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.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 3 expert reviews, 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.

Editor's Note June 22, 2020:
Checkout The Best Diagonal Cutters for a detailed review of all the top diagonal cutters .

Expert Summarized Score
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0 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.1
642 user reviews
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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.

Overall Product Rankings

An Overview On Diagonal Cutters

If you ever do handywork 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—The wider range gives these pliers greater versatility than diagonal cutters.
  • Tongue-and-groove pliers—Often used in plumbing applications.
  • Locking pliers—Used with pipe wrenches, adjustable wrenches and clamps.
  • Linesman’s pliers—Also known as electrician’s pliers, this tool is 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, this tool has a variety of uses.
  • Needle nose pliers—This tool is ideal for bending wires and holding fittings, among other uses.
  • Fencing pliers—Designed for hammering staples into wooden fencing, this oddly-shaped tool is popular in fencing jobs.

Also known as diagonal cutting pliers, diagonal cutters can not only cut through wire, but they can also be used for removing 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.

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

In addition to 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. It can be great for cutting through those tough-to-cut artificial flower stems, for instance—a task that scissors can’t handle.

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

DWYM Fun Fact

A job as an electrician can be fairly well-paying, but it’s a dangerous career. So it’s probably no surprise that electricians train for years to become skilled in their field. To become a master electrician, a professional must not only go through classroom training and get hands-on experience, but they have to at least work in the field for three years before they can even apply. In addition to fully understanding how to test and repair various electrical issues, electricians also must become experts on safety measures they need to take while on the job. One of the most interesting tasks electricians must master, though, is color perception. Electricians have to be able to pass a color test before starting work since detecting one wire color from others is an essential part of almost every assignment.

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. You should also avoid rocking the tool from side to side while you’re cutting wire. Instead, cut at right angles.
  • Never cut through a hot wire.
  • For safety, you should also look for diagonal cutters that have a handle that prioritizes safety. One that reduces your risk of slipping is ideal. But also, don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable, easy-to-grip handle. The easier it is to hold the cutters, the less likely they’ll slip from your hand and become a liability.
  • Cutting pliers can also be a hazard to your fingers. It’s easy to get a finger pinched between it and cause injury. 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, which can become a safety issue.
  • Some cutting pliers require that you manually separate the handles to open the jaws before you cut. If you’ll be using this tool often, though, it might be worth finding one that does this for you using a spring to reduce your own manual labor.
  • For best results when cutting, 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.
  • In most cases, you’ll be able to operate your diagonal cutters using just one hand. Look for that feature while you’re researching pliers.
  • If your first cut is unsuccessful, try moving the item to a different area of the cutters. If you continue to have difficulty, though, it could be that you 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 the cutter 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, as well as 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 or with the tools of your colleagues, look for one with a bright-colored handle that will stand out. That will make it easier to find the tool you need quickly, saving you the time you’d spend searching and keeping you productive.