General Purpose Tools

Jonard Electrician Scissors


Versatile classic cutter-stripper

When I used to work on cabling (fiber optic and copper) in the field, I found the most frequent tool I reached for was my electrician’s scissors. Over the years, there have been a few “improved” versions, but nothing is nearly as comfortable and useful as the old, all-metal kind. Heavy, thick and blunt, these can take a lot of abuse and can do a lot more than cut. They have two notches for stripping small cables jackets. The edges on the backs of the blades are great for filing and scraping.

Since they are very rounded and short you can carry them in your pocket easily, but they’re still big enough to hold comfortably. A shortcoming of Leatherman-like tools is that getting out the scissors can be a pain. When you need scissors, usually you only have a single free hand. These fix that problem. I always have a pair on me. I now mostly use them for clipping cable ties, cutting lengths of string and rope, opening boxes, trimming plants around the house, and especially opening blister-packs. For my work, they were perfect for lacing down structured cabling and dressing cables into a computer or telco rack. We have to scrape paint from the racks to get to bare metal in order to fasten grounding cables, so the filing part of the scissor is a real help. Almost nothing does as good as a job at quick paint-scraping for small areas — and I’ve tried everything from 5-1 tools to a Dremel.

There are a variety of brands that still manufacture old-fashioned electrician scissors. Klein’s are easy to find in Home Depot, etc. The Jonard’s aren’t as common, but they’re a bit beefier, have a blunted point that won’t snap off, and a real nice edge on the back side.

-- Andrew Metcalf 03/25/21