Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Note on Cable Cutters

One of the very first tools any fledgling bike mechanic should own is a decent pair of cable cutters.  Sure, you can slice through shift and brake cables with electrical crimpers or the shears on needle-nose pliers, but you've got to have something a little more specialized to bite through cable housing.  Years ago, when I started doing my own bicycle repairs in earnest, I picked up a pair of Pedro's cable cutters.  The mechanic at my LBS told me that the Pedro's cutters would be the one tool that I would never have to replace.  And after using them consistently for a number of years now, I can certainly attest to their quality and sturdiness.  They really do seem to be built to last.

Something that's irked me over the years, however, is that the Pedro's cable cutters don't have built in crimpers.  They cut through cable and housing with no problem, but when it comes time to crimp a cap onto the end of a cable, I have to dig out an additional tool to finish the job.  Before I bought my Pedro's cable cutters, I had been eyeing the Park Tools professional cable cutters online.  The Park cutters have an integrated crimper, and it seems so natural for cable cutters to have a crimper that I assumed that they all had them.  At the time, my LBS didn't carry the Park cutters, so I bought the Pedro's.  And while I haven't had any problems with the Pedro's, if I had it to do over again, I would probably end up going with the Park cutters. 


  1. Thanks for this. I was about to purchase these but don't want to buy two tools. However, there are some adverse posts (and a YouTube viudeo) regarding the Park Tools cutter, specifically the newer model as not being that great at cutting. Have to keep looking.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Stuart. The one job that cable cutters need to be able to do is cut cable and housing. So if the Park cutters aren't handling job #1, then maybe I made a good decision to go with the Pedro's after all.