best diagonal cutters

Best Diagonal Cutters: Top 6 of 2024 Reviewed

Last updated on February 28th, 2024.

The best diagonal cutters (also known as side cutters or wire cutters) have an excellent cutting force, an angled and ergonomic design, and sit comfortably in your hard.  

Low-quality diagonal cutters struggle to slice through even thin pieces of wires, have a short cutting length, and barely last you 18 months of usage (no thanks).

To help you buy a quality set of diagonal cutters—we’ve reviewed the Top 6 Diagonal Cutters of 2024.

Buy with the confidence that you are getting one of the best pairs of dikes on the market. Let’s jump straight into the reviews.

Preview Product Key Features
KNIPEX Tools 74 21 200, 8-Inch High Leverage Angled Diagonal Cutters KNIPEX Tools 74 21 200, 8-Inch High Leverage Angled Diagonal Cutters
  • High leverage Diagonal Cutters for very tough, continuous use
  • 20% reduction in required force compared to conventional diagonal cutters of the same length
  • Precision cutting edges
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch, Diagonal (1902413) IRWIN VISE-GRIP Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch, Diagonal (1902413)
  • Powerful pliers for cutting ACSR, nails, screws, piano wire, and more
  • PowerSlot technology delivers 2X more power at half the cutting effort than traditional pliers.
  • Induction-hardened cutting edges and anti-rust coating for superior performance and a long life
Klein Tools D248-8 Pliers, Made in USA, Diagonal Cutting Multi-Purpose Pliers with Angled Head,... Klein Tools D248-8 Pliers, Made in USA, Diagonal Cutting Multi-Purpose Pliers with Angled Head,...
  • Diagonal Cutters with angled head design for easy work in confined spaces
  • High-leverage pliers with rivet closer to the cutting edge for 36-percent greater cutting power than other plier designs
  • Short jaws and beveled cutting edges permit close cutting of wire
CRAFTSMAN Diagonal Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch Compound Action (CMHT81718) CRAFTSMAN Diagonal Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch Compound Action (CMHT81718)
  • INCREASED CUTTING FORCE: Compound action design of diagonal cutting pliers
  • COMFORT AND CONTROL: Multi-zone bi-material grips on safety wire pliers
  • INDUCTION HARDENED: Cutting edges of CRAFTSMAN pliers stay sharper longer
Wiha 32933 6.3-Inch Insulated Industrial Diagonal Cutter Wiha 32933 6.3-Inch Insulated Industrial Diagonal Cutter
  • Ergonomic cushion grip handles for comfort and control
  • Dual durometer construction ​for long-lasting durability
  • Handles direct molded to tool steel for permanent bond
Crescent 8' Pro Series Diagonal Compound Action Dual Material Cutting Pliers - PS5429C Crescent 8" Pro Series Diagonal Compound Action Dual Material Cutting Pliers - PS5429C
  • 9" Crescent Pro Series diagonal compound action pliers
  • Made with co-molded grips for added comfort
  • Compound leverage design provides 50% increase in cutting power

Top 6 Best Side Cutters

Knipex Diagonal Cutters

Sale
KNIPEX Tools 74 21 200, 8-Inch High Leverage Angled Diagonal Cutters
  • High leverage Diagonal Cutters for very tough, continuous use
  • 20% reduction in required force compared to conventional diagonal cutters of the same length
  • Precision cutting edges

Knipex’s diagonal cutters are our top pick, ideal for electricians who frequently need a reliable wire-cutting tool. Their design ensures precision and ease, making them a standout choice for professionals.

Featuring an angled design, these cutters have a forged axle rivet that makes them extremely durable. The 8 inches long tool has an enhanced cutting precision and boasts a hardness of 64 HRC. Moreover, the metallic components are made out of oil-hardened chrome vanadium steel. 

The optimized cutting edge and the advanced transmission ratio reduce the amount of cutting force that needs to be applied when slicing wires. With the help of these cutters, you can even cut through nails. 

Knipex diagonal cutters’ ergonomic design makes sure your hands won’t get tired if the tool is used for a long time. A nice surprise is its competitive price – you get the best product for the money. 

Knipex offers a high-quality product, a tool that really considers the user. Although this is a heavy little beast, many electricians will keep buying it for its durability. We recommend you get your Knipex diagonal cutters as soon as possible. 

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • High-leverage axle reduces cutting force requirements by 20%
  • Made of oil-hardened chrome vanadium
  • Induction-hardened cutting edge
  • Ergonomic and angled design
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to use in tight places due to its weight
  • Smaller than other dikes

Irwin Diagonal Cutters

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch, Diagonal (1902413)
  • Powerful pliers for cutting ACSR, nails, screws, piano wire, and more
  • PowerSlot technology delivers 2X more power at half the cutting effort than traditional pliers.
  • Induction-hardened cutting edges and anti-rust coating for superior performance and a long life

Our premium choice is the set of diagonal cutters made by Irwin Tools. The improved cutting force due to the PowerSlot system and other additional features make this product an excellent option for those willing to spend more. 

Induction-hardened cutting edges and the anti-rust coating improve the overall lifespan of the tool. You can rest assured that these pliers will not fail you over time.  Moreover, the Irwin dikes can easily slice through nails, ACSR, bolts, or piano wires. 

The ergonomic design includes 3-zone comfort grips that make sure the tool can be used ambidextrously without compromising the overall comfort. Irwin diagonal cutters are eight inches long so you can easily carry them around the job sites. 

If you’re hesitant about the investment, consider the Irwin Lifetime Guarantee; it ensures that any failing cutters are replaced, offering peace of mind with your purchase.

