Using a slitting saw in a handpiece without the shield and coil
holder of a jump ring maker sounds like a very bad idea. Please
think really, really hard before trying this about how you could do
it safely. I can’t think of a way.
I’ve made a lot of jump rings and, near as I can tell, you just
can’t get around the two basic options: cut 'em by hand with a
jeweler’s saw (off a dowel, from a taped coil, or whatever) or use a
jump ring maker (Koil Kutter, Jump Ringer, PEPE jump ring maker, or
whatever). Trade off is equipment cost vs. production rate. My Koil
Kutter and Jump Ringer are set up at all times and get a lot of use.
My (limited) experience with the PEPE product was not so happy.
I think it would be virtually impossible to get clean, square cuts
on rings for chain making using a separating disc. I know for
certain it would be impossible for me.
Comments on the original topic: use a sharp blade and LOTS of
I buy the slitting blades in bulk and during use, I pay careful
attention to the force required to move the blade through the cut.
As soon as it starts to rise, out goes the blade.
For cutting fluid, I use Tapmatic Natural (made from soybeans, not
dead dinosaurs). I put the coil in the holder and squirt a healthy
dose all the way along the slot with a small needle-tipped bottle
(like those used to dispense flux or potters glazes or acrylic
cement). The more you use, the longer the blade will stay sharp.
One last comment: As was mentioned before (by Ray?), using half-hard
wire will generally produce fewer burrs, all other things being
equal. But, cutting the harder wire reduces blade life and my
students find thick, half-hard wire difficult to work with. I use
dead soft for anything 18ga and thicker and by using sharp blades I
have no problems getting clean cuts.