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TheVoidDragon

Sprue/flush cutter for around £10

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I've been after a sprue or flush cutter for a while, with a budget of around £10, but so far i've not really been able to find anything that's really been recommended. I've seen Xuron stuff mentioned quite a bit but most of the time that's their higher-end tools, and i've not really been able to find any specific reviews for the ones in my price range. Quite a few of the reviews i've came across have been a bit outdated as well.

 

Has anyone got any recommendations for a sprue or flush cutter for that sort of price? Or does it not really matter what i get?

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Ade H    88

Could you describe what you need in a pair of cutters? I can't know whether your needs can be met for £10, but I know that mine are not. For instance: are your current cutters uncomfortable, too big/small, too slippery, too thick at the jaws, not sharp enough, or just worn out? The thickness and length of jaws varies greatly; grip varies greatly; and size varies quite a lot, too.

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2 hours ago, Ade H said:

Could you describe what you need in a pair of cutters? I can't know whether your needs can be met for £10, but I know that mine are not. For instance: are your current cutters uncomfortable, too big/small, too slippery, too thick at the jaws, not sharp enough, or just worn out? The thickness and length of jaws varies greatly; grip varies greatly; and size varies quite a lot, too.

I don't have any cutters at all currently, at the moment i'm just using a generic hobby knife to remove parts from the sprue, so the cutter would just be to speed things up and make it a bit easier but would like something that isn't just the cheapest thing possible.

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Ade H    88

Crikey. No nippers?!

When I got back into the hobby, I started with a Tamiya Alpha pair for about £8. You would find them sharp enough when new, I think, but they are too thick for a lot of sprue gates. They are comfortable, secure, and good value. But I eventually got fed up with the liability of not being able to safely cut small parts from thick gates or get into tight spaces (which seem all too common).

If you could stretch to c. £18, try the Tamiya Slim Jaw cutters, #74123, from one of the Japanese sellers on Amazon.com. As long as you choose one which posts to GB free of charge, this costs less than the cheapest price on Amazon UK or eBay. I can't remember the exact seller, though.

If buying from abroad doesn't suit, you would need to opt for either the Alpha or Xuron's 410T. The T stands for tapered and they are a bit slimmer than the Alpha, but nothing like the 74123. I have also tried Citadel's cutter from Games Workshop, c. £18 again; but I hated the slippery handle with a bit at the end which might have been designed to pinch your little finger! That pair was not as sharp as the 74123, either.

Hoping that all this waffle helps you.

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stevehnz    2,868

The blue handled ones in the maplins link sinnerboy has given us look very much like the xuron ones. I have some Xuron ones & like them. For cutting thick sprue gates as in trimming sprues to fit boxes or cutting out a piece to stretch over a candle,I use a cheap pair of mini side cutters rather than use the Xurons too hard.

Steve.

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rs2man    271

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Ade H    88

They look as unrefined as a Tamiya Alpha. Each to their own, of course.

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Beardie    4,704

I never use flush cutters these days as I never found one that didn't have some 'pinching' effect on the plastic of the part. I use a JLC razor saw for all part removal duties. You can get in close for minimal cleanup required and there is far less risk of delicate parts snapping during removal from the sprue. The only downside is that it takes longer and may require a bit of care in tight corners.

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lasermonkey    609

I've been using some cheapo, Chinese flush cutters for a few years now (one set for modelling and the other for cutting wire and component leads for my day job). They cost just over a quid each including postage, and have worn at the same rate as the branded side cutters I previously used that cost upwards of ten times the amount.

Cheers,

Mark.

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Ade H    88

I'm surprised. I work to a budget and I watch the pennies, comparing prices, but I won't skimp on my tools. Presumably, people here are quite willing to spend £30+ on a kit, maybe £10-20+ for some AM bits, and perhaps in some cases not get around to building it, but they don't want to spend more than a fiver on the most important tool on the desk. :huh:  I'll get m' coat, as they say.

