Author Topic: Good sidecutters?  (Read 17558 times)

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Offline LukeW

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Good sidecutters?
« on: February 09, 2017, 11:32:45 am »
Looking for some recommendations for miniature side cutters (110mm or so) with a nice feel, nice spring, high sharpness and capable of holding a sharp edge well when used within reason for light-duty electronics work.

I currently have a Tamiya 74001 and a Fujiya MP4-110, which I'm pretty happy with.

At the moment I seem to be buying a $30 pair of sidecutters such as above every 6 months to get something fresh and sharp and chucking the old one into the drawer full of blunt sidecutters.

Are there any other options on the market that will maybe be more efficient than that?
 

Offline RayRay

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2017, 12:08:58 pm »
Personally, I use the Pro'sKit PM-905F.
They're comfy, ultra sharp and cuts really well.
Bought em about a year ago (cost me $9) and they still work as good as new.
They've initially had a slight bit of oil residue on the rounded center part, but it was easy to clean.
But anyways, given your remark (about getting new cutters every 6 months for blade freshness) I'd be more concerned about whether you're making proper use of em or not. I mean, is it possible that you're cutting wires/cables of significantly larger size than what they're intended for?
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 12:21:25 pm »
Lap jointed cutters are almost invariably crap!  You should be looking for side cutters with a forged box joint.  If not abused, you should still be able to cut 0.1mm copper wire strands cleanly after several years of daily use.  One thing to beware of is components with plated steel leads - if you can pick them up with a magnet, don't use your best pair of side cutters on their leads!

I currently use Pro'sKit PK-22 side cutters.  DO NOT buy online - you need to find a stockist and check that you get an even full jaw length cut in a cigarette paper with only light pressure.  I rejected a couple of pairs before I found one I was happy with, but I was being fussy.

They replaced a pair of C.K Tools 3775 cutters that I had had for about ten years and broke when I didn't realise the cable I was cutting was copper clad steel. :(

At the C.K tools pricepoint you can generally order online safely, but if you go much cheaper there is no substitute for personally inspecting them before purchase.  The Pro'skit PK-22 cutters have held up well, definitely comparable to the CK 3775 ones.

If you pay really careful attention to the geometry it is possible to successfully resharpen most types of hardened steel jawed cutters.  Almost invariably one jaw has the precision cutting edge and the other jaw has a micro-flat that acts as an anvil, but maintaining the geometry can be a P.I.T.A, even with frequent cigarette paper testing while sharpening.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 12:24:00 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline elecman14

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2017, 02:44:20 pm »
My go to are the Excelta SE-25. They compare to the $130+ Excelta cutters but have less comfortable grips. They are also fairly cheap >$10 usd so I do not feel to bad when I view them as a consumable.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 02:54:29 pm »
Yes.  Many of the brands of black oxide finished pressed steel lap jointed cutters, like the Excelta SE-25, are surprisingly good for what they are.  If you are in a shared workspace its worth having a couple of pairs to leave out so no-one bothers looking for your good box-jointed cutters!
 

Offline Someone

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 11:53:33 pm »
Lap jointed cutters are almost invariably crap!  You should be looking for side cutters with a forged box joint.  If not abused, you should still be able to cut 0.1mm copper wire strands cleanly after several years of daily use.
Baloney, there are crap cutters with all styles of joint:
http://www.knipex.com/en/pliers-abc/basic-information-about-pliers/style-of-joints/
Many of the cheap rubbish brands make box joints just to hit the marketing, while the premium brands such as Lindström and Erem don't make box joints. Just for comparison I pulled out some daily use Xuron 9200 cutters and they went cleanly through 0.05mm when they're only warranted for 0.25mm (AWG30), and they're a simple lap joint.

Looking for some recommendations for miniature side cutters (110mm or so) with a nice feel, nice spring, high sharpness and capable of holding a sharp edge well when used within reason for light-duty electronics work.

I currently have a Tamiya 74001 and a Fujiya MP4-110, which I'm pretty happy with.
The problem is both of those products are designed and marketed for cutting plastic model parts, they're probably a very soft finish on the blades. You'll want to buy some cutters that have hardened blades suitable for soft metals. There are some long threads on this forum with suggestions at all price points.
 

Offline LukeW

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 03:24:20 am »
The Xuron 9200 looks OK if it has higher blade hardness.

It's kind of crap that Jaycar markets the MP4-110 without specifying it for plastic. (Being in an electronics store implicitly means it will be used with light-duty electronic conductors, IMO.)
But then again Jaycar is always crap when it comes to accurate and detailed identity, data or documentation of their products.

Lap jointed cutters are almost invariably crap!  You should be looking for side cutters with a forged box joint.  If not abused, you should still be able to cut 0.1mm copper wire strands cleanly after several years of daily use.  One thing to beware of is components with plated steel leads - if you can pick them up with a magnet, don't use your best pair of side cutters on their leads!

