Whether you’re an electrician or just a skillful DIYer working around stubborn wires, you probably already know the importance of owning a high-grade wire cutter in your toolbox. This handy tool can help you slice thinner and thicker wires alike into as many pieces as you want. Some can even be used for stripping the cables. But how to choose the right one? Based on your needs, you can pick from wire cutters designed for electric wires; others can slice through wire ties, finish nails, and even wire fences. With this in mind, check out our selection below to find the best wire cutters you can get your hands on.
The Best Wire Cutter
Durable nickel chromium steel construction
Comfortable rubber grips
Machined jaws for maximum strength
Available in different sizes
The IRWIN VISE-GRIP diagonal cutting pliers deliver a great combination of handling comfort, cutting ability, and pocket-friendly cost. They might not be the most powerful choice out there but are undeniably the best wire cutters for most users. Their main advantage is the unrivaled cutting ability delivered at a fraction of the cost of other famous brands. Padded handles enhance comfort, while the sharp jaws can slice through all kinds of wire, from electrical to hardware cloth. Sure, the IRWIN VISE-GRIP might not be the best choice for hard-duty jobs, such as cutting nails, nor for repetitive jobs, due to the shorter handles. They also tick points in the looks department and come in various sizes. Obviously, the tool meets or exceeds all ANSI standards, and comes with a lifetime warranty. More than enough reasons to convince us that this wire cutter is our best choice.
The attractive price tag makes it an excellent choice for pros and beginners alike
Strong jaws can cut through most types of wires
Clean cuts through most types of materials, including nichrome 80 wire
Compact and very easy to grip, even by smaller hands
Uncomfortable to use for a long time
Cuts and strips solid and stranded wires
Single-action grip and strip action
Precision-machined stripping holes
Tension-loaded wire grip
Ideal for hobbyists and professionals alike, the Klein Tools Wire Cutter and Stripper is one of the most versatile tools around. The spring-loaded handles deliver comfortable operation, while clearly marked wire-stripping holes make it a solid choice for electricians as well as AV hobbyists. It works brilliantly with 8-20 AWG solid and 10-22 AWG stranded wires. Either for cutting or stripping, all you have to do is squeeze the handle to get the job done. The wire cutter is made of cast alloy and boasts a heavy-duty Ecoat finish that provides resistance to corrosion while enhancing durability. So, if you’re looking for a wire stripper and cutter in one, this option from Klein Tools might be it.
Convenient wire cutting and stripping tool
Can remove jacket layers of up to 1 inch long in a single step
It retains cable geometry while stripping, removing the insulation without damaging the wire
Comfortable to handle
It is not suitable for small gauge wires
Doesn’t look and feel as nice as other similar tools
Multi-zone bi-material grips
Compound cutting action
Made from drop forged steel
The CRAFTSMAN diagonal wire cutter tool is a dependable choice for passionate hobbyists. It features a compound cutting mechanism designed to provide an increased cutting force with minimum effort. Made from drop forged steel, it guarantees strength and durability, even under heavy-duty usage. Another highlight is the induction-hardened cutting edges that maintain their sharpness over time. You can expect a powerful jaw capable of slicing through cables, nails, and bolts. The steel handle is as strong as the jaws and comes covered with thick rubber sleeves that improve comfort and grip. Besides diagonal, this wire cutter comes in a linesman model too. Regardless of your choice, you’ll get a convenient lifetime warranty, so you can invest in it without worries.
Powerful jaw makes it easy to cut through copper rivets and solid brass in one go
The induction hardened cutting edges stay sharp for a really long time
Convenient, limited lifetime warranty
May struggle to cut thicker wires
Three-in-one wire stripper, cutter, and crimper
Six stripping stations for 10-22 AWG wires
Induction-hardened cutting edges
Meets all ANSI standards
Special features for specific applications
All it takes is a quick look to understand that the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool / Wire Cutter is the apotheosis of wire cutting and stripping. The tool encompasses sophistication and efficiency, appealing above all to the pros. Deserving a special place on our list of best wire cutters, this versatile tool looks complicated, but it’s actually really easy to use. Its relatively complex look is not just a gimmick; the cable cutter really serves a multitude of purposes. Perhaps its greatest strength is the self-adjusting mechanism that adjusts the jaw automatically to fit the size of the wire being stripped or cut – safe to say we’re looking at an automatic wire stripper. Jaw self-adjusting apart, another highlight is the fact that you can control the length of its core strip thanks to an efficient stopper mechanism. Ideal for 10-22 AWG wires, it also impresses with a pliers style nose that allows for pulling and looping the wires. Furthermore, it can also cut nails or bolts. What else could you wish for?
