How do you cut steel cable wires?
Wire cutters, also known as pliers, are the small and frequent handheld tools. People use wire cutters for cutting worn-out cables, open-end wires and fix bolts and screws, too.
For the most basic application of cutting cables, you can use the wire cutters to cut copper, brass, aluminium, iron and steel wire. To protect you from being shocked by the electric cables you are working with; some wire cutters have insulated handles.
Apart from cutting, people often use the wire cutter to compress or bend metal items, especially in crimping connections in electrical and electronic applications. And last but not least, you can use the wire cutter as a tool to tighten or ease bolts, screws from metal things.
Steel wire is made with hot-dipped zinc coating. So it is strong enough to hold heavy weights. And if you use steel cable, you may face the problem with the cutting process obviously.
Considering the problem, we have given a try to resolve your problem. We have analyzed and found some processes and listed them into this article that will let you know how to cut steel cable.
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What is the process to Cut Steel Cable?
To overcome the problems that we have discussed earlier, you must know the best processes to cut steel cable. And then you should know the process, and after that, you should choose the best one according to your need.
Things You Will Need:
- Cable cutters
- Safety glasses
- Work gloves
- Tape measure
Exercise caution if cutting a taut or guyed cable. Cutting the cable can cause a sudden kickback or whipping of the cable, resulting in injury. Tie down the cable or otherwise restrain it before cutting if the cable is under tension.
Steel cable is a versatile and durable product. It's useful for building fences, tying down objects, reinforcing buildings and a bevy of other useful applications. Steel cables come in a variety of thicknesses, suitable for whatever job you're considering. Cutting steel cable to size is a job that requires the right tools and attention to safety as well. Here are some simple safety principles to follow and tips on how to find the right tools.
Step 1: Prepare yourself and your work area. Before cutting steel cable, put on safety glasses and heavy leather work gloves. A small shard of metal can easily blind you, and a quickly moving cable can burn your hands or cause contusions to unprotected hands. Be sure your work area has sufficient lighting and a vice for holding the cable if necessary.
Step 2: Measure your cable. Trying to cut steel cable with the wrong tools will be a frustrating exercise, with poor results. Measure the thickness of your cable with a ruler or tape measure, and use the appropriately sized cable cutters (see Resources for information on cable cutters).
Step 3: Measure the amount of steel cable you'll need, then pull off the appropriate amount from your coil or spool of steel cable. Follow the old carpenter's adage of "measure twice, cut once," when measuring the cable and the length of cable that you need.
Step 4: Place the cable into your cutter and apply steady and consistent pressure. With the proper cutters, you'll get a quick clean cut the first time. If you don't, check the sharpness of the cutting blades or make sure the cutters you have are the proper size.
How to cut steel cable wires successfully?
Step 1: Invest in the right tools
Cutting wire rope with the wrong tool is not only difficult, but it will also lead to poor results. This is why you should always check the thickness of the wire and select a suitable cutting tool for the job.
Here at Ropes Direct, we currently stock the Felco C7 Industrial Rope Cutting Tool – capable of cutting wire rope up to 4mm in diameter. It makes light work of our range of steel wire products, creating a clean cut every time, and is a worthwhile investment for most wire rope projects.
Step 2: Prepare for the job
Before you attempt to cut steel wire rope, it's important to prepare both yourself and your work station. Start by making sure you have enough light – perhaps using an articulated lamp to illuminate the wire and improve your visibility. You should also consider wearing safety gloves – to increase your grip and prevent any injuries – and it may be worth setting-up a vice to hold the wire in place.
Step 3: Measure the wire rope carefully
As the old adage goes, you should always 'measure twice and cut once'. A piece of wire that has been incorrectly measured may be unusable, so it's vital that you double-check before wielding the cutters. Take your time. Pull out the wire rope from the spool and, once you have carefully measured out the required length, use a dark felt-tip pen to mark out exactly where you need to cut.
Step 4: Cut the wire rope quickly but steadily
It's now time to start cutting. Carefully place the steel rope into the cutting tool, taking care to line it up with the mark you just made, and apply a steady and consistent level of pressure. This technique will ensure you get a clean, professional cut first time – particularly if using the correct cutters.
Step 5: Apply the finishing touches
Once your measured piece of wire rope has been cut, there are just a few final touches to be done. These aren't essential, but they can significantly improve the rope's appearance and function.
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What are the different types of wire cutters?
