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What tool to use for cutting cable housings?

Old 01-04-22, 07:39 PM
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What tool to use for cutting cable housings?

I am in the process of restoring / customizing my new to me 72 Schwinn Continental and I want to install new cables and housings. I do not want to buy a kit of pre cut cables, i want to cut them to fit, look great and work perfect. What tool is best to cut the different kinds of cable housings that will cut them without kinking or crimping them. Is there a tool like a pipe cutter that moves around the cable and cuts it perfectly round? Also Im looking for chrome ferrules to go over the ends of the housings. Can someone advise me please? So far all I know about these cable housings is that there are two kinds, the coil kind and the linear wire kind. Thanks.

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Old 01-04-22, 07:53 PM
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The Park CN-10 is kind of the standard, but I like my Jagwire Pro just fine.
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Old 01-04-22, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla
The Park CN-10 is kind of the standard, but I like my Jagwire Pro just fine.
is that for crimping the ferrules that go on the ends of the housing? or is it for the caps that get crimped on to the end of the cable wire itself to keep it from fraying?
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Old 01-04-22, 08:12 PM
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Park Tool CN-10. I would have bought the well-reviewed Pedro analog to save a few dollars, but it was out of stock when my RD cable snapped.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:23 PM
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Diagonal cutters for cables and brake housing. Housing cutters for shift housing only.
From top down:

Small flush cut dikes for zip ties
SRAM shift housing cutters
Knipex diagonal cutters (cables/brake housing)

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Old 01-04-22, 09:37 PM
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You can also use a Dremel with cutting wheel for housing. You may have to punch out the melted stuff with something pointy.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:44 PM
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Park is good, but I like this one better
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
About the same price as park but a slightly better gap between the handles so when you have a tough section of compressionless brake housing or der housing and you squeeze real hard the skin of your hands doesn't get pinched in the handle. I've only done it a couple times with park, pedros in my experience sucks for this and so do other cheap knock-offs. Except to clipping zipties, a cable cutter (really wire rope cutter) is all you need for cutting any cable or housing cleanly and will last decades in a home environment.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
is that for crimping the ferrules that go on the ends of the housing?
I just slid the cap over and onto the end of housing and pushed the housing all the way into the cap. The cap does not have to be crimped (as far as I know). Did I miss a step?
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Old 01-04-22, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
is that for crimping the ferrules that go on the ends of the housing? or is it for the caps that get crimped on to the end of the cable wire itself to keep it from fraying?
It’s for crimping the ends on the inner cable. It works okay but the Park NP-6 does a much better job of crimping the cable ends. The cable cutters do an excellent job on the cable housing, however.

The ferrules don’t really need crimping at all. I don’t know of any tool for crimping the ferrules.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:57 PM
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Dremel and cutting wheel for housing, diagonal cutters for cables.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BikePower
is that for crimping the ferrules that go on the ends of the housing? or is it for the caps that get crimped on to the end of the cable wire itself to keep it from fraying?
The only things that get crimped are the cable ends. Most cable-cutting tools have a section on the handle that will squeeze the crimp. Usually, housing ferrules fit over the housing snugly enough to not need additional manipulation.


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Old 01-05-22, 12:21 AM
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I have all the time in the world. Dewalt side cutters, a bench grinder to square things up, sometimes a fine flat file for a potential burr, an assortment of lapel pins, scribes, stick pins, etc. to open up the end on the liner.

A cheap wire crimp tool for the end caps.

Has worked without issues for a long time.

John
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Old 01-05-22, 02:55 AM
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Generally, a cable housing cutter is good for cutting cable housing.
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Old 01-05-22, 07:08 AM
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Felco C7
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Old 01-05-22, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Dremel and cutting wheel for housing, diagonal cutters for cables.
+1. And twist welding to keep cable ends from fraying. You could even get away without cable cutters as Twist Welding does the cutting but the cutters are nice to have.
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Old 01-05-22, 09:53 AM
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wow! That was fascinating. Im gonna try that! I went with the Park Tool CN-10. Thank you everybody for your input! Now I need to figure out where to get some old style huret shifter cables and the right size housing. I think it takes 4mm. I heard Jagwire makes some cables with those ends and a 4mm housing but not sure where to get just a few cables. I think the cable is 1.2mm. Also need the ferules for the housing ends but not the cable end caps because Im going to use the twist welding method.
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Old 01-05-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank
+1. And twist welding to keep cable ends from fraying. You could even get away without cable cutters as Twist Welding does the cutting but the cutters are nice to have. Twist Welding Cable (How To) - YouTube
I hear people talking about soldering the ends or in this case welding them, but why go through all that when all you need is a cable end cap that costs virtually nothing, and a pair of needle-nose pliers? It takes much less time (about two seconds), it gives the cable a more finished look, and the cable end won't poke you when you're cleaning the bike. It seems like welding cable ends is the proverbial "Ten dollar solution to a one dollar problem." But that's just me.
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Old 01-05-22, 10:15 AM
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The problem with tools like the Park CN-10 is when used on brake cable housing is they crush the spiral wound metal housing.
They work fine on shift cable housing. I have the Pedro's version.
Dremel with a cut off wheel avoids this. I have also used a hacksaw with some success.
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Old 01-05-22, 10:50 AM
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You can cut your cable housings with all kinds of stuff. However the important thing, even if you use the best cable cutters money can buy is to look at the end of the housing you just cut and round it back up if needed.

A very small punch or awl with slowly tapered sides works great for me.
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Old 01-05-22, 12:14 PM
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I cut shift housing and all inner wires with my Shimano TL-CT12 but Park's or Pedros' work just fine. Felcos are the top choice if cost is not a consideration. I cut spiral wound brake housing with a sharp pair of side cutters, working one blade between the coils and finishing with a flat file to smooth the cut. Housing ferrules are not crimped and inner wire caps are crimped with the Shimano's crimper. A thin nail or sharpened spoke is useful to round out cut housing and its lining.
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Old 01-05-22, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I hear people talking about soldering the ends or in this case welding them, but why go through all that when all you need is a cable end cap that costs virtually nothing, and a pair of needle-nose pliers?
Yes, it's extra time and not worth it to everyone but the advantage is that if you need to remove the cable and re-install it for whatever reason the strands won't unravel and no cable end needs to be removed and replaced.
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Old 01-05-22, 03:25 PM
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Damn you folks tend to overthink pretty much everything. 'Twistwelding'? Please. Dremel? Overkill.
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Old 01-05-22, 05:52 PM
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Knipex or Felco is the way to go but honestly my Jagwire cutters work well (which are the same as cxwrench 's SRAM cutters but without the SRAM logos)
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Old 01-05-22, 07:46 PM
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same thing I use on cables: entrapping blade, compound grip cable cutter. think there are better ways tho that do less damage to the cut ends. I think I've had to trim a bit, with side cutting pliers, or reshape the cut end to round w/ regular pliers. it's been a while. maybe it's more about placement & technique? I see below ppl suggesting spare cable in the housing to maintain the shape. I'll try that!

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MIDWEST P6300 Cable Cutter









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Old 01-05-22, 08:36 PM
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I have a Park CN-10 but you can't beat the sparks shower from using a Dremel cutoff wheel. Not for use by folks who use gasoline for cleaning parts.
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