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Thread: Mando maintenance

  1. #1
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    Default Mando maintenance

    Hi folks,

    I’ve been a viewer but never a poster until now! Recently I made the plunge from guitar only, and circumstances prevailed and I ended up with a used like new Collings MT2. I’m having a blast so far, but I would like to hear if anyone has any recommendation on string cutters for mandolins? I’ve always used wire cutters for guitar but as the tuning machines are so closely spaced, I’m looking for any expert tips.

    And now the good stuff. I should really post a picture of the one piece back but here’s a start:

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I use little diagonal cutters.

    Very nice mando choice. Have fun.

  4. #3
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Nice one ,play the beans out of it !

  5. #4
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I use wire cutters (little ones, not big industrial sized ones for cable or something).

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    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Micro diagonal type pliers. As long as part of your mandolin string does not go flying around after the cut, the nitro or other finish will hopefully be protected from scratches.
    Kentucky KM-380

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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    The only bad thing so far is how addictive they are. Oh well rust never sleeps, nor does MAS

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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Wow, that’s an awesome first mandolin! I’ve played a couple of MT2s, and they’ll hold up next to most anything!

    I typically use small wire cutters for string changes as well, and a slightly larger set for guitar and mandocello. I do have a string winder that will “sort of” fit mandolins that has a cutter built into the folding handle that works reasonably well, but I can’t recall the brand presently and don’t have it handy at the moment...
    Chuck

  9. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I've really never noticed a difference in cutting mandolin strings and guitar strings. Could you post a picture of the cutters you're using?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I've really never noticed a difference in cutting mandolin strings and guitar strings. Could you post a picture of the cutters you're using?
    I would but my last set of old craftsmans wire cutters were toast. I’ve tried some small kobalt ones like the photo below but they don’t seem to hold up to many string changes before they begin to struggle.
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  11. #10
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I use the pair from Snap-on that I also use for my fingernails, toenails, guitar and banjo strings.
    Last edited by Gunnar; Jul-24-2019 at 10:30am.
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  13. #12
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    I use the set from Snap-on that I also use for my fingernails, toenails, guitar and banjo strings.
    Next time use a concrete grinder on the toenails.

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  15. #13
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    You shouldn't have any issue with the size of those cutters. Quality is another thing. I use the same cutters for everything. Obviously you need to make sure you're cutting the right string on the right side of the post but that is the same thing on a guitar. Don't let the distance between the posts worry you, you should be fine.

    I've been using an old set like this for decades. You can buy cheaper versions but I've found the better sets hold up better.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. #14
    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Consider this type of micro cutters. These happen to be sold in a five pack. (One will do.)

    On Amazon.com:
    IGAN Wire Flush Cutters, Precision Electronic Cutting Pliers, Micro Wire Cutter, Red, (5 Pack)
    Kentucky KM-380

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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaulted View Post
    Consider this type of micro cutters. These happen to be sold in a five pack. (One will do.)

    On Amazon.com:
    IGAN Wire Flush Cutters, Precision Electronic Cutting Pliers, Micro Wire Cutter, Red, (5 Pack)
    I think it's a 5-pack because they're almost disposable. They're great for cutting softer copper wires but I don't they'l stand up to cutting very many G or D strings.
    David Hopkins

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  18. #16
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    I've used that one too. Works surprisingly well, considering the low cost.
    I actually removed the winder (held on w/ screw) just to make it smaller and simpler, since I don't use the winder. Fits in the 'stuff' compartment of the case too.
    Phil

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  19. #17
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    I use an old guitar tool called The Gizmo but I don't think they make it anymore. I'd suggest any instrument tech too that has cutters and ideally some other tools - but be careful there's no knife in there if you plan to fly (I've made that mistake before).

    In addition to the cutters, IMO a mandolin string winder is also a necessity. I use the one from the mandolin store - https://themandolinstore.com/product...-for-mandolin/. Guitar string winders typically don't work due to the closeness of the tuning machines on the mandolin.

  20. #18
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    Default Re: Mando maintenance

    My favorite string winder is the Jop.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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