I currently use Pro'sKit PK-22 side cutters.  DO NOT buy online - you need to find a stockist and check that you get an even full jaw length cut in a cigarette paper with only light pressure.  I rejected a couple of pairs before I found one I was happy with, but I was being fussy.

They replaced a pair of C.K Tools 3775 cutters that I had had for about ten years and broke when I didn't realise the cable I was cutting was copper clad steel. :(

At the C.K tools pricepoint you can generally order online safely, but if you go much cheaper there is no substitute for personally inspecting them before purchase.  The Pro'skit PK-22 cutters have held up well, definitely comparable to the CK 3775 ones.

If you pay really careful attention to the geometry it is possible to successfully resharpen most types of hardened steel jawed cutters.  Almost invariably one jaw has the precision cutting edge and the other jaw has a micro-flat that acts as an anvil, but maintaining the geometry can be a P.I.T.A, even with frequent cigarette paper testing while sharpening.

The "cigarette paper test" is a nice metric.

Let me ask a related question - with typical use, how long would you expect a pair of cutters to keep passing the cigarette paper test for, because that's the kind of metric I'm interested in.
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 04:10:33 am »
I'd say that very much depends on your typical use (and abuse).  If you strictly avoid all parts with magnetic leads, or using them to nibble PCBs etc. then in a repair shop, I'd personally expect something like five years out of a good pair of the Pro'skit PK-22 ones, and the same or possibly longer out of the CK 3779 ones.  If you are doing a lot of assembly or wiring work they'll see a lot more use and will obviously wear out sooner. Just don't let the boss borrow them - cheap 'CT100' sat cable with a copper clad steel center conductor is *NOT* kind to good cutters!

C.K. do a carbide jawed version, the 3779 that will stand up to steel leads, but its a lot more expensive and one moment of idiocy like trying to cut a hardened steel pin could chip the jaws.   Its probably not worth it unless you've got a lot of mild steel leads to trim, and no idiots!

« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 04:13:01 am by Ian.M »
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 05:31:36 am »
I have a Linstrom 8150 (https://www.amazon.com/Lindstrom-8150-80-Micro-Bevel-Capacity/dp/B0001P0DIS) that I have used for over 40 years.  The edges are still in near perfect condition. They are still fine for cutting AWG 40 gauge wire. These are the cutters I use for any heavy work - like cutting open moulded plastic items. Rated for 1.6mm copper or 0.4mm spring steel.

 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 05:41:10 am »
I know this is probably sacrilege, and I am one to appreciate e quality hand tools... but my cheaply Harbor Freight flush side cutters have been used for light to medium duty electronics work, including a lot of cutting of larger wires for repairing old tube radios, for a few years. I figured they would be garbage when I got them, but they are literally my most used hand tool.

I was really surprised at how well they have held up, and, since they are cheap, I have abused them too.
--73
 

Offline LukeW

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2017, 05:57:51 am »
Anyone know a distributor in Australia for genuine ProsKit or CK?
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2017, 06:04:31 am »
I know this is probably sacrilege, and I am one to appreciate e quality hand tools... but my cheaply Harbor Freight flush side cutters have been used for light to medium duty electronics work, including a lot of cutting of larger wires for repairing old tube radios, for a few years. I figured they would be garbage when I got them, but they are literally my most used hand tool.

I was really surprised at how well they have held up, and, since they are cheap, I have abused them too.
Same, I always pick up a pair whenever I go by HFT.
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Offline Someone

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2017, 06:28:25 am »
Anyone know a distributor in Australia for genuine ProsKit or CK?
From experience they're some of the worst value choices available. There are much better tools for the same price and many better tools for a lot cheaper.
 

Offline testmode

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2017, 06:39:34 am »
I bought the Hakko CHP Micro Cutter from Amazon last year.  $30 for 5 pcs.  So far, the first one is still doing pretty well.  I could recommend them.  I don't consider myself a heavy user though so your mileage may vary.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-Micro-Cutter-Clean/dp/B0063GL7UM

 

Offline eKretz

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2017, 07:35:24 am »
 I personally like used vintage cutters from eBay. They seem to be better quality and hold up better than a lot of the new stuff. I have had good experiences with both Lindstrom and Erem.
 

