Diagonal cutters are a common tool used in electrical and mechanical work for cutting wire, bolts, and other fasteners. They are also referred to as side cutters, flush cutters, and nippers.

While their primary purpose is to cut metal, they can also be used to make flush cuts on plastic, wood, and other materials. Flush cuts are essential for a clean finish, and in this article, we will discuss how to perform flush cuts with diagonal cutters. We will look at the types of cutters, the best practices for making flush cuts, and the safety considerations when using them. With this information, you should be able to make flush cuts with confidence and accuracy. Read on to learn more about how to perform flush cuts with diagonal cutters.

How To Make Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters

Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters

Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters

Flush cuts are an important technique to master when using diagonal cutters. It involves trimming wires or other materials flush with the surface, leaving a clean and precise cut. This guide will explain how to perform flush cuts with diagonal cutters, including the proper tools and techniques to use. We’ll also discuss safety tips to ensure you execute the cut safely and accurately. With the right tools and techniques, you’ll be able to make flush cuts with confidence.

Gather Supplies

Gather Supplies

Before getting started with the flush cut, it is important to gather the necessary supplies. The most important tool you will need is a pair of diagonal cutters. These cutters are designed to help make precise cuts and are a must-have for any flush cut project. Additionally, you will need a pair of needle-nose pliers, wire snips, and/or a small knife.

If you are using a knife, make sure to use a sharp blade that won’t damage the material you are cutting. Additionally, it is important to have a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from any debris that might be created during the cutting process. Finally, always make sure you are wearing protective gloves to protect your hands.

Select Diagonal Cutters

Select Diagonal Cutters

Diagonal cutters are a must-have tool for any DIY enthusiast. They are great for making flush cuts on various materials, such as wires, bolts, and nuts. Selecting the right diagonal cutters is essential to ensure you can make clean and precise cuts. When selecting a pair of diagonal cutters, consider the material you will be cutting, the size and length of the cutters, and the handles.

The material you will be cutting should be the first factor when selecting diagonal cutters. Soft metals and wires will require special cutting edges while cutting through harder metals and bolts may require a more durable tool. If you are cutting through both soft and hard materials, look for a pair of diagonal cutters that offers a combination of both.

The size and length of the diagonal cutters is also an important factor. Smaller cutters are great for making precise cuts but you may need a larger pair to cut through thicker materials. Selecting a pair of diagonal cutters with longer handles can also provide greater leverage and increased accuracy. Finally, consider the handles.

Look for diagonal cutters with comfortable handles that will provide you with a secure grip when making flush cuts. Look for handles that are rubberized or coated to provide a better grip and make sure the handles are also ergonomically designed for your comfort.

Gather Other Tools

In order to perform flush cuts with diagonal cutters, you need to gather several other tools to help you out. A pair of needle-nose pliers is a great asset to have on hand, as they can be used in a pinch to hold the wire in place while you cut. A pair of safety glasses is also a must, as you will be dealing with sharp tools that can cause damage to your eyes.

Additionally, a small ruler or measuring tape will help you measure the length of the wire accurately. Finally, a bench vise or clamp can help to hold the wire in place while you cut, allowing you to cut with precision and accuracy.

Prepare The Work Area

It is essential to prepare the work area before starting to use diagonal cutters. First, clear the area of any materials that may obstruct your view or get in the way of the cutters. It is recommended to use a flat surface that will provide a stable platform for the cutting process. Next, make sure to use the right protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, to protect you from any flying debris or sharp edges. When complete, you are now ready to make flush cuts with your diagonal cutters.

Wear Protective Gear

It is important to always wear protective gear such as safety glasses, face shields, and gloves when using diagonal cutters for flush cuts. Safety glasses protect your eyes from any metal shavings or particles that may be generated when cutting. Face shields provide protection against any sparks or flying metal shavings. Gloves will protect your hands from any sharp edges of the metal and from any other debris. Additionally, wearing long pants and closed-toed shoes can also help to protect your skin and feet from any possible hazards.

