Best Wire Cutters Reviewed & Rated for Quality

You don’t have wire cutters in your tool kit yet? Well, this is a huge omission for a serious handyperson! From car repairs to the light household task, we run into all kinds of electrical issues. They all include cutting at least one wire, if not a whole bunch of stubborn ones. It happens that we could easily tackle those tasks on our own, but we don’t have the proper tools for the job! To avoid professional help and to be proud of your DIY work, you should definitely opt for a wire cutter. It could seriously improve your skills and save you quite some cash!

 

Featured Recommendations

Irwin Multi-Toolimg
  • Irwin Multi-Tool
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Price: See Here
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Irwin Diagonal Cutting
  • Irwin Diagonal Cutting
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable Grip
  • Price: See Here
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Micro Cutterimg
  • Micro Cutter
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Excellent Accuracy
  • Price: See Here
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If you’re a professional electrician, you probably got here searching for a quality replacement tool. It’s a rather tiresome task, isn’t it? There are so many tools out there on the market, with different features and materials. It’s sometimes impossible to know which one is the best. This is where we step in! We prepared a list of top 10 best wire cutters available at the moment. It should help both experienced and first-time buyers to find the proper tool for their needs. Now, may we start by presenting you:

 

10 Best Wire Cutters

 

Irwin Multi-Tool

Irwin Multi-Tool
You must have heard by now all about the Irwin company and their top-notch tools, haven’t you? This is an irreplaceable tool for all professional tradespeople! They use it to cut, strip, and bend wires and other materials. They come quite useful on construction sites! Yet, professionals are not the only ones who enjoy having this tool! Every handyperson will find them useful in dealing with a variety of household tasks. As the name suggests, this is a multi-purpose tool designed to meet your every need, and you’re going to love it!
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Versatile
You’ll find this tool quite useful for many situations around the household. Along with the ability to cut wires of various thickness, it’s also suitable for bolt cutting. It has a special cutting edge that is as sharp as it gets, and way more durable than the competition. The super sharp blade also ensures excellent performance and quick cuts.

We also liked the self-adjusting mechanism that modifies according to the wire gauge. It really adds to the entire easy-to-use design.

Ergonomic Design
This is an easy-to-use tool that features an ergonomic design. The handles are super cool and made from high-quality materials. We find them very comfortable to hold, especially at extended use. Also, they allow for a secure grip and more accuracy when cutting. They have a rubberized coating that allows for easy maneuver and prevents fatigue. Not only that you get to cut wires and bolts of various sizes, but you’ll be able to do it in a flash!

We only have to address one possible issue with its design. The stripper notches are awkwardly positioned so you might struggle with stripping action. It’s an annoying design limitation if you ask us, but we love this tool despite it!

Cost and Value
You’re going to love what comes next – this comes at an attractive price! This may be the main reason why it’s so popular and praised among users. A first-class tool that is also well priced is a rare find, so make sure to check it out – Irwin Multi-Tool won't let you down!
Pros

Versatile

Sharper than the competition

Self-adjusting mechanism

Ergonomic design

An attractive price

Cons

Possible problems when stripping a wire

Irwin Diagonal Cutting

Irwin Diagonal Cutting
Here we have another Irwin product that is worth your attention! Like its big brother, this cutter offers outstanding performance and durability. The company put quite some effort into making all their tools easy to use and efficient. They have done a perfect job so far, and many satisfied buyers praise it for it. If you’re eager to find out more about this popular product, keep reading our detailed review!
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Sharp Cutting Edge
Made of first-class steel Irwin cutter proves to be super efficient and durable. This compact tool can tackle different wire gauge with great ease. Like his big brother, it has a sharp cutting edge that allows for simple and fast cuts. What makes it even more efficient are machined jaws. They can grip the wire with more strength for a perfect cut.

Keep in mind that this tool made to cut thinner gauge, so it won’t work on the too thick wires. It cuts 12-gauge wires, zip ties, and similar stuff with great ease, but that's about it. If you want something tougher you might want to search for another option.

