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How to cut metal cable with bolt cutters?

How to cut metal cable with bolt cutters

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Metal cable The procedure for cutting metal cable is the same as for cutting metal chain, but the task will require more strength and a larger pair of bolt cutters because of the toughness of the material.
Metal cable bracelet

Step 1 – Assess metal to be cut

As with metal chain, it is important to check before you start that your bolt cutters can cope with the hardness of the metal cable you want to cut. If in doubt, consult your local builder’s merchant or DIY store.

A steel cable with a location marked for cutting with bolt cutters

Step 2 – Mark cutting points

Mark your cable with chalk or a marker at the points where you want to cut it.

Bolt cutters cutting a clear stretch of metal cable

Step 3 – Position cutters

Close the blades of the bolt cutters around the cable at the place you have marked. Try to position the metal cord as far along the jaws towards the neck as possible, as this is where there is maximum cutting force.

Strong arm illustrating force needed to cut metal cable with bolt cutters

Step 4 – Apply force

Press the bolt cutter handles forcefully together, keeping the blade pressure on your cutting spot. If the material is relatively soft, it will probably give quickly. If hard, it may only cut fully through after a few concerted efforts.

Wonkee Donkee warns: "Take care when you cut taut steel cable that it doesn't whip back and get you in the eye."

Wonkee Donkee Tools