Hobby Knippers are some of the lesser thought of hobby tools. But the right snips can save you some time and frustration when cleaning up your models ready for paint. To that end, we are taking a look at the best Spue Cutters for miniatures and models.
Sprue cutters in their simplest form are just a pair of snips. if you are after the lowest budget options you can pick these up at most local discount stores for very little money. Alternately just search for hobby Cutters on Amazon or eBay, and if you’re happy with them. great. I’ve used the same pair for over 20 years and they still do the job.
Choosing the Best Knippers for Miniatures & Models – Summary
For those just interested in the list not the reasoning. this grid below will outline The Best Sprue Cutters / Nippers for Miniatures & Models.
|1||God Hand SPN-120|
|2||Tamiya – Sharp Pointed Side Cutter for Plastic (74123)|
|3||Mr Hobby – MT 103|
|4||C.K Tools – Ecotronic ESD Side Cutters|
|5||Xuron – 2175ET|
|6||Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter|
|7||Citadel Fine Detail Cutters|
Choosing the Best Knippers for Miniatures & Models
If you want to get the most out of your tools you need to take good care of them and pick the right tool for the job. Many of the tools on this list are quite precise and sharpened to allow a super smooth cut. The first recommendation I’d make is not to use your plastic cutters on metal parts or wire if you are using any of that in your hobbying. this is the fastest ways to blunt misshape your tool.
I’d go further still. this guide focuses on cutters which should be used to cut sports from your sprue. if you are cutting the frame of the sprue itself, I’d suggest some larger and probably cheaper cutters.
There are two main types of cutter on this list Flat Edge and Dual Cut. On flat-edge cutters, one side of the cutters is flat. instead of cutting the plastic this edge acts as a stop allowing the other side to cut from only 1 direction. dia-cut is where both sides have a cutting edge and cut the plastic to meet in the middle. In my experience, wither of these really offer a better cut as both leave a bit of residue on the model. However, the flat-edge cutters do seem to last longer as you aren’t having 2 blades cut into each other.
When selecting Knippers, the best ones have a thin low-profile cutting nose. which will allow you to get right into the part when you cut it off. However, for those which go to a point, the point itself is so fine that after some use can break off and snap.
We’ve ordered the list below based on what gives the best cut when compared with its precision and price.
being at the back of this list does not make these bad cutters. The Citadel Cutters are absolutely fine. However, when compared to the other models on this list they are expensive and not as comfortable as any of the other options.
They are however the most stylish and if having an attractive toolkit is important then these look great on your worktop next to all the other Citadel tools.
The cut is nice and smooth which makes them better than cheap off teh shelf options. these use a flat edge on one side and the other side is used to cut.
Army painter plastic frame cutter sits just above the citadel cutter. They are pretty much equivalent to a generic hobby cutter but becasue you can easily search them, you know what you are getting.
They are a decent cutting tool which is more comfortable to use than the citadel cutter.
When I first started searching for the best cutters for myself, this brand was right up there (along with the top two options on this list). Based on my budget, I decided to go with these.
They make a good cut and are nice and sharp. Another set which has one flat edge and one cutting edge. However had issues with them, the flat edge was offset meaning my cutting edge was never able to cut flush. This is only useful when the connection to a sprue is against a flat edge of a model component, but most of my models have this connection on a rounded edge. whilst the cut itself was smooth it often left a nub of sprue on the model surface which I needed to clean off with a hobby knife.
Oh, and the handle is absolutely huge.
More suited to vehicles than miniatures.
This set made by C.K tools is made for electronics wire cutting. C.K is a 100-year-old brand which makes incredible products. Precision engineering at it’s finest.
These are dual cutters with blades on each side, they provide an incredibly smooth cut and whilst not made for miniatures the precision head is perfect for getting into tight places.
These Knippers (assuming you like them) can last you your entire hobby career.
From this point out we are going fully Japanese with our cutting brands. Mr Hobby is the weaker of the 3 but still trumps any of the others.
Another single-edged Knipper with a precise and flush cutting surface (or send them back) these offer an incredible and smooth cut. The drawback for these is the pice. Not the biggest brand outside of Japan, these are subject to import fees meaning direct retail costs go up, or to import from japan you will need to pay a duty on them.
Tamiya does a range of cutters, to get your model off a sprue the 74123 set is the go-to. These are directly comparable to the cut on the Mr Hobby.
Where this win is on price. Tamiya is a much more globally recognized brand with products shipping to everywhere. these are more heavily mass-produced which slightly brings down the cost. If you are looking for the best model cutters for miniatures, there will be ‘the’ choice for many.
God-hand a cut above the rest (no I won’t apologise for that). if you just wanted to know which are the best cutters, these are them.
These things are so sharp you can’t even feel resistance when removing parts from a sprue. Unlike all the other cutters on this list which gives that familiar ‘snikt’ sound as you pierce the final dregs of plastic. These make nothing more than an almost inaudible tap as the blade comes in contact with the flat edge.
These come with advice on how to keep them sharp, essentially don’t cut hard plastic (the clear stuff) and don’t cut too quick. the idea with these is to cut with a steady fluid motion. Another drawback on these is the price. they are the most expensive cutters on the market, even in their native Japan. Consider also that they are not as mass-produced as Mr Hobby. It gives an idea as to why the import costs make these so pricey. God Hand are extending their reach globally, with no indication as to when or how fast this expansion is rolling out. For now, at least, these are gonna cost you. But I think it’s worth it.
From the second I got my hands on these I actually (for the first time ever) enjoyed cutting models from the sprue. They reduce (not remove) the amount of post clean up you need to do before painting.
The Best Spure Cutters for Miniatures & Models – Final Thoughts
AS we said at the top, your cutters are an often less considered choice but if you consider the time saved in a model’s clean up can be worth the expense to you. The citadel cutters are pricey but you can honestly get much better options at an equivalent price or equal options at a much lower price.
For the budget choice, assuming you want something better than generic side cutters, the C.K Tools cutter is a great piece of equipment that will last years.
If you really want to minimise the effort needed cut sprue from your models after snipping then the Tamiya is the defacto available cutter. if you have the money and want the best of the best, there is no equivalent to the god hand.
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