At Milwaukee’s recent NPS18 new product show, there was no shortage of “gotta have that!” tools.
There are awesome new cordless power tools, new Packout tool storage products, new ratchets (yes!), new circular saw blades, a 3-in-1 vac that was far quieter than I anticipated, and many other exciting tools.
There’s also this teeny tiny mini flush cutting pliers. It’s great to have something like this around when precision and cut quality matter, or maybe you just need to work in a tight space. I’m told that these cutters will have iron carbide blades, for greater longevity and very slow wearing.
I tested them out briefly on some 4 conductor pair network cabling. It looks like the new flush cutters will be joining the low-voltage tools that were announced last year and recently released, but they can be used for so much more than that.
See Also: How do you cut cable ties?
Mini cutters are great for cutting cable ties, for example. I also use them on electronic components and wire leads.
There was nothing surprising about the pliers, good or bad. They were comfortable to use, but these might be prototyped handles. There was a very slight offset of the blades, which helps produce clearer non-pinching cuts.
I’m told that they’ll be priced at around $9-10, which is fair for something like this.
This kind of tool doesn’t stand out very well, both at Milwaukee NPS shows, and on store shelves. But it seems like a solid offering, and is one more example of Milwaukee’s goal of being solutions provider. Well, they’re getting there.
I guess this fits in their hvac lineup quite nicely.
I just bought a Hakko version of this. Nothing wrong with the couple I already have (got another for a separate kit). It was $4. A lot less than the $28 Knipex, so much so that I’ll likely never discover if it’s actually better. And no reason to go for a $9 version either.
These are intended to be disposable, too. No heirloom quality in this sort of tool…
Handle looks different from my made in Italy Hakko CHP-170’s, which I pick up at Fry’s for $5. Work pretty good, but will break if abused (like using them to snip metal).
I’ve heard that if you want really good cutters, get made in Sweden ones.
Lindström – now part of Snap-On – Bahco – make some really nice ones in Sweden
but I’ve been happy with Xuron flush cutters made in the USA and selling for about $8
I agree. I have some Bahco pliers and they are really beautiful. They seem to have become my go-to brand for pliers. They seem to know a thing or two about hard steels!
Most of the Lindstrom pliers and cutters are no longer made in Sweden. And they converted many of them to lap joint rather than box joint. Good stuff but not what it used to be. I am not sure who makes them now but I believe they are sourced in Spain. I think it is the same with the Bahco wrenches. SnapOn really ‘fixed’ them. My old Bahco adjustable is really solid.
Knipex flush cutters for me. Xcelite is also a good budget option.
I’m gonna stick with the HD flush cutters from Xuron.
anyone see these listed on a website yet?
I’d be surprised to see Milwaukee brand low voltage tools remain in production in the next 5 years. There’s just so many more established and trustworthy brands in that market that have earned their loyalty over the decades right along side the power tool brands’ power tools lol nothing against Milwaukee, and I feel this way about any *power tool* brands odd ball specialty hand tool offerings. Short of massive innovation somehow I couldn’t imagine choosing a DeWalt or Milwaukee or Makita specialty hand tool like these over Klein, greenlee, with, wera, etc. My 2¢
The handles look way out of proportion for the size of the tool. I don’t wear thick leather work gloves when using my flush cut pliers.
Hopefully better than their regular strippers(edges roll over faster than the 10$ hardware store ones). Or the finish on the small adjustable wrenchs. Whoever thought that engraving numbers through the plating was a good idea should be dragged out and shot. A nice rusty measurement and logo. Just what I wanted on my new wrench.
Can you say more about the tool in the center, that looks like a cable stripper with a thumb hole?
What do you want to know? It’s a cable stripper with adjustable blade cutting depth and finger loop. I have a test sample and can demo it soon.
Insert cable, spin cutter, remove jacketing.
The NPS18 cutter nicked a wire, but you should be able to adjust the depth so that doesn’t happen.
According to the internet, a lot of users will discard that length of wire anyway in case there’s a nick. So they’ll strip the cable and then rip the jacket with the pull string.
So who makes a good but affordable cable stripper? I’d like to add one to my personal collection (since I need to strip the insulation from multi-conductor cables fairly frequently), and maybe get one for work, too.
I currently use the cutting edge of my wire strippers, and that works OK but I have to be pretty careful. I’ll have to ask our tech how he currently does it.
If you’re talking about Cat5 jackets, etc., I’ve just been using dollar-store snap off knives. The key is to score the jacket rather than cutting through. Yes, it takes a little more care but it’s NBD.
I’m not kidding either. I put good money into the 8P8C crimpers and a Fluke tester, and the cut-off dikes, but for cutting the jackets, a simple razor knife is the most productive & adaptable.
