Bolt cutters are useful equipment to have at home. Whether or not you are the DIY handyman type of person, you can never tell when an emergency can arise. Finding the best bolt cutters for you will not only make the job more comfortable, but it can also help you in emergencies!
My Top 5 Picks
Last update on 2019-02-22 at 03:42 PST - Details
What are the uses of bolt cutters?
From the name itself, bolt cutters are for cutting bolts, heavy steel, padlocks and chains. It is also important to note that not all bolt cutters can cleanly or successfully cut through heavy duty locks.
There are those locks that would take in more effort. However, cutting bolts and padlocks is not just the only use you have for bolt cutters.
For some, they use bolt cutters to cut wire shelving. The task can be a little tiresome, so having a wire shelving cut in the store can be pretty expensive. That is also why some people opt to do it on their own.
So, if you have any heavy-duty steel that you need to cut, then getting yourself a bolt cutter first would be very helpful.
Things To Consider When Buying Bolt Cutter
Since bolt cutters are suitable for heavy-duty projects, it should be heavy duty itself as well. There are several things we think you might want to consider first before buying, to find the best bolt cutter for your project.
Here are some factors to consider:
Bolt cutter size
There aren’t any types of a bolt cutter. Instead, bolt cutters come in different sizes to accommodate your needs and the nature of your project. The most common dimensions have classifications of compact, medium-sized and large bolt cutters.
Compact bolt cutters are usually 250 to 305mm in size. They are lightweight, small (as stated in the name) and easily portable. However, they can only cut through soft to medium hard materials such as threaded rods and wires.
On the other hand, the medium-sized bolt cutters have sizes between 450 to 600mm. Having almost the same capacity as the compact bolt cutters, what makes this size difference is that they have extended “arms.”
These long arms will allow you to cut through bigger diameters. And finally, we have the large bolt cutters. Usually sized from 750 mm to 1.2m, this size range is best for sturdy materials such as steel rods, chains, copper cables and such.
Although there are other “types” of bolt cutters that do not fall under the same category as the ones mentioned above, these are among the most common type;
Nature of your project
It is also crucial to assess the nature of your project. You might think that the material you plan to cut with the bolt cutter might be a bit too hard or too soft. Do not be afraid to check that out as well as the capacity of the bolt cutter you’re planning to buy.
That will help you save time and money trying to work with a bolt cutter when in reality, it might not be a bolt cutter that your project needs.
Bolt cutter weight and handle
These two factors are pretty much intertwined. When people mention about the weight of bolt cutters, what they usually mean is the handle. Good bolt cutters also have handles with a comfortable, non-slip grip.
Not only will it work efficiently, but it will also be a lot easier for you to work with for long durations. If you will be cutting heavy materials, it is best to get one with more extended handles. If it has extended handles, then this means proper leverage.
The material of the handle affects the overall weight of the bolt cutter. Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials and is also very light. However, aluminum is much lighter but more expensive.
If you are looking for a bolt cutter that is lightweight and highly portable, then these are some things you might have to look out.
Quality of the blade itself
Most importantly, the quality of the bolt cutter’s blade is also a factor to consider. If you plan to use the bolt cutter often for an extended period, then you can. A steel blade is an excellent material for most bolt cutters out there.
However, if you want something that is heavy-duty then, a forged steel blade with the edge hardened might be what you should get. Also, the edges that last long with little to no maintenance is also a good indication.
Bolt cutters are an excellent investment for professionals, hobbyists, or even the average homeowner. You’ll never know when a lock will get jammed, or when a chain’s all tangled up. Not to mention, there are so many stuck bolts that we can encounter.
Take into consideration the strength and durability of the bolt cutter you’re planning to buy. With that said, the Tekton is one of the best in the market that checks all boxes.
But remember, you’re always not limited to my top pick. Niche picks like Olympia Tools Power Grip, and an upgrade like the Knipex are substantial purchases too. Good luck, and please do spread the word by sharing this with your friends! Many thanks!