Guide [In search of the Best Flush Cutter]

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Technik
Shas
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Guide [In search of the Best Flush Cutter]

Post#1 » Jul 01 2009 11:01

While on my tour of the many topics, tutorials, and outside sites offering hobby supplies. I have noticed that their are literally tons of flush cutters out there ranging from 8 dollars to 50+ dollars. After reading several tutorials and threads about assembling models I believe this is one of the more essential tools in a modellers arsenal.

After reading and reviewing my options, [local store didn't have any GW cutters] I went out to my local Home Depot and picked up a pair of Cresent USA flush cutters but they don't seem to work as well as I would like them too. On top of this the cutting edges do not seem to line up properly. I am not opposed to buying the GW flush cutters but I am sure that their are better flush cutters out there. I would appreciate the input of the modellers on ATT and what they use as far as these cutters.

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mangozac
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#2 » Jul 01 2009 11:17

You want quality ones designed for cutting component leads after soldering to a printed circuit board. My suggestion is to try an electronics store - a decent pair should set you back around US$10-15.

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Agentarrow
Fio'Vre
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#3 » Jul 01 2009 11:30

Mine are from a fine jewelry set, the individual cutters were made for cutting jewelry metals and chains, and alone cost about $17 USD

Technik
Shas
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#4 » Jul 02 2009 06:09

are any brands better than others?

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Diehard
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#5 » Jul 02 2009 07:56

I am partial to Paladin tools for my electronics work but they are a little pricey and I wouldn't recommend then for modeling because of it. Really the best pair I have are the house brand at hobby lobby. I got a set of 5 different ones in the floral department. They are extremely sharp and have a deep cutting surface. For super accurate cuts I use a set of cutters for making stained glass. They leave a very straight cut without crushing so butt joints are easy and don't require any file work. My last set is a weird offset pair that I got at some hardware store. The blades were fairly dull but after a little time on the grinding wheel they are perfect. The odd bend lets them fit into tight spaces. Bottom line just pick up a bunch of different sets and find what works for you. At $2 to 10 a pair or in some cases set, you can get several. Trust me you will find use for all of them. I have ones for pinning, brass work, tubing, plastic, thick plastic, rough cuts, you get the idea.

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P'Shar's Rifles
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#6 » Jul 02 2009 08:12

In my opinion, the single most important, and hardest to find, detail is that the cutter blades are beveled only on the inside. Most cutters sold in hardware stores now as "flush cutters" actually have a small bevel on the outside edge of the blades. This means that "flush" actually translates to "almost flush, but leaving a small ridge at the point where you cut". I don't know why this seems to be the trend, but it's worth looking around until you find a pair that truly cuts things flush to the surface.

Just more evidence to me that folks who design and market tools don't actually use them.

Best,
P'Shar

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Mnemonic
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#7 » Jul 02 2009 09:01

One thing I'd warn against is trying to use flush cutters to cut piano wire, if you're using piano wire for pinning - all that happens is you end up with circles indented in the blades of your flush cutters. Don't ask how I know that.

Xeones
Shas
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#8 » Jul 02 2009 09:54

:P You know, the first time I glanced at this thread's title I misread it as "In search of the best flesh cutter" :eek:

I personally just use a rough and ready pair of snips that I got in a $5.00 tool kit. They don't really cut close to the model, but since I have to clean off mold lines with a hobby knife anyway, I just trim off the last little bit when I clean up the model. It seems to take about the same amount of time as when I've borrowed my friend's GW pair which gets a much cleaner cut so I decided there was little point in trying to find a better solution for my hobby needs.

And yes, if you work with metal models frequently or other stuff harder than plastic, I'd recommend you get a second, heavier pair of cutters for that type of work.
SPRUE FOR THE SPRUE GOD!!!

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Serak
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#9 » Jul 02 2009 11:09

Mnemonic wrote:One thing I'd warn against is trying to use flush cutters to cut piano wire, if you're using piano wire for pinning - all that happens is you end up with circles indented in the blades of your flush cutters. Don't ask how I know that.


