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What additional features can bolt cutters have?

What additional features can bolt cutters have?

Shop for Bolt Cutters


Image to illustrate a quality pair of bolt cutters, with a number of extra features such as replaceable blades Depending on the quality of the tool (and the price you are prepared to pay), bolt cutters can have a number of additional features which increase their performance or longevity. At the other end of the spectrum, fixed-jaw compact cutters have very few additional features.

Recessed blades

Replacement bolt cutter jaws with recess in blade labelled On quality bolt cutters there may also be small recesses at the base of the blades, to hold in place pieces of metal being cut and stop them sliding up the blades, as they otherwise can do.

Two neck adjustment bolts

Blue bolt cutters with adjustment bolts either side labelled While some full-size bolt cutters may have only one adjustment bolt, better quality bolt cutters have them on either side of the jaws, enabling both blades to be moved. Although models with a second neck adjustment bolt are more expensive, they give the user more control over the position of the blades in relation to one another. This makes it easier to keep the jaws correctly balanced and better protects the blades from damage.

For more information, see: How to adjust the jaws on bolt cutters.

A ratchet mechanism

Bolt cutters with powerful ratchet hinge mechanism Some top-of-the-range bolt cutters have a ratchet hinge, where teeth wedge and hold the jaws closed at each stage of compression. Rather than needing to maintain continuous pressure, you can make the cut in a number of stages, taking a break each time to relax and summon strength before squeezing the handles once again.

For information on how to use bolt cutters of this type, see: How to use ratchet bolt cutters.

Assisted return handles

Red, compact bolt cutters with "automatic return" handles Assisted return handles, where a heavy duty spring automatically reopens the handles when you loosen your grip, are very useful if you are doing repetitive work, such as snipping wire fencing.

A handle catch

Red bolt cutters with handle catch On spring-loaded bolt cutters like those described above there is usually a catch at the end of the handles to hold them closed for storage.

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