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  1. #1
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    Cable housing cutter

    What is a good cable housing cutter? I used a klein cable cutter on shifter cable housing and did not like the result. When I get a new one which cable housing cutter should I get?
    fesch
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  2. #2
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    Felco are probably the best. Park/Pedros ones are fine.

  3. #3
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    Dremel.
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    Dremel.
    I never liked a Dremel as it creates a lot of heat and can easily melt or warp the housing liner. A good, quality cutter works great.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    I never liked a Dremel as it creates a lot of heat and can easily melt or warp the housing liner. A good, quality cutter works great.
    That's kind of like saying that cutters are no good because they mash up the cable - they will if your technique is wanting.

    With cutters, the compressed inner liner will need to be opened up with an awl. With a Dremel, the slightly melted inner will need to be opened up with an awl. If the disc is set to its highest speed then it's not going to create enough heat for long enough to damage the cable any more than by using cutters.

    In the case of brake cables, the added advantage of the Dremel is that a perfectly square finish is guaranteed with just one action (if one holds the tool square, of course!), without having to finish the job with a file. The same finish is simply not possible with cutters alone.
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  6. #6
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    I've got a spin doctor (Performance house brand) that seems to work fine, better than anything else in the toolbox, anyway. Got them on sale and don't use them that much, so what the heck.

    JMJ

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    That's kind of like saying that cutters are no good because they mash up the cable - they will if your technique is wanting.

    With cutters, the compressed inner liner will need to be opened up with an awl. With a Dremel, the slightly melted inner will need to be opened up with an awl. If the disc is set to its highest speed then it's not going to create enough heat for long enough to damage the cable any more than by using cutters.

    In the case of brake cables, the added advantage of the Dremel is that a perfectly square finish is guaranteed with just one action (if one holds the tool square, of course!), without having to finish the job with a file. The same finish is simply not possible with cutters alone.
    Yup, the liner absolutely needs to opened up, but if it's melted then it's diameter will be slightly smaller there and will be more prone to drag the inner cable. Personally, I found it easier to screw up cable housing using a Dremel than my cutters. I also found it creates more heat on the highest setting.

    Um...I've never had any issues making square cuts...

    I'm not saying a Dremel shouldn't be used, rather that good quality cutters are a very good choice as well. Use what works best for you.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info. I read a lot of reviews where people did not like one or another of the cutters. I am not seeing a overwelming vote for one cutter over others...

    I've wanted a reason to buy a dremel, so I will have to think about that as well.
    fesch
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  9. #9
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    When possible used the properly designed tool. But I've used Dremel, GOOD wire and bolt cutters.

    Keep a length of old cables for brake or derailleur housing. If a piece of cable is inside the housing when it's cut then it barely compresses. I also use old cables with the dremel to keep melty bits out of the housing.

    I used the bolt cutters and cable method as an emergency method (didn't have housing cutters) and the results were as good as with the park tool.

    But if you don't already have 12" bolt cutters then you may as well buy the housing cutters. I happen to have them for fencing.
    Life is too short to race through it. When life is a blur, you'll miss the magic.

  10. #10
    conjoinicorned
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    i've used park, felco, shimano, hozan and dremel.

    i don't notice any difference between them. except the dremel...i don't usually have my dremel sitting on the workbench just waiting to be used, so i always just grab the cutters.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  11. #11
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    @FESCH after you buy cutters

    Buy the Dremel
    . It's like having a tiny machine shop at your fingertips. It's usefulness is way beyond just bikes


    Name brand doesn't matter. My rotary tool is Mastercraft, it feels cheaper than a Dremel but it gets the job done. I would recommend buying authentic Dremel bits, even if you cheap out on the tool. There may not be a difference with the cheap chinese bits, but at 30,000 rpm defects and flaws are magnified

    Get a Flex shaft, and the bench clamp. They make it much easier to use
    Life is too short to race through it. When life is a blur, you'll miss the magic.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Felco. Hands down the best. Stay's sharp forever and besides who always has their dremel sitting on their workbench anyway?

  14. #14
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    I keep my Dremel on the bench, and the cutting wheel in the tray. It's the way to go for me in order to get clean, straight cuts on many things, including housing.

  15. #15
    human dehumidifier
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    This will drive everybody crazy, but I use a pair of lineman's pliers, a bench vise, and a hammer. Grab the housing where I want it cut, lay the jaws of the pliers on the anvil of the vise and whack the top-side jaw of the pliers with a hammer. Cuts right through every time slick as a whistle. Yeah I have to open the end of the cable back up, but you oughta at least be checking that anyway.

    I've got a dremel, but I can have the cable cut my way faster than I can get the dremel case out of the cabinet, never mind putting a cutting wheel in and slow-cutting the housing so it doesn't melt.
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  16. #16
    bikexor
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    I went and got the $13 generic cable cutters they sell at Ace... they specifically say "NOT FOR STEEL" on them and guess what, they're right! First cut dented the cutting surface and they've only gotten worse... so much for being a tightwad.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    This will drive everybody crazy, but I use a pair of lineman's pliers, a bench vise, and a hammer.
    Me too.
    I usually hit the plier handle, not the head.

  18. #18
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    Next time, I'm just going to hold the Dremel in place, then smack it with a hammer. That otter do it.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
    human dehumidifier
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Next time, I'm just going to hold the Dremel in place, then smack it with a hammer. That otter do it.
    Video or it didn't happen
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  21. #21
    Plays with tools
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    I have been using the same pair of Felco cutters professionally for almost 10 years, they need a decent sharpening but they still cut pretty well. For home use anything will work OK. My favorite reasonably priced cutter would be the shimano though.

    never thought of using the dremal, can't remember the last time I used mine I've moved on to BIGGER and better rotary tools

  22. #22
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    I have used Felco, Pedros, Park, and Shimano cutters. But the big deal is what kind of housing you are cutting. Spiral wound brake housing can be cut with dikes or lineman pliers if you can find the gap in the winding, and cut between it. Coaxial shifter housing needs blades which pass each other rather than meeting like dikes or lineman pliers. I use different cutters for brake versus gear housing because brake housing will dull gear housing cutters, and dikes will not cut gear housing well at all.

    I cannot ever see using using a rotary tool to cut housing. I can see using a bench grinder to finish off the ends, but a file works just as well with no heat.

  23. #23
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    Spiral wound brake housing can be cut with dikes or lineman pliers if you can find the gap in the winding, and cut between it.
    So you cut the cable at an angle?
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    So you cut the cable at an angle?
    No, I use the blades to score the plastic on the housing until I can feel the gap, then cut.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeditiousCanary
    No, I use the blades to score the plastic on the housing until I can feel the gap, then cut.
    But if the blades of whatever cutting tool you use are lined up with the edges of the coil, then you can't do anything other than cut at an angle (because the coils don't run at right angles to the length of the cable). It's neither here nor there, of course, if you then straighten the cable end with a file; however if you're doing that then there's zero point in finding the edge of the coil in the first place. I'm just a little confused by the motive behind your method.
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    What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler

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