For every task there is a proper tool, but which tool is best for the task at hand? That’s the question which anyone who uses tools faces. Whether for pilots, bike mechanics, DIY, professional work, or what have you, cable cutters are a vital part of any toolbox – but which one is right for you? Today we review 11 cable cutters that cut without fraying.
Choosing the best aircraft cable cutter is going to depend a great deal on the job that you wish to accomplish. Cable cutters come in all shapes and sizes, from small ones for intricate work to large options that can cut through huge ropes of steel.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at different types of wire cutters and help you figure out which ones are right for your next big job.
The Different Types of Wire Cutters
One of the most challenging things about wire cutters is the fact that they are simple in concept yet more various in style than might first be supposed. The basic idea of a tool that can cut through metal wires and bands is easy to grasp, but what about all the nuance that comes with that?
What about different lengths and thicknesses of metal wiring? What if it the wires are electrical in nature? What about wires which require a careful balance between strength and delicacy?
For all of these options, there are different types of wire cutters which take the basic idea of a tool for cutting through metal bands and reinvent it for the specific challenges at hand. Some of the most common and important types of wire cutters to add to your toolbox include the following:
- Linemen’s Wire Cutters: These are used for jobs such as those performed by electricians and linemen working on power lines with need for a wire stripper. They can be used to cut through or strip wires, have insulated handles to protect users from electrical shocks, and feature sharp edges for cutting purposes.
- Locking Wire Cutters: Whereas lineman’s wire cutters are often used by electricians and linemen for stripping wires, these are often used by carpenters for use on sheets of metal. They feature locks which make them easier to set into place for that purpose.
- Needle Nose Wire Cutter: These are among the narrowest wire cutters on this list. They are used in instances where when extra-fine wires or working in small spaces is involved. In addition, they are often used for cutting electrical wires and so likewise feature insulated handles to protect against shocks.
- Diagonal Cutting Wire Cutters: As the name implies, they feature diamond-shaped edges, can be used to cut through wire as well as metal, and are used by carpenters as well as electricians, making them something of a jack of all trades and one of the most versatile options on this list.
- Round Nose Wire Cutters: These wires feature rounded nose ends and tend to be used for more delicate work, such as bending as well as cutting thinner wiring or strips of metal.
With those distinctions in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best examples of different types of cable cutters on the market.
Best Aircraft Cable Cutters
1. Felco Cable Cutter
- Premium Components - Engineered and...
- High-Quality Durability - This cable...
- For Medium Cables - The premium cutting...
These cable cutters are made in Switzerland and combine a durable cutting edge with a non-slip plastic grip. This is a highly durable cable cutter. What’s more, the design features interchangeable parts which can easily be replaced, further increasing its longevity.
This offering from Felco is able to cut through small- to medium-sized cables with a cutting diameter of 7mm. Its triangular jaws are designed so as to cut and strip cables without leaving them frayed or jagged. They can be used for everything from electrical wires to brake cables.
The plastic grip is highly ergonomic, making it comfortable and easy to use.
2. Klein Tools 63050 Cable Cutters
- Cable cutter cuts 4/0 aluminum, 2/0 soft...
- Precision, one-hand shearing action
- Cable-gripping shear-type jaws
These cable cutters can be used for shearing and cutting through aluminum, copper, and similar materials. They feature 4/0 cutting capacity for aluminum and 2/0 for copper, with the cable-gripping jaws themselves having a capacity of 26.9mm.
These cable cutters from Klein Tools are on the narrow side, and are thus ideal for work in small, confined areas. They are slender enough to fit in most toolboxes and tool pouches with ease.
The surfaces are through-hardened as opposed to case hardened, which helps the cutting surfaces last longer than alternatives. In addition, the unit features a hot-riveted joint, which helps it retain smooth cutting action while reducing wobbling around the handles.
3. Channellock 910 9″ Cable
- Hardened M2 alloy steel blade inserts
- Cuts most wire rope, steel and stainless...
- 8:1 compound action for maximum cutting...
One of the most important things to take into consideration when looking at different types of cable cutters are the steel blade inserts. These can be a huge determining factor in evaluating how sturdy the blades are and what they’ll be able to cut through.
This offering from Channellock offers M2 alloy steel blade inserts which have been hardened. This makes for a pair of wire cutters which is extremely capable of cutting through most wire rope and stainless steel rod surfaces.
In addition, this unit comes with a double overwind spring as well as high tensile steel handles, both of which only add to its high durability.
