Southwire has recently come out with new 8″ high leverage cutting pliers, model DCP8D.
They feature induction-hardened cutting blades that are designed for cutting most hardened wire, ACSR, bolts, screws, and nails.
The pivot is hot-riveted for smooth action is no wobble.
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I received a test sample from Southwire, and while I haven’t tested it enough for a formal review, here are some first thoughts.
First, the pivot on my sample is a little stiff, but that isn’t unusual for many of the new pliers and cutters I’ve bought or received over the years. It might loosen up in time, it might not.
The handles are thick. Southwire says they’re dipped handles, and while that might be true, you get a lot more thickness than the simple thin grips other pliers with dipped handles might have. I consider this a good thing.
The pivot is shifted as far forward as it could be, and they do provide a very nice amount of leverage for cutting hardened wires.
I would say that the cutter head is a little bulkier than on my other diagonal cutters, but that really doesn’t seem to be a major concern.
They’re made in China. From what I can tell, these seem to be well-manufactured pliers. The cutter blades are sharp and seem durable.
I should point out that Southwire is a current advertiser, and this month’s banners feature this diagonal cutter.
Once the banner images switch over next month, I’m going to buy a new off-the-shelf pair of Channellock 8″ diagonal cutters for comparison. Southwire’s new DCP8D pliers are $20-22 (most retailers have them for $22), and Channellock’s 338 8″ diagonal cutters are currently $16 via Amazon.
What I think to expect is that the Southwire cutters will perform comparable on copper wire, but excel when it comes to cutting harder materials. The pivot is measurably forward, meaning you get more leverage from the same or less effort, and the cutter blades specifically designed for tougher cutting tasks.
The alloys are different – 6150 drop forged steel for Southwire, and 1080 carbon steel for Channellock.
What I can tell from a quick web search is that 6150 steel has less carbon than 1080, and comparable levels of manganese and phosphorous. 6150 also has silicon, vanadium, and chromium in more than residual amounts.
Thus, the Channellock cutters are made with a carbon steel, and the Southwire cutters with an alloy steel.
I’m going to need to dig into my metallurgy references to be sure, but I would predict better hard-cutting performance from the Southwire cutters, especially if heat treated properly.
I tend to really like Channellock tools, as they represent a good balance between cost and quality, and they’re made in the USA.
Southwire has gobs of experience in wiring and wiring products, and have been coming out with new tools at a steady pace. I have no idea who is designing these tools, whether in-house, or if they’re slapping their branding on tools designed and manufactured by OEM partners. Actually, I still know almost nothing about Southwire tools.
3-1/2 years ago, I asked: Is Anyone Using Southwire’s new Tools? I wonder what the answer would be now. I’ve handled a few of their tools, and will be testing these new cutters more thoroughly, but there’s still a lot of mystery and unknowns behind their products.
With these cutters, I like what I’m seeing so far, and am eager to see how they perform compared to tried-and-true Channellock cutters.
I suppose I should compare them to Klein’s, but between Klein and Channellock I often prefer Channellock.
Hmm, maybe a Channellock vs. Klein vs. Southwire vs. Milwaukee comparison? What other brands would you want to see in such a diagonal cutter comparison?
Thank you to Southwire for providing the test sample unconditonally.