It helps you decide what lock to break when searching for the Best Bolt Cutters For Cutting Padlocks. A typical lock can be cut with any metal saw since the shackle is long enough to be cut by the blades. However, things get more challenging if you are serious about your security.
It is more difficult to cut a lock with a standard approach when it has a shackle guard. It would help if you thought outside the box regarding your strategies because the guard’s job is to stop you from cutting the shackle.
If a Heavy-Duty Shackle Guard protects your shed, you are better off picking the lock or getting a locksmith to open it. Only a cutting torch, reaching temperatures up to 4000°, would be useful against a shackle guard.
In a Hurry??? Check The Top 3 Bolt Cutters Below…
Olympia Tools Power Grip Bolt Cutter
- High Quality
- Made To Last
- Innovative Hand & Specialty Tools
KNIPEX – 71 01 200 Tools
- Rated At 8 Inches In Length
- Provides A Maximum Cutting Capacity Of 14 Inch
- Lifetime Warranty Included
WORKPRO W017007A Bolt Cutter
- Rated At 30 Inches In Length
- A Maximum Cutting Capacity Of 15/32 Inches Is Available.
- Features A One-Year Warranty Duration
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Table of Contents
Top 5 Best Bolt Cutters For Cutting Padlocks 2023
There are many solid reasons to have a reliable bolt cutter in your arsenal, whether to cut that padlock with the misplaced key from the backyard shed or trim metal chain links for fencing installation.
Bolt cutters are an essential tool for cutting heavy wiring, rods, and fencing, but the types and thicknesses of steel they can cut vary greatly between models. We tested some of today’s top models to determine which bolt cutters were the real standouts.
We cut wire for baling, fence, all thread (threaded bolt rods), and more. Although certain models’ performance astonished us, only some of the bolt cutters we examined met our high expectations.
Bolt cutters come in various sizes and brands, making choosing the best one for the job difficult. Please find out how the following models made it onto this list of the finest bolt cutters, what to look for when choosing a pair, and what makes them stand out.
Our Top Pick Bolt Cutter – Olympia Tools Power Grip Bolt Cutter
Olympia Tools, which contains a fantastic set of bolt cutters, is largely a brand of tools and hardware accessories, as you can infer from the name.
The Olympia Tools 39-142 bolt cutters are a good set despite being a little pricey. This is because the pair of bolt cutters you receive has a great size of 42 inches.
It makes this length’s strong leverage and 5/16-inch cutting capability possible. Another fantastic feature of this bolt cutter is the solid build quality and the worry-free 1-year warranty that come with it.
Excellent bolt cutters! Easily transported at night in a bag to avoid suspicion. They’ve beaten every lock; so much free stuff!
- Rating for extreme length and excellent leverage
- Wonderful for heavy-duty use
- Quite a bit of cutting capacity
- Slightly expensive bolt cutters
(Image Source: Pixabay)
Runner Up Pick Bolt Cutter For Padlocks – Vector Tools Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter
Since Vector has been producing bolt cutters for a while, you can rely on the strength and durability of its products.
While many excellent bolt cutters are available, the chrome Molybdenum steel blade of this Vector Tools heavy-duty bolt cutter will elevate it to the next level.
This bolt cutter’s 24-inch length, combined with its high functionality, makes it ideal for cutting even the hardest bolts, wires, padlocks, chains, threaded rods, and other materials.
This bolt cutter has a capacity of up to 3/8 inches, enabling you to cut huge and thick things if necessary. The heavy-duty heat-treated blades can readily withstand any dents and damage in demanding applications. A traditional lever fulcrum design’s perfectly aligned blades offer more power/leverage with less effort.
Thanks to its ergonomically inclined, non-slip plastic handles, the cutter will give you comfort and control. It has pre-set blade clearance but is easily adjustable by turning two eccentric bolts at the tool’s head. Despite being large, it lacks a manufacturer’s warranty.
I picked a Brink’s lock that the locksmith couldn’t fully open with his large cutter because both handles came together before he could cut more than half the bolt. The VCT quickly and effortlessly cut it in a matter of seconds. I’m so glad I ordered it despite my reservations.
