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Old 12-07-10, 11:19 AM   #1
mercator
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PBK Cable cutter

Anyone have experience with this tool? I've been using my dremel to cut cables and housing with acceptable results for a few years now, but real cable cutters have always been on my nice to have list. The price makes me wary though.

I find buying cheap tools is more expensive than buying good ones, since you usually end up paying for both of them.
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Old 12-07-10, 11:40 AM   #2
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I bet they suck. probably on par with the performance brand spin-doctors...I'd even bet they're the same ones, just different branding.

"buy once, cry once."
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Old 12-07-10, 11:56 AM   #3
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looks exactly the same as the one from nashbar.
if it is, it'll cut cables and derailer housings well, but not so for brake housings.
dremel is better for cutting brake cable housings, since the spiralled metal won't squish.

if you want one of the best cable cutters out there, then you should go for a shimano cable cutter.
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Old 12-07-10, 11:58 AM   #4
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I agree with TimeTravel_0, buy good cable cutters. They last for decades and do the job right. Shimano's cable cutters have an excellent reputation and the top-o-the-line cutters are Felcos. Expensive but worth it if you work on a lot of bikes.

I have Park's CN-4 cutters and have used them for 15 years but I'm only working on my own and a few friend's bikes. I don't know if they would hold up in daily shop use. The CN-4s work very well on inner wires and shift housing. I prefer good sidecutter pliers for spiral wound brake housing over any make cable cutters.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:06 PM   #5
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by the way, the method of keeping the brake housing from squishing, while cutting it with a cable cutter is to hold the housing in place and as straight as you can. It only squishes into an unusable shape when you allow it to bend under the force of cutting.
Still, not as clean as getting grinded, but it's good enough.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
by the way, the method of keeping the brake housing from squishing, while cutting it with a cable cutter is to hold the housing in place and as straight as you can. It only squishes into an unusable shape when you allow it to bend under the force of cutting.
Still, not as clean as getting grinded, but it's good enough.
While this probably works well with good cable cutters, as a user of a crappy Performance cutter, I get far better results when bending the housing at the point I want to cut. This spreads the coils on the housing, which means I only end up cutting one piece of the coil, and though it creates a burr, it's far easier to clean and file than when cutting straight across. With the Shimano cutters I used in the shop I worked at, this was not something I had to worry about. YMMV.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:34 PM   #7
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Yep, that is the exact same cutter as the Nashbar/Spin Doctor cutter. I ended up picking up some nice used Shimano cutters on ebay. If you are patient, you can find them pretty close to the Spin Doctor price.
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Old 12-07-10, 03:05 PM   #8
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Geeze.... I thought I was the only one who used Dremel cut off wheels for cutting brake cables and housings......
You can't really beat a Dremel for the cleanest/quickest cable and housing cuts. Stay with the Dremel if you have one.
Lucky I had the Dremel as it's been keeping me from spending 20 or more bucks for a cable and hosing cutter that might only work OK for some time.

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Old 12-07-10, 04:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the cool voice of reason folks. Impulse buys should be reserved for bikes not tools, right?
My only issue with using the dremel is that it is the only tool I feel I need eye protection for when wrenching, and I always have to go searching for a pair of glasses.
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Old 12-07-10, 05:01 PM   #10
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I recently picked up a Shimano cable cutter and I'm glad I did.

On the other hand, I buy most tools with a decade of usability in mind and quite honestly got that out of the cheap nashbar/performance clone.

Maybe I just got lucky, but I probably rebuilt/recabled the equivalent of 25 bikes before they quit giving me a clean cut.
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