A reliable compact wire cutter is one of the best tools anyone should have in their toolbox, whether they are professional electricians or DIY enthusiasts. They allow for the safe and easy cutting of wires with the least effort, using very sharp jaws in combination with a high-leverage handle design.

Compact wire cutters can snip through a wide array of different types of wiring, in addition to other thin metal items such as nails and screws. They come in various sizes, from small options for tight electrical components to larger types that offer the most leverage to cut through particularly thick wires. 

What you need in a compact wire cutter

Potential wire cutters need to deal with the size and type of wire you will be working with. The good news is that the majority of wire cutters on the market clearly state their capability regarding wire sizes.

It is also important to take into consideration whether you are going to work with live wiring. If this is the case, getting a wire cutter with an insulated handle is vital to prevent electric shocks. 

But what wire cutters are among the best available today?

Hakko Micro Cutters

Hakko Micro Cutters are one of the best wire cutters for their size and the inexpensive cost. They are unbeatable for the quick and effortless cutting of thin, soft wires. This instrument can cut wires of up to 16 gauge (primarily soft plastic and copper) and is very palm-friendly. 

IGAN 170 Wire Cutters

These compact wire cutters, with sharp blades and spring-loaded handles, are ideal for precision tasks. Their narrow tip and small size make them ideal for reaching and cutting wires within awkward or tight spots, and their rubber-like covering provides a sturdy grip. 

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Cutters

This tool can be a great tool when you need to strip wires in addition to cutting them. This instrument is particularly useful for electricians and is very affordable while also being of good quality, with hardened teeth and curved jaws providing better visibility and usage. These compact wire cutters are manufactured with a heat-treated steel alloy and come with a knurled tip, a controlled release, and an instant locking mechanism. They cannot cut through hard wires, however, and are also very bulky with slightly questionable durability. Nonetheless, they are an excellent multi-functional tool. 

These compact wire cutters also have a classic guarded trigger for maximum locking force. 

Klein Tools 11055

This compact wire cutter features the iconic Klein Kurve design for cutting copper and solid plastic wires. In addition to cutting, this compact wire cutter can also glow in the dark, which can be very helpful for those who have to work at night with poor lighting or in tight spaces where light is unable to reach. These cutters are double-dipped to make them extra comfortable.

It is important to ensure you get the right compact wire cutter for your purposes to achieve the best possible results.