16 March 2010Tool of the Month: Wiss M1R Compound Action Snips

I meant to do this at the beginning of the month. I blame the tools. They were battling so fiercely to win me over that my fingers almost got caught in the scuffle.

 These guys have been through a lot.

I actually own two pairs of these since I end up doing maintenance on them fairly often. Maintenance on snips you ask? Yes. I break them down, clean everything up, and reapply Loctite to the main bolt, which tends to loosen after the kind of use I put them through.

 The main task I use these for is cutting the sidewalls off of the tires. I dremel the metal bead first, (I ruined my first pair of snips doing that part by hand) then go around each side of the tire to the desired belt width.

 Here I am doing just that.

You may have noticed the one gloved hand- this is not just for style. It keeps me from getting blisters. I've also added medical tape to the mix since that glove is getting kind of beat up. Even with all of that protective gear, I can still only manage about a half dozen tires at a time.

The snips also get used later on in the belt manufacturing. I use them to cut the slot for the buckle and to form a nice rounded end.

 Looking good!

Finally, when I am sizing a belt after it is sold, I round out the remaining end.

So that is why the snips are the tool of the month. I've made at least 500 belts at this point thanks to these.