Top 9 Best Bolt Cutters | Reviews and Buyers Guide

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The best bolt cutters

If you are a professional worker, then having to cut iron chain, wire mesh, or metal rods with less than 1 cm diameter is your daily work already. If you are an amateur who likes DIY, then sometimes you will need to do this job, too. 

Do you know what the fastest and most straightforward way to cut these things is? It is the bolt cutter. Yeah, I know, you can use a chainsaw, but it’s bulky and more complicated. 

But cut to the chase, you certainly know that bolt cutter is a must-have item in your tool kit. Let’s read this article to check out the best bolt cutters in 2020! 

Top 9 Best Bolt Cutters For Padlocks & Heavy Duty 2020 Reviews

#1 Knipex Mini Bolt Cutter

On top of your best bolt cutters list is the Knipex mini-bolt cutter which can cut through the 64 HRC material.

With this mini-bolt cutter, you can quickly finish all the mesh with the perfect cut and without any noticeable wear on the cutter, asides from the pain. The Knipex is suitable for cutting 10-inch penny nails, framing screws, wire and so many other stuff.

The handles are perfect and combined with the excellent leverage; you can make a smooth cut for every 1/8inch-diameter materials. And in our experience, it could last for five years.

KNIPEX Tools - CoBolt Compact...
  • Precision Grade Performance Tools
  • The Number 1 Choice Of Tradesman...
  • Comfortable In Use And Quality...
  • High-quality materials
  • Good leverage and easy to cut
  • Long durability
  • High price compared with similar size products

Please remember that you should not use the cutting jaws to grab and push large wire. This mini-bolt cutter is only for cutting.

#2 Maxilla Folding Bolt Cutter

At first, we chose the Maxilla for the lifetime limited warranty. It is challenging to find a small tool like a bolt cutter that offers a lifetime warranty. It means that the producer is very confident about the quality of their product. And they are right.

With the size of 24 inches, FB-24 is ideal for 3/8” or up to 23HRC hardness metal. As long as the thing that you want to cut is in that range, the FB-24 can handle the hardest tasks.

Maxilla Folding Bolt Cutter...
  • Ideal for bolt sizes 3/8" or less...
  • Drop-forged Cr-Mo steel...
  • Black-oxide finish adds superior...

Besides, the producer also made them by using the Black-oxide finish for rust resistance. You can also use the locking mechanism to wrap it in a small size for efficiently storing and carrying. They also allow you to adjust the cutting blade alignment, too.

  • Rust- resistance
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Adjustable blade alignment
  • Easy to store and carrying
  • High price
  • Heavyweight

#3 Knipex Bolt Cutters

What makes Knipex large bolt cutters become one of the best bolt cutters in our list is the 48HRC cutting capacity and the 62 HRC cutting- edge hardness. By reading these two numbers, we think that you will understand how effective it is.

Besides, the Knipex features this bolt cutter with the “ergonomically angled handles”. When it comes to the excellent co-operation of the cutting edge and the perfect transmission ratio, it is just “perfect”.

For more information, it could help to minimize the effort and make comfortably create excellent work performance. And don’t forget that you can adjust the blade for even better than perfect performance.

KNIPEX Tools - Large Bolt...
  • Precision Grade Performance Tools
  • The Number 1 Choice Of Tradesman...
  • Comfortable In Use And Quality...
  • Strong cutting capacity
  • Perfect design for high performance
  • Replaceable and adjustable blade screw
  • Long-lasting
  • High price compared with similar size products

It is made in Germany, and we found no symbol of less performance than other made-in-USA products. We did use the bolt cutter to cut the bolt, old box springs for years but there is no wearing sign.

#4 WorkPro Bolt Cutter

The Workpro has a lower cutting capacity than the products we listed above. For the 31 inch bolt cutter, it’s cutting ability is only up to 42 HRC. But, its weight is only half of the Tekton, so it is still one of the best bolt cutters for amateur and beginners.

You can use the Workpro bolt cutter to cut soft metal, bolt, rods, rivets, and chain. But the producer recommends that you should not use this cutter for the lock. In our experience, we never try with standard lock, but for a bike lock, it is ok.

