Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tool Love- Which cutters to use

I got a new pair of wire cutters today. I am HARD on tools (I break steel pliers with my bare hands) so I am replacing them every couple of years. As time has gone on, I buy more and better quality tools that will last longer. Currently I have 6 pairs of cutters now, 2 pair really need to go into the trash, 2 pair need to be replaced.

My new cutters are Lindstrom 8155, they are superflush cutters that cut heavier gauge wire. I wanted these for rivet wire, so I wouldn't have to file down the little nib left by flush cutters.
I thought maybe not everyone knows there are different types of wire cutters and would like to know what the differences are and why I am being a tool junkie about them. There are basically three types of cuts and everyone has a slightly different name for them - Semi-Flush, Flush and Super Flush (sometimes marked micro flush or razor flush). Photos courtesy of Lindstrom Tools.
The differences are:
Semi Flush Cutters: leave both cut edges have a slight bevel which produces cuts with a small pinch on the tip of the cut wire. These are the longest lasting and good for everyday wire cutting use.

Flush Cutters: Cutting edges have a minimum bevel, which produces cuts with a very small pinch. The little nip of metal is smaller and narrower than Semi Flush Cutters. This is the cutters most often recommended for jewelry work.

Super Flush: The cutting edges have no bevel, which produces cuts with no pinch on the tip of the cut wire-they are completely flat. Of course these have a shorter cutting life and require more care. They will damage easily if you cut wire thicker than what they are specified for. These are great for cutting wire for rivetting or possibly doing fused wire (which I haven't done successfully yet....)
I'm a big believer in buy the best you can afford at the time and get high quality as you go along. When you buy expensive pliers like Lindstrom and Swanstrom-they are an investment in your business. AND both companies do offer reconditioning services-so if you don't destroy them like I do, you can have them last for years.

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