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Old 04-12-12, 10:54 AM   #1
grall1126
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Derailler/Brake casings - Cutting-What Tool to use?

I bought replacement cables and casings for my campy set up and I thought I had the correct tool to cut the casing but no luck. I made it look horrible.

What type of tool do you use to cut the casings since the casing also has metal reinforcement in them?

I do have a tool to cut the actual cable but it wasn't large enough to cut the casing.

Let me know what tool I should buy
Thanks
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Old 04-12-12, 10:56 AM   #2
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I have a performance Spin Doctor cable cutter. Works ok, but I had a Park at one time and the Park cut casings easier and cleaner. I'm sure all my missing bike tools will show up once I replace them all.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:09 AM   #3
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I simply use big side cutters. The other common name for them is "dykes" or "dykes cutters". It does mash the end badly. But then I grind the ends square on my bench grider with a light touch which cleans the crushed part away in short order.

Some use a Dremel with a cut off disc to do much the same thing. If you do this it's good to cut them with cutters a 1/4 inch over then slice the last 1/4 inch off with the disc so the end is again square.

If you use either the bench grinder or Dremel be sure to have a scratch awl or sharpened spoke handy. The heat from cutting through the metal melts the inner liner closed and you want to use the tapered point to open it back up again to a clean shape.

Another option is to use a file to file off the ends to remove the crushed portion. If you go with this option a shallow V notch cut into the end of the bench or a block you clamp around the housing will do much to aid in supporting the housing so you can file it more effectively. It's not a job to do freehand in mid air.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:52 AM   #4
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I keep old pieces of shifter/brake cable. When I need to cut a housing, I will insert the cable so part of the scrap cable is sticking out of the hole and that the scrap cable is inserted past the point where I am going to cut. Then I use my bench grinder with a cutoff wheel (dremel would work too) and slice it. With the scrap cable still in the housing, it prevents the heat from the cutoff wheel melting the liner shut which is a pain to open back up. I then just throw the junk pieces away. Cut it quick otherwise the heat will melt and deform the housing exterior.
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Old 04-12-12, 01:58 PM   #5
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I don't have a grinder, but I've found that a Dremel or equivalent, with a cutting disc, works great.
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Old 04-12-12, 02:06 PM   #6
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Cable cutters, grinder, home-made poker

Much as I abhor special purpose tools, cable cutters are an exception. They work ... I mean purpose-made cable cutters for bicycle cables and housings. Then a grinder to smooth it off, and maybe a home-made poker made from a sharpened spoke to open up the hole. Enjoy.
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Old 04-12-12, 02:09 PM   #7
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Felco C-7
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Old 04-12-12, 02:11 PM   #8
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I have a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder that I got from Harbor Freight for $10. It zips right through housings without crushing and it cleans up any burrs on the ends with a quick swipe of the side. Works fantastic and dirt cheap.
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Old 04-12-12, 02:21 PM   #9
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The Park CN-10 is a good tool and not very expensive. If you dont have a special tool:
Cut away a little of the plastic outer casing. Using a pair of large (bigger than you'd use for electronic wiring) diagonal cutters, separate the coil a little so you can make a clean cut across the coil winding. Bend outward a little so it's easier to file or grind off smoothly.

Last edited by WickedThump; 04-12-12 at 02:26 PM. Reason: um...
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Old 04-12-12, 02:44 PM   #10
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park cutters suck. for inexpensive the jagwire/sram is good. i like the european brands like felco or knipex but they are about 50$
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Old 04-12-12, 06:34 PM   #11
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"i like the european brands like felco or knipex but they are about 50$"

It will be the last money you'll spend on a tool you can leave to your children.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:37 PM   #12
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Cable cutter and then the Bench Grinder.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:39 PM   #13
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Side cutters, but I make sure to have a piece of sacrificial cable in there to keep things round. the loose end comes right out when you push the new cable through.

Been doing it this way for years, never had a problem once I learned to be careful about a piece of spiral brake cable bending and covering the hole. Even with the cable in there, sometimes you have to trim the tight point back to get a wide opening. Use ferrules.
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Old 04-12-12, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
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"i like the european brands like felco or knipex but they are about 50$"

It will be the last money you'll spend on a tool you can leave to your children.
yes i have the knipex and really like it but hard to swallow for the home wrencher
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Old 04-12-12, 06:56 PM   #15
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"yes i have the knipex and really like it but hard to swallow for the home wrencher "

Besides doing a superior job with them I derive a lot of pleasure from owning and using fine tools. I don't consider $50 for a lifetime of use is exorbitant. Of course others' opinions may differ.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:33 PM   #16
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Had used Park cable/housing cutters for several years but very recently got a modest Dremel tool and am now a convert to the neat job the cutting disc provides.
The sparks are fun, too.
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Old 04-12-12, 07:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
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"yes i have the knipex and really like it but hard to swallow for the home wrencher "

Besides doing a superior job with them I derive a lot of pleasure from owning and using fine tools. I don't consider $50 for a lifetime of use is exorbitant. Of course others' opinions may differ.
If I were the least bit unhappy with my $24 Park tool, I'd try a better one for $50. As far as abrasive disc cutting goes, I'd be wary of grit getting inside he housing, though a blast of compressed air should fix that.
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Old 04-13-12, 07:06 AM   #18
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I did a bunch yesterday. I cut the housing with a pair of electrical wire snips after cutting the plastic cover with a utility knife. The key is that you can't just mash down on the housing, you have to get the cutting edge between the metal spirals. This wedges it open and allows you to cut reasonably clean. A couple of quick passes on a sanding disk cleans up the ends perfectly.

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Old 04-13-12, 07:51 AM   #19
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Cable cutter on shifter or compressionless brake housing. Dremel or cable cutter on spiral brake housing.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:21 AM   #20
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Felco FTW!!! No need to look further.
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Old 04-30-12, 01:05 PM   #21
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okay, thanks guys for the help
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Old 04-30-12, 01:07 PM   #22
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hi wolf, does harbor freight still carry it?
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Old 04-30-12, 01:32 PM   #23
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hi wolf, does harbor freight still carry it?
Yeah, it's a regular item, and seems like it's always in their ads. The price fluctuates between $10 and $15. You can get a 5 pack of metal wheels for ~$5.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:48 PM   #24
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I think a Dremel with a cutting wheel is the best thing to use to cut cable casing as it makes for neater ends. You do have to be careful towards the end of the cut as the wheel tends to catch a little bit and can give you a big scare when it does. Bext is to clamp down the casing wrapped in some electrical tape to protect it on a small vise to stabilse it and don't take such big hard digs into the casing srping. A bit of patience is needed for best results. Remember too that you will need to grind off any sharp burrs from the cut ends so you do not damage the cable that will be inserted in it.

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Old 04-30-12, 06:34 PM   #25
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12" compound miter saw with a cutoff wheel mounted.

Or side cutters and then hand file when I don't have a power outlet nearby.
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