WORKPRO W017004A Bolt Cutter,...
  • Note: cutting locks is not...
  • Drop forged chrome molybdenum steel...
  • Classic lever-fulcrum design and...
  • High-quality material
  • Lightweight
  • Good lever-fulcrum design
  • Ideal for soft material and beginners
  • Moderate cut capacity
  • Can’t cut the lock

Besides, the handles are chrome-molybdenum steel, and the jaws are powder coated. It means the producers care of the materials, and as a result, you will find great control and comfort when cutting.

#5 Capri Tools Mini Bolt Cutter

You can use Capri mini-bolt cutter for cutting wires, threaded rods, chains, bolts, and other similar materials. And that is all thanks to the CrMo blades – the heat-treated blade that can cut through hard materials.

Besides, with high leverage design, you can create more force with a little effort even it has short handles. End even the handles are right, too. Capri Tools specially designed it for comfortable using but still safe for the user.

Capri Tools CP40209 40209...
  • Easily cut through wires, threaded...
  • Extremely handy for cutting on the...
  • Double heat treated CrMo blades cut...
  • High quality and sharp blade
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Good leverage and comfortable handles
  • Only suitable for small tasks

There is only one note for you that the blade could be broken if you try using it for the hard or thick material. But it is not the product’s fault; it is your fault to use a small size bolt cutter for hard metal.

#6 TEKTON 18″ Bolt Cutter

If you are looking for a good bolt cutter for your DIY project with an affordable price, Tekton will be the best bolt cutters for you. Tekton company products all- size bolt cutters from 8 inches to 36 inches. And all of their product is of good quality but not very expensive.

For the 18inch bolt cutter, you can use it to cut bolts, threaded rod, chain, and other similar stuff. You can also adjust and replace the jaws for different materials and thicknesses of the thing that you want to cut.

TEKTON 18" Bolt Cutter | 3400
  • Drop forged hardened alloy steel...
  • Compound cutting action requires...
  • Tubular steel handles with...
  • Hardened alloy steel jaws
  • Comfortable but solid handles
  • Adjustable and replaceable blades
  • Reasonable price
  • All size available
  • Jaws can be broken if being used to cut hard material

And Tekton also features their product with the tubular steel handles and covered by a cushioned non-slip rubber grips. Which means, it is reliable, stable, but still comfortable with less pressure on your hand.

#7 Klein Tools Bolt Cutter

Heavy-Duty is one of the most expensive but also one of the best bolt cutters on our list. According to the producers, you can use Heavy Duty for cutting 5/8-Inch Ground Rod, 1/2-Inch Rebar, 7/16-Inch Grade 8 Bolts, and 1/2-Inch Grade 5 Bolts.

With the long handles, the Heavy-Duty can provide good leverage when cutting, so it will save your effort for other jobs. And what makes this special cutter í the spring-loaded cable – which can keep the strands from slipping out so you can finish all in one cut.

Klein Tools Heavy Duty...
  • Cuts : 5/8-Inch Ground Rod,...
  • Easily slices through guy strand:...
  • Spring-loaded retention hook keeps...
  • Easy to use and adjust the jaw
  • Spring-loaded cable for one cut
  • Long steel handle for excellent leverage
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 160-year-old brand
  • Super high price

It is effortless to use and adjust the jaws, too. And the company also offers you a lifetime warranty. This bolt cutter is the second product in our list has a lifetime warranty. And if there is any weak point of this product is the super high price.

#8 Neiko Heavy-Duty Bolt Cutter

If you are a beginner in DIY and you don’t want to spend much money on the tool, the Neiko is one of the best bolt cutters for you.

Although it has a reasonable price, it’s quality is still adorable. The Neiko treated their cutter blades over high-frequency heat to resist damage when you use their product for the robust application.

The classic lever-fulcrum design and the chrome-moly steel blade make it easier to cut with less force. And the handles are ergonomically, which means no slipping, greater control, and better comfort when used.

So, with the features like above, you can use Neiko for heavy-duty like cutting chains, padlocks, wires and so on.

