How To Cut Steel Wire? (With Tips I Found Helpful)

how to cut steel wire
how to cut steel wire

While I was fishing through some old projects for materials, I found a horrendous metal structure all tied together with steel wires. Turns out, it was my first project where I was experimenting with how to tie a decent knot with steel wires.

It brought back a lot of memories (not pleasant ones), and I had to now get rid of all the excess steel wire to use the metal rods. Apparently, my work was so horrendous that I wasn’t left with many options but to cut away the steel wires. 

It took me a good hour to get rid of all the steel wires, and I wasn’t too happy about that. If you’re stuck in a similar situation or just want to start from scratch, then let me help you with my “expert” knowledge.

How To Cut Steel Wire?

If you’re feeling creative, there are a few different things that you can test out when it comes to cutting steel wire. Whether it is your handy pliers or a traditional hacksaw, cutting through the steel wire doesn’t take all that much skill.

steel wire

Still, you gotta be careful not to damage the metal bars or yourself, for that matter. So, control your excitement a bit, and follow the proper procedure when it comes to managing steel wires. 

Required Tools

  • Wire cutting pliers
  • Clamps (optional)


Usually, cutting steel wires won’t put you at risk of any injury, but you can never be too sure. So, I’ll recommend you get some foot protection and gloves before starting the project. Accidents happen when you’re too confident, and spending a few minutes in prep can save you from weeks of pain.

prep cutting wire

Method 1 — Unwind Steel Wires

If you’re lucky and didn’t make the mistake of cutting away the excess, then you can simply unwind the knot. Make sure that you have some decent gloves on, as unwinding the steel wire can put a bit of stress on your hands.

Depending upon the thickness of the wire, you can also use some cloth pieces as padding. Once you’re comfortable, just secure the metal rods with clamps on your workbench and start unwinding the wires. It will only take a few seconds at max.

unwind steel wire

As long as you’re sure that the wire is not rusted out, you can use the steel wire in other projects. However, if you’re aiming for more structural integrity, just get some new wire. There is no need to try and salvage old wires, and you gotta switch out instead of taking a risk.

Method 2 — Use Wire Cutters

If the excess has been removed from the steel wires, then you’re only left with the option of cutting the steel wires. You can use a ton of things to cut the steel wires, like cutting pliers, or a hacksaw, or even scissors.

However, if you’re not that experienced or want a cleaner finish, just start out with the wire-cutting pliers. From there, you can just shove your pliers in between the metal rods and then cut away the wires. Hopefully, you will be able to cut away the wires easily (if the diameter is not that thick). 

The downside here is that you can’t really reuse the steel wires when they are cut from the middle. So, all that you can do here is to either throw away these patches. Still, the steel wires are reasonably affordable, and you will not feel that much impact on your budget.

Everything comes down to the condition of the steel wires, so you can try to first save the wires by unwinding them or cutting them away to get rid of the hassle. Hopefully, you will not have to hassle as much when it comes to getting rid of the steel wires.

wire cutter


A common mistake that I’ve found people making is that they will try to force apart the metal rods, thinking that they will be able to pull apart the structure. Even if you’re the hulk, trying to force apart the rods will only damage the structure. 

Similarly, if you are in a hurry and think of grinding away the steel wires, then that will also leave you with marks on the steel structure. Instead, you should try to slow down your approach and be more precise with the cutting procedure.

Otherwise, you will only be left with subpar materials that won’t add anything to your project. Especially when you’re a beginner, just focus on precision and not on time. Once you’re confident in your skills, it is not that hard to cut away the steel wires with efficiency and a better finish. 

Lastly, if you’re confused about any particular step, just leave a comment below. I’ll be more than happy to help you out, and you should also think of reaching out to your local professionals. They will help you a ton when it comes to quick techniques for handling metal frames.

The Takeaway

Cutting steel wires might not require expert knowledge, but it will take a while to get the desired precision. Just practice a bit with some leftover materials, and you’ll get the most out of your materials. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your money when working on new projects.

The first thing that you need to check is the length of the wire beyond the knot. That will determine whether or not you can unwind the wire. From there, the job will be fairly easy. However, if you made the same mistake that I did to cut away the excess, then the only real thing left to do is to cut away the wire.

Overall, cutting steel wires with pliers is the best method. You will not have to rely on any other thing when managing the project, but if, for some reason, there aren’t any pliers in your workshop, then you can even use scissors.

Everything comes out to how creative you can be with the setup, and experimenting with different tools will always be the better idea for your skill and experience.

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