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String cutter recommendations?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Can anyone recommend a strong, heavy-duty string cutter that's suitable for easily trimming the "B" string on a standard five-string or six-string bass guitar? I've got one that I've used for years on string changes for my four-string basses, and it works well for all the EADG strings. But it hardly puts a dent in my "B" strings.

    I need something that concentrates some serious PSI right on the blades - so I can slice cleanly right through the wire with a minimum of effort, i.e. without straining my hands or forearms by having to perform a "death grip" every time I wish to install new strings.

    Anybody got a particular make & model that works really well? :help:

    fourstringgirl likes this.
  2. autotech6506


    Mar 3, 2014
    Find a set of diagonal cutters with long handles for more leverage. Either that or a small pair of Bolt cutters
  3. Could you take a bit of a B string into a hardware store & try some out?
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Kline 7" diagonal wire cutters, available in any electric supply house, Lowe's or Home Depot can cut #4 wire with little effort and will make short work of ANY guitar/bass string. Most Ace hardware stores have a comparable cutter that isn't finished as nice but, which will do the job. $10 - 12.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
    GBassNorth and 96tbird like this.
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Kline cutters are a bit over kill for cutting bass strings :D. They are expensive but very good tools

    Any cheap pair of side cutters will work fine.
    tmdazed likes this.
  6. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Remyd likes this.
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    I have one, it is in fact a nice cutter. It's a by pass cutter as opposed to the Klines which are double cutters (like an anvil cutter but has two blades which touch together.) A little silicone spray makes the winder usable too.
    Linnin likes this.
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The Phillips screw that attaches the winder can be adjusted for tension.
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    I guess my thing with the winder is that it's big enough for general purposes. I can see that it would fit a big clover key (haven't tried it). It's bigger than my keys and fits too loose on them so it's hard to keep it straight while winding. A definite YMMV.

    But it's my favorite string cutter.
  10. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I use one of several tools I have, whichever is lying around closest at the time, that look a lot like this.

    Ain't no reason to get complicated.
  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I just use one of these wire cutters. It cuts through with no problems.

  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Side cutters. Kline are best and no home should be without them. They last a lifetime and are always handy and will cut just about anything. But a cheaper 7" will do: big because leverage makes the job easy.
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    As a former electrician, Knipex > Kline. Kline are very good tools though.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    ahhh! it's "klein"!

    and yes they're awesome, a 5" or 6" set will cut any string easily, i use the 6" kleins all day long on strings, bass strings included.

    i like my knipex mini-bolt cutters which i use on stainless steel fretwire, but haven't tried their regular cutters.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  15. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Kline, Klin. Craftsman, Cresent, Ace, thats not the point. The point is a quality 7" cutter.
  16. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Klein, Kline. I bought one in the early eighties and have had it since. So long I have forgotten how it's spelled. ;)
  17. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Any decent six inch or so side cutters. Craftsman works just fine. Grind the outside edge flat so that the string can be cut close to the shaft of enclosed style tuners. Especially helpful for six string guitars.

    This modification makes the side cutter a disposable tool. The first one only lasted ten years full time at the bench.
  18. It is spelled Klein, and that really only matters to your search engine. Klein is the apex predator of the diagonal cutter world. At one time I would have also recommended Craftsman, but in recent years they have degraded the quality of their tools by substituting casting for forging and having some of their stuff made in China. Then, there's the question of whether or not Sears will even be around in 10 years after being bought out by K-Mart.

    In any event, here's the Klein bad boy you want. Extra leverage for minimal cutting effort and very high quality.

  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011

    Bass strings are much harder than the copper wire side cutters are designed to cut. This extra hardness plays hell with the edges of the cutter and will blunt even the best cutters available so unless you are going to buy something with a free replacement warranty stick with the B or C brand. They will last about as long as the more expensive versions and cost a lot less.

    I cut a lot of small screws with mine so I buy craftsman side cutters so I can swap them out for free when the cutting edges get blunted by my misuse of them.

    Oh and make no mistake, if you cut electrical wire every day for a living, Klein makes the best cutter for that.
  20. bassburner


    Dec 8, 2008
    sissy kathy likes this.

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