- Utilizes a blade of molybdenum steel
- A respectable length
- Utilize angled, textured grip handles to increase leverage.
- Rapidly cut through strong and hard materials.
- Thanks to the blade’s satin surface and the handles’ matte black finish, it looks good.
- No warranty information
- The duration might have been longer
(Image Source: Pexels)
Best Tools For Cutting Locks – KNIPEX – 71 01 200 Tools
Cutting tools and other heavy-duty tools from Knipex are very upscale brands that can be used for industrial and personal purposes.
Due to its excellent strength, this Knipex 7101200 bolt cutter is listed in third place in this article. Its extremely small size makes it the perfect bolt cutter for portability. The 8-inch length provided could be better when considering leverage, though.
This compact choice, in contrast to other compact options, still provides a very high cutting capacity of up to 1/4 inch, which is extremely good. This Knipex bolt cutter has exceptional build quality and a lifetime warranty because it is designed for heavy-duty use.
I can cut 1/8″ welding rods with one hand. I have arthritis and am a size M. can also complete it using a pair of Stanleys of the same size. But it requires more effort and at least two tries.
- Small and compact
- Ideal for heavy-duty usage
- Pretty warranty period
- Leverage is a bit limited
(Image Source: Unsplash)
Best Lock Cutter – TEKTON 8 Inch Bolt Cutter
If you want something intended for heavy-duty use without spending much money, consider Tekton and their bolt cutters.
The second item on this list is Tekton’s 3421 bolt cutter, which might be an excellent choice for cutting heavy bolts and chains. This one gives you a great cutting capacity of up to 12 inches.
With a length of 36 inches, these bolt cutters provide you with a lot of leverage and can readily cut through heavy metals. While this Tekton bolt cutter comes with a lifetime warranty, other heavy-duty choices tend to have better build quality.
It was done with ease with this tool. The greatest jaw opening is 5mm; however, to comfortably fit a stem inside, I’d estimate the largest stem size that could be inserted is 4mm. The stems are primarily made of plastic but contain a thin, durable wire that runs the entire stem length.
- Quite a large bolt cutter
- Excellent warranty period
- Very high cutting capacity
- Average build quality
(Image Source: Picjumbo)
Best Bolt Cutters For Cutting Padlocks – WORKPRO W017007A Bolt Cutter
Workpro is renowned for producing various power tools and goods for heavy-duty use, such as its bolt cutters, which are quite powerful for most customers.
The Workpro W017007A bolt cutter is ranked first because it might be an excellent choice for heavy-duty use. Because of its Molybdenum Steel blade, you can cut up to 15/32 inches with it.
Although its specified length rating of 30 inches is short for many customers, it is unlike other heavy-duty solutions. Fortunately, it still has other features you would anticipate from a heavy-duty choice, such as a 1-year warranty and good build quality.
I used the 30″ cutter and took the lockout myself. I made two cuts, which were quick, simple, and effortless.
- Decent cutting capacity rating
- Highly powerful Molybdenum steel blade
- Ideal for heavy-duty usage
- Length could have been higher
(Image Source: EyeEm)
An impressive cutting instrument with outstanding performance is the Taparia BC-30 Bolt Cutter. It is long-lasting and made from premium chrome vanadium steel, which can easily be cut through various materials.
A pleasant grip has an ergonomic rubber cushion grip, making it simple to use for prolonged periods. Alloy steel, renowned for its strength and sharpness, makes the blade. This bolt cutter is perfect for various cutting applications because it can quickly cut through wires, circular steel bars, and more.
It is a cut above the competition because of its effective joint design, which promotes great cutting abilities. The Taparia BC-30 Bolt Cutter is ideal for the job whether you need to cut through strong barbed wire or other materials.
The Taparia’s BC-18 Steel Bolt Cutter is yet another excellent choice. This top-of-the-line cutting tool, the 18-inch Bolt Cutter, performs superbly. It is simple to handle and operate because the plush, non-slip grip and heat-treated blades guarantee maximum performance.
This cutter offers professional-grade capabilities at a low cost, making it an ideal option for anyone looking for a powerful cutting tool. This cutter will easily complete the task of slicing through thick cables or other materials. Choose this bolt cutter for all your cutting needs instead of settling for subpar performance.
