For cutting regular wire you could start with a basic side cutter. But the preferred cutter is the flush cutter because it leaves a smoother and more even end on the wire. Don’t use the wire cutters for Memory Wire, because it is hardened steel and will ruin your wire cutters.
Flush Cutters are essential for the trimming of eye pins, headpins and beading wire to get perfectly flush ends. These are the best cutters for flexible beading wire because they can easily cut the multiple stainless steel fibers of the wire.
Flush cutters are used for cutting regular, soft and half hard metal. The backs of the blades meet smoothly so they create a straight cut, while the fronts of the blades make an angled cut. For smoother work, always place the straight cut on the end wire that will be visible in your piece. If necessary, flip the tool and cut again so both ends are smooth. A flush cutter is extremely useful when making jump rings because they have a smaller gap and require minimum workmanship to file the end wire.
What is the difference between a Flush Cutter and a Semi Flush Cutter?
Many experienced wire workers feel that the flush cutter is less durable than the semi flush cutter. It is recommended you use the flush cutter only when working with copper wire or aluminum wire 20 gauge and lower. Use the semi flush cutter on any other findings like headpin, eye pin, chain…etc.
End Wire Cutters are the most basic wire cutters and have a polished head to protect soft metals. They can be used on harder gauge wire above 18.
Side Wire Cutters have the cutting surface on the inside of the jaws and work best on precious metals and soft craft wires. They are not made for cutting stainless steel cable-type wire.
Memory Wire Cutters are the right cutters to use on memory wire, which is hardened steel and requires a heavy duty cutter. These cutters basically snap the wire rather than cut it. DO NOT USE REGULAR CUTTERS TO CUT MEMORY WIRE. IT WILL RUIN THE BLADES.