Offline FlyingHacker

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2017, 07:38:57 am »
I bought the Hakko CHP Micro Cutter from Amazon last year.  $30 for 5 pcs.  So far, the first one is still doing pretty well.  I could recommend them.  I don't consider myself a heavy user though so your mileage may vary.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-Micro-Cutter-Clean/dp/B0063GL7UM



I got a free pair of the Hakko side cutters. I tried them and realized I much preferred the Harbor Freight ones, believe it or not. I use them about once a month when I can't find the Harbor Freight cutters on my messy bench.
--73
 

Offline testmode

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2017, 06:57:08 pm »
I bought the Hakko CHP Micro Cutter from Amazon last year.  $30 for 5 pcs.  So far, the first one is still doing pretty well.  I could recommend them.  I don't consider myself a heavy user though so your mileage may vary.

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-Micro-Cutter-Clean/dp/B0063GL7UM

I got a free pair of the Hakko side cutters. I tried them and realized I much preferred the Harbor Freight ones, believe it or not. I use them about once a month when I can't find the Harbor Freight cutters on my messy bench.

Maybe because they were free?  Kidding! ;D

But I guess still for the price, the Hakko's are hard to beat!  And I found out that it's even cheaper if you buy them individually @ $4.47 a piece! |O

https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-170-Stand-off-Construction-21-Degree/dp/B00FZPDG1K?th=1
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 01:19:24 am by testmode »
 

Online wraper

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2017, 07:53:09 pm »
Hakko sidecutters are actually made by Piergiacomi http://www.piergiacomi.com/piergiacomi/
On the first sight they look and work good, however steel used is rather soft. If you try cutting anything other than pure copper wires, cutting edge will become dull and bent in instant.
 
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Offline SKPang

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2017, 08:53:27 pm »
I use Lindstrom, expensive but they last for years.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2017, 09:13:25 pm »
Another Lindstom vote, my daily use cutters are 15 years old and going strong.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2017, 10:51:18 pm »
Hakko sidecutters are actually made by Piergiacomi http://www.piergiacomi.com/piergiacomi/
On the first sight they look and work good, however steel used is rather soft. If you try cutting anything other than pure copper wires, cutting edge will become dull and bent in instant.

I got the same deal a couple of years ago.  I am still using the first one, have 1 in my tool bag in my company van, 1 spare and I gave the other 2 away.  I only use them for cutting component leads or wire ties.  The original pair is still nice and sharp.  I try not to abuse my stuff, cheap or otherwise.
That which doesn't kill you still requires a co-pay.
 

Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 11:13:02 pm »
Anyone know a distributor in Australia for genuine ProsKit or CK?
From experience they're some of the worst value choices available. There are much better tools for the same price and many better tools for a lot cheaper.

Not sure I totally agree with that. Even though they look like cheap junk, the PA-101's I paid < AU$5 for at E14 a couple of years ago get as much use as my Lindströms and (touch wood) so far they've lasted well (including occasionally cutting that awful CCS coax shit). At first glance, they appear to be the same as the Hakko-branded ones (edit: reading above, I guess they're not).

Either way, they're certainly better than the AU$30 shit Jaycar sells...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 11:18:43 pm by Tac Eht Xilef »
 

Offline Smith

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2017, 04:58:14 pm »
Another vote for Lindstrom, for build quality. They tend to last forever. Although I prefer the  Erem ones for daily use. They are quality tools too, but they feel more ergonomic. I used multiple other quality brands including Knipex, but I don't really like any of them.
Trying is the first step towards failure
 

Offline Vgkid

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2017, 03:56:57 am »
While not exactly small. Has anyone looked into the Tungsten Carbide dental type flush Hard-wire cutters.
If you own any North Hills Electronics gear, message me. L&N Fan
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Good sidecutters?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2017, 06:16:48 am »
While not exactly small. Has anyone looked into the Tungsten Carbide dental type flush Hard-wire cutters.
Not the dental versions, but I've both Erem & Swanstrom with steel that contains Tungsten Carbide rather than TC inserts (latter is part of their surgical series). I got these very cheap via eBay (have the ability to wait for the right deal/s to surface). Tough cutters IME, and as inexpensive parts more and more seem to be using tin plated steel leads, they're very useful IME (no dings in the blades).

Regarding Lindstrom, they're not what they used to be since production was moved to Spain (occurred under Sandvik's ownership IIRC, and has continued under Snap-On Europe's leadership).  :-- I've a pair of 8140Rx and I'm not fond of them (too much flex with wire gauge within specifications). Not that they don't work well enough, but they always make nervous of failing during normal use.

FWIW, for those that want new cutters or pliers, I'd recommend taking a serious look at Schmitz (box joints, and teeth on their pliers hold up extremely well <i.e. don't flatten out like other tier 1 brands>).

Otherwise, I'd recommend used. Specifically, I'd look for Tronex, Swanstrom, and Erem (all w/ foam grips). Some others to hunt for would be CK Tools (rebranded Schmitz), and Belzer off the top of my head. Got mine for pennies on the dollar (i.e. Swanstrom TC cutters for ~$15 shipped IIRC; example).  :o  :-+
 


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