Cutting brake cables

what kind of cutter should I be using to cut my brake cables to the appropriate length?

My crappy little wire cutters at home aren’t doing it, just end up mashing everything and fraying the wire so I can’t get it through the housing. can i just use bigger wire cutter from a hardware store?

what do you all use?


cable cutters

from any hardware or bike shop

thread the inner cable through the cable housing before you cut to length.

then even if you do tend to fray it you can pretty wind it back together with your fingers and wack an end cap on it.

any half decent set of side cutters or pliers should be ok.

Knipex make really good side cutters for about $30 for a small pair.

I found if you feed a older inner cable back thru and cut through it and the outer cable the outer does not mash/crush out of shape.
Leaving the new inner to freely slide inside it’s new shorter home.

I had this problem a couple of weeks ago.
I tryed to use the shitty cutting bit of pointy nose pliers and just ended up crushing and fraying the cable.
Got some good sharp sidecuters form the hardwre store and they cut through great with minimal fray. I think they are the best option. They are not expensive and something you will probably need again.

See the shape of the blades in Shortsie’s picture? Because of the opposing V’s the cable gets pulled in and together as it’s being cut. Try and find a pair like that, as he says any: hardware store.

awesome. i’ll try find a pair today. cheers guys

Don’t get the BBB ones - they’re crap.

If your a tightarse like me and can’t justify buying a cable cutter. just rest the cable on a hard surfaces and wack it with a coal chisel or and old chisel that you don’t care about the edge on.

the outer can often be cut with a hacksaw but it is usually worth tidying up the cut with a fine file.

for cables, I tightly wrap a little piece of electrical tape around and cut it with a little dremel cutting wheel. If you don’t put the tape on the strands will pop out.

Gives a clean cut for housing too.

All well and good if you have a dremel I suppose. (mine is one of those $20 super chep ones but it works fine)

A point on the polish thread, It is good for polishing little nooks and crannies like on brake calipers.

I think you mean a cold chisel.

Exactly what I do, I basically bought the dremel for cutting cables and outers.

Try the birzman cutters, or parktool.
Bike corp sell one that is from the same factory as the parktool one and is a third of the price.


We have a set of Pedros parrot nosed cutters in teh workshop, and the BikeCorp ones are exactly the same. Only cost you about $25 too. Definitely a tool worth having.