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Old 08-27-11, 07:41 PM   #1
reptilezs
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best cable and housing cutters?

i really like the felco c7. good for shift and brake housing. pointy tip cuts off the pig tail on brake housing real well. only wish they had a end cap crimper. park cutters are ok they dont cut the pig tail off well. mine have chamfered tips so it doesn't bind up when the blades pass each other. makes cutting the pig tail almost impossible. dont like using diagonal cutters on brake housing. dont like shimano cutters. what do you like?
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Old 08-27-11, 08:01 PM   #2
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Given how often I need to cut housing/cables I get by well with the dremel using red cut off wheels.
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Old 08-27-11, 09:59 PM   #3
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"only wish they had a end cap crimper" I have both the Felco and the Park Tool and I don't find the Park's crimper particularly useful. I have found that by taking small bites and rotating around the end cap I can use either tool's cutting edge to make a ring-type crimp. I generally make 2 such crimps on each cap and find that they hold just fine. I still have to file the brake housing end flat after nipping off the pigtail.
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Old 08-27-11, 10:08 PM   #4
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I've used the SunTour tool for many years, but a couple years ago decided get the Park tool.

The Park tool is definitely sturdier, but as the SunTour held up well for over 20 years I don't know the significance of that.

I've heard good reports on Shimano's tool but have no personal experience.

Cable end-cap crimping is equally easy with either the SunTour or Park tools.

I use a bench grinder to finish the ends of the housing.

YMMV.
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Old 08-27-11, 11:33 PM   #5
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I have the C7, but for brake housing, I simply use diagonal cutters and face the end with a bench grinder, or my Dremel with the fiberglass-reinforced cutting wheel.
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Old 08-28-11, 04:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
"only wish they had a end cap crimper" I have both the Felco and the Park Tool and I don't find the Park's crimper particularly useful. I have found that by taking small bites and rotating around the end cap I can use either tool's cutting edge to make a ring-type crimp. I generally make 2 such crimps on each cap and find that they hold just fine. I still have to file the brake housing end flat after nipping off the pigtail.
the park end cap crimper is not great. i have had to file it a bit to make it actually work. i still use the grinder to face the ends of brake housing after i cut off the pig tail.
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Old 08-28-11, 05:09 AM   #7
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The best cable cutter?

Proably an industrial water jet.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:35 AM   #8
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The Felco is considered the world standard but for my limited use Park's older CN-4 has been very satisfactory. It cuts index shift housing and all inner wires very cleanly. I prefer to use sharp side cutter pliers on spiral wound brake housing by working the edges between two adjacent coils and then square up and smooth the cut end with a hand file. It's quick and easy enough that power equipment like a Dremel or bench grinder seem like overkill.

BTW, I find the end cap crimper to be a non-issue. I use short pieces of shrink-wrap on brake cables and crimp end caps on shift cables with needle-nose pliers even though my Park cutters have a crimper.

Last edited by HillRider; 08-28-11 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:04 AM   #9
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I have a pair of shimano cable cutter I got years ago and I love them. I have another pair whith no name that work OK but the shimano are the best.

