Channellock 338 High Leverage High Leverage Diagonal Cutters, 8-Inch

Last updated date: June 9, 2020

DWYM Score

9.1

Channellock 338 High Leverage High Leverage Diagonal Cutters, 8-Inch

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We looked at the top Diagonal Cutters and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Diagonal Cutter you should buy.

Editor's Note July 6, 2020:
Checkout The Best Diagonal Cutters for a detailed review of all the top diagonal cutters .

Overall Take


In our analysis, the Channellock Channellock 338 High Leverage High Leverage Diagonal Cutters, 8-Inch placed 7th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Not all cutting edges are the same. The 8-inch Channellock 338 Diagonal Cutting Plier uses precision machined knife and anvil style cutting edges to ensure perfect mating and superior cutting edge life. Channellock uses high carbon C1080 steel for superior performance on the job, and an electronic coating for ultimate rust prevention. It's completed by Channellock's iconic blue handle, which is both comfortable in your hand and easy to spot in your tool bag.

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

9.1
642 user reviews

What experts liked

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An Overview On Diagonal Cutters

If you ever do work around the house, you’ll eventually find yourself needing a pair of diagonal cutters. Used for cutting copper, brass, aluminum and steel wire, these cutters go where other cutters can’t. They feature a pair of handles, similar to what you’d see in a pair of pliers, along with a head that has a sharp cutting blade.

There are nine major types of pliers:

  • Slip joint pliers: A wider range gives these pliers greater versatility than diagonal cutters.
  • Tongue-and-groove pliers: These are often used in plumbing applications.
  • Locking pliers: Locking pliers are used with pipe wrenches, adjustable wrenches and clamps.
  • Linesman’s pliers: Also known as electrician’s pliers, these tools are built for smaller wires.
  • Diagonal pliers: Also known as cutting pliers, these have a diagonal design that lets them get into confined spaces.
  • Wire strippers: A favorite tool of electricians, wire strippers have a variety of uses, but are often used to take the insulated plastic coating off wires.
  • Needle-nose pliers: These pliers are ideal for bending wires and holding fittings, among other uses.
  • Fencing pliers: Designed for hammering staples into wooden fencing, these oddly-shaped tools are popular in fencing jobs.

Also known as diagonal cutting pliers, diagonal cutters can cut through wire and remove pins, nails and other fasteners. The design of diagonal cutters gives you a different angle than you get with other types of cutters, making it easier to get into those hard-to-reach areas.

It’s also important that the nose of the cutters be narrow enough to squeeze into those spaces. You’ll find as you start shopping around for diagonal cutters that this can vary from one pair to another, making it easier to narrow them down to the one that best fits your needs. There are also end-cutting pliers, which are made to cut wires, nails and rivets.

In addition to snipping wires, diagonal cutters have a variety of other household uses. You may find you’re pulling them out of the toolbox far more often than you expect. They can be great for shearing through those tough-to-cut artificial flower stems, for instance — a task that scissors can’t easily handle.

There are harder wires that won’t be suited for diagonal cutters. Piano wire, for instance, is made from tempered steel and will cause your cutters to struggle. For those tasks, you’ll need a side cutter of higher quality.

The Diagonal Cutter Buying Guide

If you’re using your diagonal cutters to cut through wire, you need to follow some safety precautions.

  • Ideally, wear a face shield while you’re working in case pieces of wire become dislodged and fly through the air.
  • Avoid rocking the tool from side to side while you’re cutting wire. Instead, cut at right angles.
  • Never cut through a hot wire.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable,  non-slip, easy-to-grip handle. The easier it is to hold the cutters, the less likely they’ll be to become a liability.
  • It’s easy to get a finger pinched between cutting pliers. For best results, choose a cutter with a grip span of 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
  • Keeping your pliers sharp is more than a convenience. Dull pliers can cause you to apply more force, thus becoming more prone to injury.

For best results while cutting, and to make sure you’re taking good care of your cutters, follow these tips:

  • Place the object you’re slicing as far into the jaws as possible. This gives you the most control over the tool. However, with some tools, you’ll need to place softer materials like copper or plastic closer to the very tip.
  • Often, you’ll be able to operate your diagonal cutters using just one hand. Look for that feature while you’re researching pliers.
  • Many pairs of cutting pliers open manually. If you’ll be using this tool often, though, it might be worth finding a spring-loaded pair to reduce your own manual labor.
  • If your first cut is unsuccessful, try moving the item to a different part of the cutting surface. If you continue to have difficulty, you may need a different type of cutter for the material you’re working with. Trying too hard to force your cutter to tackle a job that’s too big for it could damage the blade.
  • Many cutters have a cutting edge that’s been induction-hardened, which gives it a sharpness that remains even after many cuts.
  • Maintenance is an important part of extending your diagonal cutters’ lifespan. Occasionally clean your cutters using soap and water, then dry them thoroughly before storing them. For more stubborn stains, a little oil can help prime the blade so that the stain comes up easily with a rag.
  • Durability relies on the material of the cutters themselves, as well as that of the bolts and hinge. Steel is a reliable material that will hold up through many uses.
  • If you’ll be mixing your cutters in with other tools, look for one with a bright-colored handle that will stand out. That will make it easier to find the tool you need quickly.