Comfortable
This tool offers a comfortable and secure grip. It allows for effortless cutting and extended use without fatigue. You can finally use the cutter as long as you need to tackle your tasks. Only keep in mind that some buyers weren’t satisfied with the size of the handles. They could turn out smaller than expected.

When it comes to the durability of this tool, you’ll be pleased to know that Irwin meets high ANSI standards. It features solid materials to ensure exceptional performance for many years!

Cost and Value
Once again Irwin surprises with top-notch quality that comes at a budget-friendly price! As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get a lifetime warranty in case you run into some issues over many years of use.
Pros

Made of durable steel

Compact design

Super sharp cutting edge

Machined jaws for improved performance

Offers a comfortable grip

Competitive price

Cons

Not a great option for thicker wires

Handles could turn out smaller than expected

Micro Cutter

Micro Cutter
For many years now, Hakko is one of the best wire cutters you could find on the market. It is a tiny tool that cuts soft and thin wires and ensures exceptional accuracy during every task. Thus, if you need more precision when cutting, you should definitely check out this cutter. Professionals use it all the time, and they praise it for exceptional performance!
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Excellent Accuracy
This little tool cuts soft and thin wires with great accuracy. It has an angled jaw which makes it ideal for wires up to 16 gauge. You can finally get to all hard-to-reach areas and cut the wires with great ease. Another useful feature is an internal spring that takes the tool back in its original position after the cutting. This eases the process and ensures flawless results.

Keep in mind that this tool can’t cut thicker wires. If you need a tougher cutter, you should search for another option.

Non-Slip Grip
Users love this tool for its accuracy but they also like how easy and comfortable is to use it. The non-slip grip allows for more control over the process and reduces fatigue when cutting. Also, a dolphin-style curved edge protects your hands during the process. What we liked the most is a steel construction resistant to corrosion and other damages. It should make the Hakko Mini-Cutter super durable and useful for many years!

Cost and Value
All handypersons and professionals need this little cutter in their tool equipment! It will help you tackle every task and achieve perfect results in your house or at a construction site. It complements every tool kit and comes at such a low price that you probably won’t buy just one. After all, it’s great to have several tools to suit different situations!
Pros

Perfect for soft and thin wires

Easy to use

Flawless cutting results

Comfortable grip

Steel construction corrosion-resistant

Inexpensive

Cons

Can’t cut thicker wires

Klein Tools

Klein Tools
Who doesn’t love Klein Tools? They are a reliable company that produces high-quality tools for 160 years already. If you go for this particular tool, you’ll be able to cut, strip, and bend different wire gauge. Not only that Klein cutter gives you the professional finishes but it is also meant to last. You can use it on a daily basis for all kinds of tasks, and it will never fail to deliver flawless results!
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Perfect Cuts
This tool cuts, strips, and bends solid wire from 8- to 16-gauge and stranded wire from 10- to 18-gauge. The strong-gripping serrated nose and shear-type blades ensure clean and perfect cuts. Also, you should be able to strip the wires with great ease thanks to the provided holes. We only have to warn you that some users were unsatisfied with the accuracy of these holes.

All in all, this is a well-performing tool that is incredibly easy to use. Its design allows for self-opening action and the closure lock makes them easier to store. What could we ask more?

Precision
This cutter is more like a precision-tool than the one that focuses on strength. You might find it unsuitable for all your cutting tasks. If you need to cut thick materials, you’ll have to go for a bulkier tool that's for sure. That being said, Klein is very efficient and more powerful than most of the cutters of its size. The first-class features make it a perfect option for every household. No matter if you use it on a daily basis or occasionally, Klein never fails to deliver great results. The compact design allows for easy handling and more precision. Additionally, the handles are rubberized and thus very comfortable to use.

Lastly, this tool is made of high-quality metal. It resists corrosion and other damages so you don't have to worry about being clumsy with it. In case of an accidental fail, it won't shatter all over your garage or malfunction.