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Longer lifespan due to induction-hardening and anti-rust coating
  • Great cutting force through PowerSlot technology
  • Features an ergonomic design
  • Backed by Irwin Lifetime Guarantee
Disadvantages
  • Slightly heavier than other cutters
  • Pricier than other similar models

Klein Tools Diagonal Cutters

Klein Tools D248-8 Pliers, Made in USA, Diagonal Cutting Multi-Purpose Pliers with Angled Head,...
  • Diagonal Cutters with angled head design for easy work in confined spaces
  • High-leverage pliers with rivet closer to the cutting edge for 36-percent greater cutting power than other plier designs
  • Short jaws and beveled cutting edges permit close cutting of wire

Electricians that are not willing to spend a fortune on diagonal cutters should consider the Klein Tools multi-purpose cutters. Boasting a simple design, these diagonal cutters are reliable and include basic features. 

The angled head allows you to easily work in tight places while the rivet close to the cutting edge offers a 36% increase in cutting force compared to similar products. Also, the induction-hardened cutting edges allow the cutters to slice through hard materials of any sort. 

The hot-riveted joints ensure stability and precision during cuts, while the plastic-dipped handles offer durability. Keep in mind, prolonged use might affect comfort due to the handle design.

To conclude, if the budget is a big issue for you, feel free to buy the Klein Tools diagonal cutters, an excellent tool, made in the USA. 

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Features induction-hardened cutting edges
  • High-leverage rivet axle has 36% greater cutting power than similar models
  • Made in USA
Disadvantages
  • Stiff and hard to open
  • Handles get uncomfortable

Crescent Diagonal Cutters

Crescent 8" Pro Series Diagonal Compound Action Dual Material Cutting Pliers - PS5429C
  • 9" Crescent Pro Series diagonal compound action pliers
  • Made with co-molded grips for added comfort
  • Compound leverage design provides 50% increase in cutting power

Crescent diagonal cutters represent another affordable and reliable option. These cutters are eight inches long but lighter than other models. An amazing feature is the compound leverage system that offers over 50% more cutting power. 

The chrome-vanadium construction of these diagonal cutters makes sure they will last for a very long time. Plus, the improved ergonomics that include co-molded large grips made of soft material reduce the stress after extended use. 

Crescent pliers are easy to use and the self-opening design is a nice addition. If you want to prevent the dikes to open up on their own, the locking tab will secure the jaws shut. 

While some may question the build quality, the overwhelming positive feedback from electricians suggests it’s worth trying. Plus, its affordability makes it a risk-free investment for your toolkit.

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Weighs a third of other cutters, perfect for carrying around
  • 50% more cutting power
  • 30% bigger grips
  • Self-opening design
Disadvantages
  • Not fit for cutting through hard materials
  • Low build quality

Craftsman Diagonal Cutters

CRAFTSMAN Diagonal Cutting Pliers, 8-Inch Compound Action (CMHT81718)
  • INCREASED CUTTING FORCE: Compound action design of diagonal cutting pliers
  • COMFORT AND CONTROL: Multi-zone bi-material grips on safety wire pliers
  • INDUCTION HARDENED: Cutting edges of CRAFTSMAN pliers stay sharper longer

Craftsman diagonal cutters, despite the affordab1le price, have a bunch of traits that set them apart from other cheap models. The ergonomic design is especially exquisite – special multi-zone grips ensure the utmost comfort and safety. 

Another notable aspect of these cutters is that they feature a compound action design, which is meant to help increase the amount of cutting force you can exert.

Made from drop-forged steel and including induction-hardened cutting edges, the Craftsman diagonal pliers are strong and powerful. Slicing through harder wires is no longer an issue. 

The requirement to fully open the cutters to engage the compound action may be seen as a drawback, yet the comfort and enhanced durability they offer underscore their value for electricians.

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Compound action design allows you to apply more force to cut tougher metals
  • Very comfortable grips
  • Drop-forged steel and induction-hardened edges for increased durability
  • Lifetime warranty
Disadvantages
  • Too stiff, needs both hands to open
  • Compound action feature is hard to use

Wiha Insulated Diagonal Cutters

Sale
Wiha 32933 6.3-Inch Insulated Industrial Diagonal Cutter
  • Ergonomic cushion grip handles for comfort and control
  • Dual durometer construction ​for long-lasting durability
  • Handles direct molded to tool steel for permanent bond

The last product we’ve reviewed is the Wiha insulated diagonal cutters, another comfortable and easy-to-use model. Due to its massive grips that boast a slip guard handle design, you can use the cutters all day long without experiencing fatigue. 

Made of forged CV tool steel and including induction-hardened edges, the Wiha diagonal cutters will not fail you anytime soon. The surface features an industrial brushed finish for enhanced durability. 

The dynamic and highly performant joints offer a smooth cutting motion while are capable of handling the extra force required when cutting through thicker wires. These joints provide up to 40% easier cuts. 

Although the cutters’ small size (6 inches long) gives them lesser leverage, the Wiha product remains an excellent option. This is a compact set of dikes, comfortable and easy to use. It will make a great purchase for any electrician. 

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Slip guard handle design
  • Made of forged CV tool steel
  • Meets all standard specifications for insulated tools
  • Dynamic joints provide up to 40% easier cuts
Disadvantages
  • Size too small
  • Poor build quality

About Thomas Hawkins

I run Electrician Apprentice Headquarters, a one-stop-shop for learning how to become a licensed electrician in the USA. I'm a licensed Master Electrician with over 20 years experience working in the Mining & Construction industries. Why do I do it? Well, because even plumbers need heroes.

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