
fuzzbass
A nice pair of flush cutters (I use Exelite) will last you years as long as you don't cut anything with them but fine copper wire. I'd say replace the ones you like with the same ones, and this time keep them away from harder metals like steel, brass, nickel, etc. For harder things, get some electrician's cutters or something rated for sheet metal.
infinitemachinery
This the one I use. Great for cutting down to fine detail.
Mungo
plushterry wrote:
Thanks! How are the edges after cutting header pins? I checked out the listing, they look great until I got to this bit:
Quote:
cutting capacity (φ dia.): solid copper wire 1.2mm, stranded copper wire 2.0mm
material : S58C Carbon Steel (Hardness: HRC 58±4)
made in Japan (ROHS Compliant)

Please note: these pliers have an ultra sharp edge, but they are not for designed for cutting steel wire (piano wire, guitar strings etc)....they are designed for cutting PCB components, copper wire etc.

Its a (probably intentionally) confusing and big market for hand tools, but cutting wire or rod made of steel or high tensile steel or stainless steel is a job for a specialty tool.

Header pins from reputable manufacturers are copper alloys and can be cut with regular side cutters, even the "low cost" types. I have personally cut hundreds of thousands of those pins along with all manner of day to day parts with a single Xuron 170-IIF that has a lower specified face hardness. Like any popular tool they get clones/fakes so you need to buy through a reputable distributor and not just the cheapest place you can find. Other people have good experiences with Tronex or Lindstrom tools, they all have different styles and features.

On the positive side cutters are one area where a little bit extra investment will pay off with a tool that lasts for decades. Just don't try cutting steels with anything other than a piano wire cutter, buy one of those so you aren't tempted to use the wrong tool.
EATyourGUITAR
small to large

Xuron 170-IIAS
for through hole leads

KNIPEX 78 03 125
for header pins

IGAN-330
bigger stuff

KNIPEX 74 01 250
this will cut a bolt in half with one hand

now if you want to cut wires that is a different story. you do not need flush cutters. actually the Xuron 170-IIAS has a completely different mechanism compared to the xuron 440. one of them is scissors and the other has a blade cutting into the face of a flat surface with a microscopic offset.

Xuron 440
AWG 20 to AWG 28

bigger stuff use the cutting part of your wire strippers

bigger than your wire strippers will cut... use cable cutters
Klein Tools 63050
Altitude909
+1 for Engineer NS-04,

I bought 2 pairs to save on shipping 3 years ago, haven't even opened the second pair.
ixtern
I've also damaged my old cutting pliers on 2.54mm header pins. So I've bought four different ones made by Proskit (or PRO'S KIT): PM-719, PM-396K, PM-763 and 1PK-30-E. Good quality and affordable. Manufacturer also includes info what kind of steel is used (hardness). PM-719 and PM-763 are the most interesting ones. Wide range of Proskit pliers is at Pliers at GM electronic some has Farnell.


But for cutting steel pins I am now using standard, non-precise cutters.[/img]
Grumble
ixtern wrote:
https://www.gmelectronic.com

This does work. hihi
diablojoy
Best I have ever used is Lindstrom but you will have to pay for them.
Grumble


hyper
the bad producer
I've used these for years, same pair, cutting everything:

https://www.rapidonline.com/bernstein-3-902-7-esd-side-cutters-pointed -120mm-86-1726
dot matrix madness
KNIPEX 70 02 125 for basically everything, except for cutting things on densely populated PCBs. Here the 78 03 125 ESD comes handy.
The extra investment in more expensive tools pays off over time.
mskala
I'm not sure I've ever needed to cut a header pin. When does that come up - maybe to remove a pin for keying, to match a plugged keying hole on the female connector?
ixtern
mskala wrote:
I'm not sure I've ever needed to cut a header pin. When does that come up - maybe to remove a pin for keying, to match a plugged keying hole on the female connector?

I had such such case with fonitronik's TH Maximus VCO - needed to replace resistor with trimpot and used 2.54 header pins. From the bottom side there were two pins on the edges (in the resistor place) but from the top - four pins (where trimpot and additional resistor were placed). So two pins from the bottom in middle had to be cutted.
ashleym
Engineer when I was paying. Lindstrom when work were paying
plushterry
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Feels like I might end up with 5 pairs of snips after this hihi .
LektroiD
I was using CK tools snips for years, then managed to find a set of these Cadik branded flush cutters on the electronics market in Bangkok for about equivalent £2-£3, couldn't find them since anywhere online. They may not look fantastic, but possibly the nicest set of snips I've ever used (better than the £30 CK ones anyway), so when I went back, I bought myself a few spare pairs.

Troubleshooter
Here in Europe these are my favorite: Knipex Electronic Super Knips® 78 61 125
ryan-Phayder
KNIPEX, there is no substitute. Worth every penny.
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