How to Sharpen Wire Cutters?

Regular sharpening of wire cutters is a necessary task for many people who work in the electrical construction industry.

Given their intended purpose of severing wires, it stands to reason that they would need to be exceptionally sharp.

Your wire cutter will lose its sharpness and effectiveness if you use it frequently. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to maintain their edge and keep on working.

Having a pair of wire cutters on hand is an invaluable convenience. Some cutters can be used to both cut and strip wire, giving them a wide range of potential applications.

Cutting wire, like that used to shape Bonsai trees using tiny pieces of steel called wiring (which looks like copper but is actually made of galvanized iron), is a skill that is essential in many domestic contexts, including gardening and crafting.

Tools can become dull over time, so it’s important to know how to sharpen them without taking them to a professional.

Key Issue

It’s possible that the dullness of your cutter’s blades is not the root of the issue. Instead, when cutting materials thinner than wire, you may need to pivot or modify something else to get them to fully close and stay aligned.

As an example, this is a problem if you’re trying to work with delicate materials like thread or thin cloth using a larger, heavier-duty shear cut plier that’s more suited to working with thicker wires. If so, think about switching tools to suit the materials you’ll need to cut through.

Simply Didn’t Make the Cut

Wire cutters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and each one serves a particular purpose. Finding the best decision among all the available choices might be difficult.

If you haven’t been able to snip your wires with conventional pliers, it could be because you don’t have the right equipment.

You could use some heavy-duty pliers, or if not, maybe some with a thick cable might do the trick. Get ahead of the game and figure out how to complete projects more efficiently and with less stress before you start another one.

Dull Tool 

Make sure your wire cutters are in good shape. Nail filing the edge of your cutters may be achievable if you’re particularly invested in the set.

If there is something making cutting difficult in specific areas, a more involved remedy would be to heat up or weld on new material, and then re-sand. However, at this point, it looks like purchasing a new set may be necessary.

Using a sandpaper strip attached to a drill is the most effective technique to prevent your wire cutters from becoming dull before their time. This fixes any scratches or scuffs that may have occurred during use and stops them from getting worse.

In other contexts where cutting force or depth control are more important than pinpoint accuracy, flathead screwdrivers can be used instead.

The strength of wirecutters is prioritized over precision, so sharpening standard pliers won’t aid you in the least when it’s time to sharpen them again.

Pliers Must Be More Pliable

Multiple methods may be more useful if you are still unsure of how to sharpen your wire cutters but want to avoid dulling new ones in the future.

For instance, multi-purpose pliers can be useful for a variety of tasks, including cutting strong wires without endangering the blades of dedicated wire cutters.

Even while sharpening wire cutters isn’t necessarily a challenging or time-consuming task, it might turn into one if you aren’t dedicated to doing it. Still, don’t fret if you have to fix up your new pliers before you can use them.

You’ve learned a lot about which tools to use for which tasks and how to keep them in good working order, so you should be able to get more use out of your next set of tools.

Diagonal-Cutting Pliers Sharpening

Select a File

Make sure you have a hand file handy if you want to finely and accurately adjust the blades of your diagonal cutting pliers.

One of the better kinds for this is the so-called smooth or dead smooth variety, which can scrape away debris without damaging the blades.

Clean the Pliers Blades

To prevent rust from forming on tools, wipe them off with an oiled rag after each use. It’s important to keep in mind that storing your gear in a dry atmosphere is crucial to ensuring its longevity.

Put the Pliers in a Vice

If you insert the handles of your diagonal cutting pliers into a vice, you can keep them secure and prevent further damage.

Without anything else to steady yourself with, you’ll have the best visibility if the jaws are angled upwards while you finish filing the blades.

File the Edge of the Blade

To remove kinks and burrs from your blade, start by choosing one side of the file to rub on. 

Make sure you’re alternating sides as a new area is rubbed down. Short movements with pressure will help even out any small bumps in metal to not catch or snag anything else!

Repeat

The blades should be sharpened on both sides in the same way. Simply keep doing this until the blades are as sharp as new!

Try the Plier

Check the pliers’ ability to cut wire when you think they’re ready to use. Cutting through should be simple; if it isn’t, they should return to steps above and try again.

Oil Application

Metal filings on the pliers’ blades are dangerous and should be removed. If they do, give them a good scrub with soap and water to remove any debris, and then protect your hands by applying oil or rubbing alcohol.

Cutting Tools Maintenance

You may maintain your cutters in a number of different ways. Wash them after each use and give them a small coat of oil before putting them away to extend their life.

Blades can be cleaned with detergent and bleach to prevent the growth of bacteria even when they are not in use, and WD-40 can be used to prevent rust and extend the life of the blades even further.

Conclusion

Learning how to cut wire is a useful skill for many household activities, such as gardening and crafting. It’s important to remember that different types and sizes of wire cutters are designed for different tasks. If you’re really dedicated to your wire cutters, you might be able to sharpen the edge by filing your nails. Even though sharpening wire cutters isn’t particularly difficult on its own, it can become tedious if you aren’t consistent about doing it. Cut tough wires without risking damage to the blades of your dedicated wire cutters with a pair of multi-purpose pliers.

They can be kept in good condition for longer if you wash them after each use and oil them before putting them away. The pliers’ blades should not have any metal filings on them.

Content Summary

  • Having a pair of wire cutters on hand is an invaluable convenience.
  • It’s possible that the dullness of your cutter’s blades is not the root of the issue.
  • Think about switching tools to suit the materials you’ll need to cut through.
  • Make sure your wire cutters are in good shape.
  • Using sandpaper hooked to a drill will keep your wire cutters sharp.
  • If you’re unsure how to sharpen wire cutters but want to avoid dulling fresh ones, try multiple approaches.
  • Multi-purpose pliers can cut wires without damaging wire cutter blades.
  • Make sure you have a hand file handy if you want to finely and accurately adjust the blades of your diagonal cutting pliers.
  • To prevent rust from forming on tools, wipe them off with an oiled rag after each use.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that storing your gear in a dry atmosphere is crucial to ensuring its longevity.
  • If you insert the handles of your diagonal cutting pliers into a vice, you can keep them secure and prevent further damage.
  • To remove kinks and burrs from your blade, start by choosing one side of the file to rub on.
  • The blades should be sharpened on both sides in the same way.
  • Simply keep doing this until the blades are as sharp as new!
  • Check the pliers’ ability to cut wire when you think they’re ready to use.
  • Metal filings on the pliers’ blades are dangerous and should be removed.
  • You may maintain your cutters in a number of different ways.
  • Wash them after each use and give them a small coat of oil before putting them away to extend their life.

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.