One of the most challenging things about wire cutters is the fact that they are simple in concept yet more variety in style than might first be supposed. The basic idea of a tool that can cut through metal wires and bands is easy to grasp, but what about all the nuance that comes with that?
What about different lengths and thicknesses of metal wiring? What if the wires are electrical in nature? What about wires which require a careful balance between strength and delicacy?
For all of these options, there are different types of wire cutters which take the basic idea of a tool for cutting through metal bands and reinvent it for the specific challenges at hand. Some of the most common and important types of wire cutters to add to your toolbox include the following:
Linemen's Wire Cutters: These are used for jobs such as those performed by electricians and linemen working on power lines with a need for a wire stripper. They can be used to cut through or strip wires, have insulated handles to protect users from electrical shocks, and feature sharp edges for cutting purposes.
Locking Wire Cutters: Whereas electricians and linemen often use lineman's wire cutters for stripping wires, these are often used by carpenters for use on sheets of metal. They feature locks which make them easier to set into place for that purpose.
Needle Nose Wire Cutter: These are among the narrowest wire cutters on this list. They are used in instances where extra-fine wires or working in small spaces are involved. In addition, they are often used for cutting electrical wires and so likewise feature insulated handles to protect against shocks.
Diagonal Cutting Wire Cutters: As the name implies, they feature diamond-shaped edges, can be used to cut through a wire as well as metal, and are used by carpenters as well as electricians, making them something of a jack of all trades and one of the most versatile options on this list.
Round Nose Wire Cutters: These wires feature rounded nose ends and tend to be used for more delicate work, such as bending.
Why do you need a quality cable cutter?
If you work in either the electrical or carpentry industry, cable or wire cutters are likely necessary for performing some of the basic duties of your work.
If you work as an electrician, you are going to need a cable cutter which is capable of stripping wires. This is necessary for all manner of different rewiring projects.
In addition, you are going to want cable cutters which can cut through electrical wires. Not all cable cutters are capable of doing this in a safe manner.
As such, you should always read the description to see whether the cable cutters in question are insulated and cleared for cutting live wires.
Then there are cable cutters which are intended for use by carpenters. These can be a great choice for cutting through copper and aluminium, as is often required by both carpenters as well as electricians.
In addition, certain cable cutters are designed to be able to cut through steel. They tend to require a lot more strength than your average cable cutter, however, so it is advisable to read ahead of time to see whether a given unit is capable of this.
Finally, cable cutters are necessary for achieving quick, clean cuts through all manner of metal surfaces. This is especially necessary when it comes to a material such as an aircraft cable. As such, specialized aircraft cable cutters are highly important for electricians and carpenters alike.
Finally, there is the fact that cable cutters are able to cut through strong metal materials with a greater degree of precision than most other alternatives. If you need to make sharp, accurate cuts, cable cutters are likely going to be required.
For all of these reasons, it is essential to have one or more pairs of cable cutters which can cut through copper, aluminium, steel, and electrical wires.
What are the tips in choosing a wire cutter?
Wire cutters are not a complicated tool, so you may think it is weird to ask for specific information. But, in our experience, the more you understand, the better you can use it.
What Wires Do You Want To Cut?
You will not need to worry if you want to cut the standard electric wire with a small metal like copper. Most of the wire cutters are suitable for cutting copper.
But if you want to cut something harder, like piano wires or even guitar wire, you have to find the special one. If you don't want to ruin your tool, please remember that your wire cutter has to be harder and stronger than the wire that you want to cut.
Choose The Comfortable Design
After identifying the group of the best wire cutters for your wire material, the next step is choosing the most comfortable one among them. You should select the wire cutter that makes you feel solid in your hand. And the best one is also the one that requires less pressure as possible.
Choose The Most Versatile One
This tip is more suitable for an amateur than a professional. The professional craftsman is always willing to invest in specialized tools for a particular task.
But an amateur often prefers a tool with multiple usages for money and storage saving. So, you should choose the one that allows you to do with other tasks besides cutting wire.
Choose High-quality Material
For the blades, the best wire cutters should have high-quality edges that are rust-resistant and robust. As mentioned above, the blade's content has to be stronger than the wire materials. And depending on your task, you should ask the seller to consult the suitable blade design.
For the handles, the best wire cutters should have the grips with metalcore and plastic/ rubbish coverage. So it can ensure you are reliable and durable but still make you feel comfortable and stick on your hand when using it.
The wire cutters are the cheapest tool among the home-development tool. And if you take quick research, you will find out that there is no vast difference between the price of different brands.
