Cutting Music Wire

It should go without saying, but you do not cut music wire with diagonal cutters intended for electrical wire or the low-carbon steel shears built into wire strippers. I use a bicycle cable cutter that easily slices through the hard wire used in brake cables and their housing:

Bicycle cable cutter
Bicycle cable cutter

I’ve owned this one forever, but those cutters from Park should work just as well; the odd protrusions behind the pivot crimp aluminum caps on stranded cable. I also have diagonal cutters with hardened jaws, but they’re too bulky for fine work and tend to fire the stub ends across the Basement Laboratory.

Every now and again I touch up the jaws with a diamond file to get rid of small dings; despite being hardened, those fine points seem particularly prone to burrs.

When you see an ordinary wire cutter with matching half-moons in each blade, you know what happened…

6 thoughts on “Cutting Music Wire

  1. I bought a pair of pliers with cutters in the jaws for a dollar (at the dollar store). I use them to cut music wire. When the cutters consist entirely of half-moons I will throw them away.

    Yes, I know this makes me a bad person. But… a dollar!

    1. Well, I have an old screwdriver dedicated to prying, twisting, and jabbing, so I’m maybe not so pristine as you might think… [grin]

  2. The half-moons in my diagonal cutters are because between the time I turned the breaker off and the time I cut the 14-ga wire, someone else turned the breaker back on…

    1. Two words: lockout tag!

      Nothing like having the sun rise in your hand, is there? [grin]

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