A top-notch cutting tool for pros and DIY enthusiasts alike is the Harden Professional T8 Alloy Steel Blades Bolt Cutter. The cutter’s jaws are composed of T8 alloy steel and have undergone heat treatment to increase their hardness and shear sharpness.
This cutter, which comes in several sizes, including 8″, 12″, 18″, and 24″, is appropriate for various cutting chores, high-temperature quenching of the cutting edge results in shear strength, damage-free, sharpness, and durability.
The cutter’s surface is printed with the company logo phrases, emphasizing the appeal of the brand and its style, and the TPR handle is ergonomically constructed for a comfortable grip.
Buying Guide For The Best Bolt Cutters
Bolt cutters are useful in various situations, mostly for cutting through thick or rusted locks, fencing, padlocks, and other difficult chores. Bolt cutters provide superior control over their operation than other power tools used to cut metals, enabling fast, accurate, and effective cutting.
This manual includes important considerations, their types, advantages, some advice, and frequently asked questions. All of this information will aid your choice of the best alternative. Let’s review the specifics of the important elements to consider while choosing a bolt cutter.
A bolt cutter is a multipurpose instrument that can be used for more than just cutting bolts. They can also be used to remove padlocks when keys are lost, or combinations are forgotten, as well as to cut metal wire from chain-link fencing, rebar for landscaping, and wire mesh to reinforce concrete pads.
This strong cutting device can easily produce more than 4000 pounds of force. They are effectively made to cut various materials, such as wires, cables, sheet metal, pipework, nails, and bolts. Therefore, select the appropriate choice based on the material you intend to remove using this bolt cutter.
Bolt cutters come in a mixture of sizes in the market, including 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 24, 30, 36, and 42 inches. You learned about the cutter’s capacity to cut through various metal thicknesses and materials. These bolt cutters typically come in three sizes: small, medium, and big.
Small Bolt Cutters – These cutters range from 8 to 14 inches. These are made to cut soft to medium hardness bolts and thinner chains. These compact cutters are sturdy, providing mobility or portability to transport and use wherever necessary, and fit nicely in small or constrained spaces.
Medium-Sized Cutters – These cutters will be between 18 and 24 inches in length. Soft, medium, and hard metals, they are intended for use. Because of its long handles’ increased leverage, it can cut bulky objects such removing bolts and padlocks.
Large Cutters – These heavy-duty instruments range from 30 to 42 inches. These tools are designed to cut through medium-hard metal objects like copper cable, thick steel chains, steel rods, big bolts, and padlocks because they have longer handles and strong steel jaws. They offer more leverage and superior cutting power to handle particularly difficult work.
Although adopting a heavier cutter type may result in excellent cutting capacity, operating it will result in significant hand fatigue. A lightweight bolt cutter works well for portability and short chores but needs to be stronger for tough jobs. Smaller 8-inch cutters typically weigh roughly 2 pounds, whereas bigger 48-inch cutter models usually about 8 pounds.
Before determining the bolt cutter’s weight, keep the type of work you do in mind. We advise you to have a lightweight bolt cutter in the toolbox for use in an emergency and a heavier bolt cutter for work that requires strength.
Capacity For Diameter
The material that can be cut using a tiny bolt cutter has width restrictions. Most machines can only cut bolts, rods, and cables up to 3/16 inches in diameter. However, the tool’s diameter size, which corresponds to the blades’ breadth when completely opened determines its cutting capacity. For instance, cutting material of the same size with a blade aperture of 1/8 inch is simple.
Several cut styles are offered for bolt cutters, including clipper, angled, center, shear, and hydraulic. These designs are described in detail here to assist you in selecting the best solution for your cutting needs.
A bolt cutter with this cut style has a head inclined between 25 and 30 degrees, making it simple to position the tool’s head for lower cuts. To improve the appearance, it helps to shear off any screws and nails that are flush with the surface of the wood.
The bolt cutter design, known as the “clipper cut,” has an angle blade and a flat side, making it the ideal tool for removing nails and making precise cuts through sheet metal. Even a minor bevel on its blades will result in significant pressure being applied to the single focus point. As a result, it increases cutting force and facilitates effective cutting.
