How to Cut Wire Rope Cleanly [Step by Step Guide]

Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by TechChecking

Wire cutters, also known as pliers, are one of the important tools to cut wires, crimp wires, fixing bolts and screws, and so many applications. Users find wire cutters useful in cutting worn-out cables, open-end wires, and other purposes. A quality wire cutter can cut copper, aluminum, brass, iron, and sometimes steel wires. But cutting wire rope cleanly requires some processes and techniques. This is why you should need to know how to cut wire rope cleanly. We will now learn how to do that.


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How to Cut Wire Rope Cleanly

How to Cut Wire Rope Cleanly

Cutting wire rope is very simple if you know the proper ways. In this article, we will show you how to cut wire rope following some steps. However, the steps are very easy to follow. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Pick the right tool

Cutting wire ropes with the wrong wire cutter will bring futile results. That’s why checking the thickness of the wire, you should select a suitable cutting tool would be great. Sometimes, you will see the spring-loaded wire cutter that can help your job done easier. Besides, there are some heavy-duty wire cutters that can cut steel wire rope easily and cleanly. You can pick one of them. However, don’t miss picking the best professional wire cutters. A recommendable wire cutter is Felco Cable Cutter. You can handle this heavy-duty cutter with one hand. This wire cutter for thick wire can make a clean-cut every time and is a worthwhile investment for most wire rope projects.

Step 2: Prepare for the job

After picking the right wire cutter for cutting the wire rope, you should make it ready for your workstation with equipment. Select a place where light is adequate. Now is the time to wear your hand gloves and prepare for cutting the wire rope.

Step 3: Measure the wire rope carefully

An old adage goes always right that ‘measure twice and cut once.’ If you are not so careful, a piece of good wire could be unusable. This is why, it is truly necessary to check and double-check before wielding the cutters. Now measure the wire rope carefully by taking time. If you are done measuring the accurate portion of the wire that you intend to cut, use a marker to mark out exactly where you need to cut.

Step 4: Cut the wire rope

The right time has come. Now carefully place the steel rope into the cutting tool exactly where you made the mark with the marker. This time apply a steady and consistent level of pressure. Once you reach the optimum level of efficiency, the wire is cut cleanly leaving any fray. So if you are able to follow the steps, it must be professional and clean-cut.

Step 5: Apply the finishing touches

You need to apply some final touches after cutting the wire rope. However, they aren’t essential but these touches can significantly improve the rope’s appearance and function. Well, after cutting the wire rope, if you see any unnecessary strands are around it, just make some twists and it won’t bother you again. This will also reduce the likelihood of stray strands in the future.


What are the different types of wire cutters?

Cut Wire Rope Cleanly

If you are an electrician or any professional who has a relation to wire cutters, you must know there are different types of wire cutters in the market. Wire cutters have differences in sizes, styles, designs, quality, and others. All the cutters are not the same as well. The rope cutters or the pliers have different lengths and thicknesses of metal wiring too.

Let’s see some of the different types of wire cutters so that you can have a clear idea about them.

Lineman’s Wire Cutters

This is one of the most common and widely used wire cutters for people. People especially those who are electricians and linemen need these lineman’s wire cutters. However, the cutters are also used to cut through or strip wires as well.

Shear Cutters

This type of wire cutter is also very important to the users who want the smoothest and clean cut. These shear cutters will help you get the work done with the least force to cut items. This is why you must know how to cut wire rope cleanly. The shear cutters have two blades that are sharp enough the cut materials easily and smoothly.

End Cutters

If you are new to know these types of wire cutters, you should know that end cutters are one of the necessary ones. They are known as snippers as well. The end cutters have an almost flat head to cut close against the surface of the materials. However, these cutters are ideal for cutting leads, springs, nails, bolts, rivets, etc.

Needle-nose Wire Cutters

The needle nose wire cutters are known in different names such as pointy-nose pliers, long-nose pliers, or pinch-nose wire cutters. They are called needle-nose because the head of the cutters is pointy so that they can be used in congested or tight places. You can even use its tapered jaws to bend and insert the wire into switchgear in electrical panels. This is a very favorite tool for electricians.

Bolt Cutters

The bolt cutters explain themselves. This type of cutter is specially designed for cutting bolts. This is why you need a huge amount of torque to cut through metals. You can see these bolt cutters in the construction industry.

Hydraulic Cutters

One of the most powerful cutters is a hydraulic cutter. They can produce a massive amount of torque to cut any heavy-duty materials. However, hydraulic cutters are usually used on different types of conductors, wire ropes, and solid bars. It has guillotine-style head shear to minimize jams. These types of cutters are very powerful and valuable to the users.

