Author Topic: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work  (Read 20738 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« on: October 24, 2011, 01:57:22 am »
Greetings EEVBees:

--I need your advice. I keep ruining small side cutters, the ones you use to make flush cuts on PCBs. I ruined a pair of cheap Radios Hack cutters, no surprise there. But then, I ruined a perfectly good pair of 170M Xcelite cutters, which I really liked.

--What can I buy that I will have the hardest time destroying?

"They say an ill workman never had good tools." Jonathan Swift

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Clear Ether
 

Offline Conrad Hoffman

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 02:05:33 am »
First, how are you ruining them? If you cut anything but copper and small soft steel leads, that's the end of 'em. They aren't designed for anything harder. You can get special piano wire cutters, but they come a bit dearer and are usually too big. Next, don't buy full flush cutter. They're an idiotic idea because the edge is guaranteed to be damaged with anything other than soft copper. Buy semi-flush cutters and the durability will go up ten-fold.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 02:23:00 am »
How long is it taking you to ruin your cutters? If you check the data sheet for most good brands of cutter the working life is estimated as X number of cuts. As Conrad pointed out, X is lower for flush cutters and higher for semi-flush cutters. However, X is finite and if you use your cutters a lot they will simply wear out and need replacing after a time no matter how you look after them.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 03:16:50 am »
Dear Conrad Hoffman and IanB:

--Thanks for the advice fellows. Please forgive my ignorance. I do use my cutters quite a bit, so you have made me feel much better. I just ordered a pair of  new Kobalt 4.5 inch side cutters for 6$ shipping included. They still have one left if anyone is interested. See below link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360395043792

"He was born ignorant, and has been losing ground ever since." Fred Allen

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Offline slipjointed

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2011, 04:23:59 am »
Lindstrom RX are the best I've ever used... normally they're insanely expensive, but this seller has a great deal on some semi-flush cutters. FYI I've tried most of the "boutique" brands of electronics pliers and cutters. These are special... the normal Lindstrom lines are very nice, but the RX series are their own animal.

It's hard to explain just how great these cutters are until you hold them in your hand. They normally go for $50-60 a pair and higher, but this seller accepted my offer of $12. I loved them so much that I now own four different pairs.

The coolest thing about the lindstroms is that the spring tension/grip width is adjustable. The spring also has a non-linear compression curve, so it really feels unique in use, but in a really good way.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lindstrom-Pliers-RX-8150-Micro-Bevel-Jewelry-cutters-/320773647311?pt=BI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item4aaf996bcf
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2011, 04:59:07 am »
Dear Slipjointed:

--Good tip. Thanks. I just bought an ordinary pair of Kobalt side cutters, but I will be buying one or more of the Lindstroms as soon as my taxes are paid.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

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Offline IanB

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 05:19:13 am »
I picked up some Hakko brand side cutters for a very reasonable price and I like them a lot. They are like these ones, but I found them in Fry's: http://www.scubatools.com/p-433-hakko-side-cut-5.aspx
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Offline slipjointed

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 06:19:37 am »
Dear Slipjointed:

--Good tip. Thanks. I just bought an ordinary pair of Kobalt side cutters, but I will be buying one or more of the Lindstroms as soon as my taxes are paid.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

Best Regards
Clear Ether

The Kobalt's weren't a mistake... I keep a "standard" set as well as my fancy Lindstroms. The Lindstroms actually have very hard cutting edges and so are durable, but I could bear putting a nick in the edge of a normal pair much more easily.

I usually only use the Lindstroms on a known quantity, so as to not damage the edges prematurely. That, and I NEVER let anyone borrow them. :D

I added pictures to tease you until I get paid again. :P


To add some commentary to the pictures, these pliers are very large (for electronics pliers), don't let the pictures fool you. My hands are a bit on the big side. That is a good thing though, because that makes them very comfortable.

The front of the grips has "wings" molded in where your index finger and thumb rest on the handles, so you still get a wide, controlled grip, even when you need to pinch grip the front of the pliers, or twist them slightly in your hand.

The handles are FRP overmolded with thermoplastic rubber, so they are very light, very strong, and very grippy. You can see the three adjustments for spring tension inside the handle, the spring pops out and repositions very easily.

The vast majority of the RX series have adjustable joints, so as they wear you can tighten them back up.



I picked up some Hakko brand side cutters for a very reasonable price and I like them a lot. They are like these ones, but I found them in Fry's: http://www.scubatools.com/p-433-hakko-side-cut-5.aspx

Those Hakkos are superb cutters for the money. As you were discussing above, flush cutters wear out much faster, so I picked up the Lindstroms in semi-flush as my fancy pair, and I have a set of Hakko full flush for when I need true flush cutters. I picked them up from tequipment for really cheap, back when they were blowing out a bunch of Hakko stuff.

