Wire cutters are the go-to tool for anyone who works with wire on a regular basis. They’re fast and easy to use, and you don’t have to be an expert to get great results every time.
However, they aren’t the only way to cut wire. There are several other methods available that are just as effective but perhaps not as well-known.
If you don’t have wire cutters or simply want a different option that isn’t quite so permanent, here are some other ways you can cut wire without them.
Using the bending method
If you have a very thin wire, you don’t have to look out for any tools or equipment. You can cut it using your bare hands! Here are the steps to follow;
-Mark the area that you want to cut.
-Hold the wire in one hand and stretch it with your other.
-Make a small, quick movement downwards.
-Move the wire to the next mark and repeat.
This method is probably one of the easiest ways to cut wire, but it isn’t always practical. If you’re working with thick or medium gauge wire, you might struggle to bend it at all. It’s also not safe for you to use on thinner wires because your hands will likely slip if they aren’t properly supported.
This method is pretty easy but it’s not ideal for cutting thicker wires because you could end up bending them too much or even snapping them.
You might also want to use this method if you’re using some kind of pliers or needle-nose pliers, which can be difficult to control when working with thin wires.
Another thing to note is that repeated bending can compromise the overall integrity of the wire. This means that it may not be an ideal method for the wires to be used in sensitive applications. You can use it for hobby projects where the sensitivity of the wire is not such a big deal.
You may also be wary of the heating effects on the wire due to the repeated bending. In terms of accuracy, it will take great effort to cut the wire precisely using this method.
If you don’t have cutters nearby, you can proceed to use a hacksaw. After all, hacksaws are used on many metals, so it will be easier to use them on wires.
Here are the steps to follow when using a hacksaw to cut a wire:
Step 1: Hold the hacksaw at a comfortable angle, and with the blade facing down.
Step 2: Cut the wire. The wire should be cut in a straight line, so you may have to repeat these steps several times until you get a straight cut in the wire.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for as many wires as you need. It’s important to make sure that all of your wires are cut in a straight line, otherwise, it will be hard to connect them together at the end. You can use this method if there are only two or three wires you need to cut at once, but if there are many wires, it would be better to use another method.
Take note that when using a hacksaw on a super this wire, there is a high chance that you may end up bending the wire at some points. This will also have a negative impact on the structural integrity of the wire. So, you should also be careful with how you handle the rest of the wire-not just at the cutting points.
If you don’t have any other tools available and want to perform wire cutting using pliers, proceed with these steps:
Step 1: Carefully mark the exact point of the wire where you want to cut. Doing this will help improve the accuracy of your cutting process.
Step 2: Take out your pliers and put one of the jaws on top of the wire.
Put the pliers on top of the wire and squeeze the jaws together. The wire should be cut in a straight line.
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for as many wires as you need. It’s important to make sure that all of your wires are cut in a straight line. This move will also ensure that you get accurate cuts from the process.
Using tin snips
You can also use tin snips to get accurate cuts from your wires. The snips have sharp blades that can easily hear through a wire. They also have relatively longer handles making them comfortable when it comes to cutting wires.
Steps for using:
Step 1; Carefully position the wire between the blades of the tin snip.
Step 2: Bring the handles of the snip towards each other. Doing this will facilitate the cutting process on the wire.
Verify the cut section to ensure that it is accurate.
Take note that if not carefully handled, tin snips may end up contorting the wires instead of cutting.
Using a reciprocating saw
To cover the shortcomings of a hacksaw, you may opt to use a reciprocating saw to cut your wires. The main advantage of this saw is comes with more power and is easier to use.
A reciprocating saw comes with different blades with varying lengths. Some blades are longer than others. It also has a powerful motor that facilitates accurate movements of the blades back and forth.
When it comes to wire ensure that the saw has a high teeth count per blade.
To use the reciprocating saw, you need to orient the blade perpendicular to the cut it is going to make.
Before starting, ensure that the blade is properly lubricated. This is necessary because with time the blades will start getting dull and will not be able to cut through wires as easily.
It also depends on personal preference whether you want a cordless or corded saw. Cordless saws are more convenient as they do not require a power outlet. However, they tend to be more expensive than their corded counterparts.
Also, ensure that you have protective glasses. This is because the saw extrudes small pieces of wires as it cuts.