For that I recommend wire-cutters from the company Knipex. They make tools for carpenters and I assure you that they are durable enough to cut copper at the least. They are "expensive" however and might be hard to find in non-carpentry stores. :/

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P'Shar's Rifles
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#10 » Jul 02 2009 12:05

Copper is very soft. Piano wire is steel, and very hard.

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Mnemonic
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#11 » Jul 02 2009 12:12

For piano wire, I now use a pair of dedicated wire cutters produced under the brand name "Faithfull", manufactured in Germany. I think they cost me something in the region of £18-20 (about $27-30 US) and they're superb - not only is piano wire available in all sorts of thicknesses, so it's great for pinning, but these cutters eat things like paperclips comfortably, and are far easier to work with than bolt cutters, which were the alternative.

Technik
Shas
Posts: 7

Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#12 » Jul 02 2009 12:33

Thanks everyone for the imput. I would eventually like to compile all hobby related equiptment with reviews into a single thread for newcomers like myself so every piece of advice here is of great use. Also, Im just going to summarize what you all have said for those who are just entering the thread now. If anyone else has more experience with different brands that would be great too! Thanks again for the info folks!

Cutters for Plastics:

Diehard, "Really the best pair I have are the house brand at hobby lobby. I got a set of 5 different ones in the floral department. They are extremely sharp and have a deep cutting surface."

Cutters for Piano Wire & Heavier Duties:

Mnemonic, "brand name "Faithfull", manufactured in Germany. I think they cost me something in the region of £18-20 (about $27-30 US) and they're superb - not only is piano wire available in all sorts of thicknesses, so it's great for pinning"

Serak, "I recommend wire-cutters from the company Knipex. They make tools for carpenters and I assure you that they are durable enough to cut copper at the least. They are "expensive" however and might be hard to find"

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Mnemonic
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#13 » Jul 02 2009 12:47

Adding to the hobby resources here is always a laudable goal - the wire cutters I bought are these ones: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... oh_product - you need to be very careful when looking to buy wire cutters to make sure they can handle the wire you're looking at working with. Piano wire is a hardened steel, which makes it brittle (watch out for flying shrapnel) but very strong.

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P'Shar's Rifles
Kor'O
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#14 » Jul 02 2009 12:57

Mnemonic wrote:Adding to the hobby resources here is always a laudable goal - the wire cutters I bought are these ones: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... oh_product - you need to be very careful when looking to buy wire cutters to make sure they can handle the wire you're looking at working with. Piano wire is a hardened steel, which makes it brittle (watch out for flying shrapnel) but very strong.


Those look really nice. Per my complaint above, do they actually cut flush to the surface? If so, I'll seriously look at ordering them.

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Mnemonic
Shas'Vre
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#15 » Jul 02 2009 01:55

Sadly, they don't cut flush with the surface- the head is rounded and the cutting edge is slightly inset, so you end up cutting 1 - 1.5mm above the surface. Given that I use the wire for pinning, it's never been a problem for me - but I couldn't find a pair that looked like they'd cut flush while still being able to cut piano wire.

Technik
Shas
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#16 » Jul 02 2009 06:56

Can anyone contribute some other options for cutting parts of off plastic sprues?

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Serak
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Re: In search of the best flush cutter

Post#17 » Jul 02 2009 10:28

P'Shar's Rifles wrote:Copper is very soft. Piano wire is steel, and very hard.


Oh, I didn't know it was steel. :eek:

Here's a link to Knipex's site. http://www.knipex.com/index.php?id=113&L=1 Another really good set of cutting tools is made available by the company Ironside. They seem to only be available from the company Ahlsell (which is a Swedish company). :?

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Tael
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Re: In search of the Best Flush Cutter

Post#18 » Jul 03 2009 12:03

Personally? I've been using a rough pair of straight sided farming cutters. I imagine similar are obtainable at any good hardware store. I've had this pair for years and they are designed to cut through baling wire etc when binding wire fencing.

For plastic models, I use GW cutters. I don't mind the little bit sprig of plastic left after cutting from the sprue. It allows me to remove with scalpel or file appropriately without damaging the model parts surface.

Sometime, not being flush is a good thing. You can always neatly trim closer, but you can never go back after marring a part. ;)

~ Tael.
I'll compile this thread into a Hobby Resource shortly. Superb contributions all.

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