OH I use the shimano cutters for derailleur housing but not for brake housing. for brakes I use the method of cutting around the circunfrence with a knife then bend the housing to look for the liner and cut that, then cut the steel wrapping with dykes
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Old 08-28-11, 08:19 AM   #10
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Shimano went for a U cutter, adds a housing ferrule crimp,
to work with their bundled linear wire index shifter housing
, Felco a V shaped jaw..
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Old 08-28-11, 08:59 AM   #11
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+1 on the Dremel. Actually, mine is a Black & Decker. I have various tips to use for buffing, grinding, etc. I already owned it, so I didn't have to make an investment for a special tool to use for cable and housing. For crimping, I get decent results from a very narrow pair of needlenose pliers.
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Old 08-28-11, 09:32 AM   #12
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I used to use a Dremel tool with a cut off disk. The other day I had to replace the rear brake cable on the wife's step-through frame Trek. The LBS had just gotten a SRAM cable and housing cutter with the crimper in the handle. A bit expensive but it worked very well.
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Old 08-28-11, 11:13 AM   #13
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The best all around cutter is the Felco. A Dremel doesn't do a clean job on braided housing with liners; the braiding frays, making it hard to fit a ferrule, and the liner melts causing a restriction. The liner issue can be minimized by inserting wire before cutting, but the cut is not as clean as the Felco's. I've encountered some wires that unravel when touched with the cut-off wheel. As far as a crimper feature, it is not that much more trouble to pick up pliers to apply the crimp. BTW, 10-22 gauge electrical wire pliers have crimping capability.
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Old 08-28-11, 01:14 PM   #14
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I love the Shimano cutters, but I have to agree that the end of brake housing needs some grinding afterwards.
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Old 08-28-11, 03:56 PM   #15
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After I cut a lined housing with the Dremel wheel I immediately push the point of an awl into the opening, to keep it at full diameter as it cools.
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Old 08-28-11, 04:49 PM   #16
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One thing worth noting, is the actual edition of cable cutter people recommend. Shimano and Park Tool have made several different cable cutter models over the years. So when some people praise the Shimano cable cutter and other damn it, they may in fact be talking about two completely cable cutters like the Shimano TL-CT12 Pro or the TL-CT10.

I use the Park Tool CN-10 cable cutter. It is good enough that I don't care for buying another brand of cable cutter. To get a good clean cut of the cable housing, I hold it two-handed, legs apart, like holding a samurai sword, and after a short zen-pause I close my eyes and scream "Haiii!" and press the cable cutter together with everything I got; bits and pieces flies everywhere, but the cutting is nicely sharp and clean.

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Old 08-28-11, 04:56 PM   #17
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Given how often I need to cut housing/cables I get by well with the dremel using red cut off wheels.
whoa! super idea! fortunately i have a dremel.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:11 PM   #18
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whoa! super idea! fortunately i have a dremel.
A Dremel will indeed cut cables and housing very cleanly but tends to generate a lot of heat doing so and that can melt the plastic coveting and/or liner if you don't work slowly enough. Feed the parts slowly and have a cup of cold water near by to dip the cut end into. Also, use an awl or thin nail to reshape the liner after cutting.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:34 PM   #19
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One thing worth noting, is the actual edition of cable cutter people recommend. Shimano and Park Tool have made several different cable cutter models over the years. So when some people praise the Shimano cable cutter and other damn it, they may in fact be talking about two completely cable cutters like the Shimano TL-CT12 Pro or the TL-CT10.
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Good point ! And I like the TL-CT10.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:42 PM   #20
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One thing worth noting, is the actual edition of cable cutter people recommend. Shimano and Park Tool have made several different cable cutter models over the years. So when some people praise the Shimano cable cutter and other damn it, they may in fact be talking about two completely cable cutters like the Shimano TL-CT12 Pro or the TL-CT10.

I use the Park Tool CN-10 cable cutter. It is good enough that I don't care for buying another brand of cable cutter. To get a good clean cut of the cable housing, I hold it two-handed, legs apart, like holding a samurai sword, and after a short zen-pause I close my eyes and scream "Haiii!" and press the cable cutter together with everything I got; bits and pieces flies everywhere, but the cutting is nicely sharp and clean.

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was not impressed with the shimano blue and grey handle ones that people like. the ones i have used(several) i have not been impressed with. they are owned by the shop so they have probably been severely abused. the park cn10 is really clunky, i may try to regrind the tip a little bit for more pointy action
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Old 08-28-11, 10:00 PM   #21
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Never tried the others but own the Felcos
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Old 08-29-11, 02:31 AM   #22
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A Dremel doesn't do a clean job on braided housing with liners; the braiding frays, making it hard to fit a ferrule, and the liner melts causing a restriction...
...I've encountered some wires that unravel when touched with the cut-off wheel.
And any sort of shears or what have you threaten to crush the housing...

Cutting this stuff is problematic. I was half-serious about the water jet... if I had access to one, it'd be the tool for the job IMO.
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