How To Cut Wire Rope Or Cable Without Fraying

There are different possible causes for wires to fray when cut. However, there are also ways to avoid it, depending on the tool that you use or the right ways to cut a wire rope or cable. That's why we've researched how to cut wire rope or cable, to provide you with methods that won't cause fraying.

To cut the wires without fraying, make sure you use quality cutters that are not dull. For best results, use electrical tape to snugly wrap the wire or cable at either end, around the area marked for your intended cut. Wrap tightly for additional tension on braided wire to keep the individually threaded braid intact.

Cutting the cable wires sounds easier than it might seem when actually doing it. The culprit of not having clean cuts is the tool that you use to cut the wires. Knowing how to use and maintain your tools is the first step toward a successful cut. Below are the tips you can use to fully learn what to do moving forward. 

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How To Cut A Wire Rope Or Cable Wires Without Fraying

Industrial background with a coiled steel cable.

Use Wire/Cable Cutters

It is important that you use the right tool in accomplishing a task. Especially if you want to achieve much cleaner cuts for the wire ropes or cables. Below are some examples of wire cutters.

Klein Tools Cable Cutter

These forged steel cutters will make easy work of cutting through American wire gauge (AWG) aluminum or copper.

See Klein on Amazon.

CAL Hawk Tools Cable Cutter

These compact, alloy steel cutters will get the job done if you're cutting hard steel cable or soft wire rope.

See CAL Hawk on Amazon.

Use Durable, Trustworthy Tools

If you want to make sure you get a  very clean cut, you invest in your tools. Some professional linemen do not just get their job done so well by using some tools that are likely to break, it does not just waste your time, but will also cost you over time as you'll often be replacing weak, broken tools. 

Cut The Wire Rope Quickly And Steadily

Clean new steel rope wire, coiled steel cable. Industrial equipment

This technique gives you a clean professional cut, particularly in using the correct tools. Sometimes the amount of pressure you put into your tools matters. It is important that you know how much pressure and which angle would be best to have a clean cut.

Get A Good Workspace

Make sure you have enough lighting and a clear work area to give you more focus on your work. It would be difficult to work if you are in a dark, messy space. 

What Can You Use to Cut Wires Without Wire Cutters?


You can use a hacksaw to cut a wire rope or cable wires. You might want to use a hacksaw with a high TPI (teeth-per-inch) to ensure best results.

See a hacksaw on Amazon.


You can try bending it back and forth. It might not work on thicker wires. This method can compromise the overall quality of the wire. In case you will meet any problems, the wire may be the culprit when it was compromised by having used this method. 


Snips can provide you with an even cut by positioning the wire carefully between blades and making sure to close the handles evenly. However, there is a possibility that they could be bending and contorting the wire instead. 

See snips on Amazon.

Angle Grinder

Usually, an amateur handyman has an angle grinder available. Like a hacksaw, this works best when it is cutting through wires that are larger gauge. 

See the angle grinder on Amazon.

How Do You Cut a Thick Cable?

Cut stranded strong metal cable

Cutting a thick cable is not far from cutting the regular ones. It depends on how thick the cable is.

Invest In Your Tools

Make sure you get reliable tools that will surely help you with your task, saving you time and money. These cutters should be strong enough and have a wide enough diameter to cut the wire.

Use A Hacksaw And Wood Block

This process is fully manual. You will need a wooden block, at least six inches tall Drill a hole at the center of the block according to the size of the cable so that it would fit through. Pass the wire through the hole up to where you want to cut, then cut the remaining wire simply by moving the saw over the wire while atop the wooden block.

Use a Needle Nose Pliers

Cut the wires by using sheer force. This method is also manual just like the previous process. Cut the cables using the pliers or diagonal sheers. Put pressure as much as you can.

See needle nose pliers on Amazon.

Using A Cold Chisel

Another manual method is using a cold chisel. Wrap the wire tightly using electrical tape before and after the mark for your cut. Then place the cold chisel and make sure you give it a good whack. Automatically the wire will be cut off. 

See a chisel on Amazon. 

Rotary Tool

This is a mechanical method of cutting the wire. If you want to be like a professional, this tool is best for you. The rotary tool has a fast-spinning motor tip that you can use to cut wires with a very good cut. Remember to not run back and forth. Run from the upper side, then smoothly go through.  

See a rotary tool on Amazon.

How Do You Fix a Frayed Cable?

device concept with torn wire, Repair Broken or Damaged Wires, fixes for fraying cables, Damaged electric cord on white

There are many unfortunate events where our wires become frayed for some reason. However, there are always ways to fix it.

Electrical Tape

This method is one of the most cost-effective fixes for a frayed cable. Wrapping the wire neatly with electrical tape will somehow seal the damaged area. To prevent further damage, wrap the wire several times, then work your way out to the spot. Electrical tapes are not pretty and could be temporary, but they are affordable and will stop additionally fraying.

Heat Shrink

This method is more costly than the electrical tape, but this is a more long-term fix. Most shrinking tubing is available for only a few dollars apiece. When you find a size that will fit your wired cable, slip it over one of the ends. Using a heated gas or even a hairdryer to activate, the heat will cause the tubes to shrink and cling to the cable, fixing the damaged area. 

See heat shrink tubing on Amazon.

Unused Spring

This is a temporary solution for your frayed wires. If you have an unused retractable pen, get the spring and wrap it around the cable to reinforce it towards its ends.


Sugru is moldable glue. This protects the cable underneath without losing the cable flexibility. The thicker coating should provide longer-lasting protection.

See Sugru on Amazon.

How Do You Seal The Ends of the Wire Rope?

It is important to seal the ends of the wire rope to prevent or reduce wear, rust, and corrosion on your rope.

Dip In Solder

Dipping the end of the wire rope in the regular paste flux, then dip it into the heated soldering iron. Let it cool, then it will seal the wires and also prevent fraying. 

Adjustable Cable Seals

Adjustable cable seals are used for durability, whenever a wire or cable cannot withstand the temperature or any form of impact. Choosing the right cable depends on the size of the cable. Available lengths range from six inches to 72 inches and cable diameters are from one-and-a-half millimeters to four millimeters.

See an adjusting cable seal on Amazon.

Fussing And Tapering

This process uses an annealing machine, the machine heats the steel wire rope to a very high temperature and the wire rope strands fuse together. 

To Conclude

You can achieve a clean cut using the right tools and equipment. There are also home remedies that can help you in the absence of the right tools at home. You may have a frayed cable, but there are always ways to fix it. No matter how big your cable is, there are always intuitive ways to fix it all.

Looking for other handy tips for managing (or using) wire rope around your home? Check out our related posts:

5 Ways To Hang Picture Frames Without Wire

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


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