Diagonal Cutting Wire Cutters

The diagonal wire cutters have diamond-shaped edges that can be used to cut through a wire, metal, and ropes. The carpenters, as well as electricians, like and use these diagonal cutting wire cutters frequently. It is a very essential wire cutter to the people. So, pick the best one you need.


How to cut wire rope without wire cutters?

This is one of the most frequent questions from the users’ end. However, yes, you can cut wire rope without wire cutters. So, if you want to know how to cut wire rope without wire cutters, read more. We will show here multiple ways how to cut steel cable wire without wire cutters.

Method 1: Using Hacksaw and Wood Block

The first process we are going to show to cut steel cable using is using a hacksaw and woodblock. It is a fully manual process.

What you need

  • A hacksaw
  • A wooden block
  • Drill machine
  • Vice

At first, manage a wooden block of at least 6-inch height with your preferable length and width. Now, you have to make a hole by drilling the block according to the size of the steel cable. Your target is to cut from the center from the open end of the block. Carefully cut up to one inch from the drilled hole.  

Now, get an ordinary saw considering the hole into the wooden block. Pass the steel wire through the hole up to where you really want to cut. Now, start cutting the steel wire simply using the hacksaw.

You can successfully cut the wire without the wire cutter.

Method 2: Using Needle-Nose Pliers

The second method we are going to show is using needle-nose pliers. You may know steel cables are coated with the galvanization process, so you have to cut the wire by using sheer force. How to apply shear force? Well, to apply shear force, you need a diagonal shear tool to work best. These are like the previous processes though you need not any cutter yet.

What you need-

  • Measuring tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Diagonal Shear
  • Needle pliers

First of all, use the measuring tape of how much you want to cut the steel wire. Mark the wire up to the measured portion. Now place the portion to cut the cable.

Finally, cut the steel cable with the help of the diagonal shear we talked about. Try making pressure steadily on the handles of the pliers and continue until it is cut. Hopefully, the steel rope will be cut shortly. So, this is the second process in that you can cut wire rope without wire cutters.

Method 3: Using Cold Chisel

Another manual process that which a steel rope can be cut without a wire cutter is using a cold chisel. This process will tell you how to cut wire rope without wire cutters too.

What you need-

  • Electric tape
  • Cold chisel
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer

In this process, first, measure the wire using the measuring tape and mark clearly where you need to cut. Now wrap the wire before the marking to cut the wire easily and nicely. Place the cold chisel on the wire and prepare to cut.

What you need to do is whack on the cold chisel and try giving some good whack. In a short time, the portion you wanted to cut will automatically cut off.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best tool to cut wire?

It is really hard to answer which one is the best tool to cut wire. But yes, we can help you find some amazing budget-friendly, quality, and ergonomically designed wire cutters such as Channellock Diagonal Cutters, Klein Tools D248-8 Pliers, IRWIN VISE-GRIP Lineman’s Pliers, and there are many out there.

2. Can you cut cable with bolt cutters?

Yes, you can cut cable with bolt cutters. Do you know how? Well, the way the bolt cutters are designed is capable of greatly multiplying the force that is applied to them. For example, 50 pounds of the applied force can become nearly 4000 pounds of cutting force. So, you can understand that they can cut through different types of metals including wires, cables, etc.

3. What can be used to cut wire?

Wire cutters or pliers can generally be of different shapes and sizes. Some of them are used for gripping something round like a pipe or rod. Some are used for twisting wires and others are designed to be used for a combination of tasks including cutting wire. 

4. Is it safe to cut wires?

Cable and phone wires don’t have current and this is why they are not risky to remove them. If you are dealing with electrical wires, you just have to take an insulated wire cutter so that it doesn’t harm you anyhow.

5. Can scissor cut braces wire?

In certain cases, wires can be carefully cut with a nail clipper or fingernail scissors. Well, if you really want to cut the wire using a scissor, hold one end of the wire or place a tissue around it so it can be removed from the mouth.

6. What tools can be used to cut metal?

The handheld hacksaw may be the most traditional and familiar of all metal cutting saws. Besides this, the cold saw also works. However, the cold saw is a circular saw that operates at low speeds, enabling the metal to stay cool.

7. What can diagonal pliers cut?

A diagonal plier is an essential and useful tool. It can cut many types of materials including copper, brass, aluminum, and steel wires.


Final Words

So, what have you learned about how to cut wire rope cleanly? We have tried to cover almost every aspect that a user can be helpful. This article also covers how to cut wire rope without fraying, how to cut wire rope cable, and how to cut wire rope without wire cutters. So, if you have read this article with concentration, you might have found all those answers.

Again, if you have any questions about how to cut wire rope cleanly, you can reach out to us. Stay with us to get more useful articles.


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