How To Choose The Right Bolt Cutters
Bolt cutters are a basic tool in any garden or yard tool box. They are available in a range of models, styles and sizes. As with most things, they all do the same job; but there are differences in price, quality and usability. How do you identify which one is the right one for your needs? There is no single buyer guide to bolt cutters. There is only one, the How-To Guide.
A bolt cutter is simply a fixed blade saw that can be locked to make it safer (but not strictly necessary). Some designs can also be bought as an electric model. Some are stand alone, some can be installed in masonry and reinforced concrete and some are designed for general cutting. As the name suggests, the most common use is in the construction field.
Bolt cutters are one of the more popular heavy duty electric saws. The question then becomes, what do you need one for? The answer is simple, whether you’re cutting posts, beams, floors, hedges, pillars or just general nails – you need a good strong cutter. It’s important to understand though that while some bolt cutters are designed for different cutting purposes, not all are made the same. So here’s a breakdown of the types of cutters most commonly used:
Box Bolts: These bolt cutters are the least expensive. While most use blades, there are some made specifically for box stock. They use counter rotating blades to counter balance the forces when the saw binds or cuts. This is generally considered the safest of the box cutters because the potential for injury is the lowest.
Slip-Joint Bolts: These are bolt cutters that have a cross connection at the end of the blades. They are used on softer woods. The cross connection increases leverage and creates a more rigid cut. This type is limited to softer woods, but their lower price often make them the best choice. They are also typically used on smaller jobs because their size does limit the size of the pieces that can be cut.
Full Face Bolt Cutters: The full face bolt cutter is similar to a vise. The difference is the length of the blades. While the vise has long blades, the full face has shorter blades. This creates a safer cut for the user. However, it may cost more to operate than other types of cutters.
Face Edge Cutters: Used in conjunction with the slip joint, these devices allow users to achieve a steeper and more severe angle when cutting. The cutting angle can reach 80 degrees. Face edge cutters also allow for a steeper cut because the edges of the blade don’t have to close as much. This allows for a longer blade life.
The three main types of bolt cutters are vise-grip, slip joint, and face edge. Vise-grip is the oldest and largest form of this tool. Slip joint and face edge are newer designs. This tool is the most commonly used tool in the industry. Regardless of the design, bolt cutters are useful for many different projects.
There are many different models and sizes of bolt cutters. Some are powered by mains electricity while others are battery operated. They can be used in different environments. The bolt cutters that are battery operated are lighter weight, portable and convenient. They can also be used on jobsites and farms and in a variety of other conditions.
All bolt cutters have their own specific sets of features. The primary feature is the length of the blade. Bolt cutters can range in length from eight to thirteen inches. The length of the blades will be dependent upon how many pieces of material will be cut at one time. Additionally, the size of the blade and its sharpening ability will be related to its efficiency.
The next feature to consider when purchasing bolt cutters is whether or not to get a serrated blade. Serrated blades offer a deeper and sharper cut than a regular blade. Some bolt cutters are made with serrated edges on both the blades and the spindle. This is a very useful feature but one that requires slightly more effort to use.
Lastly, before buying bolt cutters, it’s important to consider the type of fuel the product will use. Gasoline, oil and electricity are common fuels for these types of tools. Bolt cutters that are fueled with a corrosive agent need to be replaced more often because of their inability to withstand the corrosion. On the other hand, stainless steel cutters are able to withstand corrosion for a longer period of time.