Cost and Value
While this is not the cheapest option on the market, it won’t cost you a fortune either. You do need an accurate cutter in your tool equipment after all, and going for a Klein one is always a smart choice. The high level of quality you get with them is well worth the price!
Pros

Cuts, strips, bends different gauges

Easy to use

Perfect cutting results

Improved precision

Compact design

Durable

Cons

Holes are not entirely accurate

Not a multi-purpose tool

Stanley

Stanley
Here are we name-dropping again! Stanley is the company synonymous with high-quality, reliability, and performance. They produce a variety of tools and accessories to equip every serious handyperson! From hammers to toolboxes, Stanley produces all necessary equipment for household maintenance. This particular wire cutter is one of their best tools. It is the example of exceptional quality of all Stanley products at its finest!
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More Accuracy
This is a diagonal cutter that meets ANSI standards. It features a fixed joint design and solid cutting edges for better performance. The blades are super sharp and they efficiently cut soft and hard wires. This makes the Stanley cutter an excellent option for all those who need more accuracy. Both handypersons and professionals will find it irreplaceable!

The cutter is compact and fits every toolbox for simple transportation and storage. That being said, thanks to the bulky head you’ll be able to cut both thick and thin materials at your convenience.

You should only be prepared to manually open the cutter because it doesn’t have a self-opening mechanism. This makes them slightly harder to use than some of the competition.

Durable Construction
The company put quite some effort into the design of this tool! They used steel for the construction to make it sturdy and durable. You can even drop it from a great height or leave them in a wet area. The solid steel makes them resistant to falls and bumps while the sturdy finish keeps them safe from corrosion.

You’ll also love the comfortable handles that prevent hand fatigue even at extended use. The anti-slip design also ensures a firm grip and prevents dirt from sticking to the material. This is very important when working in your garage when you have all those oils and dirty stuff around you.

Cost and Value
If you need an affordable tool that can still offer excellent value, search no more! This one is among the cheapest options on the market yet the price didn’t come at the expense of quality. You can’t go wrong with Stanley!
Pros

Cuts both soft and hard wires

Sharp blades for flawless finishes

Compactly designed

Sturdy and durable steel

Comfortable grip

Well-priced

Cons

Require manual opening after each cut

Knipex Tools

Knipex Tools
Knipex Tool offers a small yet powerful wire cutter. It’s one of those versatile tools you get to use both around your house or at a construction site. It proves to be quite useful for all kinds of applications, and it ensures excellent results. Don’t hesitate to try it out, you might find it perfect for your needs!
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Versatile
This one doesn’t only cut wires but also bolts, nails, rivets, and other stuff. It deals with all kinds of soft and hard materials. With improved cutting edge it allows for flawless cuts. Not to mention that reinforced edges add to the entire durability of the product.

Also, the edges recess near the joint to allow for improved cutting. You don’t have to adjust the wire every time you want to cut it because the tool does it on its own!

Super Sturdy
When it comes to construction, this tool is made from chrome vanadium electric steel. The material is super sturdy and durable and gives years of flawless performance. The company was really harsh to this cutter. They run several tests to confirm its durability, from bumps to tears, and the tool had impressive results. It's simply one of the most durable cutters on the market.

From other features, we especially liked the handles! They are designed to provide a comfortable grip and they also look super cool. That allows for great accuracy and easy use!

Cost and Value
Knipex put a real effort to make this cutter very durable. They used only the best (and pricey) materials. Consequently, the product comes with a higher price tag. Although most users say it’s worth every penny, those on a limited budget could end up a little disappointed!
Pros

Versatile tool

Flawless cutting results

Reinforced edge

Made from high-quality steel

Durable

Comfortable grip

Cons

Expensive

Channellock

Channellock
Channellock is one of the leading companies in the plier industry for more than 30 years. It appeared in 1886, and quickly overthrow most of the competition. They still keep it strong, offering exceptional value with every product! This particular cutter makes a great example of their reliability. It’s one of the toughest we have on the list! It cuts all kinds of wire gauge with great ease and offers a long lifespan. Thus, if you were searching for a more powerful tool, you have just found it!
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Heavy-Duty
This is a heavy-duty one! It can cut wires of different thickness and it does it with great ease. Whether you need to cut piano wire, hard, medium hard or soft one, Channellock got you covered. The blades are super sharp and they allow for precise cutting. The only issue with this tool comes from its bulky design. Because it can cut thicker wires it doesn’t provide a clean finish like the compactly designed ones.

