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Old 08-03-07, 08:03 AM   #1
slyjackson
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Cable Housing Cutting Question.

What do you perfer to cut your cable housing with, a wire cutter for steel wires and cables or tubing cutter? I've been looking at a "Mini Heavy duty" tubing cutter at sears that is used to cut steel brake line.

If it works It should provide a clean cut without the need to file, bend and clip ends of the cable housing after cutting it. I could be wrong however since I've never tried using one to do this. What do you guys think?
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Old 08-03-07, 08:07 AM   #2
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I cut with my bike tool and grind to finish. Takes 2 minutes and never had a problem.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:09 AM   #3
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I use a chanellock cable cutter. Nice and clean cut without fraying on the cable. Works fine on housing as well, and it's cheaper than the dedicated parktool cutter. Finish with a touch of glue to prevent future fraying.

Any good quality cutter will work. Stay away from the cheap Chinese tools, they are crappy. Can't cut without fraying the cable.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:21 AM   #4
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I use a dremel myself. Quick and painless.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:49 AM   #5
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I use a dremel myself. Quick and painless.
Agreed. Cutting cable housing with a Dremel tool is quick, very clean and doesn't distort the housing. The resulting cut needs very little dressing.

A tubing cutter won't work at all well on cables of cable housing as it requires considerable pressure to achieve which will distort and fray the cables and mash the housing. Tubing cutters require a rigid surface to cut properly.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:59 AM   #6
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+1 on Dremel. Nice clean cut -- especially on Kevlar housing like Avid Flak Jacket which I have had a lot of trouble cutting cleanly with conventional cutters. Slip in a piece of old cable before cutting so as not to crush the inner housing.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:39 AM   #7
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+1 on Dremel. Nice clean cut -- especially on Kevlar housing like Avid Flak Jacket which I have had a lot of trouble cutting cleanly with conventional cutters. Slip in a piece of old cable before cutting so as not to crush the inner housing.
A dremel tool it is, I'm on my way to sears now to grab one. I always wanted a Dremel, now I have the need and the reason to buy one. Anything I need to know about the getting some special type of cutting discs to do the housing cut?

Thanks all
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Old 08-03-07, 11:42 AM   #8
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I bought the newer Park cable cutter. A lot beefer than the old design. Does well on the stranded shifter cable, but still mashes the spiral brake cable. I still have to trim it with my Dremel tool which always provides the cleanest cut.

Al
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Old 08-03-07, 07:21 PM   #9
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I have Park and Wrench force cable cutters, but I still prefer to use these on housings:

http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brand...c=037103580122
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Old 08-03-07, 07:37 PM   #10
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The best cable cutters are the Shimano ones. They are the one god himself uses.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:08 PM   #11
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+1 for the dremel.
Works great every time.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:03 PM   #12
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A dremel tool it is, I'm on my way to sears now to grab one. I always wanted a Dremel, now I have the need and the reason to buy one. Anything I need to know about the getting some special type of cutting discs to do the housing cut?

Thanks all
You should be able to find a diamond cutting wheel that cuts like a hot knife though butter.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:43 PM   #13
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pedro's cable cutter. similar design to the felcos. i haven't had to use the grinder to finish off a housing cut in a while. if you take the time to line up the blades with the gaps between the spirals, it cuts very clean. sometimes i'll use dikes to clean the cut up a little if needed. a dremel is a little excessive and would take me much longer to set it up to cut, than it does to reach into my apron pocket for my cutters.

for finishing the cable itself, nothing beats a soldering iron for nerdy attention to detail points. it works better than glue because you just melt the ends of the cable together. glue can flake off and still allow the cable to fray. i just use a cable tip. spicy road tips for derailleur; and hot mountain tips for brake.
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Old 08-04-07, 08:57 PM   #14
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For linear housing on shifter cables, I use a dremel. For spiral brake housing, which is also the same thing as friction shifter housing, I use a simple side cutter. Looks like a small pair of pliers, with a rounded point set at an angle. I squeeze lightly at first, which separates the spiral on one side. Then a firm squeeze makes the final cut. With a little practice, it's a perfect cut every time. Every once in a while, there will be a small piece of spiral piece sticking out in the way, but that can be easily snipped off. Best part is not spending $30 on a housing cutter, and buying yet another vintage bike with the savings,,,,BD
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Old 08-04-07, 09:40 PM   #15
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Dremel sounds a bit slow to me. Dremel Users: Shop or home?
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Old 08-04-07, 10:01 PM   #16
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Any good cable cutter works pretty well. I save old brake and shifting cables and place them inside the cable housing when I cut the cable and rarely get the burr from the housing alone.
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Old 08-04-07, 11:32 PM   #17
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Dremel sounds a bit slow to me. Dremel Users: Shop or home?
I use Park cutters at the shop. Too many cables to cut to use a slow Dremel (although I have one there), but you do get good at the "old fashioned" method after a few hundred jobs.
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Old 08-04-07, 11:52 PM   #18
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I use a parks cable cutter at the shop and a dremel at home. As long as you un-mash the inner liner and the cut is straight you should never have a problem from your cables.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:24 AM   #19
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I use the Shimano Cutters at the Shop, and at home I either use my older Park or a my Dremel with a cut wheel on it. With the Dremel Tool, it takes longer to find it, get it chucked up and ready than it does to cut the housing.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:49 AM   #20
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For those of you using a Dremel...how do you deal with the heat melting the outer jacket? I find that when I've tried the Dremel (either for cutting or just the final grinding/finishing), about 1 cm of the plastic coating heats and permanently expands away from the metal shell, making it nearly impossible to slip it into a ferrule. Trimming it off altogether sometimes leaves the fit too loose on the ferrule. Maybe a dab of super glue or shoe goo is the answer? I do try to do the cut quickly so as not to generate too much heat, but it doesn't seem to help.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:19 AM   #21
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Maybe try and do it in 2-3 goes instead of one, that will reduce the heat output on the housing. I use cable cutters, my dad is an ex electrician so I have lots on hand .
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Old 08-05-07, 09:56 AM   #22
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For those of you using a Dremel...how do you deal with the heat melting the outer jacket? I find that when I've tried the Dremel (either for cutting or just the final grinding/finishing), about 1 cm of the plastic coating heats and permanently expands away from the metal shell, making it nearly impossible to slip it into a ferrule. Trimming it off altogether sometimes leaves the fit too loose on the ferrule. Maybe a dab of super glue or shoe goo is the answer? I do try to do the cut quickly so as not to generate too much heat, but it doesn't seem to help.
I completely agree. Dremels are soooo hot...Sometimes a mood strikes me and I use a grinding wheel instead. But either is frought with danger...A virgin teflon liner may be exposed, to soon, to the heat and expand, closing it forever.

When I really want to cut some cable I use a set of Park cable cutters. I keep them sharp and don't degrade them by using them to cut lowly, common spokes!!!!

My housing of preference is Campagnolo which is stiffer and much more satisfying than wimpy Shimano housing.

A firm, manly hand will make a quick, clean cut of the housing. I then take the pointy end of a spoke (which I have ground down to make a pointy end) and use it to gently open the pinched teflon bud at the cut I have just made opening the liner nicely and permitting easy and swift penetration by the anxious cable.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:31 AM   #23
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Bob...I think you need to get laid...
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Old 08-05-07, 10:52 AM   #24
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Negative Ion Plasma Cutter set no higher that 2300 electron volts. The only way to go. Fortunately, they have one at work. bk
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Old 08-05-07, 06:20 PM   #25
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Bob...I think you need to get laid...
Ya think?
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