Knipex CoBolt Cutters
Price $60US each, 2 for $55 each
Shipping cost: Adds 0.5Kg to shipping weight
end view of cutters
Compact Bolt Cutter CoBolt - Technical Details
|Soft Wire Rating||6.0mm||0.24"|
|Med. Wire Rating||5.2mm||0.20"|
|Hard Wire Rating||4mm||0.16"|
|Piano Wire rating||3.6mm||0.14"|
Some personal insights:
I have been using these cutters for about 3 years now and am on my 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th pairs (one pair broke and 5 pairs used by the 3 people in my company). I loved them so much that I am bringing them to my customers.
Knipex CoBolt cutters can greatly improve your productivity. Switching from diagonal cutters to Knipex doubled the speed at which I cut rings and doubled the length of time I can cut before my hand needs a rest. With softer materials you can cut 2, 3 or even 4 rings at a time. With medium wire I cut 2 (3 if I'm feeling macho) and with hard wire I cut 1 at a time. The number of rings you can cut is decided by strength and ring size. For example with a 3/8" coil of 14Gu wire you can cut 3 rings if you are strong enough but it is not possible to cut 4. With a 3/16" coil of 16Gu wire you can only cut 1 ring at a time. Maybe a chart is in order...
|Coil size||wire size||max rings/cut|
Before Knipex I used standard diagonal cutters (Mastercraft and Westward with life time warranty). I returned 5 pair over about 500,000 rings. Knipex don't have a warranty - they know what people use them for - but if a pair is defective they will be replaced. I broke the handle of one pair of Knipex and it was replaced free of charge.
All non Knipex cutters I have used fail in the following way: First the tip chips off. I grind the tip down (slowly) and use them again. Sooner or later one side of the jaw breaks off.
Knipex generally fade out. My oldest pair of Knipex (2 years - over 1 million rings) is now longer sharp enough to use on soft metal, but they still work great on hard metal. A new pair of knipex CoBolts will cut anything from a single strand of hair to 10Gu piano wire. After a lot of use with hard wire a notch will start to form in the blade near the tip. This can be repaired by carefully grinding the tip back until the notch is gone. You must grind very slowly and keep the metal cool. If the metal gets to hot it will lost its temper and be too soft. Any blue or brown colouring is a sign that you are grinding to fast. The more you grind the fewer rings you can cut at a time. If you are cutting hard stainless, for example, this is not a problem as cutting more then 1 is really hard on you hand anyway.
If these cutters are only used for soft and medium wire (i.e. aluminum, brass, bronze, annealed steel, medium galvanized steel, soft stainless, etc) they will last for millions of cuts. If used for hard stainless or piano wire there will be significant wear at several hundred thousand cuts.