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Ever use a pair of dykes to cut the leads from the bottom of a circuit board? If so you’d have noticed the waste can go flying away at a pretty good clip. With a little practice you can aim them in a ballistic trajectory over a cube wall and hit your buddy in the next cube. Of course, this is somewhat juvenile behavior, but when you work in a cube you take any chance you get to counter its dehumanizing effects.

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What does this have to do with the pictured tool? Well, if you’ve ever had to clip all the leads on the bottom of a circuit board, not only can it get pretty tedious clipping the leads one at a time; if you aren’t careful the result isn’t as neat as a production quality board because all the cut leads stick out at different lengths. Made in the USA from carbon steel, Excelta’s multi-lead shear cutter can cut an entire row of leads, whether it be a DIP package or just a row of components in one squeeze, and it cuts them all to the standard length of .040″.

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The downside is that a pair of these multi-lead cutters will run you $180. Okay, it’s a little out of the price range of a hobbyist and it’s too slow for a board fab that cranks out thousands of boards, but it meets that sweet spot for people that hand-solder a lot of custom boards.

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Multi-Lead Shear Cutter [Excelta]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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One Response to Trim Sixteen Leads With One Cut

  1. Chris W says:

    My $6.49 HF end nippers do the same thing for $173.51 less! Two much more useful tools are a DIP IC inserter and a puller. New chips have leads which are spread more than 0.3″ so you have to bend the leads slightly before inserting into a board. The inserter squeezes the leads to 0.3″, and you can clip a ground strap on the end of it to protect static sensitive IC’s. The puller looks like a plier but has fingers which grip the IC securely in between the leads so you can pull that suspect chip out of the socket. You did use sockets, didn’t you?

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