Perfect for crimping both insulated and non-insulated terminals
Multiple purchase options
Comfortable rubber grips enhance handling
It can cut bolts to size
The handles are relatively large and may feel awkward in the hand
It has no springs to keep it closed
Double-dipped comfort-grip handles
Precision-ground stripping holes
Holes for looping and bending
Moving forward with our wire cutters list, the Klein Tools 11055 wire cutter, and wire stripper is an excellent choice for hobbyists. Coming at a price that won’t break the bank, it impresses with a strong-gripping serrated nose that allows for easy pulling, bending, and shaping. Dedicated holes make it easy to loop and bend the wire as needed, while the easy-to-read markings enhance operation. The tool is ideal for 10-18 AWG solid and 12-20 AWG stranded wires. Precision stripping holes bring further value, not to mention it can even cut cleanly a variety of screws. Technical details apart, we also like the design. Unlike other cable cutters that are awkward to use, this one stands out with its double-dipped comfort grips and ergonomic, curved handles. As you can expect, the tool comes in various sizes, including a model with handles that glow in the dark.
Curved handles make the tool easier to hold and maneuver
The strong-gripping serrated nose enhances versatility
Cuts and strips solid and stranded wires alike
Ideal for cleanly shearing screws
Stripping holes calibration is not the best
8mm long jaw
Heat-treated carbon steel construction
Non-slip hand grips
Spring returns tool in the original position after cutting
The Hakko Micro Cutter tops the charts as one of the best wire cutters on the market. A reliable tool for a variety of purposes, it’s praised by users across the globe, including ourselves. Its greatest feature is the slightly angled, 8mm long jaw designed for accurately cutting copper wires. Not only can it cut wires up to 16-gauge, but it’s particularly suitable for terminal wires, courtesy of its 21-degree reverse angled head, and cutting surface. Another great feature is the internal spring that quickly readjusts the cutter to the original position after use. The wire cutter is made of coated steel that prevents glare while also enhancing durability and corrosion resistance. No doubt, an excellent choice for pros and amateurs in need of a good microwire cutter.
Micro wire cutter ideal for all kinds of DIY projects, including crafts and jewelry making
Flush-cuts through soft alloy wires, including tin and copper
Dolphin-style handles are incredibly ergonomic and comfortable
Carbon steel construction guarantees long lifespan
Operator fatigue is reduced by the spring mechanism
The coating on the blades tends to chip off
The jaw opening could have been wider
Durable steel construction
Perfect for wires up to 1.8mm
Non-slip grip handles
Long handles enhance maneuverability
Slim, slender, and made of chrome molybdenum alloy steel, the BOENFU is one of the best precision wire cutters on the market. What makes it stand out is the specially hardened edge that makes it easy to cut even the hardest wires, as well as nail, screws, and other items. A small yet powerful jaw can deal with materials up to 1.8mm thick, including eye pins, small chains, cords, beading, and so on. As a result, it’s more than a handy tool to have in your arsenal. It also appeals to DIYers and hobbyists, especially those involved in jewelry making. Easy to handle, this affordable wire cutter also boasts comfortable non-slip grips on the handles, that not only enhance ergonomics, but that also enhance safety. Besides wires, the tool can also cut through thin plastic, a feature that boosts its versatility.