Make The Cut

Make The Cut

Making flush cuts with diagonal cutters is a skill that requires both practice and patience. To achieve the desired results, you’ll need to use the correct tools and techniques. First, ensure that the cutting edge of the diagonal cutter is sharp. This will ensure a clean cut and reduce the risk of jagged edges.

Next, position the cutter at an angle of 45-degrees relative to the workpiece. The tool should be held firmly while the handles are squeezed together. This will create the cutting force necessary to make the clean flush cut. Finally, take care to make sure the cutter does not slip, as this can result in an uneven cut. With practice, you’ll be able to make flush cuts with a level of accuracy that is both precise and aesthetically pleasing.

Measure And Mark The Material

In order to perform flush cuts with diagonal cutters, it is important to start by measuring and marking the material. First, use a ruler to measure out your desired length. Then, use a pencil to mark the cut line and make sure it is clearly visible. Once the line is marked, you can begin cutting. Make sure to double-check your measurements before proceeding to ensure accuracy. Once you are confident that the line is correctly marked, it’s time to begin the cutting process.

Cut From The Correct Angle

When it comes to cutting wire or other materials, having the right tool for the job is essential. Diagonal cutters, also known as dikes, are one of the best tools available for flush cutting. To ensure that your cut is precise and flush, it is important to cut from the correct angle.

When using diagonal cutters, you should always cut from the back of the material. This is because the blades on the diagonal cutters are sharpened from the back, so cutting from this angle will provide you with the cleanest flush cut. Additionally, if the material is too thick to cut from the back, you can cut from the front. However, the angle on the blade may not be as precise, so the cut may not be as flush.

When cutting from the back, it is important to keep the diagonal cutters perpendicular to the material. This will ensure that the cut is flush and even. Additionally, you should make sure to apply an even pressure when cutting.

Pressing too hard can cause the blades to become misaligned and create an uneven cut. Finally, it is important to avoid re-cutting the same area. This can cause the blades to become dull, resulting in an uneven cut. To ensure a clean and flush cut, it is important to make sure that the angle is correct and that you are applying even pressure. With proper technique, you can make precise and flush cuts with diagonal cutters.

Squeeze The Cutters

When using diagonal cutters, known as side cutters or flush cutters, it is important to apply the right amount of pressure when cutting. Too much pressure can cause the blades to become misaligned, resulting in a rough or jagged edge. Too little pressure can cause the cutters to slip, resulting in an incomplete cut. To ensure a flush and clean cut, it is important to squeeze the cutters with even pressure.

Start by gripping the handles firmly, making sure the pivot point is in the middle of the handles. Next, begin squeezing the handles together slowly and evenly until the cut is complete. If you feel the blades slipping, stop and reposition the cutters. With practice, you can learn to apply just the right amount of pressure to make a flush cut.

Check The Cut

When performing flush cuts with diagonal cutters, it’s important to pay attention to the cut. Before beginning, make sure the cutting edges of the tool are clean and sharp for a clean cut. It’s also important to ensure that the cutters are closed completely and at the proper angle.

When making the cut, it’s important to control the cut and maintain a consistent pressure throughout the motion. If the cutters slip or the pressure is uneven, the cut may not be flush. After making the cut, examine the edges to make sure they are straight and even. If the cut is too shallow or too deep, use a file to even out the edges and create a flush cut.

Refine The Cut

Refine The Cut

Once you’ve made your initial flush cut with the diagonal cutters, you may want to refine the cut to ensure a clean, smooth finish. To refine the flush cut, start by adjusting the blades of the diagonal cutters. Make sure the blades are lined up at a 90-degree angle to the material you’re cutting. You may need to adjust the blades several times to get a precise cut.

Once you’ve obtained the desired alignment, lightly squeeze the handles together to make a small indentation in the material. This indentation will help guide the blades for a cleaner cut. Finally, apply more pressure and make a final cut. Repeat this process until you’ve achieved the desired flush cut. With practice, you’ll be able to make cleaner cuts with a minimum of effort.

