Top 7 Best Bolt Cutters for Master Locks in 2018 (Ultimate Review and Buyer’s Guide)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Top 7 Best Bolt Cutters for Master LocksIllustration of how to use the best bolt cutters for locks

You are in the right place if you have lost your padlock keys, master lock combination or if you have other items that need chopping such as chain links, nails, screws, and much more.

Have you heard about drop forged hardened steel or compound cutting action?

The right tool for a job will save you time and money and this review will help you purchase the best bolt cutters worth your time.

Read on to discover the best bolt cutters for padlocks, best bolt cutters for hardened steel and other items in 2018.

Coming up after the review is a buyer’s guide for bolt croppers to help you avoid second-guessing.

Top 7 Best Bolt Cutters in 2018

Image NameLengthWeightEditor's RemarkPrice
1. Fiskars PowerGear bolt slicer, best bolt cutters for hardened steelFiskars PowerGear Bolt Cutter30 inch9.8 poundsBest for durability
2. HK Porter 0190MCD Power Link (Compound Cutting Action) Bolt and Rod Chopper, best bolt cutters for master locksHK Porter 0190MCD24 inch4 poundsBest for power transmission
3. Neiko 00563A Heavy Duty Chrome Molybdenum Steel Blade Cutter, best bolt cuttersNeiko 00563A36 inch12.9 poundsBest for power transmission]
Klein Tools 63RBCHD Heavy-Duty Ratcheting Bolt Chopper with Lockplate reinforcement, best high end bolt cutterKlein Tools 63RBCHD36 inch10 poundsBest high end
TEKTON 30-Inch Bolt Cropper, best adjustable bolt cutters TEKTON 341630 inch6.61 poundsBest for adjustability
WORKPRO W017006A bolt and lock cropper with bi-material handle and soft rubber grip, best tool to cut screwsWORKPRO W017007A30 inch5.7 poundsBest for leverage
Olympia Tools 39-124 Bolt Slicer with Power Grip Technology, best folding bolt cutters, The Best Bolt Cutter for Easy StorageOlympia Tools 39-124 Power Grip Bolt Cutter24 inch6.97 poundsBest folding bolt cutters

The Best Bolt Cutter for Durability

Fiskars PowerGear Bolt Cutter (30 Inch)

Fiskars PowerGear bolt slicer, best bolt cutters for hardened steel

Arguably the best bolt cutters on the market, Fiskars PowerGear is a next-gen bolt chopper, designed for the ultimate strength, comfort, and control.

Features

Weight: 9.8 pounds

The Good

  • Superior quality and durability
  • PowerGear technology delivers 30% more cutting thrust
  • Full lifetime guarantee
Not so Good

  • High price
  • Relatively heavy

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you know that theft of valuables at the gym is widespread news and it’s wise to take precaution. Please click here to see a review and buyers’ guide for the best locks for gym lockers in 2018.

Best Bolt Cutters for Power Transmission

1. HK Porter 0190MCD Power Link Bolt Cutter, 24″

HK Porter 0190MCD Power Link (Compound Cutting Action) Bolt and Rod Chopper, best bolt cutters for master locks

HK Porter has had a leading worldwide reputation for the quality, strength, and durability of their industrial cutters. True to this, Powerlink bolt cutter is not your ordinary bolt cutter and is rated Amazon's label for best value bolt cutters.

Features

Weight: 4 pounds

The Good

  • Industry leading efficiency and durability
  • Requires 30% less cutting effort
  • Tubular steel blades provide extra strength for harsh working environments
  • Handles can open up to nearly 180˚ for increased leverage
  • Best bolt cutter for wire shelving
Not so Good

  • Some users have found the power link action to be a bit stiff when the cutter is new

2. Neiko 00563A 36-inch, Best Bolt Cutter for Hardened Steel

Neiko 00563A Heavy Duty Chrome Molybdenum Steel Blade Cutter, best bolt cutters for hardened steel

If you are looking for a heavy duty bolt cutter with one of the highest power transmission and the toughest steel blades, then Neiko is the deal.

Features

Weight: 12.9 pounds

The Good

  • Sharp heat treated blades
  • High power transmission
  • Easy to handle with textured non-slip grips
  • Best bolt cutters for the money
  • Classic finish
Not so Good

  • Relatively heavy
  • Works best on lock shackles and rods up to ½ inch diameter
  • Rubber handles could be softer

Best High-End Bolt Cutter

Klein Tools 63RBCHD Heavy-Duty Ratcheting Bolt Cutter

Klein Tools 63RBCHD Heavy-Duty Ratcheting Bolt Chopper with Lockplate reinforcement, best high end bolt cutter

Klein Tools 63RBCHD Heavy-Duty Ratcheting Bolt Cropper might be too high-end for master locks but if you need an all-in-one solution for all your cutting needs, then this is the most powerful and easiest tool available.

