Best Bolt Cutter Reviews 2018

Bolt cutters take a lot of stress off our hands, literally; but finding the one that’ll give us those truly effortless cuts can quickly become unpleasant—and that isn’t something we want to see. So, we’ve done what we’re kept on this earth to do: make life easier for you by researching the multitude of options on the market and bringing you the best bolt cutters from the top five tool makers around. We’ve reviewed one from each brand, but if you need more options, do check them out. Now, sit back and enjoy our piece.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Design
Blade
Size
Material
Handle
Our Top Choice
Neiko 36-Inch Bolt Cutter
Thanks to Neiko, contractors, mechanics, DIY enthusiasts, and other handy professionals around the world are provided with superior tools that they can always count on.
Heavy-duty construction. Tough, heat-treated jaws. Ergonomic, non-slip handles. Strong. Well-made. Durable.
This bolt cutter is quite heavy.
Heavy-duty
High frequency; heat-treated
36-inch
Chrome moly steel
Non-slip plastic
Best Value
Trades Pro Durable Steel Bolt Cutter
When you’re looking to get a job done as smoothly and as safely as possible, look to Trades Pro; its wide range of tools and equipment all meet the industry’s standard.
Sturdy carbon-steel construction. Adjustable. Sharp-cutting edges that retain their shape and can be sharpened. Comfortable, non-slip grips.
Not great for heavy-duty cutting.
High leverage
Powder-coated; 3/8 in. adjustable
18-inch
High carbon machined steel
Tubular non-slip rubber
Knipex CoBolt Compact Bolt Cutters
When you’re operating with laser-like focus, it’s only natural that you stand out from the crowd and make your mark; that’s the story of Knipex, the plier specialist.
Tough chrome vanadium steel. Durable. Creates up to 20X your cutting power. Versatile. Cuts, grips, and pulls. Sharp. Easy to cut with.
Some might find it somewhat pricey.
Compact
Induction-hardened
8-inch
Chrome vanadium electric steel
Plastic-coated
Capri Tools Klinge Compact Bolt Cutter
People, passion, quality… these are the things that are uppermost in the minds of the folks at Capri Tools—from the moment a tool is dreamed up till it ends up at your doorstep.
Tough double heat-treated blades. Portable. Strong and sharp jaws. Comfortable handles. Easy grip.
The jaws do not open widely.
Mini
Serrated
8-inch
Chrome moly steel
Plastic-coated
TEKTON 8-Inch Bolt Cutter
If you say that TEKTON is obsessed with quality, you wouldn’t be wrong. Its vision is to create and deliver a line of classic and exceptional hand tools for everyone.
Superior cutting strength. Durable. Sturdy. Sharp edges that are not easily dulled. Provides good leverage. Saves you from exertion.
Not recommended for heavy-duty cutting.
Mini
3/16 inches adjustable
8-inch
Alloy steel
Rolled steel with nonslip rubber

(Updated )
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Watch Our Bolt Cutter Review

How Do I Choose the Best Bolt Cutter?

You’re looking for a bolt cutter—sorry, the best bolt cutter, right? Yes? Good. So, we’ll dive into this without any of the sweet talk. Bolt cutters are the tools with which we’re empowered to do, without getting in a lather, something that would have required superhuman strength: cleanly cutting metal rods.

An emergency response worker, a contractor, a biker, or a handy homeowner will no doubt encounter tasks that’ll require cutting through padlocks, U-locks, wire fences, nails, rods, and of course bolts. And seeing as Superman isn’t exactly flying around to help, we’ve got to be grateful for this tool. Right, let’s forge ahead; after all, we did say no sweet talk.

If you’re going to be a wise bolt cutter shopper, you’re going to have to understand the basic science of the tool’s construction, and we’re here to furnish you with that information. A bolt cutter works by concentrating huge force on the points where the blades meet the metal. These forces are brought about by the principle of leverage.

Bolt cutters are first-class machines, which means that they have their pivot points between the effort and the load. The effort is placed on the handles; when you move them, the joints—which make up the pivot point—move and deliver a greater force over a short distance, the jaw. The force is then transferred onto the rod. This is basically the principle at work in your loppers, pliers, and wheelbarrows.

