Cutters

Cutters are handheld tools designed for cutting a variety different materials, such as wires, and other smaller objects potentially too small to be worked on by hand. Typically consisting of two levers connected closer to one end by a fulcrum, with the shorter end forming the jaw, cutters come in a variety of types and sizes. The three basic types are locking, adjustable and non-adjustable.

In order to ensure user comfort, most models of cutters will have insulated handles, allowing you to be protected whilst working and providing a firm and comfortable grip. In addition to standard insulation or cushioning, some cutters will be VDE-insulated to protect the user when working with electrical equipment.

What are cutters used for?

While the name may be fairly clear, some variations of cutters can also be used to perform other actions. For example, linesmans cutters also have a small flat section along the jaw for gripping objects as well as their cutting surface. The application will dictate which is the best type of cutter for you to use.

Types of Cutters

Used by professionals and DIYers alike to cut wires effectively, there are many types of cutters designed for specific applications:

  • Diagonal cutters, also known as side cutters or side cutter pliers, are ideal for gripping, splicing or cutting wires, as well as stripping wire insulation. They cut by indenting and wedging the wire apart and give a cleaner cut than using a knife or scissors.
  • End cutters are also known as nippers and are used to cut through wire, springs, nails, bolts and rivets. They have an almost flat-bladed head, which allows for a cut close against the surface without digging into it.
  • Wire rope cutters are used for the clean shearing of wire rope without fanning. The jaws pull the wire rope into them and trap the cable before performing a clean cut.
  • Snipe nose or needle nose cutters are designed to hold fine objects and cut them cleanly without applying pressure to the wider area, which larger cutters may do and cause damage.
  • Cable cutters or wire cutters are most commonly used in electrical applications and are designed specifically to be used with cables and wires. While most have some form of covered handle for user comfort, it is important not to confuse plastic or rubber coatings with electrical insulation.
  • Linesmans cutters are popular in communications and electrical tasks. They have a short gripping surface toward the tip of the jaw, and a cutting surface extends back to the fulcrum. They are ideal for cutting leads or stripping insulation.

For more information on cutters, cutter types and best practices, read our comprehensive guide here.


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Description Price Model Number Non Sparking Type Overall Length Jaw Length VDE/1000V Approved Height Safe ESD Safe Material Maximum Cutting Capacity Cutting Capacity Copper Wire Cutting Capacity Ductile Wire Cutting Capacity Iron Wire
RS Stock No. 864-0772
BrandRS PRO
$22.87
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 114 mm 7.0mm - - Yes HCS - - - -
RS Stock No. 606-490
BrandRS PRO
$40.87
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 138 mm - - - - - 1.3mm 1.3mm - -
RS Stock No. 415-3833
Mfr. Part No.68 01 200 SB
BrandKnipex
$47.49
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 536-329
BrandRS PRO
$22.97
Each
units
- - Side Cutters 110 mm - - - - - 1.2mm - - -
RS Stock No. 158-5726
Mfr. Part No.78 03 125
BrandKnipex
$94.20
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 536-420
BrandRS PRO
$10.75
Each
units
- - Diagonal Cutters 110 mm - - - - - 1.2mm - - -
RS Stock No. 864-0805
BrandRS PRO
$27.38
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 127 mm - - - Yes HCS - - - -
RS Stock No. 158-5776
Mfr. Part No.78 71 125
BrandKnipex
$70.39
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 847-3784
BrandRS PRO
$33.45
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 114 mm - - - - Chrome Vanadium Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 847-3780
BrandRS PRO
$33.45
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 114 mm - - - - Chrome Vanadium Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 727-6746
Mfr. Part No.95 11 165
BrandKnipex
$72.66
Each
units
- - Cable Shears 165 mm - - - - - 15.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 245-0491
BrandRS PRO
$57.40
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 138 mm - - - Yes - 1.3mm - - -
RS Stock No. 603-457
Mfr. Part No.8141
BrandLindstrom
$132.44
Each
units
- - Diagonal Cutters 110 mm - - - Yes - 1.2mm - - -
RS Stock No. 158-5760
Mfr. Part No.78 61 125
BrandKnipex
$88.07
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 541-6898
BrandRS PRO
$481.54
Each
units
- - Ratchet Cable Cutter 250 mm - - - - - 240.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 254-232
Mfr. Part No.2233D 160
BrandBahco
$77.16
Each
units
- - - 160 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 763-8166
Mfr. Part No.73 06 160
BrandKnipex
$107.05
Each
units
- - Diagonal 160 mm - Yes - - Chrome Vanadium Steel 12.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 601-0665
Mfr. Part No.62 12 120
BrandKnipex
$77.38
Each
units
- - Electronics Diagonal Cutters 120 mm 10.0mm - - - Steel 1.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 864-0785
BrandRS PRO
$24.79
Each
units
- - Electronic Cutters 127 mm 8.0mm - - Yes HCS - - - -
RS Stock No. 614-766
Mfr. Part No.8160
BrandLindstrom
$163.53
Each
units
- - Diagonal Cutters 125 mm - - - Yes - 2.0mm - - -