Technology

Side Cutters vs Diagonal Cutters

Many people use the terms side cutters and diagonal cutters interchangeably. But there are some slight differences between the two, and knowing those will help you select the correct tool when the time comes.

What Are Cutters? 

A cutter is a hand tool used to cut various materials. A traditional pair of cutters has a fulcrum point, two levers, and a jaw. Cutters come in various types, and within those types, they come in various sizes and can lock, adjust, or not. 

The levers increase grip strength, and the user can manipulate the handles to magnify how much power is leveraged for the task. Cutters aren’t just useful for cutting; they are also great for dealing with intricate work that is too small for fingers. In addition to being commonly used in electrical work, they are also useful for making jewellery. 

The Differences Between Side Cutters & Diagonal Cutters

The biggest difference between the side and diagonal cutters is in the design. 

The diagonal cutters feature a head bent slightly inward compared to its handle line. The side cutters feature a straight cutting edge parallel to their handles. The diagonal cutters’ inward angle allows a flush cut against the surface compared to side cutters. 

Diagonal cutters are ideal for cutting wires flat with a surface, but they aren’t heavy-duty, which means they are more suitable for cable ties, softer wires, and plastic. Side cutters are more suitable for heavy-duty cutting, whether a hardened wire or heavy cabling.

Most people have a hard time telling the difference between the two when faced with them, and chances are, you will use one of them to tackle all of your cutting tasks. The result of the cut is when you can tell whether you are using the right tool. For precision cuts, diagonal cutters will leave a flush result. This is particularly obvious in jewellery making. Whereas side cutters may leave a sharper end which can catch on clothing or skin.

Which Cutters To Choose 

Aside from the task, there are a few things to consider when deciding which cutters to use. 

Consider the grip and handles. You want to avoid pinching when you squeeze the handles and opting for an ergonomic design will prevent that. Short handles might be better for tight spaces, but they require more hand power to cut through materials, so opt for longer handles if you are working with tougher materials. 

There are three different grips, so if you are working with high-voltage wires, an insulated handle is a safe move. Otherwise, you can opt for comfort or a non-slip grip. The latter is more suitable if it’s a tool you use sparingly. There are a wide range of options available at RS.

The pivot will also determine just how much strength is required to get the job done. The pivot will also determine the level of quality in your cut. If you’re dealing with a wobbly pivot, the blades won’t align, leaving you with inconsistent cuts. A solid axle ensures no wobble and guarantees a smooth cutting action. You should also consider the weight of the tool and the quality of the blade. 

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