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Different Types of Cuts
Article © MAIL User: Bative

Different Ring Cuts

Bative here again, this time I'm going to rant about the different types of cuts that different types of cutters give. I'll let you make the final decision, but I'll make sure to give my opinion. (also, please excuse my ASCII art)

First of all, I'd like to say that there are about 5 different types of common cuts: pinch, right hand shear, left hand shear, saw cut, and half-pinch.
Pinch cuts: these cuts look pretty much like this: ><
Now, some people claim that these cuts are the worst, but I wouldn't judge. If you have a good set of sharpened cutters, these cuts are very nice. Instead of meeting at their points (like shown in my horrible, horrible ASCII), the 2 points tend to slide on top/bottom of each other, giving, what I think, is a very smooth cut. This type of cut can be found with usually 2 types of cutters: bolt cutters (range from 8" to 48") and end nips.

Right hand, left hand shear: these cuts can be best explained as // (for right hand) and __ (for left hand). Both of these cuts are made by cutters that use a shearing action (like scissors) instead of a breaking action, like pinch or 1/2-pinch cuts. These types of cutters usually are sold as sheet metal shears, tin snips, etc. Many people like these cuts as they tend to be flush on the edges of the ring. Personally, they are nice cuts, yes, but beware of spending too much cash on these types of cutters. You must learn to use them properly. If not, your rings will warp when cutting, leaving you with 'C' rings, instead of 'O' rings.

Saw cut rings: these are the 'cleanest' cuts available. I believe that these cuts look the best. Therefore they have a lot of use for such things as jewelery. These cuts are done by either hand cutting with a jeweler's saw, or with a machine designed to cut rings. These cuts are like shear cuts, but instead of being on an angle, they are straight, like this: ][.
These rings do look nice, but as for strength, I don't think they have much compared to a nice pinch cut.

Half Pinch cuts: I would describe these cuts as being half-pinch, half-shear cut (best of both worlds if you ask me).
They usually look sorta like: >| These types of cuts are usually found in side cutters, and general wire cutters you'll find in walmart/home depot (also referred to as dykes). I think these types of cuts make for great sculpture pieces and smaller big pieces, such as dice bags/purses, and for costume pieces.

Personally, out of all the types, I can't decide which I like the best. It depends on what I'm making.
For armour, I'm all for pinch cuts.
For jewelery, definitely saw cuts.
For anything in between, I'd go with half-pinch.
But in the end, the choice is yours, I'm just here to give you information.
Questions? comments? suggestions? email me:
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