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Old 05-14-08, 10:37 AM   #1
pothound
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cable cutter

hi
when i use my electrician pliers to cut my cables they have a tendency to fray.
is there a mdest price cable cutter that i should consider buying?
thanks in advance
pothound
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Old 05-14-08, 10:49 AM   #2
jsharr
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Depends on your definition of modest. I use these on sailboat rigging and bicycle cables. Around $20-25

They will go through calbe easily and I cut housing with them, but have to use a small drill bit of the appropriate size to open the housing back up after cutting.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:02 AM   #3
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I've been using Shimano cable cutters for around 10 years with good results. I'd previously had some bad experiences using park cable cutters. YMMV.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:04 AM   #4
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windecopower

Hi

The solution is to tin the tip of the cable or the bit you want to cut first, if you have a soldering iron, some solder and most important flux, wipe the area you want to cut with flux and apply soldering iron then solder the solder should run into the cable strands, when it cools it will be like cutting a single piece of wire, and the ends will not fray

Regards Stuart 8-)
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Old 05-14-08, 11:14 AM   #5
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I've been using Shimano cable cutters for around 10 years with good results. I'd previously had some bad experiences using park cable cutters. YMMV.
+1 Shimano cutters
-1 Park (they loosen up after a while, cables don't cut all the way when the cutter gets older, don't last nearly as long, worse ergos)

I have mine from probably 12-14 years ago, maybe more. I used it at the shop for many years so it cut a lot of cables, housings, and zip ties for a few years, then got reduced to cutting maybe 2-4 cables a year, if that. It's definitely at a "pro" level as far as tools go. Good ergonomics, easy to cut. We wore two out at the shop over 9 years of pretty busy work, and I suspect both of them were ruined by cutting spokes (which you should NOT do with cable cutters) because their performance went from 99% to 1% in a matter of days.

Buy it once and it'll work on the standard cables forever. As long as you don't lose it it'll out last you. Put it in your will.

cdr
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Old 05-14-08, 11:15 AM   #6
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Dremel type "whirly" tools work pretty well. I use the LIFU/Performance one atm. It was cheap and ok. I'll probably order the Shimano or Felco tool at some point though.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by pothound View Post
hi
when i use my electrician pliers to cut my cables they have a tendency to fray.
is there a mdest price cable cutter that i should consider buying?
thanks in advance
pothound
I have a set of Pedros cable cutters I found at a second hand sale and they are excellent tools, but I believe cost $20-30 new.

A friend just showed me a set of cable cutters he bought at True Value Hardware. I believe they were in the ~$10 range. The cutting part physically looks just like my bicycle-specific cable cutter - samed type of action and cutting surface. Of course the handles are differnt, but all in all the tool looks good to me. Check that out.

Twisted wire cables are twisted wire cables, I don't think there's anything magical about bicycle cables. I'd look at a regular hardware store or Sears and see if you find one that works.

My Pedros cutter cuts housing pretty well, but so far, I've had better luck with using my Dremel tool with a cutting blade. Even with that though I have to ream out the end with a small drill bit.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:23 PM   #8
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side cut electricians pliers, sure clean cut.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:28 PM   #9
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Silver solder first the area and wire cutters work great.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:04 AM   #10
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I tried to get along without real bicycle cable cutters for years. I used a bunch of different wire cutters I had in my workshop. The cables always frayed. It was fine; I could still ride my bike.

Then I finally bought some inexpensive Nashbar cable cutters. What a difference! Now my cables always cut off perfectly. I even bought some of those little crimp-on thingies that go on the cut ends of cables to clean them up - a bottle for brake cables and a bottle for derailleur cables (also from Nashbar.) Now my cable ends are always clean and spiffy. It looks like a real bike mechanic did it.

My advice is to get some "real" cable cutters, not mess with solder.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:06 AM   #11
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i bought a $10 pair of cable cutters that work great at Michael's Art Supply and Framing store in the necklace/bead section. I sometimes crimp old spoke nipples to the ends of my cables to keep them from fraying - when I can't find the correct cable end thingies.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:05 AM   #12
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I used electricians pliers and other tools (including a BX cable cutter) with mixed results. I recently bought a Park cutter, and out of the box it was pretty bad. With some fiddling of the adjusting screw it now cuts very cleanly, but is a bit tight (will not open on its own any more - too tight for the spring). If it is set to spring open, it crimps rather than cuts.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:29 AM   #13
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My Park CN-4 cable cutter has been very satisfactory but it's only used for my own bikes and the family/friends bikes I work on so it's not been subject to daily shop use. I use it for shift housing and both brake and shift inner wires. I prefer to use good side cutter pliers to cut spiral wound brake housing and I file the ends flat and smooth after cutting.
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Old 05-16-08, 03:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pothound View Post
hi
when i use my electrician pliers to cut my cables they have a tendency to fray.
is there a mdest price cable cutter that i should consider buying?
thanks in advance
I get good results with my Electricians Pliers. The trick for me is to grip the wire in the jaws, set it on a hard surface (floor) and then whack the jaws with a hammer. Nice, clean cut.
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Old 05-17-08, 08:09 AM   #15
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I have used many cutters. Dremel disk is the best, both for cutting cable and housing.
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