Micro-Shear® Flush Cutters, how do you choose the right one?
In the last few years we’ve seen more and more brick-and-mortar stores closing. This has left a significant hole in the jewelry community. Jewelers have fewer resources and less access to knowledgeable people. We’ve been fielding more and more phone calls asking for help choosing the right tool for the job.
We would like to outline five of our favorite tools and what applications they work best for. But first the big question…
What is a Micro-Shear®?
Traditional wire cutters meet sharp edge to sharp edge and cut by compressing (squeezing) the wire. Xuron® Micro-Shear® Flush cutters cut by shearing, similar to a scissor action. The sharp edges slightly bypass. This bypass produces flatter, flusher cuts. Bypass blades have increased longevity. The two sharp edges aren’t continually contacting and wearing at each other, therefore the blades stay sharp longer.
How to Choose Your Micro-Shear® Flush Cutter
The chart below will help you select the best Xuron® Micro-Shear® Flush Cutter for your project. For more in-depth information on each tool, please continue down the page and/or download our Jewelry Tools catalog (PDF).
Which tool should I use to cut heavier gauges of wire?
The 2175 is an ideal tool for metalsmiths and those working with thicker gauges of soft wire. Hard working, long lasting and comfortable longer handles make the 2175 the perfect “go-to” cutter. Cuts up to a 12 gauge (2mm) soft wire.
I work with steel, do you have a cutter for hard wire?
The cutting blades of the 2193 fully bypass, causing it to break the wire rather than squeezing it. The result is both ends of the wire are near perfectly flat. DO NOT use any other cutters on steel; it will damage the blades. The 2193 Hard Wire Cutter can cut up to a 16 gauge (1.2mm) hard steel wire. Tip: for best results, support both ends of the wire with your fingers while cutting.
Can I use a Micro-Shear® to cut sheet metal?
No. Micro-Shears® Flush Cutters are not designed for cutting long surfaces of material like sheet metal. Sheet metal applies pressure the full length of the blades. The blades can not withstand this type of pressure. However, we have a solution. You can use a metal shear. The 9180NS Metal Shear is a wonderful tool for cutting nonferrous sheet metal up to 20 gauge (0.8mm). The scissors blades fully bypass and will cut through the metal cleanly. The return spring and lack of finger-loops make this an easy-to-use ergonomic scissors.
I want to cut beading cable, like Soft Flex® or Beadalon® brands. What’s the best option?
The slim profile and precise tips of this cutter make it the ideal candidate for cutting beading cable. It can reach into restricted areas and trim cable close to findings and beads. The 410 can also cut up to an 18 gauge (1mm) soft wire.
I saw something about a thingy that catches the wire?
It sounds silly but we get this exact question all the time! This magical little device is our “wire retaining clip.” It’s a thin piece of metal that is permanently attached to the cutter. When you cut, the retaining clip applies pressure to the opposite blade and simply holds the cut off wire; no flying wire bits! Pictured here is our Model 9100F Oval Head Micro-Shear® Flush Cutter with Wire Retainer; rated for cutting up to an 18 gauge (1mm) soft wire.
Check out this video to see it in action!
What tool should I use for cutting half-hard wire?
Half-hard wire, as the name suggests is neither dead soft or fully hardened. It can, however, become “work hardened” when overly manipulated (on purpose or my mistake) and this is why we only recommend our Hard Wire Cutters or our Model 691 Double Flush Cutter for cutting half hard wire. Can our standard flush cutters be used to cut half-hard wire ? Yes, but be cautioned that the edges will risk damage if the wire becomes work hardened.
Do you have any questions about Micro-Shear® Flush Cutters?
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