Cutters

Cutters are handheld tools designed for cutting a variety different materials, such as wires, and other smaller objects potentially too small to be worked on by hand. Typically consisting of two levers connected closer to one end by a fulcrum, with the shorter end forming the jaw, cutters come in a variety of types and sizes. The three basic types are locking, adjustable and non-adjustable.

In order to ensure user comfort, most models of cutters will have insulated handles, allowing you to be protected whilst working and providing a firm and comfortable grip. In addition to standard insulation or cushioning, some cutters will be VDE-insulated to protect the user when working with electrical equipment.

What are cutters used for?

While the name may be fairly clear, some variations of cutters can also be used to perform other actions. For example, linesmans cutters also have a small flat section along the jaw for gripping objects as well as their cutting surface. The application will dictate which is the best type of cutter for you to use.

Types of Cutters

Used by professionals and DIYers alike to cut wires effectively, there are many types of cutters designed for specific applications:

  • Diagonal cutters, also known as side cutters or side cutter pliers, are ideal for gripping, splicing or cutting wires, as well as stripping wire insulation. They cut by indenting and wedging the wire apart and give a cleaner cut than using a knife or scissors.
  • End cutters are also known as nippers and are used to cut through wire, springs, nails, bolts and rivets. They have an almost flat-bladed head, which allows for a cut close against the surface without digging into it.
  • Wire rope cutters are used for the clean shearing of wire rope without fanning. The jaws pull the wire rope into them and trap the cable before performing a clean cut.
  • Snipe nose or needle nose cutters are designed to hold fine objects and cut them cleanly without applying pressure to the wider area, which larger cutters may do and cause damage.
  • Cable cutters or wire cutters are most commonly used in electrical applications and are designed specifically to be used with cables and wires. While most have some form of covered handle for user comfort, it is important not to confuse plastic or rubber coatings with electrical insulation.
  • Linesmans cutters are popular in communications and electrical tasks. They have a short gripping surface toward the tip of the jaw, and a cutting surface extends back to the fulcrum. They are ideal for cutting leads or stripping insulation.

For more information on cutters, cutter types and best practices, read our comprehensive guide here.


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Description Price Model Number Non Sparking Type Overall Length Jaw Length VDE/1000V Approved Height Safe ESD Safe Material Maximum Cutting Capacity Cutting Capacity Copper Wire Cutting Capacity Ductile Wire Cutting Capacity Iron Wire
RS Stock No. 144-7567
BrandRS PRO
£15.41
Each
Units
- - Diagonal Cutters 152.4 mm - Yes - - Chrome Vanadium Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6967
BrandRS PRO
£28.88
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
21-160 - Diagonal Cutters 160 mm - Yes - - - 2.5mm - - -
RS Stock No. 125-3071
BrandRS PRO
£24.71
Each
Units
G14-18-0180 - Diagonal Cutters 180 mm 22.0mm Yes - - Steel 2.0mm - 2mm 2mm
RS Stock No. 125-3105
BrandRS PRO
£8.66
Each
Units
- - - 170 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 146-3875
BrandRS PRO
£24.54
Each
Units
- - Flush Cutters 160 mm - Yes - - - 10.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 182-9793
BrandRS PRO
£16.94
Each
Units
- - Electronic Cutters 120 mm 13.0mm - - - Chrome Molybdenum Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6971
BrandRS PRO
£27.90
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
133-160 - Diagonal Cutters 160 mm - Yes - - - 3.5mm - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6969
BrandRS PRO
£31.41
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
21-180 - Diagonal Cutters 180 mm - Yes - - - 3.8mm - - -
RS Stock No. 146-3876
BrandRS PRO
£21.21
Each
Units
- - Flush Cutters 160 mm - - - - - 10.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 182-9794
BrandRS PRO
£23.28
Each
Units
- - Electronic Cutters 120 mm 13.0mm - - - Chrome Molybdenum Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 125-3077
BrandRS PRO
£15.27
Each
Units
- - Straight Cutters 170 mm - Yes - - - 15.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6972
BrandRS PRO
£29.24
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
133-180 - Diagonal Cutters 180 mm - Yes - - - 3.8mm - - -
RS Stock No. 136-6970
BrandRS PRO
£36.96
1 Box of 1
Box(es)
21-185 - Diagonal Cutters 180 mm - Yes - - - 3.5mm - - -
RS Stock No. 182-9796
BrandRS PRO
£22.36
Each
Units
- - Electronic Cutters 125 mm 8.5mm - - - Stainless Steel - - - -
RS Stock No. 158-5726
Mfr. Part No.78 03 125
BrandKnipex
£17.79
Each
Units
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 359-4687
Mfr. Part No.2101G-125
BrandBahco
£28.62
Each
Units
- - Side Cutters 125 mm - - - - - 3.5mm - - -
RS Stock No. 158-5338
Mfr. Part No.70 06 160
BrandKnipex
£25.51
Each
Units
- - Side Cutters 160 mm - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 763-8166
Mfr. Part No.73 06 160
BrandKnipex
£37.16
Each
Units
- - Diagonal Cutters 160 mm - Yes - - Chrome Vanadium Steel 12.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 222-2583
Mfr. Part No.95 31 250
BrandKnipex
£185.99
Each
Units
- - Ratchet Cable Cutter 250 mm - - - - - 32.0mm - - -
RS Stock No. 614-766
Mfr. Part No.8160
BrandLindstrom
£53.87
Each
Units
- - Diagonal Cutters 125 mm - - - Yes - 2.0mm - - -