Side cutters, also known as wire cutters, are essential tools in any electrician or DIY enthusiast’s toolkit. These go-to tools are used for cutting, snipping, and trimming wires, cables, and, well, just about anything. However, over time, side cutters like scissors may become stiff or hard to use, making it difficult to perform tasks efficiently. Fortunately, there are several ways to loosen side cutters and restore their functionality. Let’s take a look at some of the simplest but most effective ways to loosen side cutters.
Lubricate One of the easiest ways to loosen side cutters is to lubricate them. With constant use the hinges and joints of side cutters become dry, causing them to stick or become difficult to use. A quick win is to apply a small amount of lubricating oil or grease to the hinge and pivot points of the side cutters.
Heat Another quick fix to loosen side cutters is by heating the tool. It helps expand the metal, making it easier to move the parts that are stuck or stiff. Place the side cutters in a vice and use a heat gun or torch on the affected area. Be careful not to overheat the tool, as this can damage it. Then use a pair of pliers to gently move the parts back and forth until they become more flexible.
Penetrating Oil Penetrating oil is a saviour in so many situations. Its special formulation will penetrate deep into the joints and crevices of side cutters, helping to loosen any stuck or corroded parts. Just apply a few drops of penetrating oil to the hinge and pivot points of the side cutters and let it sit for several minutes. Presto!
Sandpaper If the hinge or pivot points of your side cutters are rusted or corroded, sandpaper can be an effective method for removing the rust and restoring the tool’s flexibility. Gently rub back and forth over the corroded areas until it’s removed. Then, apply a small amount of lubricating oil or grease to the hinge and pivot points to help them move more smoothly.
Finally, Disassembly and Cleaning. If none of the above methods work, you may need to disassemble the side cutters and clean them thoroughly. Use a pair of pliers to remove the hinge pin and separate the two halves of the tool. Then, clean each part with a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any rust, dirt, or debris. Once the parts are clean, apply a small amount of lubricating oil or grease to the hinge and pivot points, and reassemble the tool.
Side cutters are an essential tool and found in any electrician or DIY enthusiast’s toolbox. Over time, they may become stiff or hard to use but fortunately, you don’t have to throw them away and shell out for a new pair. As discussed, there are several ways to loosen side cutters, restore their functionality and keep your side cutters in top condition.