Features

Weight: 10 pounds

The Good

  • High power and fast cutting
  • Spring-loaded bolt retention mechanism
  • Long handles for greater leverage
  • Easy to operate ratcheting mechanism
Not so Good

  • The heavy weight may quickly cause fatigue

Best Bolt Cutter for Adjustability

TEKTON 3416 30-Inch Bolt Cutter

TEKTON 30-Inch Bolt Cropper, best adjustable bolt cutters

TEKTON is a high quality and versatile bolt cutter that lets you adjust and even replace its jaws.

Features

Weight: 6.61 pounds

The Good
Unproportionally heavier blade weight provides better leverage

Adjustable and replaceable jaws increase longevity

Comfortable non-slip grip handles

Not so Good
The blades are too blunt for soft material like chicken wire

The Best Bolt Cutter for Leverage

WORKPRO W017007A Bolt Cutter 30”

WORKPRO W017006A bolt and lock cropper with bi-material handle and soft rubber grip, best tool to cut screws

You might be having a lock for which you’ve lost the key or forgotten the combination, protruding nails, rods and rivets and the drop forged WorkPro bolt slicer is your best work mate for this mess.

Features

Weight: 5.7 pounds

The Good

  • Extra-long handles provide additional leverage and allow hard-to-reach cutting
  • Bi-material soft handles for no-slip grip
  • Compound cutting action
  • Rust-free powder coat
Not so Good

  • Requires more cutting strength than HK Porter bolt cutter

Best Folding Bolt Cutters

Olympia Tools 39-124 Power Grip Bolt Cutter, 24-Inch

Olympia Tools 39-124 Bolt Slicer with Power Grip Technology, best folding bolt cutters, The Best Bolt Cutter for Easy Storage

A good bolt cropper is almost a meter long tool and Olympia Tools have made an easier to carry power grip bolt cutter by making its handles foldable.

Features

Weight: 6.97 pounds

The Good

  • Patented folding handles allow convenient carrying and storage
  • Cr-Mo blades with high cutting strength
  • Ergonomic handles require less cutting effort
  • Best bolt cutters for the money
Not so Good

  • Some users find it a struggle to snap the handles open

A buyer’s guide for the best bolt cutters for locks

Not all bolt cutters will help you cut open your combination padlock and the wrong tool can end breaking up itself. To avoid a waste of your money, it is important to consider some of the factors below when searching for the best bolt cutter for cutting locks.

(i) Steel strength

Most padlocks have hardened steel shackles and the bolt cutter needs to be harder for it to chop the shackle.

Go for cutters with drop forged hardened steel blades for the best results.

(ii) Bolt cutter size

Most domestic keyed and master locks for home, gym, school lockers and so on are medium security with shackles of up to ¼ inch diameter.

A typical 24 inch bolt cutter has a jaw capacity of 5/16 inch and this should suffice for a standard padlock.

To be on the safe side, consider the 24-36 inch range of bolt cutters.

Anything larger will mean unnecessary burden of high budget, weight and storage space.

(iii) Weight

A ridiculously heavy cutting tool will make you a beast of burden and if you can get the same performance at a lower weight, the better.

Good bolt cutters for locks should weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.

(iv) The cutting mechanism

A bolt cutter worth your time should provide mechanical leverage that will make you do more for less effort.

Most of the steel cutters in our review feature a compound cutting action that scales down the required muscle effort by up to 30 percent compared to run of the mill bolt cutters.

(v) Handle design and build

Handles are not just for holding but ergonomically designed hand grips can increase leverage and comfort.

In our review, we found that long handles with a slight curve required the least pressure application.

Handles should also have sturdy non-slip rubber pads so that the tool doesn’t slip as you work or leave you with nasty blisters.

How do bolt cutters work?

The basic principle of a bolt cutter is the lever. This is a simple machine that uses a pivot to transform much less pressure to a great amount of force on the opposite shorter end of the bar to perform some mechanical work. In short, a lever scales down the distance of force while scaling up the amount of force.

The mechanical work includes lifting or moving rigid loads, and in the case of cutters, chopping hardened materials such as steel, something that wouldn’t have been possible using bare arms.

Typical bolt cutters transform 50 pounds or less of human arms’ force into 4,000 pounds of cutting pressure, enough to slice typical metallic materials such as padlock shackles and hasps, chain link fences, rebar, nails, bolts and so on.

Some specialized hydraulic bolt cutters can transform the human arm force to a high of 16k pounds of cutting force, appropriate for industrial and emergency applications.

A point to note is that unlike scissors which slice fabric between their two sharp blades, bolt cutters crush a material by concentrating the massive force on the small area where the blades come into contact with the item.

Share this with your friends
Admin
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply:

%d bloggers like this: