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I have some minis I want to pin (or attempt to, have never done it before). I have wire, tons of paper clips, and am going to acquire some brass rod soon. But my question is about the clippers. I know I shouldn't use my sprue cutters for most things beyond plastics, resin, and other things like those. 

 

So my question is what kind of clippers (cutters?) Do I need to cut the metal bits down to size? I don't want to ruin my good clippers by cutting something too hard. I saw some in the jewelry section at Michael's but wasn't sure they'd hold up in the long run since it said it cuts soft wire and thread.

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Any sort of diagonal cutters from the hardware store should work fine on most wires. For that matter, if you have the usual sort of needle-nose pliers, there's a pretty good chance the included wire cutter will work just fine.

 

If you want to use music wire (which is hardened steel and which is really overkill for pinning), you'll need something like lineman's pliers. Hardened wires will notch the jaws of most diagonal cutters.

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I use hardened diagonal pliers for cutting paperclips, and only use my nice flush cutters for sprues. My pin cutting pliers are smaller than the one shown in the wiki link though. Had them for at least 18 years. It's a little beat up but never fails to cut pinning wire. I also have a dented flush cutter that I use to cut brass rod. If I use the diagonal pliers on thin brass rod, it sometimes bends the rod. 

 

I use three cutters for different things:

1. diagonal pliers to cut hard wire like paperclips

2. old dented flush cutters to cut soft brass rods

3. sharp newer flush cutters for sprues

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18 hours ago, SparrowMarie said:

I have some minis I want to pin (or attempt to, have never done it before). I have wire, tons of paper clips, and am going to acquire some brass rod soon. But my question is about the clippers. I know I shouldn't use my sprue cutters for most things beyond plastics, resin, and other things like those. 

 

So my question is what kind of clippers (cutters?) Do I need to cut the metal bits down to size? I don't want to ruin my good clippers by cutting something too hard. I saw some in the jewelry section at Michael's but wasn't sure they'd hold up in the long run since it said it cuts soft wire and thread.

 You are right about the jewelry clippers. They are only good for soft metals.

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