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On Klein’s “What’s New” page they’re featuring a new Free-Fall snip.  Our question:  What exactly is a Free-Fall snip?  Klein’s Electrician Snips, which we’ve previously covered, seem to be almost identical except for the larger loop on the one handle.  Maybe that’s the only difference — but then why is it called a Free-Fall snip?

Klein makes the new snip from high-carbon steel rather than stainless steel like their previous Free-Fall snip, so while this snip is slightly harder, it’s also their less expensive — $18 vs. $24.  Both snips sport a scraper and file on the outside of the blades, and they feature serrated teeth for non-slip cutting of 19 to 23 AWG wire.

The cheaper, harder Free-Fall snip doesn’t yet seem to be available anywhere except the Klein Connection store.  If you know where the name comes from, let us know in comments.

Free-Fall Snip [Klein Connection]


16 Responses to Reader Question: What Is A “Free-Fall” Snip?

  1. emis says:

    Maybe the handle is heavier then the blade so if it falls while you’re on a ladder, or in a bucket, those below you are ‘free’ from getting a massive head wound.

  2. Chris says:

    Looks to me like the big loop of the handle can be anchored to a caribiner or tether so if they slip while you’re up in the air you don’t lose them.

  3. Chuck says:

    ^^ Looks like you could still use them with the carabiner still clipped in them.

  4. Toolhearty says:

    I’m only guessing about the free-fall part here, but in looking at the photo…

    If one is holding the shears with their thumb through the upper, yellow handle, the weight of the other handle may cause the shears to open without having to be spread open (depending on the amount of friction). A feature similar to having a spring opener.

  5. David P. says:

    You put your ring finger through the small loop. The bigger loop nests into your palm. They “free fall” by not locking together like other scissors do (to compensate for dull edges/inferior steel). This helps them drop open, and then you can push them through cable jackets without much effort, and without tying up multiple fingers, which gets pretty tiring!

  6. Dano says:

    I think the “free-fall” = caribiner shaped handle.

  7. David P. says:

    Uh, no, moron. I wasn’t making a blind conjecture. “Free-fall” means what I said it means. The big handle is a pretty normal lineman’s scissor feature. But I guess you’d know all about that, seeing as how you rewired an outlet once.

  8. BG says:

    @David P – Name calling and belittling sarcasm, I am very impressed.

  9. Alright, lets keep it civil here.

    Thanks to everybody that responded. I suspected Free-Fall had something to do with the handle dropping and opening the blade, but I couldn’t find anywhere that explained it at all, let alone as well as David P explained it.

    I need to waste fewer hours trying to find answers and just post more questions. I figure If I don’t know it there have got to be other people wondering as well.

  10. Shopmonger says:

    David P. Says:

    October 22nd, 2008 at 2:18 pm
    Uh, no, moron. I wasn’t making a blind conjecture. “Free-fall” means

    Please! This is about the tools, not about you being picked on in middle school, and never living it dowm.

    However , the “free fall” open is a good explanation since you will have your hands full when doing work like this,,,…….

  11. ChrisW says:

    I think it has something to do with a mohel and parachuting.

  12. DW says:

    Argue about “Free-fall” all you like, I have been using these snips for about 6 months or so. They are smoother right out of the package, broke in so to speak, other snips are a bit stiff when new. Time will tell but I have been through a bunch of snips and have been unhappy with their long term performance Wiss, Harris(Fluke branded now I believe), standard Kleins. These so far are my favorite.

  13. phone-guy says:

    Quoting the back of the package. “Extended handle provides comfort and cutting leverage for wire cutting application.”
    Sorry, It does not say to fasten it to a caribiner while hanging of a tower. I use mine on a tower all the time but have yet put a beaner throught the handle.
    I think David P has the answer. When I use them they fall open easy for the next cut and my hand does not get tired.

  14. Brian DuBridge says:

    Mine don’t fall open, so I guess they’re defective? Brand new.

    They’re sharp, I cut my finger on the blade, but you call these raised ridges a file? There’s no sharpness there at all. I assume the two notches are for stripping cable .

  15. Ben says:

    You should not use your thumb with these snips the yellow handle goes against your palm for leverage and your middle finger goes through the smaller loop. I have been using these for some years now and they are a lot more comfortable that the traditional snips and a lot sharper so don’t slip. Perfect for there intended purpose of splicing cable

  16. Ed says:

    When I use these snips I put my thumb through the circle and my ring finger through the extended handle. when finished snipping or stripping I slide my ring finger out and allow the snip to swing down, free fall, around my thumb allowing for the use of all my fingers while having the tool ready at hand.

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