In this guide we’ll look at the best wire cutters.
We’ve compared construction material, protection, additional features and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Wire Cutter?
More Detailed Wire Cutter Reviews
C.K 431008 160mm RedLine VDE Combicutter3 Review
German tool brand C.K pride themselves on the highest manufacturing standards, and their own RedLine VDE Combicutter3 are the best wire cutters on the market right now. They’re light, comfortable and durable.
The wire and cable cutters are packed with clever features such as two different gauge wire strippers and a wire bending anvil. It’s probably the last pair of pliers an electrician will ever need on site. Plus it’s rated to protect the user from up to 1,000 Volts of AC, so your safety is guaranteed.
Our favourite feature that set these wire snips apart as the best wire cutter tool on this list, are the included screw shears. When changing plugs or switches, you can feed in two different sizes of electrician’s screw into the hole above the handle and cut it off neatly, without damaging the thread.
C.K 3963 210mm Cable Cutter Review
Another entry on this list from the best wire cutter tool brand in the business, CK, is the C.K 3963. The Carl Kammerling line of tools are respected by DIYers and professionals around the world for functional, well-engineered hand tools.
C.K. cable cutters are specially designed for cutting aluminium and copper wires, and the razor-sharp blades are precision ground to make light work of cable cutting and stripping jobs, and leave a supremely clean edge to insulation and cores.
We really like the fact that these cable cutters are long enough to apply much force to the cutting blades, but are small enough for one-handed comfortable use.
Bahco 2233D-160 160mm H/Duty Wire Stripper Review
Bahco are a premium Swedish tool brand, who make a range of well-made and reliable hand tools for electricians, plumbers and carpenters, as well as serious DIYers. We tried out their 2233D-160 H/Duty Wire Stripper and really liked the light and accurate design.
They’re not as big as some of the best heavy duty wire cutters out there, but these Bahco wire cutters still pack a punch when it comes to cutting wires up to 5 mm in diameter. The classic Bahco orange grips are comfortable and non-slip, and the return spring makes it easy to use one-handed.
We really like the specially shaped blades. They have several cutting positions – straight for cutting through insulation and cores, as well as two different sized recesses for stripping different gauges of wire.
Draper Expert 57768 190 mm Wire Rope and Wire Cutters Review
Draper are one of the most recognisable UK tool brands, and their hand tools are trusted by DIYers and professionals alike. The Expert 57768 wire cutters that we tried out felt solid, and the vinyl handles helped keep a firm grip when dealing with thick gauge coated wires.
Even though they don’t include dedicated wire strippers, the spring-loaded handles and aggressive cutting design make these the best heavy duty wire cutters on this list. They’re rated for cutting up to 5 mm wire rope and 1.5 mm wire.
Our favourite feature is the design itself. The small cutting head is specifically designed for neatly cutting bicycle brake cables that easily fray. These handy heavy duty wire cutters leave a nice finish in wire rope, so they’re the best wire cutters for bike mechanics.
Draper Redline 67988 160mm Diagonal Side Cutter Review
The Redline series of tools from Draper are budget friendly but still fully guaranteed, and their diagonal side cutters do exactly what they say on the tin.
The induction hardened carbon steel blades come together neatly to cut wires and strip the casing off of them with a little bit of practice, and the soft grip handles feel sturdy, if not quite as soft as we would hope.
For the price, these have to be the best budget wire cutter pliers we’ve tested. They work exactly as you need them to, and offer the ideal balance between quality and affordability.
Wire Cutter Buyer’s Guide
Cutting and stripping wires are two unavoidable jobs for electricians, so having the best wire cutters available will save time, effort and ensure a quality finish every time.
How do you strip wires?
Wires might look similar from the outside, but they come in a wide range of constructions with different cores and coatings.
To successfully strip a wire, you need a wire stripping tool like the excellent C.K 3963 wire stripping tool. Once you have measured the gauge of the wire, you line it up with the notch in the blades and cut into the insulation. If you’ve measured correctly, the insulation should slip off, and the core will be exposed without damage.
Can I sharpen my wire cutters?
Like any edged tool, keeping it sharp is critical for ease of use and safety. You don’t need any particularly special tools to keep a sharp edge on your best wire cutter pliers either.
Before attempting any sharpening operation, take a very close look at the cutting edges. If you want to maintain a good cutting edge, you’ll have to follow the grind on the blade.
Don’t forget that if you take material away from one side, you’ll need to remove it from the other so that the blade edges meet when closed.
Clamp your pliers securely in a bench vice, and using a flat hand-file, gently rub the cutting edge using smooth strokes. Check after every few strokes that you’re keeping to the same grind, and remember that it’s easy to take material away but impossible to replace it!
After testing out five of the best wire cutter pliers available on the UK market, we decided that the best of the bunch is the C.K Tools RedLine Combicutter3 wire cutter. The combination of excellent quality steel, VDE electrical Voltage protection and clever features really make this heavy duty wire cutters a cut above the rest(!) They should last a lifetime of good service.