Make a clean cut with these bolt cutters

No toolbox is complete without a pair of bolt cutters. Whether you need to cut through bolts, screws, thin wiring, or thick padlocks, you'll want bolt-cutters that can handle the job with relative ease. They come in a variety of sizes, from small, one-handed versions to large two-handed versions. That can cut through virtually anything you can fit them around -- at a noticeably higher weight and cost. We've assembled a collection of the best bolt cutters to help make your work a little easier.

Lots of leverage

WORKPRO Bolt Cutter

Staff Pick

Made of drop-forged chrome molybdenum, these bolt cutters can be used on soft metal wires, chains, rods, or rivets. The jaws are powder-coated, and the handles feature soft rubber grips, which allow more leverage on larger materials. Handle sizes range from 14 inches to 36 inches, with the cutting edge size remaining the same.

From $15 at Amazon

Locking handles

TEKTON Bolt Cutter

Embrace the power of a compound hinge to make easy work of small bolts or wires up to 3/16 inches. Each handle is coated in non-slip rubber, and there's a locking mechanism, so they take up less room in your drawer or bag. The bright red grips also make these cutters easy to spot in your tool collection.

From $12 at Amazon

Spring action

KNIPEX Tools Comfort Grip Cutters

Use these spring-loaded bolt cutters if you're planning to do more than a few minutes of work with them. Their lever-action cutting mechanism will minimize the effort needed during use. They're perfect for rivets, nails, and bolts up to 5.2mm, and the spring can be locked closed for storage.

$44 at Amazon

Big jobs

Neiko Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter

If you need something to break through thick chains or bolts, this is the cutter for the job. The angled and heat-treated blades resist dents and other damage that most bolt cutters are prone to. Their lever-fulcrum design reduces strain by providing better leverage.

From $48 at Amazon

Compact cutter

Capri Tools Klinge Mini Bolt Cutter

These bolt cutters only weigh 13 ounces and have 8 inches in length, but still offer a great deal of leverage without straining your hand. The blades are double heat-treated, and the handgrips are ergonomically designed. Great for reaching projects in tight areas, their smaller size also stores easily in your car or tool bag.

$25 at Amazon

Budget-friendly two-hander

Gunpla Bolt Cutter

Forged from heat-treated chrome vanadium steel, Gunpla's 18-inch cutters can handle bolts, screws, chain link fences, and smaller padlocks. The soft rubber handles make long periods of use easy on your hands and prevent them from slipping around. And the high-frequency hardened cutting blades resist damage against tough metals.

$26 at Amazon

Cut tough stuff

If you need bolt cutters for a specific task, or you're just trying to find a good set to add to your toolbox, you'll want to add one from our collection to your own. Our staff favorite is the WORKPRO Bolt Cutter. You can order them in several sizes, which will help you match them to your task and reduce hand strain. The handles are also made from two materials, which increase your grip and control.

For anyone that wants to add bolt cutters to a toolbag, we think the TEKTON Bolt Cutter is the best option. Although they aren't labeled as a mini, you can order them as small as 8 inches. The lock on the handles is incredibly easy to operate, preventing accidental cuts on the bag or hands.