How Do You Slice It

Nov 1, 2013 | TOOLING

How Do You Slice It
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked “What is the best way to cut braided steel hose?” I’d have more money than Bill Gates. While there are about as many answers to this question as there are skilled automotive techs, there are two frequently utilized techniques. Let’s have a look at both. A lot of technicians use a simple cut-off approach using a hack saw, tin snips, die grinder, a Dremel tool fitted with a cut-off wheel, or even a chisel. In this instance, the hose is usually wrapped tightly with electrical tape to hold things together and the selected tool used to make a cut at the designated area. While this approach can be reasonably successful, care must be taken to insure a clean cut, and the hose should be cleaned/blown out to remove any rubber fragments and/or stainless steel wire bits. While the above method is probably the most common, my preferred method is to use a braided steel hose cutter. This job specific tool is reasonably inexpensive and available at a variety of sources. It is much better suited to the job, safer to use and the result is a nice clean edge ready for assembly. Another advantage is that this method always delivers a nice smooth clean cut and rarely, if ever, leaves any debris. Whichever method you choose, it is always a good idea to wear a good pair of heavy leather gloves and eye protection when cutting and assembling steel braided hose.

Lamar Whitman
Engine Pro Tech Committee

November, 2013