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27 minutes ago, glatisant said:

I buy the cheapest that I can find,and just bin them when they become blunt.

That's what i don't want to be doing, really. Would rather buy a relatively good pair the first time rather than having to keep replacing them.

 

I know for that budget i'm not going to get something of amazing quality, but looking at some of the posts here though it seems like at this sort of price there might not really be enough of a difference between them to go for any in particular. I'd prefer not to order from abroad if possible but the Xuron Micro-shears are something i've looked at, but i wasn't able to find any reviews for the specific one i was considering, just for the higher-priced stuff.

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2 minutes ago, Ade H said:

I'm surprised. I work to a budget and I watch the pennies, comparing prices, but I won't skimp on my tools. Presumably, people here are quite willing to spend £30+ on a kit, maybe £10-20+ for some AM bits, and perhaps in some cases not get around to building it, but they don't want to spend more than a fiver on the most important tool on the desk. :huh:  I'll get m' coat, as they say.

It's not so much that i don't want to get something £20+ it's just that i don't have the money at the moment to be able to afford a high-quality cutter, and all the other stuff i need like specific paints, as well as get some the kits i want.

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stevehnz    2,868
1 hour ago, Beardie said:

I never use flush cutters these days as I never found one that didn't have some 'pinching' effect on the plastic of the part. I use a JLC razor saw for all part removal duties. You can get in close for minimal cleanup required and there is far less risk of delicate parts snapping during removal from the sprue. The only downside is that it takes longer and may require a bit of care in tight corners.

Horses for courses Beardie I reckon. The saws certainly have their place, especially for clear sprues but so to do flush & side cutters IMHO.

12 minutes ago, Ade H said:

I'm surprised. I work to a budget and I watch the pennies, comparing prices, but I won't skimp on my tools. Presumably, people here are quite willing to spend £30+ on a kit, maybe £10-20+ for some AM bits, and perhaps in some cases not get around to building it, but they don't want to spend more than a fiver on the most important tool on the desk. :huh:  I'll get m' coat, as they say.

One mans meal, another's poison, we all have different spending priorities & what works for me may not for another.

Steve.

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lasermonkey    609
3 hours ago, Ade H said:I'm surprised. I work to a budget and I watch the pennies, comparing prices, but I won't skimp on my tools. Presumably, people here are quite willing to spend £30+ on a kit, maybe £10-20+ for some AM bits, and perhaps in some cases not get around to building it, but they don't want to spend more than a fiver on the most important tool on the desk. :huh:  I'll get m' coat, as they say.

I guess I may be one of those you're referring to. I imagine I am probably working on a considerably tighter budget than you are. I can't remember the last time I spent much more than a tenner on a kit, let alone a tool!

 

I shall reiterate- the £1 cutters I bought have worn at the same rate as the £10+ cutters they replaced, and that's heavy-duty use making circuit boards and cutting wire. The only cutters I have tried in my thirty-odd years of being an electronics tech that have been noticably better were a £40 set of CK cutters, which I didn't pay for! Even they wore out in the end.

 

Those £1 cutters are probably four years old now and still going strong.

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tank152    690
5 hours ago, Beardie said:

I never use flush cutters these days as I never found one that didn't have some 'pinching' effect on the plastic of the part. I use a JLC razor saw for all part removal duties. You can get in close for minimal cleanup required and there is far less risk of delicate parts snapping during removal from the sprue. The only downside is that it takes longer and may require a bit of care in tight corners.

Same here, I'd say my JLC saw is one of my most used tools. They're great for reinstating panel lines as well especially on the tops and bottoms of fuselages where they have been lost through sanding.

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Ade H    88
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, lasermonkey said:

I guess I may be one of those you're referring to. I imagine I am probably working on a considerably tighter budget than you are. I can't remember the last time I spent much more than a tenner on a kit, let alone a tool!

[...]

