Updated: November 2017

Wire Cutter Reviews:

For those who work with cables and wires, wire cutters and snippers, wire crimpers, and wire strippers are indispensible tools of the trade. When you are dealing with delicate wires or those that will impact the entire functioning of an electrical system, you need tools that are strong enough to do the job but careful enough to make precise cuts. This is essential whether you're working on cars, wiring in homes or buildings, or whether you're making fine jewelry. How do you choose the wire cutting tools that are right for you needs? This guide will look at top brands and what you can expect to pay for the crimping tools, wire cutters, and wire strippers you want.
wire cutters

Using Wire Clippers, Wire Crimpers, and Wire Strippers - Each of these tools has its own purpose. Wire clippers are, surprise!, used to cut wires. They may also be called diagonal pliers, and they are shaped very much like this other common tool. Instead of a gripping edge, however, they have a cutting edge. For electricians and mechanics, wire cutters are essential tools for splicing wires, removing and repairing wires, installing electrical devices, like stereos or lighting, and much more. They are also very often used by jewelers to cut wire used in earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. Besides size, measured according to the metal's gauge, there are also different types of edges. Heavy gauge wire cutters, for instance, typically leave a rough edge because it doesn't matter how they look. But jewelry wire cutters must be much finer. Often, jewelers will choose a flush, ultra flush, or beveled edge cutting tool, which leaves less of an edge and produces a clean, smooth look that is important in jewelry. Electricians, mechanics, and carpenters should look for wire cutters with insulated handles to protect against shock. You will also want a contoured or rounded grip so you can work with it for long periods of time. If you are going to be both cutting and stripping wires, you can find a tool that does both, and has multiple settings for different gauges of wire. You can also find tools that cut, strip, and crimp. The key is to know what you need to do your job and get the tool that offers you the most convenience and versatility. Universal tools featuring wire cutters and crimpers are very common. However, those doing serious wiring work may want a dedicated crimping tool because it is more comfortable to handle. These are used to crimp electrical connections, which is a solderless connection that makes the wires secure. A good crimping tool ensures that they really are secure. Again, there are different sizes appropriate to different jobs, so gauge will be crucial. Wire strippers take (or strip) the insulation off wires. Manual wire strippers work when the wire is placed in the center and the tool is rotated. This cuts the insulation without cutting into the wire and allows you to easily pull off the coating, leaving the wire exposed. Wire strippers have holes which correspond to the gauge of the wire and are useful for mid-range wires. You will find wire strippers on wire cutting tools. Professionals often have heavy-duty, dedicated wire tools, but for home owners, a universal wire cutter, crimper, and stripper will do most jobs around the house. This is what we will focus on with this guide.

Choosing Your Wire Cutters, Wire Crimpers, and Wire Strippers - When you are looking for wire tools, whether dedicated or universal, try to get the best quality you can afford. This extends the life of your tool and ensures that you will get the best results. Top brands include Craftsman, Irwin, Channellock, Klein, and Paladin. You can browse the best selling wire cutters and strippers here.

Best Wire Cutters:

Craftsman is an everyman's type of tool maker. They are easily accessible tools, and they are usually priced for budget-conscious consumers. Their Wire Cutter-Stripper and Crimper Pliers receive consistent reviews from sources like Sears, Amazon, Milo, Epinions, Buzzillions, and other consumer sites. No, they are not generally regarded as the best, but neither are they the most expensive or least well-made. They are solid tools that will serve the homeowner well. The Wire Cutter-Stripper and Crimper Pliers feature 6 precision ground stripper stations for insulation from 10-22 AWG stranded and solid wire, long curved cutter, anvil cutter on nose for tight spaces, crimps 10-22 AMG-insulated and non-insulated wire connectors and crimps 7-8 mm auto ignition wire, 5 bolt cutting and sizing stations, anti-slip sealed air pocket grips for comfort and safety, rust- and corrosion-resistant black oxide finish. It carries a lifetime warranty. A Sears customer sums it up best, saying they are, "basic wire strippers, nothing more, nothing less." You can find them for under $25 at stores like Sears (http://www.sears.com). Another popular option is the Channellock 908 Wiring Tool. This streamlined tool is 8.5 inches in length and weights just over 7 ounces. It can cut, strip, and crimp. The wire stripper can handle AWG wire sizes 10-22 and mm wire sizes .80, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6, 2.0, and 2.6. The holes are cut with precision to ensure that only the insulation is cut. The Channellock also cuts machine bolt sizes 4-40, 5-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, and 10-24 without damaging the threads, crimps insulated and non-insulated connections, and features scissor-type, precision-ground and heat-treated blades, comfort grips, and a lifetime warranty. These are just under $17 and review very well with consumers, who appreciate the quality and versatility. One more choice to consider is the Irwin 2078305 Vise-Grip 5-Inch Wire Stripper and Cutter. Another popular model with homeowners, the compact 5-inch wire cutter/stripper features a selection dial for 10 to 24 AWG wires, pre-sharpened blade, textured grips that make handling comfortable, and a visible blue handle. The best aspect of this set of wire cutters is that the selection dial keeps you from cutting through wire when you are trying to strip it. Another great feature is the price. The Irwin wire cutter/stripper is under $10. Be aware, though, that this model doesn't crimp. If you'll need that option, go with one of the other models. There is a wide variety of wire cutters, crimpers, and strippers available, and many of them are very affordable. For homeowners and DIYers, a universal pair of cutting pliers will come in handy more often than you'd think. View top rated wire cutters here and get to work on your projects.