Unlike this question, mine is about cutting the housing.

All I've used with random success has been a pair of pliers with a good sharp inner cutting tool. Is there a better way, or a proper tool for the job? I am trying to avoid pulling the inner wire cable and fraying them. Thanks

  • 2
    If you're installing a new inner cable then its generally got either a glue or a blob or solder at the cut. This makes fitting new inners easy. If you're reusing an existing inner, then twisting the end firmly helps a bit, but soldering it is excellent. Or just fit new inner cables every time - they're cheap.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 0:51

3 Answers 3


There is a proper tool that is probably the best solution. They cut so that it does not smash the ends or the metal inside of the housing. Many also have an awl in order to help reform the end if any smashing or deformation does occur.

Most look something like this:

enter image description here

It is also possible with a brand new razor blade but the proper plier like tool makes it a lot more quick and easy.

For hydraulic hoses they differ slightly because of the difference in hose material, there are two type of hydraulic hose cutters, one that looks a bit like a pill cutter such as this:

enter image description here

Or the handheld variety that function quite similar that looks like this:

enter image description here

  • I have the park tool company cutting tool! It works great on cutting cable but crimps the end of braided cable housing! I ended up using a dremel tool to cut it. Commented Mar 5 at 3:51

While the Park Tool is the ideal tool, it is sort of a one trick pony. Meaning using it for anything other than cable housing and inners will likely damage it. I use a Dremel (brand name for an electric die grinder). With an abrasive cut-off wheel it makes quick, clean cuts. The multiple accessories make it more versatile for about the same cost.

  • I've never used a Dremel before, but isn't that simply a mini-grinder? So where is the pressure to secure the cable so it doesn't move? I guess I need a video
    – Fandango68
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 1:48
  • @Fandango68 - Pressure to secure what cable? You should remove the inner cable while cutting the housing. Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 3:00
  • 2
    With a Dremel use a mini cut-off wheel, They are about 1mm thick an 20-30mm in diameter. I simply hold the cable in one hand and the Dremel in the other. Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 3:15
  • 3
    It's not necessary to remove the inner cable when grinding. When using a cable cutter like the Park Tool CN-10, you should have an inner cable in place - even with sharp cutters, you can get some slight crushing otherwise. If you aren't using a piece of scrap cable for the purpose, be careful not to cut too much off, of course. It can be easier to cut it a little long without worrying about crushing, then cut (or grind) carefully to exact length. You can put a short length of cable in from the cut end for support before the final cut.
    – armb
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 16:03
  • @DanielRHicks - Argenti answered it.
    – Fandango68
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 23:54

Cable housing are supposed to be cut with a proper cable and housing cutter tool, such as the Park Tool Company CN-10.

These tools have a shearing action and curved blades that help prevent the housing being crushed. Pliers have blades that meet rather than shearing past each other thus must crush the housing before they cut it.

I'm pretty sure that any similarly shaped cutter would work though. I've cut cable housing with a Dremel and an abrasive cut-off wheel. This tends to melt the inner lining though, requiring some clean up with a small drill bit.

  • 1
    I've successfully used a sharp screw like a 50mm/2" drywall screw to reopen the inner.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 0:49
  • 3
    Actually, any sort of cutter will require some cleanup of the housing. When I cut a housing with the Park CN-10 I always follow up by taking an awl and working it around inside the cut end. Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 2:58

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