Having said that, you should know that the more distance there is between the effort and the pivot point, the greater the force generated on the rod will be. So, if you’re mostly dealing with thick rods, you should find a bolt cutter with longer handles. Which brings us to the issues of lengths and sizes; these tools are available in different lengths, from compact 8-inch lengths to 48-inch monsters.

Apart from the groups of people mentioned in the first paragraph, anyone can find themselves in a situation where these tools will come in handy and you can find them at different points to suit various budgets.
Price
You’ll find bolt cutters in a wide price range, but those we’ve looked at in this review sell for between $8 and $48, as at the time of our research. So, what makes one bolt cutter sell for more than the other? We do have a few suggestions, which include the cutter’s features and the material in its construction. When you have a cutter with a locking mechanism, multiple-material construction, and some crafty tech, it’s only natural that it should bear the higher price tag.

You’re also sure to find cheap bolt cutters, but we wouldn’t advise your settling for those as they may end up being broken by the bolts they’re supposed to be cutting.
Features
How does one tell a great bolt cutter from the many options that crowd the bolt cutter market space? Well, it’s quite simple and it starts by knowing what features to look out for. While color is a good consideration, you do have to agree that it doesn’t add much to the overall effectiveness of these tools. We’ve helped you with the important features to look out for below.
  • Jaw capacity
  • Length
  • Blade
  • Material
  • Size
  • Extras
Construction and Design
When it comes to the construction and design of any bolt cutter, there are three things you should look out for above all else: construction material, length, and jaw capacity. We’ll give you more details on these below.

Material

Let’s start with the materials that bolt cutters are made of. These are tools that have cutting through metal rods in their job description, and a tough material that’s equal to the task is necessary for their construction. Thankfully, steel (an alloy of carbon and iron), is a material that fits the bill. It’s also quite common to find chromium and vanadium included in a bolt cutter and they’re usually used to make the blades. The steel used to make bolt cutters is usually passed through a special process such as heat treatment, induced hardening, etc., to make them extra-strong.

Length

When you hear or see descriptions such as 8-inch, 24-inch, or 36-inch bolt cutter, it refers to the entire length of the tool, from the topmost part of the tip to the furthest point on the handles. The difference in the lengths of bolt cutters is in the handle; what makes an 8-inch bolt cutter different from a 14-inch one is the handle length.

In bolt cutters, as in all first-class levers that employ mechanical advantage to carry out their work, the longer the distance between the effort (or the input force) and the pivot point (or fulcrum), the greater the force produced as output force. What does this mean to the fella shopping for a bolt cutter? It means that, generally speaking, longer bolt cutters will cut bolts with larger diameters.

Jaw Capacity

Another feature you should understand is the jaw capacity. When you’re shopping for a bolt cutter, you should look for one that will fit around the bolts you’re constantly working with—or against. Bolt cutter jaw capacities generally range from 3/16 inches to 7/16 inches. What this means is that you can cut bolts, wires, and basically any object with a diameter that falls within range.
Performance and Ease of Use
If you want to get the most out of your bolt cutter in terms of your situation and intended use, you need to consider its performance and ease of use. Looking at features such as the blade type, size, and extra features of a bolt cutter can help you determine if it’s the best one for you. Let’s go further into detail.

Blade

A feature, whose importance goes without saying, is the blade on the metal-cutting monster you’re looking at. The blades are usually crafted with a different and harder metal than the handles; they’re the parts of the bolt cutter that do the actual work of cutting.

There are different ways the blades can be designed; let’s briefly look at the more-popular ones. We’ll start with the center-cut blades; they’re more popular and are the multipurpose blades when it comes to bolt cutters. Each side of both blades is beveled, and so bear down on the material that’s being cut in equal measures. Then we have the clipper-cut blades; with these, the upper surface of each blade slants nearly all the way to the bottom surface. This makes it great when the nails or bolts are almost flush against the work piece surface.

Size

The size of the bolt cutter is of importance as you wouldn’t want to lug around the extra weight (and trust us when we say that a heavy bolt cutter is quite heavy), unless it’s a meanie. There are compact cutters that are built to be portable and easily carried around, but you should know that while these are lightweight compared to the larger ones, they’re usually built to cut through metal with thinner diameters.

