How To Cut Metal Wire [Inc. Without Wire Cutters]?

You have a wide choice of tools in your toolbox that you can use to cut wires. However, the most effective approach depends on the wire. This post will provide information on cutting metal wires without wire cutters based on our research.

A few different techniques you can use instead of pliers to cut or break wiring on a task is by bending it, using a hacksaw, tin snips, reciprocating saw, or an angle grinder.

Using different tools could damage the wiring's stability. Use a sharp, precise tool if you do not have wire cutters.

Not everyone has wire cutters in their toolbox. What would happen if you needed to cut some cables for a project but didn't have the right tool for the job? Please read on as we go into more detail about this.

Electrical Tool and Wires on Metal Background. - How To Cut Metal Wire [Inc. Without Wire cutters]?

Cutting Metal Wire Without Wire Cutters

Since they aren't intended for it, using scissors or clippers won't work. Not only won't you be able to cut the wire, but you'll also probably end up with dull, or even worse, broken scissors.

Below are alternatives to cutting wires without wire cutters:

Bend It

If the wire is flexible and thin, you could try to bend it. All you have to do to get it to start separating is to bend it sideways.

If the wire is thick or has jacketing on top, you won't be able to break it, and the wire can become faulty due to future use.

woman hands making wire wrapped jewelry preparation process dark close up top view. Female girl bends crafts handmade copper wire working tools on the table. Handmade bijouterie jewellery adornment.

It can become stronger and tougher than the rest of the wire due to the area around the bend or break hardening. The wire may also experience some degree of deformation when using the bending method.


You can get a hacksaw if you don't already have a pair of wire cutters. To produce a clean cut, ensure the hacksaw has many teeth per inch.

You must be aware that cutting wires can be challenging with significantly smaller wires.

Blue hacksaw with black handle. Isolated

The tool is typically used for wires with a larger diameter. The integrity of the wire may be jeopardized if you cut a thin diameter or smaller wire with a hacksaw.

It's likely that after being cut, the wire will distort or bend more than you expect.

See this hacksaw on Amazon.

Tin Snips

A pair of tin snips have a handle length of (typically) 8 inches and two sharpened blades. Snips can cut through softer wire, like copper, but their original intent is to cut through thin metal sheets.

Two tin snips or metal scissors on a grey wooden background

It would help if you used tin snips with caution. Carefully and uniformly close the handles after inserting the wire between the blades. You can use tin snips to make an even cut, but if misused, you risk having the cut twisting or bending.

Check out this Tin Snip on amazon.

Reciprocating Saw

With a reciprocating saw, you are guaranteed to achieve a more even cut because it has more power and speed. Blades on reciprocating saws are thin and come in a variety of lengths.

High speeds drive the saw blade forward and backward via its integrated motor.

Reciprocating Saw watercolor in drawing

This tool was first intended to cut wood and pipes in tight spaces where a larger saw would not fit. Please ensure the teeth-per-inch are relatively high when using it for strip wire so it can cut the wire with little difficulty.

See this reciprocating saw on Amazon.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder has a cutting disk that revolves in a circular motion at high speed.

The beautiful thing about an angle grinder is that you can attach soft, round brushes to clean metal surfaces more thoroughly and deeply.

grinder isolated on white background

Put on your safety glasses and start the grinder to utilize this equipment. Move it carefully until the angle grinder slices the wire by slowly introducing it to the wire's outer portion.

Wires with a greater gauge work well with this tool.

Have a look at this angle grinder on Amazon.

How Do You Cut Steel Wire?

Hot-dipped zinc is used to coat steel wire during production. Therefore, it can support huge loads, and if you use steel cable, there may be issues during the cutting process.

Below, we've examined and identified a few procedures that will teach you how to cut steel wires.

The following are some safety precautions for cutting steel wires:

  • Prepare your workspace and yourself.
  • Check the length of your wires.
  • Check the number of steel wires to be measured.
  • Put the cord inside your cutter.

Steel wires are available in a range of thicknesses, making them ideal for any project you may be planning. Use the correct equipment and adhere to safety precautions when cutting steel wires to size.

Please read the things you should do when cutting steel wires:

Stainless Steel wire Rolls in the construction site. Closeup of Metal Steel reinforced rod for concrete in store. Construction Concept.


Use safety glasses and strong leather work gloves when cutting steel wires. You can quickly become blinded by a small metal fragment, and unprotected hands can become burned or sustain contusions from a rapidly moving wire.

Make sure your workspace has enough lighting and if required, a vice for holding the wire.

Length Of Wires

Measure the wire's length because cutting steel wires with the wrong tools will be challenging. Use the right size wire cutters after measuring the wire's thickness with a ruler or tape measure.

Quantity Of Steel Wires

Pull the necessary steel wire from your coil or spool after measuring the required quantity. When calculating the length of wire you need, remember the ancient carpenter's proverb, "measure twice, cut once."


Insert the cable into the cutter, then press steadily and consistently. You'll get a quick, clean cut the first time if you use suitable cutters. If you don't, check the cutting blades' sharpness.

How Do You Cut Electrical Wires?

Never attempt to cut a live electrical wire! However, there are techniques for cutting a live electrical wire that minimizes the risk of injury if necessary.

Discussed are the methods and tools that make this task simple.

You'll be well on your way to cutting electrical wires effectively if you follow these instructions:

  1. Cut off the power.
  2. Examine the wiring.
  3. Cut the cables one at a time.
  4. Put the protective cover on after placing them in the junction box.

When cutting an electrical wire, the circuit breaker can trip. Cutting live wires can result in a short circuit that can spark, causing a fire or damaging other electrical appliances.

Electric screened cable with many wires isolated on grey

Take Precautions

When done incorrectly, cutting electrical cables can be harmful—working near exposed wires while uncertain of the exact wire location puts you at risk of an electric shock.

First, locate the electrical wires by looking up their components and following the instructions.

Power Off

Make sure the wires you are cutting have no power. If you can't turn off the electricity, never join two wires together.

Use a wire stripper to remove around five inches of the wire's outer coating before cutting insulated cables. After that, take off half of the plastic covering on each copper wire.


Check the area around the wires that need to be cut to see whether there is anything conductive. In particular, clear away any moisture, such as water, before cutting the cables.

Several curved multi-colored electrical wires close-up isolated on a white background.

Check the wiring for signs of deterioration. Keep an eye out for cut or burned wires, nicks, or bite marks. Before you start cutting, remove any damaged regions.

When cutting wire, slide a piece of shrink tubing over it because you'll need it after you finish cutting.

Cut One Wire At A Time

Cut only one wire at a time by gently clamping down on the wire with the cutters. Once the damaged wire has been discovered, cut it to the correct length with a knife, wire cutter, or an electrician's knife.

Remove the outer insulation with a fine-ended stripper, followed by a thorough cleaning with a rag. Cover the cut live wire's exposed ends with electrical tape to prevent accidentally electrocuting oneself.

Place In The Junction Box

Welded the ends of the wires in the junction box

Use your needle-nose pliers to insert clamps into the apertures on the opposing ends of your junction box if you haven't set it up yet.

Avoid cleaning it with any chemical cleanser or placing anything on it, as this could lead to short circuits.

To Finish Up

Even without wire cutters, you can use many other tools to cut wires. If you don't have wire cutters, you'll need to use a sharp, accurate tool because wires come in various shapes, sizes, and forms.

Interested to learn more? Check out these articles:

5 Ways To Hang Picture Frames Without Wire

How To Hide Wires On Desk (6 Under-Desk Cable Management Solutions)

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