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kc8adu 02-20-2007 06:29 PM

warning!xcelite flush cutters!
i have seen several failed recap jobs come in where customer said board posted before they tried to recap it.
in all cases i found damaged traces near solder joints on replaced caps.
asked what tools were used to cut and in all cases i investigated (8) the cutters were the common xcelite flush cutters.
these have very sharp tips which will slice traces if they contact the board while cutting.
so hold these level to the board to avoid this issue.

bgavin 02-20-2007 07:28 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
Somewhere on this board I saw a recommendation for the correct cutters for recapping.

Would you please add the recommendation to this thread?

willawake 02-21-2007 02:45 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
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well i dont see this as a reason to not buy xcelite brand, just to pay attention while using them. give some people the finest tools and they will screw it up by not being careful.

i use ProsKit which i have recommended before. but any small lead clippers would work.

the most important thing is that the blades are angled like the last photo. so while you hold the handles at a comfortable angle, the blades are parallel with the board. and there is not need to cut everything very low, just equal to the existing leads sticking out of the board.

gonzo0815 02-21-2007 08:00 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
Well, i would say if those people would have been carfull in the way everyone should do their first recap, i am shure that nothing would have had happened.
So i would say keep patint and calm and donīt do it in a rush. And use your clear working brain.

Any way good to pont it out for newbes to remind them at thos basic things.

gdement 02-21-2007 08:14 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
I just use common wire cutters. Is there any reason these fancy cutters are needed?

kc8adu 02-21-2007 08:36 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
i use several types of these cutters.
including xcelite.
they can cut flush with the board.
nothing fancy or expensive.
just warning of a problem i see.

willawake 02-21-2007 08:36 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
no they are not necessary but the difference is very nice.

tazwegion 03-22-2007 03:17 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
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Well this pair of side cutters does the job for me, not remotely as nice looking as those pro'sKIT pieces, but the cut is closer than whatever the mass soldering machines (or skilled monkey's) use :D

I suppose they could use some new rubber grips or heatshrink though ;)

yanz 08-18-2007 08:13 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
3 Attachment(s)
I simply use a nail cutter :D it has been working great since i was in junior high school... It dont let the remaining lead to jump/escape to everywhere.. :D It keep my works clean.. I rarely need a plier/cutter to cut the leads.. (except for the transformer/coils).

Harvey 08-18-2007 01:55 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
I use a pair (well, actually only one) of end cutting wire cutters. Like these only smaller (and yellow).

Elusive_Cure 12-01-2007 08:06 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
.....i'm just using a plain old fingernail fine, snips right where i want to....

starfury1 12-01-2007 11:51 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
Preferably I use cutters like the ones will posted photos of
(the idea be more to cut the component leg not crush it off)

Nippy "type" cutters should result in minimal stress to the joint

Al thought those that you posted harvey look like a good one and
should avoid the problem (smaller as you say)
(like the nail cutters)

The only thing is (in my opinion) whatever you use should "cut" not "crush" the component leg off

I think KC8's Warning is well warranted
especially for first timers

As its, how you "USE" them that causes the damage
and the natural instinct is to cut at about 45 degrees


hold these level to the board to avoid this issue.
( parallel to the pcb, or very close to)

Thats the top of the cutters, as will has pointed out there is an angle

I cut (as I understand is the correct method) at the point of where the component lead enters the top of the solder joint (top of the volcano)

I will also add,
Inspect your PCB and work BEFORE and AFTER each step of the recap process with a mag glass to ensure there is no damage etc.

This should be second nature to do thing with all work

Just my 2 cents worth

Cheers :)

Krankshaft 12-02-2007 02:57 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
I use side cutters like the ones Taz pictured. I would never use something with sharp tips like that.

If I can't cut the leads while applying light pressure downward I bend the leads slightly upward then make the cut so I don't have to jab the cutters down into the board hard and tear traces up.

starfury1 12-03-2007 03:58 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!

I would never use something with sharp tips like that.
They are fine if used correctly but true there is always a risk due to how they are constructed...I like what Harvey posted in a smaller version..that would remove the risk
(although you have to use them vertically I suppose).

I guess so long as it does the job correctly its really personal choice as to what you use.

Cheers :)

resr 02-06-2008 03:05 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
I use Lux-Tools wire cutters. No problems have been accoured.

cap noob duh 01-30-2010 11:39 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
Glad to hear there are no problems.
I learned that normal side cutters have a 'snap' to them when they cut, and this travels down the leg into whatever component you are 'trimming'.
(tremendous G-force/shock to that little component.)

someone suggested to use a tool with a scissor like action; and they never had a problem since.(was years ago, don't remember who or what.)

...although AFTER soldering to the board, the danger of damage may be minimized due to solder joint... ...if you are cutting AFTER.

I do like the look of the oneway angle on those cutters, will give them a gander, because of the closeness to the board.


Sigmo 04-14-2010 02:25 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
Yes. Flush cutting dykes are good for several reasons:

1. They cut flush, leaving a square end to the lead rather than a sharp, pointed end that's more dangerous.

2. They impart far less shock (g-force) to the component (as long as you use them the correct direction!)

But, you must also be aware that most flush or semi-flush-cutting dykes will propel the cut-off lead out at a high rate of speed. Wear eye protection or make sure to hold/capture the flying leads!

I think you could damage a board with anything made of metal if you used it wrong.

The main thing to take away from this is that if you ram the tips of your dykes or whatever you're using to cut the leads off into the traces on the board, you may well gouge through them!

People need to have a bit of common sense.

shovenose 08-28-2010 09:58 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
eerrmmm...for small components standard scissors work ok in a pinch

ratdude747 08-28-2010 10:18 AM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
don't reply to dead threads just to make an off-topic comment. just a tip for next time.

pfrcom 08-28-2010 08:08 PM

Re: warning!xcelite flush cutters!
What makes a thread dead ?

Personally, I usually find interesting, a new response to an old thread

A bit rich, seeing an on-topic posting, disparaged by the main producer of, mostly trivial, posts

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