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Daily Wire Tip: True Flush Cutters
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
I’ve bought several wire cutters that said they were “flush cutters”, but I still am left with a definite sharp point on my wire. I’m beginning to think I don’t understand what “flush” means. Is there such a thing as a wire cutter that leaves a flat or nearly-flat flush cut, or am I misunderstanding the concept? Thanks!
-Allison in Houston, Texas
Hi Allison, I totally understand your confusion. When companies describe their products, they write what the product does, and I agree that most should be labeled as “angle flush cutters.” Think about what we are doing when we “cut” wire. Because there is no metal removed in the process, we are actually separating molecules! When the blades on a “cutter” perform, they are pinching the wire thin enough to break it at that point. Really, I have tried many different “flush” cutters over the years and here are my results.
For the flushest cut you can get at an affordable price, Memory Wire Cutters do a good job; however they have an inconvenient blade shape and size so they are not practical for most wire jewelry work.
The Tronex company makes a precision wire cutter; made of surgical steel, they are rather expensive at $55 to $70 a pair. These cutters really do cut flush, but like all decent wire cutters, you must remember to use them on precious metals to preserve them, and they are not good for wire gauges larger than 20.
Although I occasionally use Swanstrom cutters, mainly when I am doing a lot of work with large gauges (10 – 14), my favorite cutters are the Xuron flush cutters. I personally use these cutters on wires from size 12 through 26. No, they really do not cut “flush” straight across, but they do cut on a nice angle and if you use them enough you can train your eye to see where the angle will be and use it to your advantage!
As I have mentioned in other posts, to get rid of any burrs and make smooth ends on a piece of wire, cut the wire on a good angle and then use chain nose pliers to mash the end, tapering it. Then make a slight curve (heading toward the place the wire will rest) and when it is “put” there, the end will be as smooth as silk! When you are making individual jump rings (obviously not for a chain maille project) you can either double cut them with angle flush cutters or use memory wire cutters.
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
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