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Best effective way to cut heatshrink?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes I know a pair of scissors will do the job.

But I'm wondering if anyone knows an effective way to cut it "perfectly round" (even and straight throughout) everytime?

I've used a cheap paper cutter to cut the regular 3:1 and it worked pretty well but when I tried to cut the adhesive lined heatshrink it just wouldn't work. It gets wavy and ugly after shrinking . Also tried using an xacto knife and ruler but no good (half of the perimeter is higher than the other half).

Thanks
post #2 of 15
A sharp pair of scissors always does the trick for me.
post #3 of 15
THere is this thing I don't know the name in english, used to cut paper, photos etc. It has an area with measurements nad then on the edge has a sharpblade which is fixed on one end. This allows to cut at exactly 90º. I'll try t find a picture so you understand

Manuel
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MASantos
THere is this thing I don't know the name in english, used to cut paper, photos etc. It has an area with measurements nad then on the edge has a sharpblade which is fixed on one end. This allows to cut at exactly 90º. I'll try t find a picture so you understand

Manuel
http://www.dickblick.com/zz571/08/
post #5 of 15
Sharp cigar cutter works better than scissors for me. It's not perfect though.

Sam
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juergen
That is normaly called a guillotine in english. It nothing more than a huge pair of scissors.
Another vote for the scissors.
post #7 of 15


I just use scissors, sidecutters, exacto-knife, or whatever I can reach. But I guess if you want to make it really precise, this guy is quick and accurate.

For very large shrink-tubing however, I suppose there are other options...
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone who posted above for your input!

I figure my cheap paper cutter just wasn't good enough for the thicker stuff. This is what I'm actually using:




So it basically comes down to one of these cutters.

(Arm Cutter) OR (Rotary Cutter)


Anyone have any idea which one would be better?
post #9 of 15
wire cutters work well, too.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cire
wire cutters work well, too.
thats me
post #11 of 15
Razor blade and a plastic transparent ruler. Trap the heatshrink underneath the ruler at whatever length you need and use the end of the ruler as a straight edge. By pressing down firmly on the ruler, the heatshrink completely flattens out, making a clean, square cut much easier.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bingalls
Razor blade and a plastic transparent ruler. Trap the heatshrink underneath the ruler at whatever length you need and use the end of the ruler as a straight edge. By pressing down firmly on the ruler, the heatshrink completely flattens out, making a clean, square cut much easier.
I've tried this a few times with no luck. I used a metal ruler instead and I tried this on the adhesive lined heatshrink. It seems as if it cuts straight but after shrinking I get a couple of "dips/waves" which just ain't pretty.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vleong1
I've tried this a few times with no luck. I used a metal ruler instead and I tried this on the adhesive lined heatshrink. It seems as if it cuts straight but after shrinking I get a couple of "dips/waves" which just ain't pretty.
Try putting a ruler on both sides of it, press down hard so it doesn't stretch while only a small area inbetween is free to slide the blade. I'm not that picky though, I use a giant pair of Wiss scissors and if it cuts a bit crooked, I just cut it again. Then again, waves could be from uneven heating too.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mono
Try putting a ruler on both sides of it, press down hard so it doesn't stretch while only a small area inbetween is free to slide the blade. I'm not that picky though, I use a giant pair of Wiss scissors and if it cuts a bit crooked, I just cut it again. Then again, waves could be from uneven heating too.
Ah never tried using two rulers.
Good point on the uneven heating as I never thought about. I may be cutting straight but when heating it may not be evenly heated.
post #15 of 15

I kept coming across this thread in my own quest for a better way to cut heatshrink, so I thought I should post what I eventually came up with. I found a tool called The Chopper II, which model railroad enthusiasts use for... whatever it is that they do. It's a bit spendy ($40 to $50) as compared to scissors, but it works beautifully. It's basically a little cutting table with a craft razor blade on a pivot arm. It has gridlines on it, and adjustible stops (one of which is 90 degrees), which makes a nice straight cut of a precise length of heatshrink fast and easy. I often have to cut a few hundred pieces at a time to a particular length, and for that purpose it's invaluable.

 

I wrote an article for Make magazine, and on my own blog that goes into more details. However, a careful reading of the posting guidelines suggests I am not allowed to link to it. Mods? 

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