Hand Tools - Cutting Tools for Bolts, Cables, and Strapping
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Many types and sizes of cutters are used for cutting selected metal products made from iron, steel, or softer, non-ferrous materials (e.g., copper, brass, aluminum). Cutters are designed to cut materials of different kinds of products such as wires, cables (electrical, coax, multi-strand), wire ropes, fencing, bolts, rods, pre-stressed concrete wires, and strapping.
- Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles) and protective gloves when using cutters.
- Choose the proper cutter for the job. Cutters are designed for a specific type, hardness, and size of material.
- Cut materials straight across - keep the material being cut at right angles to the cutting edges of jaws.
- Prevent injury from flying metal by wrapping a burlap bag, cloth or rag around the cutting jaws. Metal can fly when cut. The harder the metal, the farther it will fly.
- Warn those in the area to take precautionary measures to avoid possible injury from flying metal pieces.
- Keep cutting tools in good repair.
- Adjust and lubricate cutter and moving parts daily if heavily used.
- Sharpen jaws according to manufacturers' instructions.
- Do not use a cutting tool until you are trained in its proper and safe use.
- Do not use cushion grip handles for jobs requiring insulated handles. Cushion grips are for comfort primarily and do not protect against electric shock.
- Do not use cutters which are cracked, broken or loose.
- Do not exceed the recommended capacity of a tool.
- Do not cut diagonally.
- Do not rock cutters from side to side when cutting wire.
- Do not pry or twist with tool when cutting.
- Do not hammer on cutting tools or extend the handle length to achieve greater cutting power.
- Do not expose cutters to excessive heat.
- Do not repair cutters. Discard equipment that is cracked, broken or shows signs of damage.
Refer to OSH Answers General Hand Tool Operation for more tips.
- Fact sheet confirmed current: 2018-12-20
- Fact sheet last revised: 2013-10-02