No man’s toolbox (or shed, if you still haven’t gotten around to organizing everything) is complete without a set of the best bolt cutters on the market, and you don’t have to be planning to break in to anywhere you get the most from them. These bolt cutters are perfect for both professional and casual use and will be there whenever a cutting crisis looms.
How do you pick which bolt cutters are the best for you though? You need to identify purpose, durability, strength, and comfort to find the perfect product for you. If you need a large pair of cutters for heavy-duty, all day work, we’ve got them for you. If you need a small pair for fast cutting solutions on the go, we’ve got them for you, too. For wires, rods, locks, chains, and bolts, here are the top bolt cutters for you to make sure you’re never locked in or out.
The Best Bolt Cutters
If you’re looking for the best bolt cutters that offer the perfect combination of quality, comfort, and price, the TEKTON Bolt Cutters are the perfect option for both professional and casual needs. They are lightweight, but still durable enough to handle a variety of applications, and will survive through years of projects and jobs.
The compound cutting action makes it easy and straightforward to use, easing the pressure on your arms so you can use them for longer without fatigue. The tubular steel handles have cushioned non-slip rubber for a secure, reliable grip, which works perfectly with the cutting mechanism to make every job feel like the first of the day.
Drop forged, hardened steel jaws
Less effort with compound cutting action
Tubular steel handles with cushioned non-slip rubber grip
Adjustable and replaceable jaws
- Weight8.82 pounds
You might not need a full-sized option, though, and you may just want a set of mini bolt cutters for fast, easy projects, and the Capri Tools Klinge Mini Bolt Cutters are an excellent, compact option for just this. Despite the size, they can easily cut through a variety of metals, wires, and rods both at home and on the go.
The double heat-treated Chrome Moly blades are tough and sharp, while the high leverage design ensures more force but with not as much effort required, the specially designed ergonomic handles also mean you can guarantee secure comfort throughout.
Easily cuts through bolts, chains, and threaded rods
High leverage design provides more force with less effort
Specially designed ergonomic grips ensure comfort
- BrandCapri Tools
- Weight1 pounds
The Neiko Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter is a behemoth of a tool built with durable, long-lasting Chrome Moly steel for guaranteed cutting through hard objects and goes one step beyond that of chrome vanadium cutters. The blades are heat-treated and designed for high-frequency use that resists damage throughout the years and provide excellent results at an excellent price.
The ergonomic handles are angled that are easy to grip with the non-slip feature and ensure comfortable cutting. The lever fulcrum design has precisely aligned blades for simple cutting that doesn’t put unnecessary strain on your arms and shoulders.
Chrome Moly steel cuts through hard, stubborn materials
High-frequency heat-treated blades resist damage
Ergonomic angled non-slip handles for comfortable cutting
Lever fulcrum design with precisely aligned blades
- Weight13 pounds
Knipex bolt cutters are often placed firmly at the forefront of quality tools, and the Knipex Lever Action Mini Bolt Cutter is no different. It’s perfect for casual use and provides excellent performance without weighing you down. The cutting edges are induction hardened and achieve approximately 64 HRC on the Rockwell Scale.
If you’re not sure what this means, we’ll tell you it’s good, very good, and provides longevity and the capability to handle tough materials with ease. You’ll also enjoy that they are remarkably lightweight, meaning you can fit them easily on your belt, in your pocket, or in your toolbox without taking up too much space, giving you plenty of room for other tools.
Exceptional performance with minimum effort
Cutting edges are induction hardened
Hardness of approximately 64 HRC
Long service life
- BrandKNIPEX Tools
- Weight10.4 ounces
The Olympia Tools Power Grip Bolt Cutter is a wildly useful, compact, and functional choice for anyone who needs a solid option that’s easy to carry and even easier to use. The compact style is enhanced with patented folding handles which – despite its relative size – makes it simple and straightforward to keep in your toolbox. When in use, the folding parts are secure and reliable, ensuring quality and satisfactory results with every cut.
The extra-hide handles relieve and reduce pressure on your hands, ensuring a forgiving experience that keeps your hands fresh and ready for other jobs throughout the day. They prevent fatigue and exhaustion, which when combined with the Chrome Moly hardened steel cutting heads makes every cut, trim, and chop comfortable.
