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Flush cutters

Knowing that not all tools are created of equal quality, I have some
inexpensive flush cutters that take a really strong squeeze to cut
even small gauge copper wire. Does this indicate that I need better
cutters or also that I need more hand strength? Do better quality
cutters make the work easier? Are better cutters sharper?

thx brenda


Check your cutters edge with a loupe to make darn sure the ‘edges’
are actually closing together. If not, you’ll be squeezing till the
’cows come home’! If there is any space you’ll get no action on the
cutting jaws.

Better spend a few dollars more on a better cutter than to have more
problems in a few weeks with a cheaper kind!

Gerry Lewy

I love the lindstroms. best on the planet, but you have to limit the
size wire you cut. these will last you a long time if properly taken
care of…


Yes, to all these questions. Even fairly cheap cutters should sail
through small copper wire. After all, you can cut it with a butter


One can make a pair of flush cutters by grinding (very carefully and
slowly so as not to loose the cutters temper) the “flat” side of the
cutters to make the whole back flat. If a picture is needed let me
know (send a direct e mail to me) but I have made these sort of
cutters for wax as well as for non ferris (soft) wire of soft ferris
wire. One side of the cut will be flat, the other is tapered as

john dach

Hi try the new cutter by Stuller it is called Tronex made in USA.
They are awesome

Hi Brenda,

I can’t answer all your questions - but you asked “are better
cutters sharper?” I would answer that by saying that sharpening your
cutter will make it better and easier to use. I don’t know what
equipment you have but someone clever will have what you need;
equipment and/or instruction as to how to sharpen the jaws and by
what means. it isn’t hard. In my shop I’d probably use my one-inch
belt sander for a start.

Follow the original angle of the bevelled edge of the cutter jaws.
Make sure to do both jaws, not just one. The edges should meet each
other, not pass each other or overlap when they are closed together,
and the cutting edges should meet along their full length

Good luck
Marty in Victoria

Hello Brenda,

An Orchid posting from years ago suggested the rather inexpensive
Radio Shack wire cutters. They do just fine - one side of the cut
wire is flat (flush) and the other is ‘V’ shaped. Of course their
useful life is determined by your care and use of the cutters.

An aside: If one has accidentally used such cutters on hard wire and
left a circular ‘dent’ in the edges, that dent might work well to put
in the little grooves that hold the tension earnut at the end of an
ear post.

Just be sure that the dent doesn’t cut too deeply and weaken the

It’s a good experiment for a pair of junk cutters.

Judy in Kansas, who just harvested the first heirloom tomato as well
as many yellow squash. Gonna’ share with the neighbors.


Yes, I would like to see your modifications on flush cutters. (One
can make a pair of flush cutters by grinding (very carefully and
slowly so as not to loose the cutters temper) the “flat” side of the
cutters to make the whole back flat. If a picture is needed let me
know (send a direct e mail to me) I tried to "email to sender’ and it
won’t work.


Well, I learned why I am having trouble and frustration cutting 16 ga
copper wire - I have been using small craft flush cutters from Sears.
My husband pointed that out to me as I have been having so much of
the wire pinched Idreaded cutting wire.

Ok, I saw that Tronex makes razor flush cutters, but I don’t make
money at this time to invest that cost. I am looking for mid range
lap joints that will cut maybe 16 ga. without being huge and bulky.
If i am cutting rivets, seems large and heavy would be cumbersome.
The razor flush would be great but I have not seen that feature on
other brands.

I guess radio shack or the hardware store are some options. Or

Xuron Maxi-Shear Flush Cutters With Retainer, $18.50 Item
Number:111277 Max. cutting capacity : 14 ga.

How do you take care of cutters? brenda

How do you take care of cutters? 

Don’t cut hard material. Don’t let them get rusty.

john dach

How do you take care of cutters? 

Primarily by using them within the range of material for which they
are designed to cut and not expecting precision or cutting capacity
beyond those design capabilities.

Without getting into tight specifics, imagine using a surgeon’s
knife to cut a log or an ax to trim your nails. Choose the right size
cutter. Expect a reasonable outcome accordingly.

J Collier