Neiko 00560A Heavy Duty Bolt...
  • CHROME MOLY STEEL: 18-inch premium...
  • DURABLE BLADES: High-frequency,...
  • Affordable price
  • High-quality blades
  • Subtle design handles
  • Suitable even for heavy-duty tasks
  • Heavyweight
  • Difficult to bring along

#9 Yosoo Bolt Cutter

The last product in our list of the best bolt cutters in 2019 is Yosoo – a new brand but has so many right quality products.

The Yosoo bolt cutter uses high-quality carbon steel which treats overheat for more durable and high precision. Although the carbon still can be rust over time, it even worth trying if you only need this product for a short time using.

Bolt and Wire Cutter, 24" High...
  • 【Durable Construction】This bolt...
  • 【Plastic Handle Grip...
  • 【Durable Blades】Cutting blades...
  • Wide range of usage
  • Long service life
  • High-quality materials
  • Low price
  • The blade can be rust

About the handles, Yosoo has plastic handles that are non-slip, wear-resisting and practical. They even covered the handles by a powder coating for rust-resistance and better comfortability.

What Is The Bolt Cutters Used For?

1. What Is A Bolt Cutter, And How Does It Work?

A bolt cutter is a tool used for cutting things like chains, wire mesh, and bolt. The typical bolt cutter has two long handles and two short blades with compound hinges for maximizing the cutting force and leverage when working.

The power of the bolt cutter is the same as the leverage: you can apply a moderate force to a long-distance (for the bolt cutter, it is the handles) to transfer it to the persuasive power.

So, the bolt cutter doesn’t cut through materials like scissors, but it crushes them by focusing a durable power in the small area where the blades touch the items.

2. Types Of Large Bolt Cutters

Not bolt cutters are alike. They have different sizes and designs for different particular purposes. Besides, bolt cutters also come with separate heads with a different beveled blade for various tasks. In general, people usually classify the bolt cutter base on the edges and features.

Hinges Bolt Cutter

A bolt cutter has to have a compound hinge: one hinge joint on each arm that attaches to a third hinge.

Centre Cut Bolt Cutter

They have a double bevel on each blade, which makes them become the ideal tool for the majority of tasks like cutting rods, pipes, and thick cables.

Clipper Cut And Angled Bolt Cutters

These bolt cutters have the lower cutting point when you put them on a flat surface, which makes them become the best bolt cutters for cutting through nails, bolts (close to the surface things)

Shear Cut Bolt Cutter

Shear cut bolt cutters are perfect cutters for wire cable because they have a similar design with scissors: the blades overlap and slide past each other instead of pressing together.

End Cut Bolt Cutters

They are the best bolt cutter for cutting the bolt in the remote areas where the normal one can approach.

Compact Bolt Cutters

They are the best bolt cutters for small tasks like cutting through fencing or thin lock. You can use them for your home and garden.

3. How To Use A Bolt Cutter?

The bolt cutter blades are set at the factory. But it is good practice to fine-tune them before you choose. And you can follow the easy steps below to use the bolt cutter:

  • Step 1: Open the position of the handle
  • Step 2: Put the chain in the jaws
  • Step 3: Clampdown on the handles

The angled grips provide added leverage, making it so easy to cut right through the chain.

4. Tips For Using Bolt Cutter Safety

Adjust before using so ensure the correct blade-tension so that you will have accuracy cut without wasting power

Always keep the bolt on the cutter head well-oiled to prevent injuries.

Wearing goggles and work gloves when cutting

Sharpen the blades before cutting. But don’t use your pure hand to check the edge, and you should keep it away from children’s reach, too.

Never use the bolt cutter as a hammer, you can use them for so many other purposes but not as a hammer.

How To Choose The Best Bolt Cutters For Padlocks & Heavy Duty

How to choose the best bolt cutters

1. The Materials You Will Cut

Before choosing any work tool, you have to decide what will you use them for first. And in this case, you have to check how thick and hard the metal that you want to cut.