Compact style with patented folding handles for easy storage
Extra-hide handles reduce pressure on hands
Chrome Moly hardened steel cutting heads
Heavy duty cutting strength
- BrandOlympia Tools
- Weight3.66 pounds
For a true working professional, the WORKPRO Bolt Cutter is an excellent choice and is crafted using drop forged Chrome Moly with steel jaws, making it ideal for cutting bolts, rods, wires, and chains with ease without risking damage to the blades and mechanism.
The strong tubular handles are designed for with comfortable bi-material grips that ensure non-slip comfort and security and which guarantee the best results with little risk of error. To make the job easier, the compound cutting action requires less effort than standard cutters which means you can cut through materials without overexerting yourself, keeping you in excellent shape throughout the day so you won’t get home too exhausted to enjoy your evening.
Drop forged Chrome Moly steel jaws
Strong tubular handle with comfortable bi-material grips
Compound cutting action for less effort
Suitable for cutting through bolts, rods, wires, and chains
- Weight3.55 pounds
Our premium choice for the best bolt cutters is the top quality HK Porter Hand Files which are crafted with precision ground, hardened blades for always-accurate, always reliable results along with an extended edge life that isn’t found elsewhere. They require less effort to use than your average bolt cutter, making every job comfortable and straightforward.
Also comfortable are the high-performance handles, which are easy to hold regardless of the intensity of the job before you. They have an HRC rating of 48 and can handle materials as thick as 5/16ths of an inch. If you expect working with a variety of materials, you won’t find a better option than this, capable of coping with as many as 18 kinds of metal including wire mesh, springs, and threaded rods.
Precision ground hardened cutting blades
Requires less effort to cut than with standard bolt cutters
Extended edge lift ensures longevity
High performance handles are comfortable and easy to hold
- BrandHK Porter
- Weight7 pounds
These tough, no-nonsense GreatNeck Bolt Cutters are forged with S2 steel for near-unmatched cutting power for a variety of heavy duty situations both at home and on the job. The hardened cutting edges ensure long life through excellent durability and stay sharp and effective no matter what materials you need to deal with.
The ergonomic handles are easy to grip and hold for more stubborn bolts and chains and gives your hands some respite for larger, more tasking demands. Despite this, it still gets the job completed with minimal effort, and you’ll be amazed at how it glides through tough-looking materials with relative ease.
Forged S2 steel construction provides cutting power
Ergonomic comfortable handle grips
Hardened edge ensures long life and durability
GreatNeck limited lifetime warranty included
- Weight6.4 pounds
Using its patented PowerGear technology, the Fiskars PowerGear Bolt Cutter uses leverage-enhancing gears which provides as much as 30% more power with every cut. The handles are strong and offer excellent purchase, giving you remarkable control whatever you need to cut. This cutting is made even easier with the ergonomic Softgrip handles that ensure additional comfort at work or at home.
There’s also the chance to adjust the bolts to suit whatever job you’re tackling, which gives you versatility in your projects and means you can cover a variety of jobs with a single product instead of needing to buy several bolt cutters. However, this adjustability is not a catch-all size, and so you may still be better off using smaller bolt cutters if the job requires it. Now, if only you had somewhere to find these mini cutters…
Patented PowerGear technology boasts leverage-enhancing gears for 30% more power
Adjustable eccentric bolts for optimizing performance
Ergonomic Softgrip handles for comfort and control
Heat-treated blades stay sharp through heavy use
- Weight9.8 pounds
Our final pick and choice for the best value is the Tradespro Bolt Cutter. Despite being smaller than other options (but not small enough to quality a ‘mini’) they are still an effective tool for professional and home use. This is because of the careful and considered construction, which is capped off with durable heat-treated carbon steel crafting for a highly durable and highly reliable product.
The fast-acting jaws trim precious seconds of jobs and prevent you struggling with unexpected issues when you come across particularly stubborn opposition, and the non-slip handles have a comfortable, forgiving grip that eases pressure on your hands, wrists, and shoulders. Whether you need to cut into bolts or simply trim away excess wiring around your fences, this is a quality solution at a price you wouldn’t expect.