Iconic Blue Handle
Channellock offers high-quality steel to improve cutting and durability of the product. It’s rust-resistant and it can withstand all kinds of bumps and falls. You can slip it in your toolbox and transport it with your other tools. What we loved the most is the ’’iconic blue handle“! It’s very comfortable but also good looking, so it will complement your professional tool kit.

Cost and Value
This product comes at a reasonable price, so it won’t be too hard on your pocketbook. We only wish for it to have better finish results for the price! The manufacturer should think of a way to resolve this issue.
Pros

Cuts different wire gauge

Sharp blades

High-quality steel

Rust-resistant and durable

Iconic blue handle for more comfort

Reasonable price

Cons

Doesn’t offer a clean cut

Dowell

Dowell
We have another budget-friendly product, and this time it comes from Dowell! This little tool offers great performance and a long lifespan. Both professionals and DIY enthusiast find it quite useful for different tasks. In fact, all those who need a compact cutter for everyday tasks and simple wire cuts will love this Dowell tool!
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Flawless Finishes
This one is great for cutting copper and aluminum cables. It does a great job with cutting thin wires and allows for flawless finishes. However, if you need the tool to cut thicker materials this is not the best option for you.


That being said, this compact tool is quite efficient when cutting thinner materials. You can use it with one hand and quickly cut in the desired place. Our only gripe was the lack of self-adjusting option. You’ll have to adjust the wire and the plier before and after every cut. Sometimes it happens that the simple motion slips the wire further on the blade. You can imagine how annoying it could get to level this properly!

Solid Construction
Dowell company used only the best materials to make this cutter as durable as it can get! It is made from high-quality steel and it has sturdy springs for improved durability. Additionally, the handles are made from a solid yet comfortable material. They allow for an easy and comfortable grip, ensuring excellent accuracy when cutting wires. Not to mention that they make all demanding tasks more bearable!

Thanks to the provided features and excellent performance, we highly recommend this tool! The chances are that you'll be quite satisfied with it for years.

Cost and Value
All buyers praise this tool for the value it provides for the money. We have to agree that it’s one of the cheapest options on the market. Although the price came at the expense of some features, Dowell still delivers outstanding results and we highly recommend it!
Pros

Cuts copper and aluminum cables

Easily tackle all thin wires

Flawless finishes

Quality steel and sturdy springs

Comfortable handles

Inexpensive

Cons

Not suitable for thicker materials

No self-adjusting option

Greenlee

Greenlee
We are all about well-known companies and famous names when it comes to choosing a wire cutter! Greenlee offers a variety of tool kits, tools, electrical devices, accessories, and more. They are known to be super reliable, so make sure to check out their offer. You might find more than one exceptional tool for yourself. This time we have one of their excellent cutters, and you’re going to love it!
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Clean Cut
This is an impressive tool that cuts everything from steel cable to copper wire. With heavy-duty blades made from durable steel, you’ll cut almost effortlessly. You won’t have a problem with any material that can fit within its jaws.

What’s the catch? They don’t open very wide. If the wire is too thick it may not fit between the jaws. That being said, this tool allows for clean cuts as long as you can fit the wire. Thanks to the extra sharp blades you’ll make perfect and quick cuts every time!

Sturdy Construction
We already mentioned the sturdy steel construction that ensures excellent results and durability. The solid handles allow for easy handling. Thanks to their design you can tackle every task with great ease. They are also cushioned for a comfortable grip and less fatigue when cutting. This tool also has a spring to hold it open and a flip lever to keep them closed for simple storage.

