What are the different types of sprue cutter?

     
     
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 Different types of sprue cutter may are designed for different materials. 

There are several different designs of sprue cutters that make them better suited for use with certain materials or in particular tasks.

 
     
   

Tweezer action sprue cutter

 
 Tweezer action sprue cutters operate differently to other sprue cutters. 

This type of sprue cutter looks more like a set of tweezers than anything else. It operates in the same way as a pair of tweezers and does not have a spring like other sprue cutters. Instead, just like a set of tweezers, it uses the slightly curved shape of the steel to give a spring-like action that separates the jaws once the user reduces the pressure they have applied.

 
     
 Tweezer action sprue cutters are ideal for removing delicate parts from the main molding. 

The cutting edge of the jaws is finely ground to give a very sharp cutting edge that provides a flush or ultra-flush cut to the final part. 

 
     
 Advantages and disadvantages of 

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
    
  • Light

  • Good quality flush or ultra-flush cut finish

  • Can reach into tight locations and cut very delicate parts from a sprue

  • Small spring resistance reduces fatigue

   
  • Only suitable for use with plastic model sprue cutting

  • Unable to provide sufficient force to cut through large plastic sprues or metal

 
     
   

Compound lever action sprue cutters

 
  

Compound lever action sprue cutters can produce a much greater cutting force at the cutting edge of the jaws than other manual sprue cutters due to the mechanical advantage of the compound lever action. 

 
     
 Compound lever action sprue cutters can be used to cut metal sprues. 

This enables them to cut thicker and harder material than other sprue cutters. The handles of this type are often longer than on others, which means they are bigger and can be a bit more cumbersome to use. However, the added leverage can help provide greater cutting force or reduce the force that the user has to apply in order to make a cut, which in turn reduces the fatigue of the user if performing lots of cuts.

 
     
 Compound lever action sprue cutters have thicker jaws than single lever action sprue cutters to cope with the greater cutting forces they apply. 

The jaws of compound lever sprue cutters are thicker to cope with the greater forces they can apply. However, this means they are not suitable for delicate work and can't reach into tight locations. 

 
     
 Advantages and disadvantages of 

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
    
  • Can cut thicker material than other sprue cutters

  • Suitable for use with harder materials such as metal

  • Compound lever and longer handles reduce fatigue when cutting harder materials

  • Replaceable jaws are available for some models

   
  • Larger and heavier than other sprue cutters

  • Not suitable for delicate work as unable to fit into tight spaces

  • More finishing of the final part is often require as unable to provide an ultra-flush cut finish

 
     
   

Single lever action sprue cutters

 
 Single lever action sprue cutter can have a wide range of head designs. From slim profiles with tapered heads to thicker heads and jaws for heavier duty work. 

Single lever action sprue cutters have the greatest variety of designs. Some feature a slim profile and tapered head for delicate work and access into tight spaces, while others have a thicker profile head and jaws to enable them to cut thicker or harder material.

 
     
 Broken springs on sprue cutters can sometimes be replaced on certain models. 

As each side of the handles and jaws of these sprue cutters is often made in one piece, the jaws are not replaceable should they become blunt or damaged. However, it may be possible to get replacement springs for this type of sprue cutter should they snap. 

 
     
 Angled head on sprue cutters can help gain access to tight areas when cutting out delicate parts. 

Some slim profile designs also have angled heads to further aid access into tight areas. A wide range of cutting edges are available, which can provide micro bevel, flush and ultra-flush cuts.

 
     
 Advantages and disadvantages of 

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
    
  • Less expensive than compound lever action sprue cutters

  • Models designed for delicate work in tight spaces available

  • Sturdier models for use with harder materials also available

  • Replacement springs available for some models

  • Smaller and lighter than compound lever action sprue cutters

   
  • Replacement jaws not available

  • Can't apply as much cutting force as a compound lever action sprue cutter

 
     
   

Powered sprue cutters

 
 Jeweller using powered sprue cutter to remove metal parts from a sprue 

Powered sprue cutters are used in large-scale industry for jewellery production. They can either be electrically powered or pneumatically powered by compressed air. 

 
     
 Bench and hand held pneumatic sprue cutters 

Pneumatically powered sprue cutters

Pneumatically powered sprue cutters can either be relatively small, hand-held machines not much larger than a manual version, or larger, bench-mounted machines. Smaller hand held machines are used for more intricate and delicate work while the bigger bench-mounted machines are used for cutting sprues made of thicker or harder material.

 
     
 Electrically powered sprue cutters are large bench mounted machines used in large volume production. 

Electrically powered sprue cutters

Electrically powered sprue cutters are larger than pneumatic ones and so are nearly always bench mounted. They are used for cutting large volumes of parts from sprues made of hard material such as metal. 

 
     
 Advantages and disadvantages of 

ADVANTAGES

 

DISADVANTAGES

 
    
  • Minimal user fatigue

  • Can cut thicker, harder material than any other sprue cutter

   
  • Far more expensive than manual sprue cutters

  • Requires either a pneumatic hose and compressor or electrical power supply

 
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