Shop Tip #087
© Frank Ford 2004; Photo by FF

Next time you're shopping for a diagonal wire cutter, take a penny out of your pocket and bite it gently near the pointed end of the jaws. If the penny stands up vertically like this one, that means the cutting edges of the jaws meet together rather than overlapping a bit. Misaligned or very loose jaws are more common than you might imagine, and can make it nearly impossible to cut a .010" steel string.