Extras

We also suggest you look at the extras some of these cutters offer. Things such as a locking mechanism, stoppers, and comfortable handle grips help to improve the overall effectiveness of a bolt cutter and increase the satisfaction you’ll get from using it. Bolt cutters with comfortable rubber grips and ergonomic designs lessen hand fatigue, while locking mechanisms mean that you can transport the cutters safely without worrying about its cutting something it isn’t supposed to. Finally, the stoppers prevent the blades from overlapping.

What is the Best Bolt Cutter?

It’s best you first define the tasks that you intend to achieve with a bolt cutter before you decide on one. What size of wires are you cutting? How often will you need to move the tool? No doubt our guide has enabled you to see how important these questions are, and you’ll understand the following review better.
Our Top Choice
The Neiko 36-Inch Bolt Cutter with Chrome Molybdenum Steel Blade has a heavy-duty construction that allows its heat-treated jaws to cut through tough metals and materials. The handles are ergonomically designed for your comfort. If you’d prefer something lighter, you can check out the Neiko 00558A 12-Inch Bolt Cutter.
Neiko 36-Inch Bolt Cutter with Chrome Molybdenum Steel Blade

Neiko Bolt Cutter 00563A


Features
If there is anything Neiko stands for, it’s value; since its founding, it has strived to create tools that reflect this stand. It has a strong belief that your budget shouldn’t keep you from owning tools that are well-made, reliable, and durable regardless of whether you’re a professional or a do-it-yourself home or business owner. Its products range from superior-quality hydraulics and hand tools to sockets and drill bits, all created with a professional quality and at pocket-friendly prices.

The Neiko 36-Inch Bolt Cutter has been precision-engineered with jaws that deliver a whopping 4000 pounds of raw pressure, so that with just 50 pounds of exertion on your part, you’re able to cut through steel bars and whatever else that stands in your way. The tough jaws on this bad boy promise to keep their shape and integrity while attacking whatever cutting tasks you put them to without suffering dents or damage; they’re made from hardened, heat-treated chrome-molybdenum (chrome-moly) steel.

Another feature that makes this tool such a great cutting force is the length of its handles. They increase the leverage this tool has and make cutting through wires, chains, padlocks, and, of course, bolts seem like cutting through butter. To increase the tool’s efficiency, each end has a slight angle; to increase your comfort, both are ergonomically designed with a non-slip feature.

Here are a few other bolt cutters from this company:
  • Neiko 24-Inch Bolt Cutter with Heavy-Duty Tubular Handle – a lightweight yet efficient tool for cutting through metal
  • Neiko 30-Inch Bolt Cutter – a heavy-duty tool with chrome-molly steel jaws
  • Neiko 42-Inch Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter - with heat-treated chrome-molybdenum jaws
  • Neiko 14-Inch Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter - with Cr-Mo blades and ergonomic textured handles
  • Neiko 24-Inch Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter - with hardened, heat-treated jaws of chrome-molly steel
Best Value
The Trades Pro 18-Inch Bolt Cutter features a sturdy carbon-steel construction with powerful cutting jaws that will sever bolt stock and more. Its handles end in rubber, non-slip grips for your comfort during handling. If you’re interested in a smaller version of this bolt cutter, take a look at the Trades Pro 14-Inch Bolt Cutter.
Trades Pro Durable Steel Bolt Cutter – Available in 4 Sizes

Trades Pro Bolt Cutter 831718 – 18-inch


Features
Trades Pro is a renowned manufacturer of a line of premium-grade hand and power tools and equipment that offer you all you need to get any job done. All its tools are designed to meet or exceed industrial standards and to offer great performance and durability, even with constant use. It also produces great-quality hardware assortments, pressure washers, generators, and more at affordable prices. It’s a member of the Alltrade Tools brand and shares its passion for innovation and flexibility. Alltrade was established in 1979 and is the proud owner of about a hundred patents and a strong global presence.

The Trades Pro 18-Inch Bolt Cutter packs a lot of punch, or bite, in its lightweight package; it has a power and efficiency that’ll surprise any bolts, heavy wires, rivets, and other such materials in its way. Its long handles produce a great leverage, which means that you don’t have to sweat it when you’re cutting padlocks and breaking chains.

