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Thread: Preferred wire cutters?

  1. #1
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Preferred wire cutters?

    If you have a preferred brand/model of wire cutters for use in cutting strings, please share the details. Thank you.
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I have a small (approx 3") pair of diagonal cutters made by Craftsman that I bought probably 45 years ago when I started playing guitar. Have been using them ever since and have never needed anything different. They fit in most case compartments which is a plus also.

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    Registered User Kevin Stueve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mead View Post
    I have a small (approx 3") pair of diagonal cutters made by Craftsman that I bought probably 45 years ago when I started playing guitar. Have been using them ever since and have never needed anything different. They fit in most case compartments which is a plus also.
    ditto
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Thanks, gentlemen. That's helpful information.
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

    2020 Eastman MD 305
    2016 Eastman MDO 305
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I have a Planet Wave string winder that has a string cutter built into the handle. Works for me.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    For the past 15 years, I have used snub nosed wire cutters from various manufacturers. Unfortunately, it has been variou because TSA has taken the wire cutters when I traveled so when I reach my destination, I go and buy another pair that was available. I have gone through about 8 pairs so I can not verify if they will last long enough or not.
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Thats funny about the TSA because they have never taken my diagonal cutters, or spare strings, or spare batteries for the tuner, in fact they have never even opened a case. I always thought it was odd but true.

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    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I primarily use an old pair of Kleins for routine changes. I keep a Planet Waves set in my case when I fly. Easily replaceable, but as above, no one has ever even asked me to open the case.
    Todd Yates

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    What's wrong with a good quality [not the cheapo] cutter from the hardware store?
    I've got a 35 year old larger size Stanley "made in Japan" cutter that I've used to wire two houses and clip thousands of strings.

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  16. #11

    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Being a builder, I have flush-cut fretwire cutters so I just grab those. They clip the string flush with the peg, no more blood.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Can someone explain the subculture of players who leave all the excess strings sticking out like a wire halo? Are they also generally hirsute, untrimmed of toenails, or is it some deep psychological fear founded on unmentionable natal surgery?

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Can someone explain the subculture of players who leave all the excess strings sticking out like a wire halo? Are they also generally hirsute, untrimmed of toenails, or is it some deep psychological fear founded on unmentionable natal surgery?
    That's pretty funny

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    What's wrong with a good quality [not the cheapo] cutter from the hardware store?
    Exactly. Any decent hardware-store diagonal cutters will do. Avoid the small electronics wire cutters though, the jaws on those are too delicate and cutting steel strings will ruin them.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I'm stuck with a pair of needle nose plyers.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Gies View Post
    I'm stuck with a pair of needle nose plyers.
    Been using a small pair too for decades, don't think I'll change now.
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  28. #17

    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Right, Andy Miller. Be sure you buy a cutter that's intended to cut steel wire, not just soft copper wire. You'll wreck the soft wire cutters in no time.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I never considered that, about the copper vs. steel. I always wanted the smallest pair I could find so that they would fit in my case without taking up much real estate. I currently have an Excelite MS54. I Used to have something that got dull.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Actually, any 'ol pair of diagonal cutters made from tempered steel should do well, like those depicted below. The brand doesn't matter much -- just get "diagonal cutters" (tempered steel) and not "wire cutters" (made for copper wire). I wouldn't bother getting these from an expensive music store as being "made for instrument strings." Just pick up the tool at your local hardware store. Or go to Walmart, which offers a tiny, 3" set that will fit inside your case for $5.28. If you're looking to save even more money, Harbor Freight carries a slightly larger, 4" set for just $1.79. I've carried a set in my mandolin case for years, and brought it aboard many an aircraft flight, both domestic and international. The blades are shorter than 1/2", and they are perfectly within regulations to be carried on board. I don't understand why someone reported having problems with the TSA -- maybe they encountered a novice/ignorant agent, and should have called in a supervisor for a ruling?

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    I have a set of these that I like...

    https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/d...tweight-5-inch
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  36. #21
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Kleins are SERIOUS tools. (or used to be)

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  38. #22
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    For those of us with limited space inside our instrument case compartments, an excellent choice is a set of miniature 3" diagonal cutters from Waymil, found here: https://www.waymil.com/category-s/2357.htm. See the final entry for "side cutters." These are sold for hand-making jewelry, and they have the strength to cut steel wire without wrecking their cutting edge. They cost just $2.98 from Waymil, which is a steal! Walmart also sells them online, but for $5.28. I'm copying a photo below, so you can see just how tiny these cutters are compared to larger tools. They fit easily inside my case compartment, along with a D'Addario Micro Tuner, extra flatpicks, and a spare set of strings (all shown, for scale). Click on the picture to enlarge it.

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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Round2 View Post
    If you have a preferred brand/model of wire cutters for use in cutting strings, please share the details. Thank you.
    I have a tool chest full of top quality side cutters of every size but this planet waves cutter works better on strings imo ... and it stores well in the case after you remove the guitar peg winder end. It's a shear cutter as opposed to cutters that press the wire into like side cutters. Very effective, no sharp points around your instrument, and cheap!
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    I have a tool chest full of top quality side cutters of every size but this planet waves cutter works better on strings imo ... and it stores well in the case after you remove the guitar peg winder end. It's a shear cutter as opposed to cutters that press the wire into like side cutters. Very effective, no sharp points around your instrument, and cheap!
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    Well, I have that same Planet Waves device, and it does come with a built-in "shear cutter," just as you describe. I tried it, but I didn't like it. Due to the thickness of the metal sides, it is impossible to cut a string flush against the tuner post, because the shear/cut line lies between the outer metal surfaces. This always leaves about 1/8" of sharp string jutting out! With a small pair of diagonal cutters, however, I am easily able to cut the string flush with the tuner post. Another issue with the Planet Waves string winder is that it's too big to fit into the accessory compartment of my mandolin case. You "solved" this only by breaking the tool in half, losing the string-winder altogether. Inelegant, IMO.

    I use the string-changing method of winding the string around the post 3-4 times first under hand tension, and only then pulling it through the hole. This method has been discussed extensively in previous messages in this forum. It requires very little additional winding to bring the string up to full tension, unlike other methods. The result is that I no longer feel the need to use a string winder when changing strings. I just need a tiny set of diagonal cutters to trim the end of the string neatly, right up against the windings on the post, so that I don't run any further risk of stabbing myself later! That's where a miniature pair of side cutters comes in very handy! It fits easily inside my case, and for $2.98 from Waymil LLC, you can't quibble with the price (NFI)!

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  44. #25
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preferred wire cutters?

    When buying diagonal pliers from HF (really, from any hardware or home improvement store), look through the closed plier jaws closely to see if there is light coming through - IOW check that the cutters mate well. Sometimes they don't; hence, save your money for a pair that mates well at the business end & you'll be glad you did.
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