Hakko micro cutters will flush cut wires

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/03/hakko-micro-cutters-will-flush.html


Flush cutters are also super handy to have around for snipping zip ties and modeling (removing pieces from sprues). I use my Xurons (same idea) all the time…


I’ll have to check them out. Flush cutters are only as good as their jaw alignment. I typically buy super-precision $70 Lindstrom cutters for watchmaking, but a less pricey tool that works well would be nice to have several of, around the house.


$4.47 from Digikey. But they don’t have that free shipping trap.
Also there’s an anti-static version CHP-170-D.

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Yes! I love these! I use them for cleaning up my 3D prints and they are absolutely wonderful. Very comfortable grips, too, which is important when you have to do a lot of snipping.

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I use these. They’re good for the money and you can buy them in 5 packs. However, I have found that if you cut the nubs off the front of the grips you can fit them into tighter spots.


There is also an $11 two-pack available at either Lowe’s or Home Despot (who can even tell them apart anymore?) that features decent small needlenose, and flush cuts that will render any zip tie wrist-safe on the first try. They look similar to these, but the plastic is red only, no black.

I’ve been using these for years and they’ve been very good at flush cutting the leads on the underside of through hole boards. Like has been mentioned, I also use mine for 3D printing cleanup and for cutting filament. They give a very flat cut face to the filament.

I pick them up at Fry’s for $2.50 or so from time to time when they have them on sale. I think I have several sets stuffed away in the closet to replace ones as they fail. Like @nixiebunny says, they’re only as good as their jaw alignment. That’s why it’s important to read what they say on the handles. They have a max wire size. If you cut beyond that, you’ll bend the jaws out of alignment–or stress the axle which will induce ‘play’ between the jaws. If you see any nicks in the jaws, then you cut something too hard and should not trust that pair for precision flush cutting. Those ‘broken’ pairs are still good for 3D printing cleanup, etc.

I keep a pair in my soldering ‘go bag’ along with a TS100, solder, wick, and a power supply. I couldn’t imagine doing electronic work without them.

These buggers are also great as toenail/fingernail clippers, with the straight-across cut those of us who tend to ingrown nails need plus narrow-but-blunt tips, for easy access but less stabbery ^^’ .

Ignore this ad, however, as they’re US$2.50-4 most times I see them; even Snobby Lobby had them for $6, last I looked.

Yes, flush cutters are great for zip ties. I realized that when putting up and taking down our Fringe Festival. I think I started by using an older pair, but then found a pair cheap at a garage sale. They were much easier to use than a knife or scissors to cut zio ties. But the festival never caught on, buying a few pairs for the other volunteers. But they never got some fixed wrenches to fit the bolts on the fencing, even after I brought the right suze, and tgen found some more of that size cheap. The right tools do make tge job easier.

That said, I think for zip ties I’d just buy cheap, these are presented as better than cheap.


These are not going to be as durable as high-end cutters such as Lindstrom. Personally, I wouldn’t use cutters this cheap on any hardened metal anyway. But for cutting solder wire they’re cheap and effective.

It’s sad when you try cutting something that’s just a bit harder than you think, and end up denting the edges. Saw some this afternoon at Menards for $1.98, but got my last couple off eBay for under $1.00, and free shipping (granted, 2-4 weeks delivery time, but that’s fine for a couple spares).

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I had a new grad engineer borrow (without asking) my $75 Excelta flush cutters and use it to cut some 10 AWG Ni-chrome wire.

She came back and asked for a better pair. She was aghast when I showed her the crescent shaped divots in the cutting surface. It all worked out though. She had her department buy me a new pair, and I remembered to kp my tool box closed and locked from then on.


Flush cutters are the only cutters to use on pc boards because they don’t pull up on the lead being cut. Diagonal cutters pull up when they cut pulling pc board pads of the board loose or crack solder joints. Just look at a cut made with diagonal cutters versus flush cutters. IMHO


Agreed, but fancy flush cutters aren’t essential for that. Any diagonal pliers (side cutters) work fine.

Not sure I’d class these cutters as ‘fancy’, I use a little Spyderco Dragonfly serrated hawksbill with H1 steel for cutting zipties at work, one of those retails for £80 over here…

I have never found that I can get the trim quite as close to the head/pawl with standard side cutters. With a flush cutter you get no sharp exposed edge. Nice for applications where you will come into contact with the cut surface (bike applications etc…).

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