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Friday, 05 August 2011 23:59

Wire Cutter Reviews and Buying Guide

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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.

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. 

Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2012 12:49
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