A wire cutter is a simple tool designed to cut thin wire. Wire cutters look similar to pliers, but instead of a flat surface made to grip objects, the cutter has a sharp edge that can clip wire. Wire cutters are small, making them an easily portable and practical way to cut light wire. Some pliers are built with a wire-cutting section near the joint of the tool, allowing them to serve as both a standard pliers and a wire cutter.
Tin snips or shears are a tool that is similar to a wire cutter, but tends to be larger since it is made for cutting thin sheets of metal. Tin snips can be used to cut wire and may be useful for wire or cable that is larger than what a typical wire cutter can handle.
A hacksaw is a type of saw that uses a blade with small teeth, allowing it to cut through metal. Hacksaws are typically used to cut through solid metal objects such as bars, but they can also be used to cut through thicker wire. When cutting wire with a hacksaw, it may be necessary to secure the wire in a vice to pull the wire taught and keep it steady.
A bolt cutter is essentially a large, heavy-duty version of a wire cutter that can be used to cut through thicker pieces of metal such as bolts and chain link. When cutting through larger pieces of wire or many pieces of wire at the same time, a bolt cutter can save time and effort. While wire cutters are small and designed to be operated with the strength of the hand, bolt cutters can be operated with both arms at once, allowing for greater cutting power. Bolt cutters can also be used to snip off locks, cut chains and cut through heavy-duty security wires, such as those used to lock bicycles.
A reciprocating saw is a power saw that uses a straight blade that moves in and out at a high speed. Reciprocating saws can be fixed with a hacksaw-style blade, allowing them to cut through metal very quickly. Reciprocating saws can speed up large cutting jobs, such as making cuts through sections of wire mesh.