CW Product Review: Wiha 4-inch Pliers

Wiha pliers are beveled only on the inside, which allows them to cut a cable tie completely flush with the surface.

Wiha 4-inch Pliers - Product Reviews

Wiha 4-inch Pliers - Product Reviews

I'd have to vote for cable ties as one of the great inventions of the Twentieth Century. The things you can do with these little strips of plastic—sometimes called zip ties—are almost endless. You can bundle wires, secure cables to chassis members, route oil or hydraulic lines out of harm's way, segregate electrical harnesses in an orderly fashion—and cut your hands and arms to shreds. Snipping off the excess tie after installation, you see, leaves behind a sharp-edged bit of plastic poking up from the little latch that locks the tie in place. Later, when rooting around in that same area to access something else, you inevitably drag an arm or hand across those edges, sometimes making you look like the second-place finisher in a two-man knife fight.

But not if you use full-flush cutters like these insulated 4-inch pliers (part #32710) from Wiha Tools (www.wihatools.com). Most pliers of this type form their cutting edges with bevels on both sides of the blades, which explains why they leave those little protruding sharp edges when cutting a cable tie. But these Wiha pliers are beveled only on the inside; the outer cutting edges are completely straight and smooth where they meet, allowing them to cut a cable tie (or even copper wire up to 1mm thick) completely flush with the surface. This means a neater finished job—and no more human sacrifices.

At $49, the Wiha pliers aren't cheap, but their quality is top-shelf, and they eventually paid for themselves by reducing my consumption of Band-Aids. Other tool companies, Craftsman included, sell flush-cuts that are less expensive, and I even own a couple of those. They get the job done just as well most of the time, but I always first reach for my Wiha cutters.