Using angle grinders
An angle grinder is a portable tool that is used to cut metal. It is used to cut metal of all types, including steel, aluminium, brass and copper. This makes it an ideal tool for cutting wires.
The most common tool in an angle grinder is the grinding wheel. The grinding wheel is placed on the top of the grinder and its purpose is to grind metal pieces into shape.
Once you mark the point of the wire that you want to cut, you need to put the wire on the grinding wheel and start turning. You will have to keep turning the wire around the grinding wheel until you get a smooth cut.
A tip that many people use is to put a piece of cardboard on top of the wire while cutting. This provides extra support for the wire and helps it cut through more easily.
Shears are simple tools used to cut metal wires. They can be used with either one hand or two hands, depending on how you hold them.
Shears come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have three main components – a handle, a blade, and a blade cover. The blade cover is designed to protect your hands from getting cut by sharp blades when working with shears.
The most common type of shear is the angle grinder shear which has an angle grinder attached at one end. If you want to use an angle grinder shear, make sure that it is a type that has the grinding wheel attached to it.
Tools not to use
Now that we have highlighted the methods that you should use for cutting a wire in absence of wire cutters, it will be prudent to name those that you should not use.
While you may be tempted to deploy a pair of scissors to cut a wire, it is not advisable. Most scissors don’t have sharp blades that are capable of cutting wires accurately. In most cases, you will be forced to use extra energy and force. This will end up damaging the wire and ruining its structural strength.
From the physical aspect, you can easily assume that nail clippers will deliver a perfect job when it comes to cutting wires. Just like scissors, the delicate nature of the nail clippers will require extra force. This may also end up damaging the wire.
Types of electrical wires
Also, before you proceed to cut the wire, you should know the type that you are dealing with. Some methods can be used on one type of electrical wire and not the other.
Commonly used wires used in the field of electricity include;
As the name suggests, this wire is a single-conductor. It has a single core and one wire that is used to carry the current. This type is further divided into two types. These are solid wire and stranded wire. A solid wire is one that has a single core and no wires. This type of wire is best used for electrical purposes. Stranded wire has more than one wire that is used to carry the current.
This type of wire has more than one core and wires. These are generally used in the transmission of electricity from one source to another. These wires are usually made using copper, aluminum, or copper-clad aluminum. Copper-clad aluminum is another term for aluminum wiring and both of these are used in multi-conductor wires.
Multi-clad refers to wires that have special metallic housing. The metallic housing is made of a core of copper that is covered with aluminum. Since the wires are coated, they are less likely to corrode or rust. The metallic housing also helps prevent electrical arcing. Multi clades are mainly used for the industrial applications.
Coaxial cable consists of multiple conductor insulated by a common insulator called a dielectric, which maintains the integrity of the signal and resists interference from other signals on the same wire pair (not always true).
The dielectric can be air, but most commonly it is a heavy-gauge plastic material called polyethylene (PE). Although PE is not an insulator, it is a good dielectric because it has a very high dielectric strength. As a result, coaxial cable can carry signals with higher power than parallel wires.
Now that you know the different types of wires, you should handle them with care when cutting.
Precautions to take when cutting wires
As simple as it may take, cutting wires may require some extra levels of precautions including:
-Ensure that the wire is not connected to the power source: Disconnect the power source before cutting wires to avoid electric shock.
-Ensure the insulation of the wire is intact: If any part of the wire insulation is damaged, it may leak electricity.
-Use a good pair of scissors: Scissors with a sharp blade will slice through wires easily and prevent damage to other parts of your body.
-Cutting in a well-lit place: Cut wires in a well lit place as it will reduce chances of accidents when cutting.
-Ensure that the wires are properly marked and labeled: Ensure that the wires are properly marked and labeled to get accurate measurements and minimize confusion.
-Use insulated gloves: Use insulated gloves when cutting wires to prevent electric shock.
-Cutting the wires at a sharp angle: Cut the wires at a sharp angle to make it easier for you to cut through them.
-Use the right tool for the job. We have listed various devices and equipment for cutting wires. It is up to you to use the right one that will execute the task fast and effectively.
It is clear that you don’t have to use wire cutters to cut your wires. The tools mentioned above are good enough to do the job. It is your choice to use one of them. And if you are not sure how to d don’t hesitate to lend an expert’s hand.
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