File this tool accessory on the “why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?” pile. Knipex recently started advertising a new material catcher accessory for two of their electronics diagonal cutters.
The Knipex material catcher captures cut material and prevents it from either flying away or falling into someplace it shouldn’t. Knipex lists the aerospace industry as one of the target users of this catcher, specifically for avoiding FOD (Foreign Object Damage).
This catcher (00 11 V79) fits over the head of their 79 02 125 and 79 22 125 precision electronics diagonal cutters. Both of the compatible tools also have ESD versions available, but it’s not clear whether these versions are compatible.
Unfortunately, the material catcher doesn’t seem to be available at any of the normal retail sites yet. I did find one German distributor through a Google search but that might only be useful for one or two readers.
On the material catcher webpage, Knipex says: “We kindly ask you to get in touch with your local Knipex distributor for detailed information on the availability of the new items.”
More About the Compatible Cutters
As for the compatible models of precision cutters, Knipex’s specs and descriptions indicate that the 79 02 125 cutting edges have a very small bevel, and the 79 22 125 cutting edges have no bevel. The cutters without a bevel can cut slightly smaller wires (0.1 mm vs. 0.2 mm) and have the same max soft wire cutting capacity (1.7 mm).
The 79 02 125 cutters can cut “class 2” materials, such as nails, wire pins, and other medium-hard wire materials up to 1.3 mm in diameter, and the 79 22 125 can cut such materials up to 1.0 mm in diameter. The 79 02 125 cutters can cut class 3 materials, such as wire rope strands, steel wire, and other hard wires up to 0.7 mm in diameter.
Class 1 materials are soft materials, such as copper wire and plastic, and class 4, which neither tool is recommended for, included spring steel and piano wire.
When I first saw these new material catchers advertised, I immediately thought back to my days as a student where we would be trimming the leads on PCB boards, trying to hit each other with the flying tag ends.
While that was a bit of stupid fun, it can actually be dangerous if you aren’t paying attention and/or wearing safety glasses. Getting small and fast moving pieces of metal directly in your eye, at best is irritating.
Even when you’re working carefully, cutting certain materials will turn the trimmed-off parts into projectiles and potentially harmful debris. If you’re working in an open area and non-critical environment, you might be okay just vacuuming the floor afterwards. But in tight spaces, foreign materials can potentially risk catastrophic failure.
Knipex and other brands already make small electronic cutters with built-in lead catchers, and you can buy a pair of those for under $30 at Amazon. If you watched Knipex’s promo video, their new material catcher is designed a little differently, catching the cut-off head of a nylon cable tie. That’s something you can’t do with cutters featuring lead-catchers.
At first glance the material catcher almost appears to be 3D printed. I’m not sure if this is just because they are using photos of a prototype, or if the design with the stepped faces and sides makes it appear like it is constructed in layers.
This accessory seems so simple that you’d think that somebody had already come up with a similar idea. Has anybody seen something like this before? What else might it be used to catch aside from short wire trimmings and cable tie heads?