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Cut the Confusion: Shear Cut vs. Pinch Cut

Posted on:September 6, 2019

From the type of cutting edge to the handle design, there is a lot to consider when choosing the tool that is best-suited for the job at hand. Another important distinction includes whether the knife blades are shear cut or pinch cut. This difference in cutting capability largely affects the tool’s intended purpose and the materials it can successfully cut through. To help spread a greater understanding, here’s a closer look at where and how professionals can specifically use shear cut and pinch cut wire strippers.

Shear cut wire strippers feature two cutting knives that slide past each other when cutting, commonly recognized as stamped wire strippers. This design is intended for completing clean cuts with less force on copper or aluminum wire when compared to pinch cut, which is perfect for use when responding to typical residential calls.

Pinch cut wire strippers, on the other hand, feature wider hardened knives that meet each other. This combination ensures the tool can withstand a higher force when handling steel cable or in utility applications. If an ill-suited tool is used to try to cut harder materials, the knife blades will dent instead of cutting, causing permanent damage to the tool. The added strength of pinch cut knives helps ensure tool durability over time after long hours on the job.

Klein Tools’ Forged Wire Strippers offer four times the strength of traditional wire strippers. Can you spot the difference between these two models? Cat. No. K12035 (left) features shear cutting knives while Cat. No. K12055 (right) features standard pinch cutting knives.

When looking at shear cut versus pinch cut, tools that feature both knives are widely relied on across all jobsites. Depending on the materials used, however, tools can vary greatly according to their intended purpose. Pay close attention to a product’s complete features and benefits to find your next jobsite essential. Klein’s extensive product offering helps skilled tradespeople in every industry stay well-equipped for their line of work.

Which tools help you get the job done right? Share the tips and tricks of your trade with us on social media.

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