Bolt cutters are heavy duty, hand-held cutting tools which can comfortably slice through tough metal objects such as chains, bolts, wire, rods and padlocks. They typically have long handles…
and short blades. The head of a pair of bolt cutters is quite distinctive, with several hexagonal bolts and up to two protruding side screws visible. These have various roles, including adjustment or replacement of the blades.
The configuration of the blades on a pair of bolt cutters varies according to the kind of job they are designed for. The most common type of blade is the “centre cut”, where two cutting points are centered in the middle. These can tackle most metal-cutting jobs.
The combination of long handles and compound hinges (consecutive joints designed to transfer more power to the jaws) work together to give bolt cutters a powerful cutting force. A typical pair of 14″ bolt cutters produces over 80lbs force between the jaws when you put just under 1lb of pressure on the handles. Bolt cutters are not the same as cable cutters, which have different shaped blades and normally a single hinge at the neck. Cable cutters deliver less power and are used for snipping thinner materials, such as stainless steel wire rope.
Bolt cutters with centre cut blades are a popular, multi-purpose option. They are effective because the four slanted faces of the blade edges (the double bevel on each blade) bear down equally on the material being cut, eventually forcing their way through on two sides of the item. They are ideal for the majority of tasks, such as cutting through things like rods, pipes and thick cables.
At Capri Tools, our industrial bolt cutters are made with CrMo steel blades for maximum cutting power.