Shear Cut – Similar to the edges of conventional scissors, it has inverted blades that move closer to one another as they approach (unlike other cut techniques where the blades will eventually touch). Therefore, cutting cables in a way that precisely slices through the cable strands is ideal.
Center Cut: It features blades equally spaced apart and beveled on both sides. However, if pressure is given to the blades, they bear down until the substance inside of them separates. These kinds of cutters are ideal for cutting through metal rods, cables, and pipelines.
A hydraulically powered piston causes the cutting edge in a hydraulic cut, which delivers more force than a handle-operated cutter. These are the best choice for cutting through denser locks.
Rockwell Hardness Scale
Cutting tool blades are constructed by the Rockwell Hardness Scale (RHS). The scale uses the HRC code to assess the steel’s toughness and resistance to determine how effectively it can cut the material. According to a general rule, the tool’s blade’s steel is tougher if the HRC number is higher.
For individuals who use the bolt cutter less frequently, the length of the handles—though not their comfort—will be very important. A cutter with a longer handle provides more leverage, allowing more pressure to be exerted with less user effort but requiring more room. Additionally, if the cutter’s handles are fragile or durable, they will break under heavy strain.
Regular users choose ergonomic handles because they are comfortable to hold and operate. They give your hands a great grip that prevents slippage and enables you to apply more pressure for effective cutting thanks to the additional layer (made of rubber or another substance).
The edges of hard rubber grips with textured handles, on the other hand, can hurt your hands when you’re using them since they dig into your hands.
For the best cutting performance, consider a bolt cutter with jaws and a blade edge composed of strong, resilient material, such as steel. The best strength and durability to endure longer are typically provided by forged heat-treated chrome vanadium steel or chrome-molybdenum steel.
The steel’s powder-coated finish will stop corrosion and rust from developing. Choose the greatest quality and hardest steel blades to cut through strong materials like padlocks.
The cutter’s jaws and neck both have bolts that may be used to change the cutter’s jaws’ direction and angle. This will let you cut the material quickly and precisely while avoiding damaging them.
Adjusting the jaw bolts allows you to modify whether the corresponding blade moves toward or away from the joint. The blades will move toward each other when turned clockwise, whereas the opposite is true when turned counterclockwise.
The blade’s angle can be changed by adjusting the neck bolts to move the tips farther apart or closer together. Like jaw bolts, rotating the bolt counter-clockwise will cause the tips to move far, while rotating it clockwise will bring them closer.
You will have better control over the tool and can cut through broader materials with bolt cutters with adjustable blades. Adjust the screws at the front of the cutter’s blade for tiny bolt cutters.
Grip & Handles
A comfortable and nonslip grip will ensure the safety and efficacy of using the tool, including this bolt cutter. Therefore, we advise you to review the design to make exact cuts without putting undue stress on your arms, wrists, fingers, or hands as you operate.
Please choose a model with ergonomic handles that include non-slip plastic, silicone, or soft rubber coatings when it comes to the handles. Angled handles also enable pleasant use and precise cutting. As a general rule, longer handles will typically give bolt cutters higher leverage.
This crucial aspect is one that many people need to pay attention to, but you shouldn’t when selecting a bolt cutter. What and how a bolt cutter is utilized are impacted by it. For instance, the cutter can be a flexible alternative if the jaw opening is large. However, it only functions on thin locks when the opening is small or narrow.
Although these cutters typically have a 5/16-inch jaw aperture, a smaller one can cut delicate metal parts or wires. When dealing with larger or extra-tough locks, use a greater jaw opening.
Select a model with a folding design if you intend to bring the bolt cutter anywhere in a tool bag. Additionally, the longer-handled variant will provide a greater mechanical advantage. To do your task quickly and conveniently, look for a model with a folding design since not all bolt cutters have this function.
After cutting various hard metals over time, your bolt cutter may experience significant wear and tear. Since all bolt cutters are constructed of premium metal, there will be little difference in how they are put together.
