If you’re crafting with lots of different materials, you might find yourself face-to-face with some metal wire that needs to be cut.
Although your scissors might be nearby, resist the urge to use them on the wire. While they might be able to cut the wire, they can incur significant damage.
Here’s Why You Should Not Use Scissors to Cut a Wire:
It is not recommended even if your scissors are strong enough to cut through a decorative metal wire. It can cause damage to your scissors’ blades, leaving them dull and in need of sharpening. Instead, use wire cutters to cut wire safely and cleanly without damaging your cutting tools.
Are Scissors Strong Enough to Cut Metal Wire?
Theoretically, your scissors might be strong enough to cut through the metal wire if the wire were thin enough.
Even though it might be possible, the risk far outweighs the reward. No matter how strong your scissors are, it is never advisable to cut wire with scissors.
Using your scissors on a wire is not a good idea if you want to keep the blades sharp, undamaged, and in good working shape. If you try to cut a piece of wire with your scissors, you will almost certainly end up wearing down the blades and making them duller than before.
Plus, this can be dangerous for you and your fingers as you attempt to cut through the wire. Since scissors aren’t designed to cut wire, they may unexpectedly slip as you try.
This can put your fingers at risk as your sharp scissor blades slip out of place.
Even if you persevere and cut the wire with your scissors, you probably won’t end up with clean ends on your cut wire. The scissors will gnaw away at the wire and might leave it slightly bent or with ragged, sharp edges.
These can be dangerous to handle or can rip other materials you are crafting with.
Keep in mind that we are talking about decorative wire only- the kind your mind needs to cut during your crafting projects.
We are not talking about electrical wire, which can be incredibly dangerous when it gets damaged in any way. For safety, do not try to cut through an electrical wire.
Does Cutting Metal Wire Damage Your Scissors?
Trying to cut through a metal wire with a pair of scissors can damage the blades, leaving them dull and needing quick sharpening.
Fabric scissors are made to make perfect cuts through fabric with minimal effort. Even if you use your fabric scissors to cut paper, they can begin to get dull much faster than if they are used exclusively on fabric.
Using your quality fabric scissors on metal, for example, will certainly dull them and make it hard to cut fabric afterward.
It’s best to keep your cutting tool designations clear. If you need to cut wire for a project:
- Keep a pair of pliers or wire cutters on hand.
- If you need to cut fabric, have a pair of quality shears dedicated to only cutting fabric.
- For general use, including paper and around-the-house materials, have another pair of scissors dedicated to that task.
Keeping your scissors separate and dedicated to their task is a great way to keep scissors as sharp for as long as possible.
The more careful you are with your scissors, the better they will perform when you need them.
Can You Sharpen Damaged Scissors Back to Normal?
Luckily, a quality sharpening can work magic in revitalizing the blades for most mistakes made with scissors. Sharpening goes a long way to help damaged scissors come back to life.
When you get your scissors sharpened or do it yourself at home, you can reverse a lot of damage. Sharpening can bring them back to life, whether your scissors had gotten dull or incurred too many pits.
Check with your manufacturer to see if sharpening is included for the life of your scissors. Some higher-end scissors will come with this type of maintenance warranty.
If not, there are many mail-in services and local options to get your scissors sharpened professionally.
Depending on how the scissors were damaged, you might need to do a little more than sharpen them. Checking the alignment and tension is essential to perfecting the performance of your scissors.
If scissors fall or suffer other damage, their tension can get out of alignment. Tension describes the amount of pressure applied between the blades.
The blades aren’t close enough together when tension is too low to cut through the material.
When this happens, it can feel like your scissors are dull, no matter how sharp they actually are. Without the right tension, the fabric might bend and slide through the blades.
To tighten the tension, you will need a screwdriver or other tool to turn the pivot screw at the hinge.
By turning the screw to the right, you will increase the tension. By turning it to the left, you will decrease the tension.
You can tell if you’ve tightened the tension too much if your scissors become extremely difficult to use. When there is too much tension, your hand muscles will work very hard to open or close the scissors.
When repairing damaged scissors, you want to achieve the right balance of tension. You should be able to move the blades somewhat easily but still, make clean cuts every time.
What Should You Use to Cut Metal Wire Instead?
Instead of scissors, use wire cutters to cut any wire you use in your crafting projects.
Wire cutters are perfectly designed to snip wire without expertly warping it or leaving rough edges. You can even purchase different types of cutters to give you different results and control over the edges of the wire.
Jewelry making has inspired many types of specialty cutters that give you exact precision over the edges of your cut wire.
A basic set of pliers will often have side cutters that you can use to snip wire safely and effectively.
These will usually leave pointed ends on your wire.
Choosing a pair of flush-cutting pliers will leave one edge flat and smooth while the other is pointed. These are well-loved by jewelry makers and can be a useful addition to any crafter’s tools.
You can also go for a pair of micro flush cutters for tiny cuts. These cut in the same style as the standard flush-cutters but are designed to get into small spaces and perfectly clip thin wires.
Wire cutters can handle a range of wire thicknesses. If you’re up against a thicker wire, you can use the base part of the blade to cut more effectively.
Smaller wires can be clipped with the tip of your wire cutters.
Finally, if you are cutting memory wire, you will need a specialty pair of wire cutters. Memory wire is a particularly hard type of wire that is perfect for making jewelry since it retains its shape well.
However, because of its hardness, it will not be cut by any scissors or regular wire cutters. If you try to use them on memory wire, you will end up with a ruined pair of scissors or wire cutters.
Instead, purchase a pair of wire cutters specially designed to cut through this kind of metal.
You might want to put your other wire cutters out of sight when working with memory wire, so you don’t accidentally try to cut with them.
While all cutting tools wear down over time, you can get many years of usage out of a pair of wire cutters. They are a reasonably inexpensive cutting tool and will save your scissors the pain of attempting to snip any wires.
Whenever you have a project that involves cutting wire, you will want to reach for your wire cutters instead of your scissors.
While scissors theoretically might be able to cut the wire, they can only do so while paying the price. Using scissors on the wire will dull the blades, cut the wire poorly and even put your fingers at risk.
Use your favorite pair of pliers or wire cutters for safety and control when cutting wire.