(Originally published on 1/16/2012 as "Selecting a Good Wire Rope Cable Cutter")
Aircraft cable or small diameter wire ropes usually consist of several strands of small individual wires that are bundled together and then the bundles are stranded together in an overlapping fashion to make the finished lengths of mechanical cable. A common construction for wire rope is the 7x19 style, or 7 bundles of 19 individual wires that are stranded together. This is a readily available construction that is popular because it is strong and quite flexible. This makes the wire rope easy to work with.
Usually aircraft cable is used in conjunction with several types of cable fittings that are used to construct a lanyard or some other type of cable assembly. The common type fittings are aluminum duplex oval sleeves, copper duplex oval sleeves, or stainless steel stud fittings, eye fittings, or fork fittings. When only a termination is needed on a piece of wire rope or aircraft cable, a stop fitting is used.
In most cases where fittings are used with aircraft cable, the cable must be cut so that the individual wires of the cable do not fray or spread out after cutting. Frayed cable ends are almost impossible to fit into the small diameter holes of the cable fittings. Aircraft cable must not be cut with an anvil type wire snip or a saw. Cutting the cable with a very sharp specialty cable cutter is very important when clean cuts are needed. It is much easier to insert a cut cable that has no frayed edges into the cable fitting.
The precision cable cutters manufactured by Felco, SA of Switzerland are the standard tool of choice with professional cable fabricators. The unique triangle cut made by the Felco cable cutters eliminates any frayed ends of the individual wires in a piece of cable. This makes cable cutting and the use of cable fittings very easy to use. (Click here to see the cutting in action.)
Additionally Felco cable cutters are the longest lasting cutters available on the market. Their proprietary hardening process for the cutting blades makes the cutting surface very durable and they seldom need sharpening. Felco cable cutters are exclusively sold in the United States by Loos & Company in Naples, FL. Contact our Sales Department to learn more, and snag your own!