Cost and Value
So we have to admit that this wire cutter is on the expensive side. Although considering it’s a heavy-duty one, we say it’s well worth the extra money!
Pros

Cuts wires of different thickness

Clean cuts every time

Sharp blades for easy handling

Sturdy steel construction

Comfortable handles

Cons

On the expensive side

Felco

Felco
You must have heard by now all about Felco tools. They are super popular and praised among the users. From all Felco cutters, we picked the most durable one. We had to make it the part of our top 10 list, and you’re about to find out why!
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Unique Triangular Jaws
This is a heavy-duty tool that cuts wires of different thickness with great ease. It features unique triangular jaws to ensure clean cuts. However, it's not quite true that this tool never leaves a frayed cut. Despite the manufacturer statement, it could leave some floppy ends. This is mainly the thing when cutting spiral brake housing. It seems that you'll need to put quite some effort for this one!

Anti-Slip Design
Along with durable steel construction, Felco features quality and comfortable handles. The anti-slip design allows for a secure grip and more accuracy when cutting. Also, the rubberized coating reduces fatigue at extended use. You’ll be able to use them almost effortlessly.

We shouldn't forget to mention the perfect sharp blades! They also add to the entire user-friendly experience.

Cost and Value
Like most of the other heavy-duty cutters, this one comes with a higher price tag. Like many satisfied buyers, we think it’s well worth the extra money! However, if you’re on a limited budget, you’ll have to search for another option.
Pros

Heavy-duty tool

Cuts different wire gauge

Durable steel construction

Anti-slip design

Comfortable grip

Easy to use

Cons

They could leave a frayed cut

Pricey

 

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Wire Cutters

 

Ranking the 10 best wire cutters demand a lot of research, comparison, and effort above all! It was a challenging task we admit it, but we came out with the most accurate results. To give you a slight hint of the entire process, we provided a short list with the criteria used in the evaluation.

Material

Can this tool cut both thick and thin wires? This was our first and main question! The top-notch wire cutter should be able to cut different wire gauge. Now, we know that not every tool is versatile enough to cut all types of wires. However, some of them are more versatile than the others, and we had to think about that. The ones designed for thin wire should cut a variety of gauges in its range. The same applies to thick-cutting ones. Thus, we ranked the products according to their versatility and cutting abilities!

Durability

These tools are rather sturdy and durable, but not all of them last the same amount of time. The differences exist even among the best cutters on the market! We took into account all features that prolong a lifespan of each one of them. The most durable ones are at the top of our list, just as expected!

Comfort

A secure and comfortable grip was also an important factor in the evaluation. It might not seem that way to the inexperienced eye, but the design of handles is crucial! They need to be well-made for improved easy handling and more accuracy. Also, they have to provide a comfortable feeling and reduce fatigue. This is especially relevant for professionals who get to use them all day!

Other Factors

We had to think about all features that make every wire cutter worthy of your time. They have to be sharp, to provide perfect clean cuts, and last for a long time! It’s also crucial that they are easy to use, transport, and storage. All these factors are important for the quality of the entire product and therefore, for the evaluation. We ranked the cutters according to their final results and the best ones are at the top!

Cost and Value

How expensive these little tools could possibly be, you may ask? Well, quite some! The best-performing and most durable ones are rather expensive. However, there are also many cheap cutters that offer exceptional quality! We break this through for you, providing a short review of cost and value along with every product. Our major concern was the value you get for the money, so we ranked the products accordingly. Now you get to choose with great confidence, knowing that you’ll get what you paid for!

 

Other Factors to Consider When Buying Wire Cutters

 

When choosing a wire cutter, we often forget about many important factors. Remembering them later is rather annoying! Going through the replacement process is a real hassle, so we tend to keep the product we are not satisfied with.

