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What are diagonal cutting pliers and what are they used for?

What are diagonal cutting pliers and what are they used for?

10th Aug 2021

How do you cut wire, over and over, without getting tired?

The answer you’re looking for is diagonal cutting pliers.

But why are these different to other pliers? Why are they so easy to use? And how do you know which ones you need for your job? Find out in this blog, where we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about these quick cutting nippers.

A plier for every occasion

Day in, day out, Maun’s diagonal cutting pliers are resilient. Made for repeated cutting of wire, they’ll go easy on your hands. Whatever sector you work in.

You might know these under a few different names - side cutters, flush cut pliers, side cutting pliers, wire cutters, diagonal cutting nippers. In short: diagonal cutting pliers cut wire by indenting and wedging a cable apart.

Maun’s diagonal cutting pliers aren’t fussy about the type of wire, cable, or lead they cut. Copper, aluminium, steel, soft or hard - they’ll do the trick. They’ll even cut through piano wire, one of the strongest wires out there.

That said, diagonal cutting pliers are specialist tools. With precise cutting edges shaped specifically for cutting wire, they’re designed with the sole purpose of making a clean cut. No compromises.

How are they different to other pliers?

Getting straight to the point:

  • These pliers can’t grip. They have jaws with cutting edges.
  • The jaws have an angled edge. This means they’re designed to cut through wire by applying greater cutting force.
  • The jaws and cutting edges are hardened to increase the life of the cutter.

How do Maun diagonal cutting pliers differ from standard?

Maun diagonal cutting pliers are a more compact tool than their standard counterpart. This is due to the compound-lever action (with two pivot points), which multiplies the hand force by 18 (140 mm) to 22 (160 mm) times. So, if quick, effortless cutting’s your thing, these are the cutters for you.

Even better, the jaws are induction hardened to HRC 64, a higher level than standard. This results in a heavy-duty tool capable of cutting the hardest wire (e.g. piano wire) without blunting the edges. But they’re just as at home cutting soft wires, like precious metals in jewellery making.

The bottom line is Maun’s diagonal cutting pliers are snappy when you cut wire for a living. They’re more compact, lighter weight and require less effort.

How to use Maun diagonal cutting pliers

For ease, here’s a step-by-step guide:

1.Pull the handles apart to open the jaws.

2.For hard wires, place the wire as far down the blades as possible (for the best leverage). For soft, place the wire near the tip.


Choosing the right pliers for the job

Depending on the task at hand (or personal preference), Maun offers two sizes of diagonal cutting pliers. These have different jaw widths and openings.

Option one: 140 mm


  • 140 mm length
  • 10 mm jaw opening
  • 8 mm jaw width
  • Cutting capacity: piano wire 1.6 mm diameter, hard wire 2.0 mm diameter, soft wire 3.0 mm diameter.

More commonly used by dental technicians for orthodontic wire. As well as jewellers, hobbyists, and craft workers.

Alternatively, 2990-140-B, is made for utility meter installers. This is for cutting the multi-stranded wire crimped by Maun’s meter sealing ferrules.

Shop the Maun Diagonal Cutting Plier For Hard Wire 140 mm.

Option two: 160 mm


160 mm length

14 mm jaw opening

9 mm jaw width

Cutting capacity: piano wire 2.0 mm diameter, hard wire 2.5 mm diameter, soft wire 4.0 mm diameter.

More commonly used by engineers and mechanics for hard wire cutting (e.g. welding wire), manufacturers of sprung bed mattresses, piano technicians and electricians.

Shop the Maun Diagonal Cutting Plier For Hard Wire 160 mm.

Both are available in classic finish. With zinc-plated handles with added detailing for better grip. Or with comfort grips fitted.

How do I buy a pair?

If you think Maun’s diagonal cutting pliers are the one for you, shop for a pair here.