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Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Snort Rosin" Seal of Approval for "Ferrari-esque" Italian Wire Cutters

Hakko CHP-170 Micro Clean Cutter, 16 Gauge Maximum Cutting Capacity
And now for something (almost) completely different.  Rarely have wire cutters been described in such, well, almost erotic terms.  This definitely seems like the stocking-stuffer of the year for the SolderSmoke in-crowd.  And to think that I was pleased with a pair of $3.99 hemostats that I got from Amazon.

Hi Bill,

It's always nice to find something high-quality and inexpensive and today it happened to me so I thought I'd share my good fortune.

Having been in the professional radio repair business for 40 years (retired 2012), I very much appreciate quality hand tools.  On my bench at home I have an expensive pair of Lindstrom wire cutters but in the field I generally resorted to cheaper, not so high-quality tools (in case of inadvertent loss).  The problem at home is it seems like every time I need to grab my Lindstroms, they're not where I'm at so I've been on the lookout for a spare pair or two of quality cutters.  Well, today in the Fry's Electronic newspaper flyer I saw an ad. for Hakko brand wire cutters on sale for $2.99, regularly $4.99, a 40% saving.  Me being, shall we say, "thrifty",  this immediately got my attention.  I know Hakko markets some very good soldering related equipment, however until today I had no experience with their line of hand tools. 

So, between some appointments this morning I stopped at our local Fry's store and checked out the cutters.  I was expecting to find something typically cheap and made in China so imagine my surprise at discovering they are made in Italy!  The part # of this particular tool is CHP-170 and is mfg. by the CHP Tools division of Hakko.  The hand grips are palm-fitting and very comfortable with thumb and forefinger rests at the top of each for tool manipulation.  The design is what I would call "Ferrari-esque"; bright red with black accents.  Very pleasing to the eye.  Turns out that The metal parts are  high grade tool steel and Parkerized for low reflectivity and high wear and corrosion resistance.  What impressed me the most is the cutting surfaces; they mate perfectly.  So many inexpensive cutters have lousy mating surfaces, these don't.  With the cutting edges 'closed', shining a high-intensity light on one side results in -no- light 'leaking' by the mated edges.  That's first-class machining! 

IMO, even at the typical price of $5 or so, these cutters are a bargain, especially considering the quality (how does one say, "it is very good!" in Italian?).  So, if you or anyone you know is in the market for some great wire cutters, tell them that the Hakko CHP-170 has the "Snort Rosin" seal of approval, HA!

73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL


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