For this review, Gary Fisher of Lougar Electricial puts the C.K VDE Combicutter 3 MAX wire cutters to the test.
C.K has a more than decent reputation when it comes to wire cutters, so it was with great excitement that I was sent a sample of the brand’s latest effort – the Combicutter 3 – which essentially combines those key cutter functions so that the user can perform multiple tasks with one unit.
The Combicutter 3 wire cutters are 160mm in length (just how I like them) and fit comfortably into the hand. I also like the weight ratio, which provides the operator with easy use between the fingers.
As well as the cutting technique, there are a few other interesting features associated with this product. For starters, the tool is equipped with two notches along the cutting edge, enabling the user to strip back the insulation of 1.5/2.5mm cables. This will effectively ensure that you can do away with a second pair of stripper pliers, so less tools to carry around with you.
Once you’ve stripped the cable ends, you’re more than likely to want to bend the exposed copper conductor over, giving the cable termination more strength in the final turn of the screw connection of the face plate. The Combicutter 3 solves this issue by incorporating a wire bending anvil in the inner jaws of the handles. Again, no need to lug additional tools round with you.
And there’s more! When you’ve connected your face plate and are screwing it back to the wall, what happens when you require a longer threaded 3.5mm screw? I tend to carry 50mm in length, but then need to cut them back slightly.
Alternatively, you could use the cutter edge, as most faceplate screws are made of soft metal, but this creates the problem of burring the finished cut edge, making it difficult to screw back on to the back box. Because these cutters come with a pattress screw shear, they’re able to cut the screw in a very clean and tidy way, eliminating those irritating burring and no-screwing issues.
The unit’s metal construction is of the normal high alloy steel which is hot drop forged, hardened, and tempered for good strength and durability. The cutters are also completely VDE certified.
Putting the tool to good use
Having used the Combicutter 3 for a while I’ve been very impressed with the tool and was surprised at how quickly I was able to get the hang of using the unit and the various functions it offers.
A lot of work we carry out involves the cutting of old cables etc, so most electricians will generally have a pair of cutters on them at most times. There are, however, plenty of occasions where you’re required to terminate an item (even if it’s to attach a cable to another for pulling purposes) so the Combicutter 3 really proved its worth as there was no need to fumble around looking for my other cutters.
Another striking thing I notice when investing in a new pair of cutters is the way the two cutting edges meet. Some other makes I’ve tried don’t meet along their edges so won’t give you the best cut. These offer a fantastic cut, however, and are even able to cut paper which is always a good test of their cutting ability.
TO WATCH A DEMONSTRATION VIDEO OF THE C.K COMBICUTTER 3 TOOL CLICK HERE