you get the cutters you pay for. . .
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you get the cutters you pay for. . .
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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:14 am
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Okay.

I pulled another stupid and bought cheapo crap wire cutters at walmart. Needless to say, the blade snapped off.

That being said, I need a pair of cutters that will last without breaking the bank. I need suggestions for a new pair that balance budget and repeated use.

Any ideas??

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Re: you get the cutters you pay for. . .
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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:17 am
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hsingscrapper wrote:
Okay.

I pulled another stupid and bought cheapo crap wire cutters at walmart. Needless to say, the blade snapped off.

That being said, I need a pair of cutters that will last without breaking the bank. I need suggestions for a new pair that balance budget and repeated use.

Any ideas??


What type and size wire will you be cutting?


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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:06 am
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Also, what type of quality of cuts are you aiming for? [Pinch cutters are going to be cheaper than shear cutters].


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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:28 pm
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and what do you mean by 'repeated use'? a few projects or 25 years full time?


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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:29 pm
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I am currently cutting a variety of wire that is not high quality. I hope to afford better wire soon.

As far as gauges go, between 14 and 20. I have another pair that will work with the smaller gauges that I use for beading. I tried them on the 20 ga and nothing doing.

Being able to find them at Sears or Lowes or some other place local would be a huge bonus.

As for repeated use, I'm thinking several years of daily use or more.

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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:25 pm
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What metal types?


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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:45 pm
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It's something I picked up at michael's that says gold and silver. I think it's probably brass and some other mystery metal.

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Posted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:57 pm
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i believe both are coated mystery metal.. brass is usually labeled as brass.

i got a lot of mileage out of wiss or prosnip aviation snips.. not sure about the prosnip anymore, the quality went downhill a year or two after i started.. but, wiss is pretty reliable. i was using the yellow handels, or "cuts straight". for stainless, you want knipex. klien is okay, but saving that 20$ in the short term doesn't equate to saving money in the long term.

for copper/brass/soft metals, consider a simple jewelers saw with a rang of blades. i typically used 4/0, 6/0, 8/0 blades.


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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:29 am
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Reading Chao's words I might add: It's imho NOT about saving money, irrspective whether short-term or in the long run, but it's convenience and saving labor, and minimizing likeliness of RSI. So ESPECIALLY for cutters (but principally for all hand tools I use) no price is too high for me, if the investment is justified by positive effects. Health is expensive - lost health is priceless.

So for steel there's only one hand cutter for me: Knipex CoBolt - nothing else. For softer materials usually 'tin snips', made by one of the 'major brand' producers are also my first choice. BTW: Chao mentioned the cutting direction of tin snips - they are avaiable in 'left curve', 'right curve', and straight-cut versions. Personally I had astonishing good results with 'lefties', but your mileage may vary - and I have abandoned tin snips totally, in the meanwhile, as my soft stuff is now sawcut, exclusively. Only thin-wire Titanium remains to be shear-cut by me now, with a modified Jeweller's tin snip.

-ZiLi-


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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:08 am
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If aviation snips is the direction you decide to take, then my best advice is to install a stopper so that the blades only pass each other enough to cut through the ring on the coil end, and not so much so that they greatly distort the ring, as these types of cutters generally produce 'C' shaped rings. C shaped rings can be manipulated back into circular form, but it takes a little bit of time, making them slower to weave than pinch cut or saw cut ones.

The following pictures demonstrate such a modification to this type of tool, in this case Mastercraft brand, which is comparable in quality (if not slightly better) than the defacto Wiss brand which many maillers have come to use over the years. This type of modification allows adjustments too:

http://www.chainmailbasket.com/images/misc/aviation0.jpg
http://www.chainmailbasket.com/images/misc/aviation1.jpg
http://www.chainmailbasket.com/images/misc/aviation2.jpg

This picture shows what some resulting brass rings looked like after being cut from the coil using aviators:

http://www.chainmailbasket.com/images/misc/aviation3.jpg

Slight deformation occurs, but applying pressure on opposite ends of the outside of the ring prior to closing it will rectify this problem.

This type of cutter is readily available from most hardware stores and is good for cutting copper, brass, bronze, nickel silver, and galvanized steel in many sizes, but not ideal for stainless, titanium or any harder metals.


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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:34 am
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In armor metals like galvy, black annealed, or normalized mild steel welder wire, a pinch cutter is just fine, and in these either the 200mm or 350mm handle size is excellent, the larger of the two being capable of a faster cut rate as well as being much easier on the hands through using the entire arm to cycle it.

The coarser pinch cut is fast to execute even in quite hard metals, which becomes rather a consideration in hand cutting links for projects that run from five to fifty thousand links.


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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:37 am
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ZiLi wrote:
Reading Chao's words I might add: It's imho NOT about saving money, irrspective whether short-term or in the long run, but it's convenience and saving labor, and minimizing likeliness of RSI.
[...]
Personally I had astonishing good results with 'lefties', but your mileage may vary - and I have abandoned tin snips totally, in the meanwhile, as my soft stuff is now sawcut, exclusively. Only thin-wire Titanium remains to be shear-cut by me now, with a modified Jeweller's tin snip.

-ZiLi-


i have also abandoned tin snips. i feel they are a valid stepping stone which will cut a lot of rings. i only mention price because i know that it's a major factor in hsingscrappers decision making at present.

and on the note of RSI, definitely get something with a return spring.. you really (really really really) want your cutters to open automatically. pain and agony implore you.

CMB: yikes! were you cutting all the way through? i made sure my blade stopped on a ring instead of closing all the way. i got some deformation, but never anything like that unless i slipped and "heavy-handed" the cut. i could close the rings gaplessly without any reforming, but i liked the reformed aesthetic better.


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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:46 am
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I should also mention that aviation snips for me were a stepping stone too, and I've completely stopped using them some years ago, but not because they're bad (they aren't!), only because there are better shear cutters out there (e.g. TRL's modified hard wire cutter). But aviators are indeed an effective, inexpensive tool for ring cutting, as mentioned by chao. Fast to execute too, not unlike mini bolt cutters or end nippers, or other pinch cut tools, but aviators offer slightly better // closures vs. a >< pinch cut closure.


Chao: Those rings aren't yikes at all, they're very mildly distorted. With no stopper, you get C's, like really bad c's. Yes, I cut all the way through. One ring per cut. Controlling your hand to not cut all the way through is too difficult, I found, and that's the entire reason for the stopper.


Tell a mailler what ring sizes to use and they'll weave for a day. Teach them AR and they'll weave forever.
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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:31 am
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sakredchao wrote:
i believe both are coated mystery metal.. brass is usually labeled as brass.


They both look similar from the middle to the outside.

Does RSI stand for "repeated stress injuries" or something else?

So aviation snips sound like the general consensus for an all-purpose pair of cutters. Will they work well if I were to acquire precious metals?

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Posted on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:50 am
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If/when you start using precious metals, you'd better use a jewelers saw for perfect flush cuts. At least, that's what the general consensus will be.

Aviation snips would work fine, but why order steak if you're going to put ketchup on it?


Tell a mailler what ring sizes to use and they'll weave for a day. Teach them AR and they'll weave forever.
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