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What additional features do sprue cutters have?

What additional features do sprue cutters have?

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Quality sprue cutters may have additional features that make them better suited to certain jobs. Some sprue cutters may have particular features that make them better quality, or more suited for cutting certain materials.

Compound lever action

Compound lever action sprue cutters use the law of the lever to multiply the force input by the user A compound lever action is when two levers are combined so that the output force of one lever is applied as the input force to the second lever.
Mechanism showing the compound lever action, and how the output force of the first lever becomes the input force for the second lever. The handles of the sprue cutter provide leverage that greatly increases the force applied by the user. The compound lever action uses a second lever to further increase this force. This means sprue cutters with a compound lever action can deliver a much greater cutting force, enabling them to cut thicker and harder material than other sprue cutters.
Advantages and disadvantages of ADVANTAGES   DISADVANTAGES
  • Much greater cutting force can be applied
  • Can cut through harder material than other sprue cutters
  • Larger and bulkier than other sprue cutters
  • Unable to fit into tight areas to remove delicate parts from a sprue
  • Jaws may not open as wide as other sprue cutters
  • Often more expensive


Some sprue cutters have a lock for locking the handles together. This allows the sprue cutter to be stored with the handles kept together so that it takes up less space and fits more easily in a tool box.

Retaining chain or strap

Retaining chain on a sprue cutter is used to hold the handles together A retaining chain or strap serves the same role as the lock found on other sprue cutters. It is located at the end of the handle and loops over the end of the other handle to hold the two handles together, so that the sprue cutter takes up less space and fits into a tool box.

Tapered tip

Tapered tip of a sprue cutter narrow to a point at the end of its jaws On some sprue cutters the non-cutting sides of the jaws narrow progressively to a point. This is called a tapered tip, which allows the jaws to gain access into tight areas of a sprue tree to remove small delicate parts from the sprue. However, this means the jaws will not be as strong and so unsuitable for use on thick or hard material.

Cutting capacity

Sprue cutter with maximum cutting capacity of copper displayed on its handle The cutting capacity is the maximum thickness of wire the sprue cutter is recommended for use on, and will often be stated for both hard and soft metal. For more information on cutting capacity see our page What is the cutting capacity of a sprue cutter?

Ergonomic handles

Some sprue cutters have ergonomic handles for improved comfort during use. Ergonomic handles are ones that are shaped so they fit better in your hand. Ergonomic handles make tools more comfortable to use and reduce the risk of the user getting repetitive motion injuries.
Wonkee Donkee says: "You use 42 muscles in your hand when you grip and operate a sprue cutter. So choosing a sprue cutter with ergonomic handles is a smart decision."

Wonkee Donkee Tools