However, there are a few steps you could follow before the very purchase to avoid this from happening. It will only take a few minutes of your free time but it could help you chose the proper cutter. Following them now means having the perfect tool straight from the box! Here’s what we have in mind:

Wires

The most important thing you should determine is the thickness of the wires you’ll be cutting. Of course, you can’t know for sure and that could change according to the particular task. Yet, it’s enough to know whether you plan to cut thick wires and cables, or you have to tackle tricky and thin ones. This will determine which type of cutter you need. They can’t all cut every type of material and every wire gauge. You have to aim to get the one that suits you the most!

Versatility

Now, you should ask yourself whether you need a versatile tool or not. Not all cutters are designed to cut, strip, and bend wires and other materials. Most of them are designed to perform one action or at least to do one better than the others. You’ll have to aim for the one specially designed for your type of work. That being said, you can still opt for versatile tools that can do all on their own! They can efficiently perform every action, from cutting wires to moving small objects. You’ll have to spend a few more bucks to get one of these, but you have that option.

Comfortable Grip

Choosing a tool that guarantees comfort during every task is crucial. You could go for the one that isn’t so easy to handle if you don’t plan to use it at extended time. However, even then you can experience some harsh time during cutting. If you don’t want annoying and painful calluses, you better aim for extra coated handles! Well-designed handles are not only more comfortable but they also allow for easy use. A secure grip eases the cutting process and gives you more accuracy!

Budget

The first question of most buyers is: how much will it cost me? It’s an important question, and we don’t have a simple answer. If you need a heavy-duty tool for cutting thick wire, it will definitely cost you some extra cash. If you need a tool for light and thin wires around your house, you could easily go for a cheaper option. The price mainly depends on the task you need to get done.

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about wire cutters

 

Q: What is the difference between pliers and wire cutters?

A: A wire cutter is a tool designed to cut different types of wires. It is also called a diagonal cutter because of the two edges that join on a diagonal. This type allows for accurate cuts close to the wire base. Its antipode is a symmetrical one that leaves a pointed tip.

A plier, on the other hand, doesn’t have cutting blades but rather gripping jaws. People use it to grip the object that can’t be held or lifted by bare hands. It’s very useful because you get to easily grip all tiny stuff between the jaws! Pliers come in different types and they usually have pointy blades. This allows for improved precision and easy access to the tight areas.

Nowadays, you can find the combination of pliers and wire cutters if you need a little bit of both.

Q: What are the common types of pliers?

A: Pliers are rather versatile tools suitable for different tasks. Some are designed for cutting wires, while others modify them and grip all kinds of stuff. It’s important that you get the proper one to do the job accurately.

For example, side cutting pliers are the heavy-duty and versatile ones. They are designed for industrial and commercial tasks, and they cut, splice, and grip wires. The long nose pliers can reach tight spaces and grip small objects. They are super useful in any situation! The third type is utility pliers and they are quite the opposite from long nose ones. They grip square and flat objects. Then we have diagonal pliers that are actually wire cutters. The ones that are not for cutting are named flat nose pliers. They are the most popular and common type because of its ability to bend and grip the wires. While split joint pliers only adjust nuts and bolts, the end cutting ones cut the wire close to the source.

We pretty much covered all basic types, so now you should be able to pick the proper one for yourself!

Q: What is a wire stripper?

A: It’s a tool specially designed to strip the insulation off electrical wires. These days, most of the wire cutters come with a stripper option which is quite useful. You get to cut, strip, and bend wires using only one tool. However, if you need a stripper rather then a cutter, you should check if the particular tool has that option.

Q: Is it safe to cut a live wire?

A: If you’re completely sure that you know what you’re doing, yes. You have to be totally insulated from the ground and it’s crucial that you cut only a single live wire. Cutting a two-conductor wire could lead to sparks, shocks, and other life-threatening situations. Keep yourself safe before everything! We don’t recommend cutting a live wire if it’s not your last resort.

Sources

  1. Jason Tung, Wire Tools – Choosing the right tool for the job, Article
  2. Don Vandervort, How to Cut & Strip Wires, Article
  3. Paul Smith, Working with Wire, Article