4. Channellock 911 9.5-Inch Cable Cutter
- Made in USA
- Cuts up to 4/0 aluminum and 2/0 copper
- Not for steel or ACSR
These cable cutters are capable of cutting into 4/0 aluminum as well as 2/0 copper. However, they are not meant to be used for cutting into steel or for ACSR purposes. The wire cutters themselves make use of high carbon C1080 steel, making them extremely strong and sturdy.
The handles are coated with a material that helps prevent rusting. In addition, the cutting edges are precision-oriented in such a way as to ensure superior cutting action.
These knife and anvil cutters also offer great alignment, ensuring that you are able to line up the cutters and cut straight through the wire in question with a single clean cut.
5. Park Tool CN-10 Professional Cable & Housing Cutter
- Cold forged, heat treated steel handles...
- Precision ground cutting jaws for a...
- Built in crimper for cable end caps and...
These cable cutters feature handles which have been both cold forged as well as heat treated, resulting in a unit that is incredibly strong. They are also another example of cable cutting jaws which have been engineered with precision in mind, with a focus on facilitating single clean cuts.
In addition, the unit features a built-in crimper, which can be extremely useful. This cable cutter is specifically designed for use on bicycle cables and similar types of cables around the house.
As described in the locking wire cutters section, these wire cutters feature a nut which helps the unit lock into place for consistent operation. Turning the unit clockwise tightens it, while turning it counterclockwise loosens it.
6. Muzata Stainless Steel Wire Rope Aircraft Bicycle Cable Cutter for Deck Railing
- Ideal for stainless steel -- This cable...
- Clean Cut -- The blade of this wire rope...
- Safety -- The safety lock prevents...
This cable cutter is strong enough to cut steel wiring up to 5/32”. That is strong enough to allow it to cut through objects such as steel cable seals as well examples of single strand wire such as fencing wire.
This makes this offering from Muzata quite versatile and ready for use in a variety of tasks. In addition, it is quite precise, allowing you to make quick, clean cuts through steel wiring without causing fraying, smashing, or jagged ends. This makes it perfect for grommet removal.
If you are looking for a wire cutter which can cut through galvanized or coated cables, this is a good choice.
Best Ratchet Cable Cutters
7. Southwire Heavy Duty Compact Ratcheting Cable Cutters With Comfort Grip Handles
- DURABLE ratcheting cable cutters perfect...
- MINIMAL CABLE DISTORTION: Hardened steel...
- REPLACEABLE BLADES provide long lasting...
These cable cutters are highly durable, being able to cut through copper and aluminum measuring 750 kcmil and 1000 kcmil, respectively. Added to that durability is the fact that the blades for these wire cutters are easily replaceable, and that the hardened steel blades themselves are engineered for long-term usage.
This unit offers a molded grip in its handle, making it more comfortable to use than other options on this list. Added to that comfort is a quick-release lever that makes it easy to open the blade during usage.
It also makes use of an easy to use time-saving two-step ratcheting mechanism.
8. TMS Heavy Duty Aluminum Copper Ratchet Cable Cutter
- This heavy duty ratchet cable cutter is...
- These cutters are very lightweight for...
- Package Includes:1Cable Cutter
This offering from TMS offers a cutting range of 32mm, which is impressive for a cable cutter of this size. It makes use of a handy ratchet build, and can be used to easily cut through both copper as well as aluminum cables.
What’s more, this is a unit which is rather lightweight by cable cutter standards. This allows it to be used with more ease than other cable cutters. While it is lightweight, however, it remains strong and able to take on heavy-duty cable cutting work.
The unit also features anti-slip handles, making it that much easier to cut through cables with ease. That said, while the handles are rubber, they are not sufficiently insulated for use on live electrical wires.
9. BETOOLL Heavy Duty Aluminum Copper Ratchet Cable Cutters
- Top of the range heavy duty ratchet...
- Total length - 34cm
This is one of those cable cutters that is specifically suited for the kind of work commonly undertaken by electricians. It can be used to strip and peel away the external layers of wiring setups.
Its streamlined build makes it quite easy and safe to use, and it does pose a risk to conductor cores. The blade itself is made from stainless steel, while the handle is ergonomically-designed for maximum safety as well as comfort. The unit also comes with a transparent protective cap.
These cable cutters are specifically designed for use cutting aluminum and copper wires and similar surfaces.
