Seabell MaxPro compound nippers
A brilliantly effective pair of compound nippers
The Max Pro Compound Nippers are new to the market and look set to become invaluable to all of us; they are suitable for cutting a very wide range of materials, they are light and easy to use, and the compound mechanics mean that you get maximum cutting force for your effort. What is more, they should have a long life as the blades are replaceable and each pair comes with an Allen key and two pairs of blades - the curved pair is for cutting glass and the straight pair is for cutting ceramic. The makers are still carrying out tests to assess performance on cutting stone and I will report any findings they release. I have myself used the nippers (with straight blades) to cut thin stone (approx 1cm bits) of several types with great success.
The feature that makes these such efficient cutters is the compound joint. You (may) remember from school that tools like these work because the distance from the fulcrum (the hinge) to where the input force is applied (at the end of the relatively long handles) is greater than the distance from the fulcrum to where the output force is applied (between the jaws of the tool) - when this is the case, the input force is magnified. Most cutters have a single joint (ie the two parts of the tool pivot on a single hinge). In these double-hinged cutters, your effort is transmitted through two pivots, rather than one; the output from one lever becomes the input for the next lever in the system, and so the mechanical advantage you get from a gentle squeeze is amplified by what is effectively a double fulcrum. Probably not a very clear explanation; I can sum it up much more simply by saying that you get more bang for your buck with these nippers.
A turn of the large circular screw secures the nippers in a closed position.
The lobed button up by the jaws has two positions - when the lobe is perpendicular to the jaws they are set to cut materials between 3mm and 7mm thick, and when the lobe is horizontal to the jaws they are open to their fullest extent, and can cut materials between 7mm and 12mm thick. The button position is changed by pushing it inwards from the back side of the nippers; this makes it project slightly on the front side, disengaging from its housing, and it can then be turned (hold the nippers closed while you are doing this). It's easier than I've made it sound and the nippers come with instructions.
There is a helpful YouTube video from Treasury Road in Australia with demonstrations and reviews of most of the Seabell tools. The section on these compound nippers is at about 13 minutes, 25 seconds. Click here to watch.
One of the points made in this video is that the brand new tool can leave the factory with the handles screwed slightly too tightly shut with the result that they don't open and close quite as freely as you might like. The answer to this is to loosen the x2 small screws opposite each other at the first hinge point on the handles.
Unfortunately Mosaic Workshop can't accept returns of cutting tools which turn out not to suit you, so please think carefully before buying. If you are finding it very hard to make a decision please contact me as I may be able to lend you tools to try (you will pay a deposit, and for postage in both directions). In the case of faulty goods we will, of course, accept returns - please see notes in the website footer.