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  1. #1
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    What kind of wire cutters for brake cables?

    Upon attempting to replace my rear brake cable, I realized that I have no decent pair of wire cutters. I have some things that kind of look like tin snips, and I have the little sharp inner part on the inside of a pair of needle-nose pliers. Both things succeeded only at mashing the cable around and making it even harder to work with. SOOOOOOOOO........

    I'm stoppin' by Home Depot after work tomorrow, what should I get??

  2. #2
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    You need cable cutters - wire cutters will mash the cable like you found out.

    Cable cutters have a "V" notch that cradles the cable.

  3. #3
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    channellock 338. use wire rope cutters(felco c7 or similar) for derailer housing

  4. #4
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    Here's a way to simulate what cable cutters look and work like. Make 2 "L"s with the thumbs and forefingers of each hand. Now pass one over the other to form a diamond which shrinks to zero as they pass.

    That's what makes a cable cutter. The shrinking diamond shape as the jaws pass each other trap the multi-strand wire holding it together until it's cut by the shearing action. This is different than a solid wire cutter which would tend to crush the wire before cutting it, most likely causing some fraying.

    You can spend anywhere from $15 to $65.00 or more for quality cable cutters. For recreational users probably the best value is the JagWire or Shimano cutters which are really the same under different brands.

    BTW- cheap self promotion warning. I still have a few JagWire cable cutters in stock. Cost would be $16.75 including postage delivered within the USA if anybody is interested.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 02-12-12 at 05:59 PM.
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  5. #5
    Optically Corrected KLiNCK's Avatar
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    A pair of Linesman Pliers will give you a good clean cut.
    Good for cutting both cables and housings.
    $10 - $15 for something of half decent quality.

    wire_cutters.jpg
    "Succeeding....despite best intentions"

  6. #6
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    If having the finest tool is important to you, Felco cutters (mentioned above) are the best there are. I've never regretted buying mine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
    A pair of Linesman Pliers will give you a good clean cut. Good for cutting both cables and housings. $10 - $15 for something of half decent quality.]
    I agree these are fine for cutting spiral wound brake housing if you are careful to work the jaws between two adjacent coils. Plan on filing the ends flat and smooth after making the cut. I disagree they are good at cutting either derailleur housing or any inner wire. For those, a real cable cutter does a much better job.

  8. #8
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    If you are planning to do your own work most of the time these are a great investment. Their are a lot of places to get them so this may not be the cheapest deal.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...paign=Datafeed

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    Here's the same Park Tool CN-10 at a lower cost:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...tem_id=PA-CN10
    http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Prof...9097255&sr=8-5

    Both Bike Tools Etc and Amazon also sell the Felco cable cutter, generally agreed to be the finest made but at a comensurate price:

    http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=FE-C7
    http://www.amazon.com/Felco-C7-wire-...9097335&sr=8-2

    I've been using an older version Park (CN-4) for 20 years with great satisfaction but I only work on a few bikes. If you need a cutter for daily shop use, the Felco is well worth the premium price.

  10. #10
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    I like Pedro's cable cutter.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    If you're using less expensive galvanized cables you can solder them first and then cut through the solder with any side cutter.

  12. #12
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    Besides the JagWire I also have a few Park and Pedros cable cutters to clear out. Either are $27.50 inc. postage in the US.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    I have always used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    channellock 338. use wire rope cutters(felco c7 or similar) for derailer housing
    Another vote for the Channellocks, that's my usual cable-cutting tool too.

  15. #15
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    High leverage diagonal wire cutters will work. Not the 6" long variety, they'll crush down on the cable and ruin it. 8-9" long Channellocks is what I have and snaps cable and housing cleanly.
    Klein, Channellock, high leverage cable cutters also are good, with curved blades for a clean cut.
    A small wire rope cutter is about the same price, and made for the job. Some for $20 instead of top of the line for $60.
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  16. #16
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    channellock 338. use wire rope cutters(felco c7 or similar) for derailer housing
    Hey thanks for the idea/link! while I agre the OP should get bike related cutters, I am looking for something to cut seals at work and you link lead me to the Channellock websitea nd I found these. they should be prefect for cutting most heavy wire/cable type trailer seals

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  17. #17
    Senior Member mrdelprete's Avatar
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    Bolt Cutters

    I use a pair of mini bolt cutters from ace hardware that I had laying around.
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...Id=60283147633

    They were $5 in a clearence bin, work great so far!

  18. #18
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Before I had shop access, I used a pair of middle quality side/**** cutters. Never had an issue. I'd pick up a new pair every couple years. The only adjustment to my style I needed was when cutting housing I had to make sure I had a sacrificial piece of cable in there to keep things round.

    Lol, swear filter. "dike" Huh, didn't know it was "semi" derogatory. Guess that's what I get learning tool vocabulary in a auto repair shop.

  19. #19
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    Knipex....
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  20. #20
    Senior Member Werkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    ...link lead me to the Channellock websitea nd I found these. they should be prefect for cutting most heavy wire/cable type trailer seals

    FYI, these type of cutters are best suited for soft metals like aluminum and copper, plus they are very good on nylon and rubber tubing. Their cutting edge is too thin for cutting steel wire without causing damage to the jaw blades.

    Felco C-7 is my recommendation to the OP.

  21. #21
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    After much back and forth and not wanting to buy the Park Tool / Pedros ones, I determined that wire cutters do not work, bolt cutters do not work, dikes do not work, but a Dremel with a diamond wheel works perfectly.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Knipex....
    i have these, awesome

  23. #23
    Senior Member spinbackle's Avatar
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    Another vote for Felcos.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
    I have always used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel.
    THIS.

    A Dremel works great for cutting housing too.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoiswes View Post
    THIS.

    A Dremel works great for cutting housing too.
    A Dremel has to be used slowly and the housing kept cool or the cutting heat will damage the plastic outer coating. That plus the simplicity and speed of a decent cable cutter make the Dremel overkill. Even if you have to file the cut housing end flat, the Dremel still takes longer. I tried the Dremel a couple of times and decided it wasn't worth the hassle.

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