The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Good Wire Cutters

Normally I’m reasonably good at keeping track of my tools, but there is an exception: Every few years I lose my wire (diagonal) cutters—I’m not talking misplaced, but rather gone forever.

How this happens, particularly on a small boat like our new-to-us J/109, is beyond me, but nonetheless it’s true.

In the past I have tended to replace them with a cheap tool. But these days I’m enjoying my high-quality tools so much that I decided, when the wire cutter demon spirited away my last pair, to go up in quality and spring for a Knipex Vanadin-Super.

Highly recommended. Super-sharp high-quality steel blades, plenty of leverage for most jobs around a boat, other than battery cables, and a comfortable contoured handle. And maybe the bright red colour will help me keep track of them!

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Star Tracker

I’ll second this, I have a few Knipex hand tools, the oldest a set of slightly longer handled diagonal cutters like yours, the high leverage style with the thinner handle rubber. Worst I’ve done to them so far is nipping stainless screws. #8 and under by hand, but I have done 10-12 with a vise to add extra force. Probably a few hundred screws by now. Rusty, and ugly perhaps but just keep going. Still good on wire too. Most cheaper ones seem to wear out even on wire pretty quickly past the point of re-sharpening.