Well, I didn't come here to discuss our budgets, and I already mentioned that I work to a budget. Believe me, I've had times during which the idea of returning to modelling would have been only a pipedream.

 

I posted here because TheVoidDragon asked a question which came within my experience, as I have had several sprue cutters of varying cost and quality before the slim jaw Tamiyas. I like the absence of any shear (unlike the Alphas and Xurons) which makes a very clean cut and small parts will not take flight. £18 is not expensive and not a big increase (in absolute terms) over the stated £10 budget. I provided a cheaper alternative and it's not as though I recommended buying a pair of God Hands. They are overpriced. I also would not suggest having just one good pair of cutters, as having a cheap set is handy for rough tasks.

 

I started out with a lot of cheaper tools, found out which of those had been a false economy, and replaced them with better alternatives when I was able to. So I've just given my persective of tool choices, and it did genuinely surprise me that no-one else owns the same cutters or thinks along similar lines as me. No offence intended.

Edited by Ade H

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stevehnz    2,868
4 hours ago, Ade H said:

They are overpriced. I also would not suggest having just one good pair of cutters, as having a cheap set is handy for rough tasks.

 

Good advice in my experience. Something cheap to get you going, a lasremonkey has found, that might be all you need,especially if you have something with a bit more muscle like a small pair of cheap side cutters, the straight edged saw blades that go into an exacto style handle is also very useful & fits into narrow gaps better than the JLC saws. This really is not a one size fits all situation, you'll be surpised what you find yourself NEEDING. :D

Both Excell & Proedge do #13 saw blades, let google be your friend to find a supplier.

Steve.

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little-cars    483

These days you only get what you pay for in this sort of tool, so best to invest a little money now than buy twice.

 

Cutters, the blue handled ones mentioned are I'm told are made in China and look like Xuron and are £7.

Metal is a little softer than Xuron, but good value.

 

flush-cutter

 

Xuron ones start at £13, so worth considering if you want a better quality product.

The 410A are one of out best sellers.

 

Xuron 410A

 

The Top of the range Professional cutters are only £21 and get rave reviews from those that have them.

 

Xuron Professional 2175

 

The JLC saw is  a viable alternative to cutters. The blade is very thin, needs a bit of practice to get use to. The secret is not to force the cut or twist the blade as it can snap.  The basic saw is £13.50 with a spare blade.

 

It is part of a cutting system,  they have a set of spacers you can buy to do parallel cuts and there are three jigs you can buy for cutting plastic & soft metal rods.

Also good for cutting resin parts off their plug.

 

JLC Saw - Standard

 

Personally if I was in your position, I would probably go for the Xuron 410A

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dave Fleming    1,349

I've used the Xuron 410s for years, like most tools, they are good for what they were intended. You can get them from £11 at various online retailers 

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spruecutter96    461

Hmmmmm......

 

I paid 14 quid for a genuine pair of Xuron shears at a model-show five years ago and now I can pay the same money for (nearly) six Chinese rip-offs.....

 

Can anyone guess which seems the better deal, with the benefit of hindsight...?

 

I've bought four Chinese, cheap-and-cheerfuls this year and I simply can't tell the difference from the originals. In a few years, maybe I will see some difference, but early indicators are very good indeed. 

 

Cheers.

 

Chris. 

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Gees guys ... i bought a decent pair of sprue nippers from a hobby/craft store. They can cut through wirestems on fake flowers as well as plastic of varying thickness. I spent $2.95 for them ? And have had them for 3 years. I had a 2nd pair but ruined them trying to cut tempered wire. But im not that worried for a $2.99 loss. So far they're not loose, nor do i have a problem getting tiny parts. I just finished building an Eduard 1/72 Bf-110 and no problems. Same thing with my matt i bought an 18" x 18" Fiskars matt with all the measurements and double sided in dark and light sides. For $9.99. Try looking in craft/fabric/hobby centers. You might be surprised what the carry and how cheap it is? 

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