File The Cut Edges

Once you have cut the material with diagonal cutters, it is important to file the cut edges to ensure a clean, flush cut. To do this, you will need a flat file. Begin by placing the flat file against the side of the cut that was facing away from the handles of the cutters.

Push the file in a downward motion, keeping the file flat against the material. This will smooth the cut surface. Once you have filed down the cut edge, turn the material over and repeat the process on the opposite side. Make sure to pay close attention to the flatness of the file as you work, as it is important for the cut to be even and flush. After you’ve finished filing both sides, your cut should be smooth and even.

Sand The Cut Edges

Once you have finished cutting and you are happy with the shape of the material, it is important to sand the cut edges. This will help ensure the edges are smooth and free of any burrs and sharp edges. To do this, you will need some fine-grade sandpaper or a sanding block.

Gently move the sandpaper along the edge of the material, taking care to stay in line with the material’s edge. Make sure that you sand in one direction only, as sanding back and forth can cause scratches and weaken the material. When you are finished, your material should have smooth, clean edges that are ready to be used.

Test The Fit Of The Cut

Test The Fit Of The Cut

Once you’ve made your cut, it’s important to test the fit before finishing the job. To do this, place the cut item against the piece that it is intended to fit against. If there is a gap or an off-center fit, then you have to re-cut the item. If the fit is satisfactory, then you can move on to the next step.

If the item needs to be re-cut, start by checking the sharpness of your cutter. If it is still sharp, then you likely just need to adjust the angle of your cut slightly. Increase the angle slightly and try again. Once the item fits properly, you can move on.


Flush cuts with diagonal cutters can be performed by first making sure the cutters are sharp and properly aligned. Next, hold the workpiece firmly and make sure the cutting edge of the cutter is flush against the workpiece. Finally, apply pressure with the cutter and cut in one smooth motion. This technique is great for cutting wires, nails, and other small objects.


1.What Type Of Material Is Best Suited For Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters?

Ans:The best material for flush cuts with diagonal cutters is generally soft materials such as wire, plastic, or sheet metal. Harder materials, such as hardened steel, are too difficult to cut with this type of cutter. Additionally, the material should be thin and not overly thick. Flush cuts can also be done with other tools such as a hacksaw or a chisel.

2.What Are The Risks Associated With Performing Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters?

Ans:The risks associated with performing flush cuts with diagonal cutters include damaging the material being cut, breaking the cutting edges of the tool, and creating dangerous sharp edges. Additionally, the tool may also slip and cause injury to the user or damage to the workpiece. It is important to use the correct tool and to take safety precautions when performing flush cuts with diagonal cutters.

3.What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken When Using Diagonal Cutters To Perform Flush Cuts?

Ans:When using diagonal cutters to perform flush cuts, it is important to wear safety glasses to protect against flying debris. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the cutter is well-maintained and sharp, and that the blade is aligned properly with the material being cut. It is also important to keep hands and other body parts away from the cutting area, and to use steady, even pressure when cutting. Finally, when done, it is important to close the cutter to avoid accidental cuts.

4.What Techniques Should Be Used To Ensure Accurate Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters?

Ans:To ensure accurate flush cuts with diagonal cutters, it is important to use a light touch when squeezing the handles together, keep the blades aligned, and avoid slipping. It is also important to keep the blades perpendicular to the workpiece and use a steady motion when cutting. Additionally, it is helpful to use a magnifying glass to check the cut for accuracy and sharpness.

5.What Types Of Tasks Require Flush Cuts With Diagonal Cutters?

Ans: Flush cuts with diagonal cutters are most commonly used for cutting through wires, bolts, or nails. They can also be used to remove rivets and other fasteners. They are especially helpful when there is not a lot of clearance around the object that needs to be cut. This type of cut is also useful for creating flush joints in sheet metal, tubing, and other materials.