Strong wire cutter ideal for arts and crafts projects
Perfect for cutting wires as well as other materials, including plastic
Longer handles improve grip and maneuverability
Affordable considering its quality
A spring keeps it open constantly
6-inch long wire cutter
Spring-action reduces hand fatigue
Sharp blades for precise cuts
Ideal for hobbyists
Designed with hobbyists in mind, the Fiskars Crafts DIY Precision Wire Cutter is the ideal tool for your creative project needs. A slim profile and light weight make it super-easy to maneuver, even for smaller hands. Sharp, angled edges allow you to make precise cuts on thinner or thicker wires alike, and you can also use the tool for cutting other materials, including thin sheets of metal and plastic. Size apart, we also like the soft grip touch points designed to enhance comfort. Furthermore, a spring keeps the tool open when you’re not cutting, reducing hand fatigue. Backed by a lifetime warranty and coming at a price that won’t break the bank, this handy wire cutter is an excellent choice for all your DIY projects and small gadget repair chores.
The sturdy and comfortable tool is ideal for most arts and crafts projects
Can cut through a variety of wires, including guitar strings
Sharp angled edge delivers utmost precision
Spring-action design reduces hand fatigue
Unsuitable for heavy-duty projects
Convenient angled head design
For soft annealed rebar
Beveled cutting edges
Long, plastic-dipped handles
The last entry on our list of best wire cutters comes from Klein Tools. These heavy-duty pliers were designed specifically for rebar work, helping you cut soft annealed rebar tie wire in the blink of an eye. Their greatest highlight is the 13-degree angled head that makes it very easy to use in confined spaces. Another great feature is the ergonomic grip, ensured by the hooked handle. Delivering high leverage power, it can slice even through the toughest wires without too much effort from your side. It misses a spring to keep it open, but the beveled jaws and hot rivet make up for the drawback. All in all, an excellent choice for contractors, homeowners, and anyone working with rebar.
Ergonomic handles make it very easy to cut through thick rebar tie wires
Excellent balance and comfort
High-leverage design for construction site work
Relatively expensive compared to other wire cutters
No spring system
Wire Cutters Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Wire Cutters
Finding the best wire cutters goes beyond a mere check of the offer on the market. There are various types of pliers that serve different purposes. For this reason, before choosing a wire cutter for you, it is essential to assess your needs. Below, a few things to consider before buying.
Comfort - Whether you’re a professional or avid hobbyist who uses a wire cutter daily, or a homeowner looking for a tool to keep in the garage kit, comfort is the first thing to assess when buying a wire cutter. Besides the size – which is more often than not dictated by the application – you should check the balance of the tool, its overall weight, and ease of use.
The best wire cutter must be ergonomic and feel comfortable in hand. If you have smaller hands, search for a tool you can hold comfortably.
This is important not only because it will ultimately determine your user experience, but also for your safety. Indeed, cutting wires or bolts with a wire cutter that you can’t hold comfortably is a recipe for disaster.
Handle - When it comes to the handle, you must assess two things. Its length as well as the sleeves, if any. The length is important because it transfers force from the operator to the point of operation. Longer handles provide more leverage, making the wire cutter suitable for cutting thicker or harder wires.
A longer handle is also necessary for applying enough force for heavier duty operations, such as cutting bolts or nails.
Handle length apart, another thing to pay attention to is the grip. Some manufacturers sell pliers with no rubber sleeves on the handles. They are great if you need a tool to cut wire for DIY projects or guitar strings. However, remember that metal conducts electricity. Thus, these pliers are not safe to use for small home repairs, especially if you have to adjust a wall outlet or repair any appliance connected to a source of electricity.
To enhance safety, but also comfort, you should choose a pair of wire cutters with rubber grips. These sleeves boost comfort and maneuverability, while also keeping you safe, no matter what you decide to cut with the tool.
Versatility - Last but not least, consider the tool’s versatility. Perhaps the best wire cutter for home use is the beveled wire cutter. It doesn’t produce the cleanest cuts, but it’s easy to use, even by beginners and is strong enough to serve a variety of applications, from cutting wires for arts and crafts to adjusting things around your house.
If you’re a professional, you can also consider investing in a wire cutter and stripper; this tool serves two purposes, bringing more advantaged while helping you save a buck. With this in mind, you should now be able to pick the right wire cutter for you. So, happy wire cutter hunting!