We recommend that when buying the wire cutters, you should pay more attention to the quality, reliability, and suitability instead of the money.
What's the best way to cut steel cable cleanly?
The short answer here is, as established, to use the best aircraft cable cutter to get the job done.
The longer answer is to choose the right cable cutter for the job and to make sure you are applying force in such a way as to cut the metal wiring in question without ripping it.
Rough, ripping motions can cause tearing, which in turn can cause jagged edges, which can pose a safety hazard and a real headache for jobs which require clean cuts through metal wiring.
One of the most important things to take into consideration when it comes to cutting steel cleanly is the ability to lock the unit into place. You do not want the jaws to move around all over the place while cutting.
It is thus vital that you find aircraft cable cutters which are able to lock into place. Certain cable cutters are able to be locked into place by turning a nut or knob.
In addition, you are going to want to make sure that you buy cable cutters which are able to cut through steel. Cable cutters which are capable of cutting through steel will typically say that they are able to cut through galvanized materials.
How do you cut steel cable wire without a cutter?
Using hacksaw and wood block
The first process that we want to suggest is to cut steel cable using a hacksaw and wood block. It's a fully manual process. If you don't find anything, you must know the manual process to do any job. Without any wire cutter, you can cut steel cable by using this process.
What will you need? You will need some things-
- A hacksaw
- A wooden block
- Drill machine
Step 1: At first, take a wooden block at least 6-inch height with your preferable length and width.
Step 2: Then drill the block according to the size of the steel cable. Cut all the way from the centre from the open end of the block. Cut up to one-inch depth from the drilled hole.
Step 3: Take an ordinary saw considering the hole into the wooden block. Pass the wire through the hole up to where you want to cut. Then cut the wire simply moving the hacksaw.
You will find the wire without any fray or coiled end.
Tips: Don't drill without maintaining the exact size of the steel cable. You need to set the cable into the hole freely. So, drill a little bit larger than the size of the cable.
Using needle-nose pliers
As steel cable is coated with the galvanization process so you can cut the steel cable by using sheer force. To apply shear force pliers or diagonal shear tool work best. These tools are also manual like the previous process. You won't need any cutter.
What will you need? You will need-
- Measuring tape
- Permanent marker
- Diagonal Shear
- Needle pliers
Step 1: At first, take a measure of how much you want to cut the steel cable with the help of measuring tape.
Step 2: Then mark the wire up to the measured portion. Then place the portion of the wire to cut the cable.
Step 3: Finally cut the cable with the help of the pliers or diagonal shear. Try to give pressure on the handle of the pliers as much as you can.
Using cold chisel
Another manual process which can be done using a simple, handy tool named cold chisel. You can easily cut the steel cable without using any conventional cutter machine. Things are so easy.
What will you need? You will need-
- Electric tape
- Cold chisel
- Measuring tape
Step 1: At first, measure the wire and mark how much you want to cut through the wire.
Step 2: Then wrap the wire before the marking and then wrap some portion also after the marking point. Then place the cold chisel on the wire.
Step 3: Whack on the cold chisel and try to give some good whack. Automatically the portion will get cut off.
Using the rotary tool
This is the last process of How to Cut Steel Cable but not manual. This is the only automatic way that we want to suggest to you. Usually, we prefer manual styles, but if you want to be professional, then this tool will work best. Let's see the process, along with the needed materials.
What will you need? You will need-
- Rotary tool
- Cutoff wheel
- Measuring tool
Step 1: You should use safety glass before cutting the wire. At first measure the wire with the measuring tape as usual. Then mark the part with the marker.
Step 2: Now, run the cutter wheel. Run through the cable. But don't run back and forth. Run from the upper side and then smoothly go through.
First of all, let's know about the problems that you may face in cutting steel cable. You can face common problems when cutting the steel cable. The end of the steel cable can act like a fray. It looks like the rope that has been cut with a dull knife. And the problem is each end of the wire tends to bend but doesn't come back to the original position. And the second problem is if you try to saw the steel rope, then the rope will move around, and that will create a disturbance to give a clean cut.
After all, we want to emphasize again that a good wire cutter is the handy and the must-have items in your tool kit.
You know now how to cut steel cable in different ways. We have tried to cover conventional ways actually. Conventional ways work perfectly here. We will suggest you follow the most comfortable way and that fully depends on you. It's your choice to find the best one for you. But always try to ensure safety—best of luck.