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Cut Zip Ties The Proper & Painless Way

Are you still cutting your zip ties (aka cable ties, wire ties) with diagonal cutters (dikes, cutting pliers)? Well shame on you. That’s why you have so many dang cuts all over your arms and hands after reaching up under your dash or into your engine bay. Well, shame on me too, because I was the same way up until a few years ago when I found out that there are better tools for cutting off the ends of zip ties.

While there are a lot of better ways, the easiest and most common way to cut the ends off is to use flush cutters, like theseĀ Xuron 170-II Micro-Shear Flush Cutters. Using diagonal cutters just leaves the end sharp, so as soon as your skin hits it, you’ve gouged yourself. Flush cutters do exactly what you think they do… leave the end with a clean cut, and if done right–nothing is sticking out.

These are great for cutting small wires, too. Used for electronics and jewelry applications, when it comes to automotive applications, these small little guys are my go-to cutters. They’re small, easy to use, and have a spring-assisted opener (return) which allows your hand to work even less when doing repeated cutting. Are you a certified cable tie technician yet? You will be after you get these!

The best way to use these is to position the cutting edge so it’s flush with the top of the zip tie block before you cut. That is, the square end where the zip tie was fed through and is sticking out. Cut here (as opposed to further down) for the best result and prevention of skin loss. If you do it right, there shouldn’t be any of the end sticking out. Watch the video, below, to see how it’s done, and the difference between standard diagonal cutters and these flush cutters.

While there are different sizes available, and variants of the one I’ve chosen, I picked this one because they are editor’s choice at Amazon. They have over 500 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars, and available through Amazon Prime. They’ve worked well for me. For only $8, you might want to pick up a couple of them to keep one in your garage, and one in the house.


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Chris Duke
Host of Motorz TV, Producer, Gearhead. Brand ambassador for Craftsman, GM BuyPower Card from Capital One, Goodyear Footwear, and more.
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