Best Heavy Duty Cable Cutters
10. Muzata 18″ Hardened Wire Rope Cable Cutter
- This heavy duty cable cutter is hardened...
- Use the extra strength ultra durable...
- If you need to cut through steel cable,...
These heavy duty cable cutters are fashioned from sturdy hardened steel and can be used to cut 1/4″ stainless steel cables as well as galvanized aircraft wire. That speaks volumes about the strength of these cutters, with them ranking as one of the strongest options on our list.
In addition, this unit features rounded, tapered jaws which are great for quick, strong cuts. The jaws are made from Chrome Vanadium steel, and are thus highly durable.
This cable cutter also makes use of an ergonomic handle, making it easier to use than other cutters of its size. That strength and ease of use make it one of the best value heavy duty cable cutters on the market.
11. Crescent H.K. Porter 28″ ACSR
- Shear-cut blades
- Cuts soft and hard steel cable, wire...
- Cuts up to 3/8 in wire rope or up to...
These are a good example of cable cutters which are designed for shearing purposes, and they excel in that respect. the shear-cut blades do a great job of cutting through wire rope up to 3/8 as well as 7/16 in the case of ACSR cable.
In addition, they can cut through copper and aluminum with ease.
These cutters feature a steel handle, and are another example of cable cutters which make use of rubberized grips. That said, this rubber is designed with comfort rather than adequate insulation in mind, and these cable cutters should never be used to cut live wires.
Aircraft Cable Cutter FAQ
What Is an Aircraft Cable Cutter?
With all of that in mind, what about aircraft cable cutters?
Aircraft cable is a common type of metal wiring. It features several hundred strands of metal wires woven together in such a way as to create an extremely durable mechanical cable.
On the one hand, this is obviously a great choice when it comes to selecting sturdy cabling options. On the other hand, if you ever need to cut those wires for any reason, traditional wire cutters may not be strong enough to handle the task.
That is where aircraft cable cutters come in. These cable cutters tend towards the heavy duty side of the spectrum, and can thus cut through aircraft cables.
What’s more, they are typically able to do this without ripping or shearing the cable in question. This is good, because doing so can leave jagged edges, which can be dangerous and highly undesirable.
Why You Need a Quality Cable Cutter
If you work in either the electrical or carpentry industry, cable or wire cutters are likely necessary for performing some of the basic duties of your work.
If you work as an electrician, you are going to need a cable cutter which is capable of stripping wires. This is necessary for all manner of different rewiring projects.
In addition, you are going to want cable cutters which can cut through electrical wires. Not all cable cutters are capable of doing this in a safe manner.
As such, you should always read the description to see whether the cable cutters in question are insulated and cleared for cutting live wires.
Then there are cable cutters which are intended for use by carpenters. These can be a great choice for cutting through copper and aluminum, as is often required by both carpenters as well as electricians.
In addition, certain cable cutters are designed to be able to cut through steel. They tend to require a lot more strength than your average cable cutter, however, so it is advisable to read ahead of time to see whether a given unit is capable of this.
Finally, cable cutters are necessary for achieving quick, clean cuts through all manner of metal surfaces. This is especially necessary when it comes to a material such as aircraft cable. As such, specialized aircraft cable cutters are highly important for electricians and carpenters alike.
Finally, there is the fact that cable cutters are able to cut through strong metal materials with a greater degree of precision than most other alternatives. If you need to make incisive, accurate cuts, cable cutters are likely going to be required.
For all of these reasons, it is essential to have one or more pairs of cable cutters which can cut through copper, aluminum, steel, and electrical wires.
What’s the Best Way to Cut Steel Cable Cleanly?
The short answer here is, as established, to use the best aircraft cable cutter to get the job done.
The longer answer is to choose the right cable cutter for the job and to make sure you are applying force in such a way as to cut the metal wiring in question without ripping it.
Rough, ripping motions can cause tearing, which in turn can cause jagged edges, which can pose a safety hazard and a real headache for jobs which require clean cuts through metal wiring.
One of the most important things to take into consideration when it comes to cutting steel cleanly is the ability to lock the unit into place. You do not want the jaws to move around all over the place while cutting.
It is thus vital that you find aircraft cable cutters which are able to lock into place. Certain cable cutters are able to be locked into place by turning a nut or knob.
In addition, you are going to want to make sure that you buy cable cutters which are able to cut through steel. Cable cutters which are capable of cutting through steel will typically say that they are able to cut through galvanized materials.