I started thinking about wire cutters and what is really needed. Now remember, I am talking about what is really needed, not what we want to add to our toolbox. If you are anything like I am, I love tools and can never have too many.
It seems really for wirework; only two types of wire cutters are needed. The first one is a bevel cutter. From where I sit, a bevel cutter is really just an ordinary wire cutter that many people have in their toolboxes. These cutters work great for general all around purpose cutting. The problem with a bevel cutter is the resulting end of the cut wire has a sharp wedge shape that would need to be filed flat to use in your wire jewelry.
A better choice for a wire cutter used in wire jewelry making is either a flush cutter or a super flush cutter. Now both make a much better cut than the bevel cutter with the super flush cutter coming out on top as far as a flatter smoother cut. The super cutter cost a bit more than the normal cutter, but in the long run it is well worth the added cost.
Flush cutters work in specific directions. The wire cut facing the flat side of the cutters is the actual flush cut. The other side is really no different from the bevel wire cutters. It has a pointed cut. So you will need to turn your cutters around to make a small cut eliminating the pointed end.
If you look through any catalog, you will find many super flush cutters each with it’s own maximum wire size. You certainly do not want to use a 20 gauge cutter to cut 12-gauge wire. It will damage the cutter. So the question came to my mind, will a 20 gauge and a 12-gauge super flush cutter make the same good cut on a 20-gauge wire. Do you see where I am going here? Do I need to buy 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 gauge super flush cutters to cover my various gauge wires? At around $50 a piece that gets expensive quickly.
A call to the manufacturer gave me my answer. Yes, they both will do the same great cut. I really only need to have a 12 gauge super flush cutter to handle my cutting needs. The only down side I can see is when getting into really tight quarters, especially with rings.
One last comment about cutters is a tip of what not to cut with your good cutters. Do not cut memory wire. Use your bevel cutters for that job. Not that I would know why!