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Good Side Cutters For Small Electronics Work

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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

Best Regards
Clear Ether

Conrad Hoffman:
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.

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.

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:

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

Best Regards
Clear Ether

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.


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