This tool is made out of high-quality carbon-steel that has been put through heat treatment to harden and toughen it up. This makes it durable and gives you long-lasting service. It comes with a small toggle switch with which the cutting jaws can be locked and unlocked for safety and proper storage.

Talking about cutting jaws, we love the sharp pair on this bolt cutter and the fact that they can be sharpened again and again. What’s more, the cutting edges do not wear away easily; rather, they keep their shape even after encounters with tough metal rods.

To ensure that you enjoy the best of bolt-cutting experiences, each handle ends in rubberized, non-slip grips, providing a much-appreciated balance and comfort. Another thing that’s very much appreciated about this bolt cutter is its affordable price.

Other bolt cutters available from Trades Pro include:
  • Trades Pro 24-Inch Bolt Cutter
  • Trades Pro 30-Inch Bolt Cutter
  • Trades Pro 36-Inch Bolt Cutter
Pick the size that best suits your needs, and get cutting!
The Knipex CoBolt Compact Bolt Cutter is forged from tough chrome vanadium steel for long-lasting use and features a high leverage action that increases your effort up to 20 times, creating an impressive cutting power. If the job calls for something bigger, you can turn to the Knipex 10-Inch Lever Action Mini-Bolt Cutter.
Knipex CoBolt Comfort Grip High Leverage Compact Bolt Cutters with Spring

Knipex Bolt Cutter 71 12 200


Features
Knipex was founded in 1882 by Carl Gustav Putsch in his home basement, from where he began the tradition of hand-crafting high-quality pincers for farriers and carpenters. It’s been 135 years since its first day of business and this company has seen nothing short of a tremendous growth through the decades; its employee base has grown from three to over a thousand and five hundred, and it has established six distribution companies around the world. This is a family-owned and operated business that is exclusively focused on the production of first-class pliers and cutters. It is to this end that all of its resources—people, facilities, and materials—are directed; this intensity of focus has seen its products earn a place of pride in the tool boxes of both professionals and handy homeowners alike.

The Knipex CoBolt Compact Bolt Cutter is a tough 8-inch beast of a bolt cutter that promises to do 60% more than your conventional bolt cutter. It’s been cleverly designed with a lever-action system that produces an extraordinarily advantageous lever ratio, and the least bit of friction. This means that you get a cutting force that’s more than 20X the force you apply—and with little or no resistance by the way of friction.

This Knipex bolt cutter features a chrome-vanadium construction with cutting edges that have had a little something extra done to toughen them up for the task ahead: induction hardening. Oh! And what’s more, just beneath the joint, you’ll find a pair of gripping jaws with which you can pull out nails and wires—nice, huh?

The handles have a locking mechanism incorporated into them so that you’re able to securely and comfortably transport this cutter; the handles have also been designed to provide comfortable handling as well.

Here are some other bolt cutters from Knipex:
  • Knipex Comfort Grip Angled High-leverage Cobolt Cutter - with a 200-angled head for exceptional cutting performance
  • Knipex 71 72 610 Large Bolt Cutters - with a 48hrc cutting capacity and precise, adjustable, and replaceable cutter head
  • Knipex 71 01 200 R CoBolt Bolt Cutters - with induction-hardened cutting edges for exceptional cutting performance
The Capri Tools Klinge Compact Bolt Cutter is an 8-inch with chrome molybdenum blades that have undergone a double heat treatment for extra toughness against which wires, bolts, and threaded rods stand no chance. For something larger, like a bolt cutter to handle industrial-grade cutting tasks, the Capri Tools 14-Inch Industrial Bolt Cutter is also available.
Capri Tools Klinge Mini 8-Inch Bolt Cutter with Heat-Treated Blades

Capri Tools Bolt Cutter CP40209


Features
Capri Tools is focused on getting three things—people, tools, and quality—right. It’s a brand that’s passionate about making tools that people get to use and come to appreciate; a brand that wants you to have the right tools for the right jobs. With the understanding that great tools increase your efficiency and the desire to produce exceptional and durable tools that are fairly priced for professionals, this company went into business over 30 years ago. By paying attention to every step of the production process, avoiding compromise, and sticking to the finest quality, Capri Tools creates all the tools you need and that you can count on.

