I’m a firm believer that no tool kit is complete without a decent micro cutter. The issue (at least in my experience) being that tracking down a genuinely high-quality mini cutter isn’t easy. The smaller the tool, the more likely the manufacturer is to compromise on quality. Again, in my experience, at least. This is why the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter comes as such a breath of fresh air.
Along with being hugely versatile and built to last, it’s also up for grabs at a bargain price. With a maximum cutting capacity of 16 gauge and a well-designed grip, it’s the perfect little tool for dealing with dozens of everyday tasks. It’s not cut out (pun intended) for thicker wires and tougher materials, but nor is it designed to be. Instead, the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter has been designed to minimize effort and eliminate fatigue when tackling simple everyday snips. And in these areas, it excels.
All for a price that’s about as low as it gets for a high-end piece of engineering. In this Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter review, I’ll be taking a brief look at the ins and outs of this impressive little gadget. I’d say pros and cons, but to be honest, you’d have to dig pretty deep to find anything to complain about. At least, anything that really matters.
Features of Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter
Compact, convenient and pretty cool on the whole, this is the kind of cutter you’ll find yourself reaching for more often than you realize. According to its manufacturer – a renowned toolmaker with decades of experience – the official size and weight specs of the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter is as follows:
- Item Weight – 5.9 x 3.6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
You’d be forgiven for thinking that with such lightweight properties, this thing wouldn’t be particularly robust or durable. In reality, it’s as good as it gets for dealing with everyday snips when working with various materials. Here are the main benefits of CHP-170 Micro Cutter brings to the table:
Flush-Cut Micro Soft-Wire Cutter
The Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter boasts an 8mm jaw length and delivers perfectly flush cuts, easily slicing through copper and soft wire up to 1.3mm in diameter is 16 gauge.
2.5mm Heat-Treated Carbon Steel Construction
The blades have been meticulously engineered and hardened to lengthen the life of the tool while ensuring the edge of the blade remains sharp at all times.
Precision-Ground Surfaces Provide Smooth Movement
A smooth and effortless cutting action combines with a spring-loaded mechanism to return the cutters to an open position after each cut. All of which helps reduce fatigue when dealing with tougher tasks.
Dolphin-Style Non-slip Hand Grips
Ergonomic handles with non-slip coatings make for a safe and comfortable grip, while the surfaces of the tool have been designed to resist corrosion and abrasion.
My Experience with the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter
As I’ve said before, there are some tools you can’t really say a great deal about other than the basics. In the case of the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter, you’re looking at another simple yet effective tool that just does what it was designed to do. And does it fantastically. I can see why this thing has such a strong following among arts and crafts types, along with model builders. For most everyday snipping purposes, this thing is a gem. I personally use mine to take care of basic wiring jobs and general electrical maintenance around the home.
Rewiring jobs are right up this thing’s street, as are some of the less demanding snips out in the yard. I’ve seen a couple of complaints that the Hakko CHP-170 Micro Cutter isn’t strong enough to deal with chicken wire or heavy-gauge cables. All such people seem to be missing the point – it’s a micro snipper for taking care of smaller everyday cuts. I honestly wouldn’t want to be without mine, and I’ve been through enough crappy cutters over the years to know that these things are built to last.
- Surprisingly capable cutters
- Quality materials and construction
- Very accurate and clean cuts
- Blades maintain their sharpness
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Comfort grip for reduced fatigue
- Superb overall value for money
- None – they do exactly what they were designed to do
Normally, I’d expect to be somewhat let down by a pair of snips for this kind of price. After all, there is such a thing as being too cheap. Nevertheless, these things illustrate the point that you sometimes (though rarely) get more than you actually pay for. Just as long as you bear in mind their limitations (as specified by the manufacturer), the CHP-170 Micro Cutter is a compact and convenient piece of kit that will never let you down. Add a pair of these to your toolbox, and I personally guarantee you won’t want to be without them.