Instead, you may look at their warranty to see how long-lasting and durable they are. Fortunately, most of these cutters come with lifetime warranties, while some models only have one-year warranties. The better you can use a product, the longer the warranty.
Any power tool will last longer with proper maintenance and care. To increase the bolt cutter’s longevity, use it as the manufacturer directs. Here are some recommendations for maintaining these bolt cutters.
- Try to cut thicker or tougher materials as advised since they are difficult to handle and risk damaging the joints or blade.
- As part of routine maintenance, lubricate the joint with any lubricating oil or solvent, such as WD-40, to ensure it operates cleanly and smoothly. Spray the joint, and let the solvent absorb properly for effective lubrication.
- The blade must be routinely cleaned with a brush and soapy water. To prevent metal oxidation, carefully dry it with a soft cloth.
- Clamp the blade in a vice and file the edges with an angle grinder or file to sharpen the blade for clean, precise cutting.
- Before each use, the neck adjusters align and fine-tune the blade.
For effective use, everyone wishes to have a sturdy, long-lasting tool with a bolt cutter. The product’s durability is significantly influenced by the build quality and the materials used in its production.
Check the material of the blade because those constructed of tougher metal will provide a superior cut. Steel (or forged steel) is the most popular blade material because it is robust, hardy, and long-lasting. To have a cutter that will last a long time, opt for one built with premium and high-quality materials.
Types Of Bolt Cutters
Bolt cutters come in three primary categories: traditional, folding, and extensible. Here is a thorough description that will help you determine the type best for your cutting needs.
Traditional – This cutter has all the necessary components built into its design, allowing you to complete the intended work but providing no design features. However, because they are smaller and share the same design as the mini or compact variants, they are included in this group.
Foldable – Because some cutter models can be difficult to store, the producers created models with foldable handles. To reduce the length, fold the handles upward on the jaws. Even though it appears wider, it fits in most backpacks and toolboxes. Make sure the handles are constructed from sturdy materials.
How Do We Test The Best Bolt Cutters?
Bolt cutters are hand tools that are simpler to evaluate in person than online, but we adhered to some general rules to ensure we have various possibilities to test. We began by thinking about the brand.
We chose the best models by Crescent H.K. Porter and Tekton, two companies that produce a wide selection of high-quality cutting tools, including pruners, shears, and bolt cutters. We also picked lesser-known companies with highly-rated products from their customers. Last but not least, we selected bolt cutters that ranged in size and price.
Our testing procedure was simple and practical. We cut bolts, wires, and metal rods with each tool, considering that the bolt cutter’s size and type would determine the thickness of metal it could cut, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. For instance, we didn’t try to cut rebar with a little compact cutter that wasn’t made for the job. Instead, we used the largest bolt cutter.
We assigned points during the testing process based on several factors, including the tool’s overall design, use, cutting performance, and tool quality. According to the criteria, points were assigned to each tool; the better it performed, the more points it received. After testing, we tallied the points and classified the tools based on the totals.
These are the Best Bolt Cutters For Cutting Padlocks when you need the choice to cut through one. Bolt cutters are often sufficient to cut through the shackle of a conventional padlock.
If, however, you encounter a lock that is challenging to unlock, you can utilize the other power tools. Last but not least, properly apply the knowledge you learned from this post and avoid using it to break into someone else’s property without permission.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Cut a Lock? What Kind of Bolt Cutters Do I Need?
Use bolt cutters that are longer than 14″ and are certified to cut hardened steel if you need to cut a lock. A padlock will harm the instrument when you utilize bolt cutters made of hardened steel. A typical padlock shackle can be easily cut through by purchasing the right alternative.
Can you cut a lock with a Dremel?
A lock can be cut with a Dremel using the right metal-cutting rotary bit. If you attempt to cut through the lock with a blade that isn’t designed to cut metal, you’ll have trouble and probably destroy the tool. However, speedier ways to cut through a lock exist, such as an angle grinder or reciprocating saw.
What Devices Can Open Locks?
There are many tools available that can be used to pick a lock. Cutting tools, including bolt cutters, reciprocating saws, and angle grinders, are the most widely used tools. A hammer can also be used to open locks with design defects. You can use a cutting torch to open the lock as a final resort.