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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.

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″.

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.

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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