The are cheap, well made, and hold up very well. If I hadn't found the Lindstroms listed on ebay for crazy cheap, it's pretty damned hard to argue against the Hakkos.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 06:24:25 am by slipjointed »
 

Offline dfnr2

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 11:20:05 pm »
Lindstrom RX are the best I've ever used... normally they're insanely expensive, but this seller has a great deal on some semi-flush cutters. FYI I've tried most of the "boutique" brands of electronics pliers and cutters. These are special... the normal Lindstrom lines are very nice, but the RX series are their own animal.

It's hard to explain just how great these cutters are until you hold them in your hand. They normally go for $50-60 a pair and higher, but this seller accepted my offer of $12. I loved them so much that I now own four different pairs.

The coolest thing about the lindstroms is that the spring tension/grip width is adjustable. The spring also has a non-linear compression curve, so it really feels unique in use, but in a really good way.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lindstrom-Pliers-RX-8150-Micro-Bevel-Jewelry-cutters-/320773647311?pt=BI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item4aaf996bcf
Thanks for the lead!  After I read your post, I bought a couple of these.  I just received them, and they are excellent quality--each one like new, no nicks, no abuse.  I'm amazed that there are still some left.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 11:37:17 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--I still intend to buy some used Lindstroms on eBay, when the budget will allow. For now, I am very pleased with the $6.00 Kobalt Nickel Chrome Steel semi-flush cutters I got on eBay. Thanks to all for the tips and advice.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein

Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline Jason Long

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Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2012, 02:15:11 am »
I know this is an old thread but I figured that some might like to know that there are a couple of eBay sellers selling Lindstrom, Swanstrom and Erem cutters for crazy low prices.

If your in the market, now is a great time to check out eBay. Just an FYI.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2012, 06:03:34 am »
Lindstrom  ( the yellow series ) are the absolute best !
they use special carbon steel that is so hard that , if you drop it on concrete floor , and it lands on its tip there is a change that pieces crack off...

i once broke one by trying to cut a wire that was too thick ... the cutting tip just shattered ...

if treated right , these thing are indestructible. og , and oyu can actually take them apart and re-grind them ! lindstrom actually sends a special tool holder and grinding machine for these ...
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 06:39:17 am »
Lindstrom  ( the yellow series ) are the absolute best !
they use special carbon steel that is so hard that , if you drop it on concrete floor , and it lands on its tip there is a change that pieces crack off...

i once broke one by trying to cut a wire that was too thick ... the cutting tip just shattered ...

if treated right , these thing are indestructible. og , and oyu can actually take them apart and re-grind them ! lindstrom actually sends a special tool holder and grinding machine for these ...
Are yours made in Sweden or Spain?
 

Offline JuKu

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 07:32:18 am »
Another vote for Lindstrom, and yes, you need several. The fine tip ones are not good for thick wires, connector leads etc, you'll just ruin them.

And while talking about fine cutters: Do you know anybody making cutters fine enough to go between pins of a 0.5mm pitch IC to cut one pin? Such a thing would probably not cut anything else, but I would still get one, pretty much no matter the cost. And no, you can't grind the tips of a Lindsrom that small.
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Offline Psi

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 07:46:11 am »
Yes Lindstrom are very good.
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Offline bingo600

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2012, 07:59:19 am »
I have always liked EREM
http://www.amazon.com/Erem-Magic-Sense-Cutter-Length/dp/B004V9AW18
http://il.rsdelivers.com/product/erem/622-nb/relieved-head-flush-side-cutter/4205748.aspx

They cost $$ , and react to a floordrop like said above (tip breaks off)  :'(.
I have 2 of them , and the oldest is 22 years old. It still cuts through a sheet of paper cleanly and without pressing hard.

I might have a look at the Lindströms , but can recommend EREM also.

/Bingo
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2012, 08:31:46 am »
Bahco make very good cutters what you need is ones labeled piano wire as that is what they will cut without any harm coming to them. If used on copper or pcb material the will last forever.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2012, 09:09:52 am »
Over the years I've had a few Lindstrom 8148s that were rather badly ground - some from ebay , but one from RS.
I also find that over time and mild abuse the joint gets slightly loose, which severely affects their ability to cut fine wires. 
I've recently got a CK 3766DEF which I quite like, but is very slightly less than full flush, which is fine for most applications but not as good for stripping fine wire as the Lindstroms.
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Offline amspire

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 11:05:01 am »
Over the years I've had a few Lindstrom 8148s that were rather badly ground - some from ebay , but one from RS.
I also find that over time and mild abuse the joint gets slightly loose, which severely affects their ability to cut fine wires.
Sorry to hear you have had problems. I have had a Lindstrom 8150 which is a micro-bevel instead of an ultra flush cutter, and it is still perfect after 30 years of use. The microbevel can usually be substituted for an ultra-flush cutter in most cases but it is much tougher. The bevel is only something like 0.1mm, but that makes all the difference.

