lead clipper recommendation

Thread Starter

clangray

Joined Nov 4, 2018
261
Hi, can someone recommend a pair of "vertical clippers" for clipping off leads on the PCB bottom after soldering? This assumes that clipping is ok to do after soldering. But, either way, before or after, vertical clipping would be helpful. If I try clipping horizontally across the board my clipper thickness doesn't allow for close proximity to the board.

Thanks
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,548
As a word of warning... They are NOT side cutting dykes! If you use them on piano wire or other hard metal you will ruin them! They are strictly for cutting the leads off components.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
28,182
Also, examine any tool that claims to be flush cutting. I found out the hard way that sometimes that only means that one face is flat, but the cutting edge itself is still beveled so that the actual cutting plane is noticeably offset from the face.

I had a nice small pair of flush cutting nose pliers that had a nose thickness of only 1/8 ". It was perfect for getting into tight spaces on PCBs. Sadly, I have no idea where they went and have never been able to find a pair similar since.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
7,029
I can second the recommendation of Xuron pliers, in general, as a high value option. They are a fraction of the cost of industrial options, well made for the price, and extremely functional. I have quite a few Xuron patterns and they are all good.

But, in this case, I would recommend this Hakko low profile cutter. I recently picked up a pair and they are really excellent. Very similar to the Xurons in the price/performance category but in particular this cutter is very low profile and can get into small spaces on dense boards. It also had a lead retainer that prevents (most) leads from flying off to wherever leads fly off to when they are cut. The standard size Hakko flush cutters are also very good for the money.

1672916840851.jpeg

As an aside, these very low profile pliers are also extremely useful in tight situations, and also an excellent value.

1672916904141.jpeg
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
7,016
Semi-flush cutters are much better than flush cutters for trimming component leads. Flush cutters tend to dig into the solder joint, and on single sided boards can sometimes cut so deep into the joint as to remove it. If you are working quickly you need a pair of cutters which will almost automatically cut the lead in the right place.
I used to be a big fan of Lindstrøm cutters, but they don't seem to be as good as they used to be. I then found Tsunoda and bought these https://www.tsunoda-japan.com/EN/itempage/TM-01.html and they have been very good. There is an end-cutting version if that's what you prefer.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
Add to the list of things NOT to cut – header pins.

You may want a few pairs....so you have a backup when you do something stupid. [Voice of experience]
I had a project that the mechanical engineer didn't give enough space for a daughter board to be plugged into a 2x20 header so we found low profile female headers and had to trim the the 2x40 headers on 24 boards (2x20x24=960 pins to trim). I was going to send them out for cutting with a diamond saw but a young engineer asked an intern to do it with a Xuron snipers. He cut them all down before checking if they damaged ends of the male headers would fit into the low-profile female header. I was about to explode because I was sure they would all be too mushroomed to fit. To my surprise, they all fit - with s bit of force. I don't think they will ever come apart but that wasn't my problem.
 
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