Cutters Terms for Jewelers

Learn the different types of cutters available for jewelry making and what tasks each style is best suited for.

Last edited: 11/4/2020
An assortment of Lindstrom cutters

How do you choose the right type of cutters or shears for the cutting task you are performing? Why are there so many different jaw styles for cutters? And what’s the difference between a guillotine shear and hand shears? Bookmark this jewelry-making cutters and shears glossary for quick reference the next time you come across an unfamiliar type of cutter or shear.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A


Aviation Shear
German Compound Aviation Shears
Large shears used to cut sheet metal.

B


Bench Shear
Heavy-Duty Guillotine Shear
A table top shear used to cut sheet metal clean and straight.
Bevel Cutters
Swanstrom Large Diagonal Bevel Cutter
These are most durable of cutters. Bevel cutters require more pressure to make the cut and leave a pronounced pinch on the wire ends.

C


Compound Cutters
Heavy-Duty Flush Compound Cutters
These cutters are designed with two joints to maximize hand power at the cutting edge. Use for maximum power on heavy material such as thick-gauge wires and sprues.
Compound Shears
German offset compound shears
A hand shear featuring a compound joint that is designed for great cutting power with less hand fatigue.

E


End Cutters
Rio Grande German Slimline End Cutters
The cutting blades are perpendicular to the handles, providing more cutting leverage. These cutters are used for sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on wire and sprues.

F


Ferrous Metals
Metals containing or consisting of iron.
Flush Cutters
Swanstrom Heavy-Duty Flush Cutters
These cutters require somewhat more pressure to make a cut than semi- or super-flush cutters. Though the pinch left by flush cutters is noticeable, it is still minimal.

G


Guillotine Shears
Guillotine shear
A heavy-duty shear that is used to cut sheet or strip metal.

H


Hand Shears
These shears have offset blades that bypass one another to cut metal sheet and strip. The blades may be straight or curved.

M


Memory Wire Cutters
Memory Wire Cutters
Cutters designed for memory wire with exceptionally strong jaws that help eliminate pinched ends, leaving ends square and usable on both sides of the cut.

N


Non-Ferrous Metal
Metals that do not contain iron. Examples: brass, bronze, copper, gold, platinum and silver.

O


Oblique Cutters
Oblique Micro-Bevel Cutter
These cutters have an angled head that provides better reach and visibility in hard-to-reach areas. These cutters must be used on softer metals.

R


Ring Cutters
Ring Cutters with Electric Axle
A specialty tool designed with a small circular saw blade and protective guard, ring cutters are used to cut and open rings so they can be removed from a customer's finger.

S


Scissors
Precision Straight-Tip Beading Scissors
Jaws are pointed with offset blades that pass one another rather as the cut is made. Used for sheet, soft wire, and beading cord or string.
Semi-Flush Cutters
Semi-Flush Cutters
These cutters require a bit more pressure to make a cut than super-flush cutters. A small notch on the back of the jaws helps to minimize the pinch that is left on the material.
Sprue Cutters
Compound Sprue Cutters
Designed specially for cutting casting sprues. The compound joint and spring action provide maximum leverage with minimal effort. These cutters are also used for thick stock and heavier material.
Super-/Ultra-Flush Cutters
Ultra-Flush Cutters
The jaws meet flush on the back. These cutters require much less force to make a cut and leave a very small pinch on the material.