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. 187-8343
Mfr. Part No.77 22 115
BrandKnipex
$96.07
Each
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
New
RS Stock No. 221-3196
Mfr. Part No.564-R
BrandSAM
$106.25
Each
units
564-R Yes Diagonal Electronic Cutter 112 mm 15mm - Yes - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 136-7481
Mfr. Part No.74 06 200 T
BrandKnipex
$143.17
Each
units
- - Side Cutter - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 687-9912
Mfr. Part No.527V-200
BrandBahco
$117.64
Each
units
- - End Cutters 200 mm - - - - - 2.5mm - - -
New
RS Stock No. 221-3186
Mfr. Part No.551-T
BrandSAM
$107.16
Each
units
- No Axial 130 mm 20mm No - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 136-7491
Mfr. Part No.95 16 165 T
BrandKnipex
$149.75
Each
units
- - Flush Cutters 165 mm - Yes - - - 15.0mm - - -
New
RS Stock No. 221-3166
Mfr. Part No.542-S
BrandSAM
$104.60
Each
units
- - Semi-Rase 105 mm 9mm No - - - - - - -
New
RS Stock No. 221-2723
Mfr. Part No.Z-233-16P
BrandSAM
$118.34
Each
units
Z-233-16P - Insulated Diagonal Cutters 165 mm 16mm Yes - - Chrome Vanadium Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 123-0200
Mfr. Part No.1950510
BrandIrwin
$97.94
Each
units
- - End Cutters 200 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6970
BrandRS PRO
$119.18
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
21-185 - Diagonal Cutters 180 mm - Yes - - - 3.5mm - - -
RS Stock No. 442-5784
Mfr. Part No.599FO
$392.45
Each
units
- - Side Cutters 115 mm - - - Yes Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 104-5076
Mfr. Part No.T3750 145
BrandCK
$54.43
Each
units
- - - 145 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 239-4026
Mfr. Part No.593AE
$158.53
Each
units
- - Tip Cutters 115 mm - - - Yes - 1.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 188-3892
Mfr. Part No.417.PMT
BrandFacom
$112.01
Each
units
- - Tip Cutters 110 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 161-007
BrandRS PRO
$59.34
Each
units
- - Diagonal Cutters 115 mm - - - - - 1.6mm - - -
RS Stock No. 132-5284
Mfr. Part No.T3963
BrandCK
$71.66
Each
units
- - Diagonal Cutters 210 mm - - - - - 11.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 245-0283
Mfr. Part No.595E
$134.96
Each
units
- - Side Cutters 115 mm - - - Yes - 1.3mm - - -
RS Stock No. 190-6722
Mfr. Part No.RX8237
BrandLindstrom
$387.16
Each
units
- - Tip Cutters 144 mm - - - Yes - 0.65mm - - -
RS Stock No. 190-6733
Mfr. Part No.7285
BrandLindstrom
$198.40
Each
units
- - Angle Cutters 120 mm - - - Yes - 1.0mm - - -
New
RS Stock No. 221-4945
Mfr. Part No.234-R16G
BrandSAM
$65.76
Each
units
234-R16G - Electrician's Diagonal Cutters 160 mm 18mm No - - Chrome Vanadium Steel - - - -