Rated at 0.3mm - 1.6mm copper, even though it easily handles 0.1mm wire like the 8048. Also rated for 0.4mm spring steel. Joint has never loosened even after lots of hard use.

Richard.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 11:07:50 am by amspire »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 02:33:17 pm »
Sweden. And you need the ones with yellow handles. I have seen and ised the blue and the rex series, they are not as good as the original.

My oldest is more than  20 years old ... I got them in 1990..
I got some younger in 2000 ..

At that time lindstrom was still lindstrom. They were bought by sandvik in 2003 i believe.
Up till then they only had the yellow series .. They made a living from 4 products.
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Offline Jason Long

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Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2012, 03:35:20 pm »
I have always liked EREM
http://www.amazon.com/Erem-Magic-Sense-Cutter-Length/dp/B004V9AW18
http://il.rsdelivers.com/product/erem/622-nb/relieved-head-flush-side-cutter/4205748.aspx

They cost $$ , and react to a floordrop like said above (tip breaks off)  :'(.
I have 2 of them , and the oldest is 22 years old. It still cuts through a sheet of paper cleanly and without pressing hard.

I might have a look at the Lindströms , but can recommend EREM also.

/Bingo
I'll also give the nod to Erem...
I went ahead and picked up a few of the Lindstrom RX8150s ($15 each)
A few of the Swanstroms S510 & S610 ($3 to$7 each) and
2 pair of Erems, 595T ($24) & 595N ($7)
... Haven't picked up any off the yellow handled Lindstroms at this point. So I can't comment on them.

ALL of them appear to be excellent cutters and all have features that differentiate them from the others.

The Lindstrom RX cutters are insanely comfortable and if I had to spend a full day doing thousands of repetitive cuts these would be my 1st choice.

The Swanstroms have a set screw that you can use to limit the blade travel and keep the blades from slamming together when cutting. The double leaf springs are a little inconsistent and can make for a strange closing action.

The standout of the bunch is the Erem 595T. They have tungsten carbide blades rated to cut thin steel and the "MagicSense" internal spring is pure porn! Compared to the others, they look like child's toys (they are small w baby blue handles), but a closer look shows that they are pure Swiss quality!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 04:13:56 pm by Jason Long »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2012, 04:14:46 pm »
Sweden. And you need the ones with yellow handles. I have seen and used the blue and the Rx series, they are not as good as the original.

My oldest is more than  20 years old ... I got them in 1990..
I got some younger in 2000 ..

At that time lindstrom was still lindstrom. They were bought by sandvik in 2003 i believe.
Up till then they only had the yellow series .. They made a living from 4 products.
Thanks.

Unfortunately, they're now made in Spain rather than Sweden, and have switched from a box joint to a lap joint held together with a screw and press-in nut. Snap-On (SNA) is their current owner).

I think I'll give a used pair a shot from eBay for evaluation, and see how it goes (same for Erem, which last I had access to, where still very good, but the most expensive).
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2012, 06:11:21 pm »
Do you know anybody making cutters fine enough to go between pins of a 0.5mm pitch IC to cut one pin?
Digging around their catalog, it seems the Erem 670EP is made specifically for this (they even make a smaller one; 670EPF for .25mm pitch, though it's not available in North America). Found some UK sources though (~53 & ~63 GBP ex VAT respectively).

Hope this helps.  :)
 

Offline Jason Long

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2012, 07:42:31 pm »
If anyone's interested, I just ran across this on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-PAIR-EREM-776E-CUTTERS-CRAFTS-JEWELRY-ELECTRICAL-/280884127824?pt=BI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item4165ffa850#ht_450wt_75

Having 10 of the same cutter makes absolutely on sense at all but 10 for $45.00 + $6.25 shipping breaks out to $5.13 each! I'm finding it hard to not pull the trigger on this deal.

If anyone is interested in splitting this deal, shoot me a message. If you want the whole lot without splitting it, jump on it quick and save me pain of thinking about it... Also, feel free to let me buy one of them from you.  :D
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 07:44:23 pm by Jason Long »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2012, 08:30:39 pm »
careful with the Lindstroms.
Any comments made are based on themodels that I persally own :

http://www.lindstromtools.com/tools_cutters_80_assort.htm

I have the following :

Model 80 ( obsolete )
Model 8141
Model 8211
Model 8160

i cannot comment on any other models. I stick to the yellow series as this is what started lindstrom. The others are most certainly NOT lindstrom designs but were 'absorbed' from other companies when they were under Sandvik control. Up till the acquisition there was only the yellow series ( 80 series  ).

i have one of the 'white series' normal pliers ( not cutters ) and they are 'flimsy'. i don't like those..
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