More in Hand Tools

Cutting-Edge Tools

Shears to suit every task

Photo by Ted Morrison
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Most people, when faced with cutting something around the house, will reach into the junk drawer for the same dull scissors they've used for years. You know the ones: The handles are worn and scratched, the blades are coated with dried tape adhesive, and the tips are broken off from all those times you used them instead of a screwdriver.

But scissors — actually all cutting tools — deserve more respect. Each type is designed to slice a specific material, from long-bladed scissors, or shears, that work on flexible paper and fabric to stubby snips (like those shown here) meant for stiff metal and vinyl. Using them on something else is what makes them dull. That's why household members who sew tend to murdelize those who borrow their fabric shears, even "Just for a minute, Honey."

You're better off assembling a collection of cutters to cover a variety of projects: Start with general-purpose utility tools, then add specialty items as needed. On the following pages, you'll find a gallery of innovative cutters — some for specific jobs, others indispensible for everyday use. And none should ever see the inside of a junk drawer.

Most people, when faced with cutting something around the house, will reach into the junk drawer for the same dull scissors they've used for years. You know the ones: The handles are worn and scratched, the blades are coated with dried tape adhesive, and the tips are broken off from all those times you used them instead of a screwdriver.

But scissors — actually all cutting tools — deserve more respect. Each type is designed to slice a specific material, from long-bladed scissors, or shears, that work on flexible paper and fabric to stubby snips (like those shown here) meant for stiff metal and vinyl. Using them on something else is what makes them dull. That's why household members who sew tend to murdelize those who borrow their fabric shears, even "Just for a minute, Honey."

You're better off assembling a collection of cutters to cover a variety of projects: Start with general-purpose utility tools, then add specialty items as needed. On the following pages, you'll find a gallery of innovative cutters — some for specific jobs, others indispensible for everyday use. And none should ever see the inside of a junk drawer.

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Snips and Scissors

 

Snips and Scissors

Hard wire rope cutter, from Midwest Snips
Photo by Ted Morrison
Wire-Cable Snips
Hardened jaws with a compound pivot have extra force to gnaw through tough metal rods and cables, such as piano wire or guitar strings.

Hard wire rope cutter, from Midwest Snips, $50
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More Snips and Scissors

 

More Snips and Scissors

Duckbill napping shears, from Heritage Cutlery
Photo by Ted Morrison
Napping Shears
Carpet installers use this odd-shaped tool to trim rug pile. The wide blade rests on the carpet while the curved edge follows along baseboards.

Duckbill napping shears, from Heritage Cutlery, $18
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Snips and Scissors, continued

 

Snips and Scissors, continued

Multi-Snip, from Fiskars
Photo by Ted Morrison
Serrated Snips
General-purpose snips have spring-open handles and serrated blades that mow through everything from vinyl to flashing to window screen.

Multi-Snip, from Fiskars, $13
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Where to Find It

 

Where to Find It

Multi-Snip, from Fiskars
Photo by Ted Morrison
Tinner's Snips
Twisted blades can follow straight lines and moderate curves in thin sheet metal, such as flashing.

Wiss metal-cutting snips, from Cooper Tools, $19
Upright snips:
Model P6900
Midwest Tools and Cutlery Co.
Sturges, MI
800-782-4659
www.midwestsnips.com

Napping shears:
Model #548 Heritage Cutlery, Inc.
Bolivar, NY
800-252-8452
www.heritagecutlery.com

Serrated snips:
Multi-Snip
Fiskars Brands, Inc.
Wasau, WI
www.fiskars.com

Tinner snips:
Model V-10
Wiss, Coopertools
Apex, NC
www.coopertools.com

Poultry snips:
Model #42914-001
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
www.zwilling.com

Laminate nibbler:
Model MA72510
Klenk Industries, Inc.
Wilmington, DE
800-327-5619
www.klenktools.com

Needlenosed snips:
Model P657
Midwest Tools

Offset snips:
Model #2073201
Irwin Industrial Tools
Hunterville, NC
800-461-7946
www.irwin.com

Carpet shears:
Model #718LRC
Heritage

Vinyl-siding snip:
Model VS12
Malco Products, Inc.
Annadale, MN
800-328-3530
www.malcotools.com

Dressmaker shears:
Model G-8
Gingher, Inc.
Greensboro, NC
336-292-6237
www.gingher.com

Utility scissors:
Model #7241
Heritage

Electrical cable snips:
Model BXN
Wiss

Ergonomic snips:
Model 14-569
MaxSteel

All-purpose snips:
The Stanley Works
860-225-5111
www.stanleyworks.com

Replaceable-blade snips:
Model M1200
Midwest Tools
 
 

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