Cable cutters may not be the most interesting tools used on-site, but they are your essential go-to when installing cable – the job simply can’t be done without them.
Cable Cutters come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities for a variety of jobs, whether the jobs involve copper, aluminium or steel wire armoured Cable. Each cable-cutter manufacturer has found its own niche, focusing on special design, strength, or versatility. No two pairs of cable cutters are alike.
So, how do you select the right one?
Cables and wires must be accurately prepared for the various types of connections. The quality of the cutting process is therefore critical. The range in types is vast, with each having its own advantages and disadvantages specific to your task. We’ve compiled a few CraftyTips to help make the selection process easier:
Are the capabilities of the tool suitable for the volume of work required?
Many cable cutting applications throughout the industry are conducted using manual hand tools or ratchet tools. It’s important to think about the number of operations you will be conducting, and the hand force required to operate the tool to avoid Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Hand Operated, Ratchet, Hydraulic and Battery Operated cutting tools are designed for different levels of capabilities and usage types.
Is the size and shape of the tool suitable for the environment it will be used in?
When working in confined areas such as control cabinets, compact and lightweight cable cutters are the best solution.
Is the tool suitable for the cable size being cut?
When choosing a cable cutter, size is the foremost consideration; that is, make sure that your cutter will cut the diameter of your cable. Its also important to remember not to continuously use your tool to its maximum cutting capability – this will avoid faster wear and tear of the tool, and make it easier for you to operate.
Our rule of thumb is to always purchase a tool that can cut a slightly larger cable diameter than you require.
Is the tool suitable for the type of cable you are cutting?
Common types include:
• Steel Wire Armoured
You should also consider the quality of the cable cutter, and how well its going to do its job. This is vital for new cabling installations where performance is essential.
For example, whenever you are cutting a round cable, you want to maintain as round a shape as possible – making it easier for you to install your connectors.
So, what do you need to look for?
Contoured cutting blades are best for maintaining the shape of the cable, whilst flat-edge blades can cause compression. The sharpness of the blade is another feature that affects how well a tool cuts, and affect its performance and durability.
And finally, you will want to look at the tool’s overall design. You will find solid and reliable cable cutters stocked by most leading manufacturers and suppliers.
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