Considerations in choosing the proper Swanstrom tools

Cutting Requirements
Different cutting edges and length determine the required squeeze pressure, shock, and the amount of "pinch or spike" left on the wire.

Prominence of the spike or cut wire line is a function of:

  • jaw, bevel, and cutter edge type as new (angles of jaw (<j), of hone (<h), of bevel (<b), and amount of bevel)
  • the edges' past use and current condition
  • the joint's past use and current condition
  • the material, hardness, and diameter of wire cut

Bevel cutting edges are used where "pinch or spike" left after cutting is not critical and where shock transmitted will not damage parts or components. Bevel edges optimize the number of cuts over the lifetime of the cutter, but require more pressure to make cuts.

Flush edges reduce shock transmittal, lessen pinch, spike, and squeeze pressure.

Super Flush edges should be specified when requirements call for minimal spike and very minimum shock transmittal. They are more ergonomic and require even less squeeze pressure than full flush. Full Flush edges have .002 bevel.

Super Flush, Super Sharp edges are the most ergonomic and easiest to squeeze. Available option on various wire cutter. Special order required.

Near shear reduces force required to cut. Rather than a spike there will be a slight side deformation and step left on the cut leads.


Pure Shear give easiest cuts. The end of the sheared wire has no spike, just a small side deformation. Some cutters have notches for stripping insulated wire. If stop is set for blades to bypass, stranded insulated cables will shear with little deformation.

Stand-off shear cutters minimize shock, leave no spike and can give consistent "stand off" lead lengths.

Even Super Flush cutters will leave a visible line, for the wire is ultimately separating by tensile failure, not knife cuts. Sharper options mean easier cuts and lesser wire spikes, but also somewhat shorter edge life.

For further technical information qualified customers may ask for copies of our technical papers covering materials, designs, shapes, cutting edges, static dissipative material, and processing information.



Head and Tip Shapes
(Diagonal Cutter) Head shapes are oval, taper, oval slim, and taper slim. Each option brings a finer point and ease of access in tight places, but also increases the risk of tip breakage due to the smaller cross sections near the tips. A user has trade-off choices between long edge-tip life with a more blunt (oval) nose, and the finer edge - tip design (taper slim) with greater risk. Confines of the work often dictate the finer points. Tools used within specified limits cut the risk to nearly zero. Back .125" from tips, taper slim cross sectional area is only 53% that of the oval head. Users can save money by specifying oval head tools if confined areas don't dictate otherwise.

Cutter Edge Lines
For electronic use, most work is done at the tips and cutters are honed for max life at the tips. While holding cutter lightly closed you should see an increasing amount of light from the tips back toward the crotch. This optimizes life of tip cutting tools.

Long Nose and Needle Nose Tips and Edges
Electronics industry needs the small tips for intricate work. Tips vary on the different types and styles. Beveled edges are standard on smooth jaws. Special radiused edges to meet Mil Specs are available by adding the suffix "SR" to the part number.

Lead Catchers (available on most diagonal cutters) hold cut leads from flying or falling into critical work areas. Thin design offers good visibility and cutting access.