The Capri Tools Klinge Compact Bolt Cutter is a portable bolt cutter that made it in here because of its efficiency and convenience. It’s constructed with heavy-duty materials that will hold up to the pressure you’ll be putting on them, and give you a great and long-lasting service. The blades’ edges—which are made of chrome-molybdenum, by the way—have undergone induced hardening; what this means is that they’ve been doubly heat-treated to produce a balance between edge retention and sharpness that you’re sure to appreciate.

With this cutter, you’re enabled to cut through a variety of metal objects such as wires, rods, chains, etc. with smaller diameters without breaking a sweat. Thanks to its high-leverage design and oversized bolts, you’ll only need to put in half the effort required by conventional bolt cutters and watch this baby amplify it and do the rest. With its extra-cushioned handles, your hands’ comfort will also be taken care of.

Other bolt cutters from the guys at Capri Tools include:
  • Capri Tools 40107 8-Inch Heavy-Duty Mini Bolt Cutter - with steel alloy jaws, drop-forged and hardened for great results
  • Capri Tools BT-36 Heavy-Duty 36-Inch Bolt Cutter - with chrome-molybdenum blades and adjustable blade clearance
  • Capri Tools 40203 Industrial 24-Inch Bolt Cutter - with chrome-molybdenum jaws and serrated blades, so it cuts metals reaching 5/16 inches wide
TEKTON’s 8-Inch Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter features a unique compound hinge that gives it a superior cutting strength without so much exertion on your part. Its alloy steel jaws and steel construction make it a durable choice. If what you’re planning to cut has a wider diameter, you should consider the TEKTON 24-Inch Bolt Cutter.
TEKTON 8-Inch Mini Bolt and Wire Cutter – Available in Multiple Sizes

TEKTON Bolt Cutter 3386 – 8 Inches


Features
TEKTON is a family-owned enterprise that is committed to manufacturing a line of robust hand tools that are classically lean and efficient. In order to ensure that you get only the best quality, it undertakes all the processes of production itself, from design to engineering and manufacturing (light manufacturing and assembling) to marketing. For every tool it produces, it starts by asking itself a simple but important question: “What kind of tool would I like to own?” From there, it studies the feedback it has obtained from people who use tools and great options that are already on the market. The process is then capped off with expert collaborations for the development of the tool and its engineering. So, you see? All you have to do is rest assured and enjoy your tools.

The TEKTON 8-Inch Bolt Cutter is forged from hard steel to give you a clean and seemingly effortless cut through bolts, threaded rods, chain, and high-gauge wire that reach 3/16 inches in diameter. It boasts a set of alloy steel jaws that have been hardened and are designed to be propelled by a unique compound hinge to give you superb compound cutting power that requires a lot less effort on your part.

The safety and comfort of your hands weren’t left out of consideration in the designing of this cutter. It features a set of strong handles, made with rolled steel, that will not give or twist under pressure. They’re also covered in soft non-slip rubber grips that offer comfort and reduce fatigue.

Some other bolt cutters from TEKTON include:
  • The TEKTON 12-Inch Bolt Cutter - cuts through 5/32-inch bolts, rods, and chains
  • The TEKTON 14-Inch Bolt Cutter - cuts through 3/16-inch bolts, rods, and chains
  • The TEKTON 18-Inch Bolt Cutter - cuts through ¼-inch bolts, rods, and chains
  • The TEKTON 36-Inch Bolt Cutter - cuts through bolts, chains, rods, and more up to ½-inch in diameter
  • The TEKTON 30-Inch Bolt Cutter - cuts up metal stuff with up to 3/8-inch diameters
So go ahead and make your pick—each of these sizes is great for one purpose or another!

Get the Best Bolt Cutter of 2018!

With one of these tools, cutting through metal is no longer the exclusive reserve of superheroes. So, go on and place that order!

Our Top Choice
Neiko 36-Inch Bolt Cutter
Best Value
Trades Pro Durable Steel Bolt Cutter
Knipex CoBolt Compact Bolt Cutters
Capri Tools Klinge Compact Bolt Cutter
TEKTON 8-Inch Bolt Cutter