Bolt Cutter Buying Guide

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Which bolt cutter would prove to be the best for you to buy?

Compact, 300mm (12″) and 350mm (14″) bolt cutters

Ideal for soft and malleable type of materials of up to Brinell 300/Rockwell C31, e.g. threaded rod and wire, maximum 6mm (1/4″) in diameter. Some higher quality models available in the market which come with hardened steel jaws are also able to work with some harder materials of up to Brinell 455/Rockwell C48, e.g. bolts and some chain, to a maximum 3.6mm (1/8″) in diameter.


450mm (18″) and 600mm (24″) bolt cutters

These cutters are able to cut through about the same type of materials as compact and smaller cutters but their longer arms also enable them to handle greater diameters: soft and medium hard material (Brinell 300/Rockwell C31) up to 11mm (7/16″) and hard materials (Brinell 455/Rockwell C48) up to 9.5mm (3/8″).


750mm (30″) – 1.2m (48″) bolt cutters

This type and size of Bolt cutters enable you to work with hard materials of up to Brinell 455/Rockwell C48, for example, steel rod, copper cable and even alloy steel chain, to a max range of 10mm (3/8″) or 11mm (7/16″) in diameter.


Blade Quality

The ability and the type of the work you can do with the cutting blade depend on the material used for making the cutting blade. A steel blade will prove to be the most ideal and gives better results. The best option is forged steel with a hardened edge. Blades made with good material usually last longer than other and do not require a lot of maintenance.



The handle of the cutter you choose should be comfortable, especially if you will be using it for longer periods of time. It will be better if the grip is non-slip. Long handles will prove to be more helpful to you if you will be cutting heavy materials that require greater force. Long handles provide you with the leverage that is required to cut the material.


In case you require a pair of bolt cutters which have long handles to enable you to access the material you need to cut (or for the extra leverage they provide), then you should consider buying a model with lightweight fiberglass or aluminum handles.



A bolt cutter should be easily portable and not so heavy weighted. When people usually discuss about bolt cutter weight they refer to the handle, but you should take the weight of the whole tool under consideration. A short handle bolt cutter will prove helpful to a solid, heavy design as it will give additional force to the cutting motion. If you are using a long handle cutter, one with the lighter weight is better.


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