10 Best Bolt Cutters | April 2017

10 Best Bolt Cutters | April 2017
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We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. A tough job needs an extra tough tool. These bolt cutters will slice through thick wires, threaded rods, bolts, locks, chains and more, utilizing up to 16,000 pounds of crushing pressure. Skip to the best bolt cutter on Amazon.
The Olympia Tools 39-118 has patented folding handles that allow it to easily fit into a bag for transport. With its CR-MO hardened steel cutting heads and heavy-duty construction, it can withstand the toughest working conditions.
  • perfectly aligned blades
  • wide handles reduce pressure on hands
  • folding lock mechanism can break off
Brand Olympia Tools
Model 39-118
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
You might think the Tradespro 831714 is poorly made because of its low price tag, but it's actually surprisingly well built and regularly receives 5 star reviews from its users. It's a great choice for DIY enthusiasts.
  • small but powerful
  • bright color is easy to find if dropped
  • jaws should open wider
Brand Tradespro
Model 831714
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The Knipex 7101200 is best for nails, wires and small bolts, so it's not the most heavy-duty option. It is high quality, though, and, when used as intended, it makes a handy tool that will last for years.
  • induction hardened cutting edges
  • won't rust in moist conditions
  • take a lot of hand strength to cut
Brand KNIPEX Tools
Model 7101200
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Neiko 00563A Heavy Duty is manufactured with hardened chromium-molybdenum steel jaws that won't give out even after years of use on the toughest metals. It has an eccentric bolt which adjusts the blade clearance for versatility.
  • converts 50 lbs force to 4000 lbs
  • nonslip soft-grip handle
  • very heavy to lift and hold
Brand Neiko
Model 00563A
Weight 12.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The ToughBuilt TB-BC-01001A has a smart design that allows it to fold down to half its size when not in use, so it fits easily in a toolbox and is perfect for the contractor moving from job site to job site.
  • collapses and unfolds in seconds
  • constructed of high-grade steel
  • best for bolts 1/4" thick or less
Brand ToughBuilt
Model TB-BC-01001A
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The 18-inch TEKTON 3400 has a small price tag but huge cutting ability, making it perfect for those who rarely need a bolt cutter but want it to work if needed. It's also backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee.
  • adjustable and replaceable jaws
  • tubular steel handles
  • cannot accommodate thick bolts
Model 3400
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The long handles of the Ridgid 14223 S24 put extra torque into your squeeze, making it easier to chop through even thick bolts, locks, or chains. It has a precise center cut design for crisp controlled cutting.
  • one-step internal cam aligning mechanism
  • can cut a variety of metals
  • 5/16-inch capacity for hard metals
Brand Ridgid
Model 14223
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The DoRight TF Cutter is a hydraulic bolt and cable cutter that puts an astonishing 16,000 pounds of crushing pressure behind its blade, so very few things can withstand its force. This 1 to 16 mm cutting range tool is also surprisingly easy to use.
  • thick vinyl dipped grips
  • fully rotatable head
  • comes with handy carry storage case
Brand DoRight
Model TF
Weight 8.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
Not many 8" cutters can achieve the same amount of force as the Capri Tools 40209 Klinge Mini. It easily cuts through wires, threaded rods, bolts, chains, and more, and is extremely handy for cutting on the go.
  • high leverage design
  • low cost makes it a great value
  • double heat treated cr-mo blades
Brand Capri Tools
Model 40209
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
With its extremely long 42" handle, the Klein Tools 63342 can power through the toughest bolts while requiring less effort from you. The jaws are precision ground for sure, efficient cutting and long lasting durability.
  • also available in 5 smaller sizes
  • all-purpose, center-cut jaws
  • comfortable flat grip ends
Brand Klein Tools
Model 63342
Weight 19.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Bolt Cutters: A Perfect Application Of Force

Before we get to the topic at hand, the bolt cutter, let us first discuss an underlying principle without which this mighty tool would not even exist.

A simple machine is, in the simplest terms, a mechanical device that creates or directs force. Simple machines create what is sometimes called a "mechanical advantage" but what is more commonly referred to as leverage. The term simple machine is almost always used to refer to one or more of the six devices defined during the Renaissance era. They are the lever, the pulley, the wheel and axle, the wedge, the inclined plane, and the screw.

If you examine almost any item with moving parts, from a computer to a cruise ship to a carousel, you will find multiple examples of simple machines within. Likewise you will find simple machines being used -- though often in advanced applications employing multiple examples at once -- in industries ranging from construction to manufacturing to medicine and beyond.

Now let's focus on one particular simple machine, the lever. A rigid lever can be used to generate great amounts of force to an object located a short distance from a fulcrum when much lesser force is applied at a greater distance from the fulcrum. If you have ever used a jack to raise a car before a tire change, you have seen this device at its finest, lifting a vehicle weighing many thousands of pounds with the strength of your own arms.

Given the right circumstances, a lever can theoretically generate enough force to lift any object. Levers can also be used to generate enough force for you to chop through solid steel with your arms alone, provided that the simple machine in question is being used in the form of a pair of bolt cutters.

The Bolt Cutter As An Everyday Tool

A typical bolt cutter can generate around 4,000 pounds of pressure in the hands of a reasonably able bodied person. That means they can easily chop through almost any material that will be found around the house or on a construction site, making them a great asset for the carpenter, electrician, plumber, or the DIY enthusiast looking to cut through anything from nails to wiring to chain link fencing to many types of pipe and even through sheet metal and rebar.

While bolt cutters are hardly precision tools (a pair might bend and crimp a pipe before severing it, for example) they are great for the rough and ready work of demolition that often precedes renovations or new construction. If you have to remove a section of concrete supported by rebar, for example, a sledgehammer (or jackhammer) will only take care of half of the project; a powerful bolt cutter can remove the iron bars. And if you need to cut away nails, screws or, of course, bolts, you can use a good pair of bolt cutters to make multiple cuts with minimal strain to your arms or hands. The leverage inherent in good bolt cutters will always be appreciated.

Don't forget that just because a bolt cutter was designed for use chopping metal, it can still be used to cut through other materials. A handheld bolt cutter (some options are small enough to be operated with one hand) can make amazingly swift work of the branches and brambles you need to prune, for example. They can also easily cut through dowels, zip ties, thick rope, and much more.

The Bolt Cutter For Law Enforcement Or Emergency Work

There are a few specialty bolt cutters available that cost many hundreds of dollars, but that can generate many thousands of pounds of force. Keeping in mind that about 4,000 pounds of force is an average figure for most bolt cutters, it is astonishing to realize that some hydraulic style cutters can generate as much as 16,000 pounds of cutting force using nothing more than a person's arm strength.

Such amazing cutting power is certainly excessive if you are simply trying to remove a lock whose combination has been forgotten or if you are snipping away excess fencing material, but there are multiple situations in which such power is of the utmost importance. If you are tasked with quick entry into a property to execute a warrant, for example, you and your fellow law enforcement professionals can't afford to waste a second, as every delay can put your team in danger and/or risk giving a suspect the advantage he or she needs to make an escape.

So too can a powerful pair of bolt cutters allow for quicker and easier access to a building that firefighters need to enter in order to fight a blaze or that paramedics need to get into before they can assist a sick or injured individual. If a lock stands in the way of a police officer or a first responder, it's important to have the best, most powerful tool available to get that lock removed. Bolt cutters can also help these types of professionals cut through fencing, chains, security cages over windows, and much more.

And for the repossession professional who has the legal right to tow away vehicles or other property that is being unlawfully held, a great pair of bolt cutters is an essential tool of the trade.

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Last updated on April 27 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.