Just be willing to start over if you go too deep.
That’s basically how our tech does it (box cutter knife on one side, a finger on the other, score the insulation, then pull it off). We have a special tool for it, but it’s more hassle (has to be adjusted precisely)
Then your techs haven’t discovered this beauty. Just over $10 and there’s no adjustments to be made. Works flawlessly.
Platinum Tools 15015 Cat 5 Cable Jacket Stripper
Sorry I wasn’t clear, but we’re building automated machines so we have to deal with a variety of cable sizes, not just Ethernet cable
Try these, they work great & on multiple size jackets. Scores it just enough and snaps off clean. Also doubles as cheap punch down tool
Snips, aka electrical scissors are usually the tech method. Open em, slide the little cable down to the apex, and pull ? it’s easier to lock your hand with the snips than with more mobile wire strippers, also less sharp, so all together something about the action becomes much easier using snips instead. Teeth work very well for cat6 pairs as well lol
This Jonard tool works well for cables with more (but similar sized) conductors than Ethernet cables:
Thanks, everyone once in a while I need to strip a power cable, but not so often that I have become proficient in it or can justify an expensive tool. Looks like I will give this puppy a try, assuming it’s priced like Milwaukee’s other offerings, which are generally reasonable. I appreciate the response.
According to Knipex, you shouldn’t use these kind of cutters for cable ties at all. I’ve used plenty of different flush cutters like this but only on smaller cable ties. I do thoroughly believe that Knipex’s testing is accurate on larger cable ties, which claims it will ruin the cutting edge.
This is from Knipex:
“What can I use to flush cut cable ties?
Cable ties are usually made from quality plastics with high tensile forces. When they are cut using pliers, high frictional forces are therefore created between the plastic of the cable tie and the steel of the cutter.
The wider and thicker the cable tie, the greater these forces will be.
The surface of the cutters and their lip angle also have a great influence on the cutting forces created.
We recommend precision electronics diagonal cutters from the 79 range, e.g. 79 22 125 or diagonal cutters for plastic in the 72 range, e.g. 72 01 160.”
I’ve had their special ‘cable tie cutters’ in my wish list for about a year or so. I just can’t seem to justify having a relatively expensive tool just for cutting cable ties when a pair of cheap side cutter will do the job. I still don’t understand why it’s a bad idea to use normal cutters. Why exactly are ‘high frictional forces’ bad for me (apart from forgetting to buy k-y jelly)?
I think it’s a rather blanket statement, assuming people don’t use common sense and try to cut cable ties too large for the cutters. I can imagine using a mini flush cutter to cut a 5mm wide or wider cable tie will kill the cutter. With these, if it takes more effort than closing without cutting anything, you’re cutting something too thick. These are rather delicate tools, 2mm cable ties, 16 gauge stranded wire at the most, trimming down legs on PCBs(minus thick resistor, diode, double diode or transistor legs). Actually, the HF flush cutter is quite the little gem, I have over 80 pairs of Knipex and I’d have no issue using the HF flush cutters every day. Honestly, short of the top tier(box joint or something like 75-02-125 SB) Knipex, their flush cutters are just ok…I prefer Lindstrom or thanks to Stuart, Tronex.
I use cutters like this more for cutting zip ties on new equipment and such. For flush-cutting zip ties I’m installing, I use an installation tool.
Sounds a little ridiculous. I’ve had zero issues cutting ties for years and years with dykes, snips, or even a decent pocket knife. Not an issue with the tool, the tie, or what it’s supporting. I do respect knipex, though. Curious as to their evidence or logic.
Corey, if you’re getting email responses or care to hear my thoughts, I responded to Hilton above. My response to them is rather applicable to your comment.
My long time favorite nylon flush cutters are a pair of Stanleys, that I don’t have near me to get a part # off, but it has been discontinued as I have searched high & low for a 2nd pair. Large enough for any zip/nylon tie I’ve used, even the uber large ones (we called them hog ties), and has a good spring back to it.
My new primary cutters, cause most ties are small anyway, are some Irwin DC4 flush pliers. Small & also has a good spring, which is a requirement if you are snipping many ties.
Many of the zip ties Iv’e had to cut were in locations a tool that tightens to a certain strength wouldn’t have worked well. We would have rather have ours not too tight if we needed to snip & add another cable to be held.
Not exactly tiny, I think, as I have a no-name set that has handles that are less than half that long.
I work in commerical Pro-AV and electrical and do a LOT of copper cutting. By far the Xuron 2175 and 2275’s are the best I’ve ever used. Besides being awesome, their customer service is spot on. A par of my 2175’s broke (somehow) and they replaced them. They even sent me a few extra springs and handle grips because I asked.