If you use the compact bolt cutter to cut the super thick metal, it will result in bent blades and buckled jaws. And here are some number that will be helpful for you:

  • Compact size: 12 inch and 14 inch bolt cutters are the best bolt cutters for soft and medium-hard material which diameter is around 6mm
  • Medium size: 18inch and 24inch bolt cutters is suitable for metal that has a diameter up to 9.5 mm
  • Large size: 30 inch and 48 inch bolt cutters are best for 11mm diameter metal.

2. What Are The Best Handles?

The best bolt cutters have to be the one that has suitable handles for tasks. When talking about handles, we mean the weight of the stems.

If you want to cut small to medium metal, a bolt cutter with tubular or forged steel handles is suitable. But, if you’re going to find a long stem for cutting hard material, you should choose the grips with fiberglass and aluminum materials.

3. Bolt Cutters For Your Daily Tasks

A bolt cutter is suitable for construction jobs like cutting wire mesh and metalwork like cutting metal bars. You can also use them for electrical works for cutting cables with medium diameter. And as we mentioned above, you will need a bolt cutter for cutting chain, padlocks, and so on.

But, you can’t use them for cutting tubes or stainless steel like saw blades.

4. Bolt Cutters Weight

Professional workers will prefer heavy bolt cutters, but it will be difficult for beginners and amateur to use. Meanwhile, the lightweight bolt cutter is often less durable and reliable than the heavy one.

So, base on who you are and how you can do, you should choose the suitable one for you.

5. How About Blade Quality?

Blades are the most important factors when you are looking for a bolt cutter. And the best bolt cutters will be the one that has high- quality and long-lasting blade. Because with a good pair of the knife, your work will be much easier and more productive.

And since most of the bolt cutters are not allow you to change the blades, so if you don’t want to find a new one after a few months of using, you should choose the best one from the beginning.

6. Choose The Adjustable Jaw?

You will not cut the same materials with the same size all the time. So, you should select the bolt cutter that allows you to adjust the flaw to maximize your work result.


1. What Size Would Be Best For Cutting Bike Locks?

96″ inch will be the best for jail bars.

2. What Is Different On The Different Lengths Besides The Length?

Blades, handles, and materials are very important, too. You should check out every factor carefully before making the decision. 

3. How Wide Are The Cutters When Folded?

The FB-36 unit has a width of 11.5 inches when folded at the widest point. The FB-24 unit has a width of about 10.5 inches when folded at the widest point. But it still bases on the brands.

4. What Is The Thickest Bolt That Knipex 71 72 610 Large Bolt Cutters Can Cut?

These bolt cutters, according to the Knipex catalog, are able to cut a 7mm (9/32″) piece of metal that has an HRC 48 rating.

Final verdict

Without tools, it often takes a lot of time and effort to solve a simple problem. But times have changed. Now tools and machines will make everything a lot easier. 

Whether you are a girl with limited strength or an older person who is still passionate about DIY, with the help of various tools, you can feel free to do what you like. 

And bolt cutter is such a tool like that! We hope that the information about the best bolt cutters in this article is enough for you to get more knowledge to choose the right product for your needs. 

If you have any tips when buying and using the bolt cutter, please leave a comment and share it with everyone! 

And don’t forget to check out other Cutters for your toolbox.

Bonus: Use Bolt Cutter for Padlock Removals the RIGHT WAY!

Lastest Bolt Cutter Bestsellers ON SALE

ON SALEBestseller No. 1
WORKPRO W017004A Bolt Cutter,...
  • Note: cutting locks is not...
  • Drop forged chrome molybdenum steel...
  • Classic lever-fulcrum design and...
Bestseller No. 2
TEKTON 8" Bolt Cutter | 3386,...
  • Forged and Hardened alloy steel...
  • Compound cutting action requires...
  • Rolled steel handles with cushioned...
Bestseller No. 3
Eacker Industrial Grade Bolt...
  • Our bolt cutters are forged with...
  • The three-arm structure of fence...
  • This bolt cutter is ergonomically...

Affiliated links and Images on this post was last updated on 2020-12-04 at 18:09 via Amazon Product Advertising API.