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Tweezers and Cutters

Tweezers and Cutters

How to Choose the Best Hard Wire Cutter for Cutting Nitinol

Manufacturers that make precision-based tools design them based on the properties of the material they will be working on and on the desired end result. The same stands true with wire cutters. In some applications, you need to make exact cuts, as in cutting Nitinol. Manufacturers design precision-based cutters based on the material to be cut and the type of finish that needs to be created.

What Are The Best Tools For Cutting Nitinol?

Choosing the most effective pair of cutters is especially crucial when cutting Nitinol wire. Before you choose the best tool for cutting, it’s essential to understand the properties of Nitinol. Nitinol is a metal alloy of nickel and titanium and has properties such as superelasticity and thermal memory.

This means that Nitinol shows elasticity and flexibility under stress and that Nitinol can remember its original shape and return to that shape when heated. Nitinol is also considered a hard wire which falls into the same class as steel, iron, aluminum, brass, and copper steel wires.

If you test out the different wire cutters, you’ll find that standard cutters just pinch Nitinol wire while hard-wire cutters actually fracture the metal. Now that you know hard-wire cutters are the best tool for cutting Nitinol, you need to determine what kind of cut is the desired result. There are three types of cuts that include the following:

  • Semi-flush - the bevels form a groove that is v-shaped along the cutting edge. Semi-flush is the most common cutter and has a .010” bevel cutting edge with a pinch.
  • Flush - the bevels form a minimal v-shaped groove along the cutting edge. They have a .005 bevel cutting edge with a small pinch.
  • Lazer flush - the Lazer flush gives you a sleek and smooth cut. There is little to no pinch on the wire and no bevel, but it leaves sharp cutting edges.

Hardwire cutters come with various configurations. These designs include different head shapes, lengths of handles, types of handles (ergonomic or traditional), cutter head width, and length of the blades.

So, when choosing the appropriate hardwire cutters, you will need to consider the following:

    • Cut life is based on use and the different bevels on the cutter edges. Semi-flush cutters usually last the longest.
    • Cut style falls into the categories of semi-flush, flush, and full flush.
  • Cut capacity refers to the maximum cut capability.
      • Head style includes tapered, tapered, relieved, and round. Tapered heads are ideal for cutting small hard wires. Round heads are used as more of a multi-purpose option.
    • Compound action, which allows less force to cut.

    Which Markets Are Nitinol Cutters Used In?

    Hardwire cutters are used in electronic, medical device manufacturing, and laboratories. Due to Nitinol’s thermal memory, it is most often used in medical applications. A good example is in making a stent.

    A Nitinol stent is delivered or inserted through a thin constraining guide tube. After it is positioned, the thermal memory kicks in, and it expands to its original shape due to the fact that it was composition keyed to body temperature. So, in the scenario of very hard fine Nitinol wire for use in a stent, you would need a full flush cut with zero pinch.

    Why Are Excelta Hard Wire Nitinol Cutters Different?

    Excelta hard wire Nitinol cutters are different than most other cutters. They are designed with extremely hard tungsten carbide inserts, are designed with twice the density of steel, and are diamond sharpened.

    They come in small, medium, or large with a round or tapered head and long cushioned or molded grips. The round heads are the most common and versatile cutter. The tapered leaders have a diagonal profile and are designed to access hard-to-reach areas. These cutters typically cut at an angle.

    Where Can You Purchase Nitinol Hard Wire Cutters?

    Lab Pro sells hard-wire cutters made of the highest-grade stainless steel featuring a fine cutting edge ideal for cutting varied-sized wires. They are ESD- and cleanroom-safe, resistant to corrosion, and long-lasting. Choose from a selection of cutters with carbide inserts and ergonomic grips.

    Lab Pro offers a large variety of hard-wire cutters. For over 40 years, Lab Pro Inc. has been committed to delivering the highest quality chemicals, tweezers, and hard-wire cutters, lab supplies, and cleanroom PPE apparel to medical device and electronic manufacturing companies and laboratories worldwide. To learn more, visit the biggest Lab Supply showroom in California, or contact us online or at 888-452-2776.
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