Best Side Cutter? What do You Use to Cut Your Models Off the Sprue?

Hey guys, it’s me again. Sorry for the many threads, but I’m going to the hobby store tomorrow, and I want to try to get all the supplies needed in that trip, cutters being the most important. (I’ve been using nail clippers. They get the job done, but I need an upgrade) I don’t know if everybody uses side cutters, so I want to ask, what do you use to cut your models off of the sprue? Please be very specific. Brand name, what type of cutter you are using, and the average price it retails for are definitely appreciated.

Ok, I have a list for what I have to get at the shop. If I missed an important supply please tell me! Thanks!

Extremely Important Supplies

-Side Cutters

-Very Fine Grit Sandpaper/File

Non-Vital Supplies

-Decal Setting Solution (Don’t worry, I already have softener)

-Spray Paint

-Lacquer Spray

-Mixing Dishes


-Spray Paint

-Gundam Markers (They sell Gundams, so I’ll look for this stuff)

I already have a hobby knife, so that’s not needed. Thanks again guys!

That sounds like you got everything covered to me man.

I’m still using the Testors brand 8940 Sprue Cutters I bought last March. It’s really just a rebranded Xuron Flush Cutter (as seen on the handle’s engraving) and it cost me $20. Still as sharp as the day I bought them, nearly a dozen or more kits after.

I know you didn’t ask, but for sandpaper, go for the kind you find in automotive stores as they last longer and you get more per pack. If they have them at the store you’re going to, buy them. Get 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 grit if you want to cover all your bases.

Tamiya sharp pointed side cutter for plastic. I’ve used so many different kinds, testors, xuron, $10 tamiyas, but i bought this set at gundamplanet after playing with them on a runner. One of the best cuts i’ve ever seen. 98% of the time i can cut right to the part and there is no stress on the part. Well worth the 30 bucks they ran me. lol

Sprue cutters, or “model nippers” I’ve seen retail anywhere from $7.00 to $14.99. It is worth the investment. I would also look for a file or two. One flat edged; and another that kind of comes to a point and looks like a spade. I buy sandpaper bulk from the hardware store in 400 and 600 grits. 1000 grit I buy from auto supply stores.

For the mixing dishes, I used to use an old CD until I got my hands on some ceiling tiles from work. Much easier to clean.

I’d invest in a good pair of plastic side cutters. I bought a dirt cheap pair at Harbor Freight tools and another cheap generic pair after those. The cheap ones don’t seem as sharp and precise cutting. I now have a pair of $15 Tamiya Alpha side cutters which I am happy with. I’m actually thinking about buying some of the $20-30 ultra thin cutting ones. It’s worth it to me to reduce nub/stress mark removal.

Also make sure you have lacquer thinner and enamel thinner to clean up tools after painting and to use for thinning your paints. I use old t shirts and socks for clean up rags.

Games Workshop side cutters. I absolutely love them.

I use Tamiya side cutters. They’re inexpensive and cut pretty well.

I use one of these:

I think it’s the one with the .005 bevel, it’s an older version with a different part number but looks exactly the same. They also make one with no bevel at all, which sounds pretty interesting but probably not necessary for model kits. I use this for other more serious things, but they’re very good for models.

I also realize that this thread is very old; but instead of sand paper, I use a glass nail polishing file. I saw someone using one on some youtube video and have been using them ever since. If you have the manual dexterity, you can completely remove the runner knubs without altering the rest of the part. I then use melamine foam to get the matte texture back, since the file will give it a super glossy finish.