Durable heat-treated carbon steel construction
Comfortable non-slip grips
Ideal for trimming excess wires, bolts, or rods
Fast-acting jaws for quick job completion
- Weight2.1 pounds
Bolt Cutter Buying Guide
Things To Look For When Purchasing The Best Bolt Cutters
Before you make your final decision on the best bolt cutters for you, make sure you check out this handy little guide towards the most important factors to look out for before taking the plunge.
Depending on your needs, you want to look for the appropriate size, comfort, quality, price and any additional features that could transform your bolt cutting experience from something that’s okay to something you’ll love every single time.
Size - Bolt cutters range from the compact to the much, much larger, and the size you choose depends on how big the job is. Mini bolt cutters are ideal for trimming around the edges or dealing with small jobs that don’t require heavy duty options.
Cutters of this size are also easy to carry around with you in your pocket in your tool box without taking up too much room. While they aren’t as powerful as larger ones, they are perfect for small, easy jobs that could get you out of a sticky situation.
Conversely, large bolt cutters are designed for much more substantial jobs, and while you won’t be able to carry them around on your hip (unless you’re some kind of muscle man), you must carry them in the back of your van. They can tackle a wide variety of large jobs with ease and should get you out of most situations.
You don’t have to choose between sizes if you feel you could benefit with from both, but don’t use the wrong-sized cutters for the wrong job.
Weight - Heavier bolt cutters will cause fatigue to set in faster and may be more difficult to operate for some. However, lightweight cutters may not be as durable and could break when using them. You need to find the balance between a comfortable weight and provide excellent reliability for a variety of uses.
If you’re carrying your cutters around with you every day, invest in a set that‘s relatively lightweight (but still heavy duty, which we know is an oxymoron) to ensure you don’t get tired out moving around. As heavy as your cutters might be, they should still be easy to transport.
Rockwell Scale - The Rockwell Scale is the level of hardness your jaws possess. Typically, you’ll find the scale written with the HRC code, which determines the strength and resistance of steel.
This is important as it helps you understand how well the cutters will cope with certain cutting jobs, and you’ll find the important information when buying your new bolt cutters.
Handles - Excellent bolt cutter handles are ergonomic and comfortable to ensure you can easily tackle more stubborn materials. This design eases the pressure on your arms, hands, and shoulders, and makes it easier to operate, especially for long periods. The handle should also be non-slip to prevent injuries or damage to the cutters.
Blade Quality - The quality and type of the blade will affect what you can use it with. If you’re looking for the best, most consistent and high-quality results, a steel blade is the one for you. You’re best off finding a forged steel blade with a hardened edge, as this stays sharp for longer and makes it easier to cut through rods, chains, bolts, and other items.
These high-quality blades will not need as much maintenance and won’t require you to replace them too often, however, still take care of them if you want them to last as long as they can.
Adjustability - Adjustable jaws are an excellent feature to have which maximizes the versatility of your bolt cutters. Not all cutters will have such a feature, though, but if you think you’ll work with a variety of materials and thicknesses, this is a great way to save money on differently sized cutters and give you a range of possibilities.
Maintenance - You must properly maintain all tools you buy, and to make your cutters last as long as possible. This involves checking the blades both when you first buy them and after each use. You should take care to clean the jaws after using them to prevent oils and similar, potentially degrading substances from damaging the metal.
If you need to, you can remove the jaws from the handles to make cleaning easier, but only do this if you know what you’re doing and how to put them back together.
Price - There’s no need to break the bank on your cutters, but paying more will often give you better quality. While you may pay more at first, you won’t pay as much in the long run as they last longer than cheaper cutters. For professionals, it may be best to go for more expensive options, but if you’re purchasing a set for the home ‘just in case’, then you may get away with cheaper cutters.
- How to Build the Essential Toolbox for Every Level of DIY - Lifehacker
- Rockwell Scale - Wikipedia
- Bolt Cutter Maintenance and Care - Wonkee Donkee Tools