Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Side Cutter Comparison Xuron Professionals vs Tamiya Sharp Pointed

This set of Tamiya side cutters were widely considered to be the best set of side cutters on the market. Let's see how they stack up to another set of well regarded side cutters.

Before you leave a comment telling me to get a pair of Mineshima's God Hand nippers, don't worry I have a pre-order down on a pair; I will do a comparison with those when they arrive.

Onto the comparison:

Clearly there are some differences in the physical characteristics of two side cutters.

The smaller cutting blades can definitely provide an advantage to squeezing into tight areas.

If you're interested in either set of the nippers featured in this post consider purchasing them through the link featured here. Every purchase helps me to hold contests and giveaways!


To test the side cutters I'm going to be using identical parts from the MG 00 Raiser.

The parts I cut out each part using the same angle & technique. My goal in doing this was to limit the variables to the tool's cutting ability. The parts cut using the Tamiya set are on the left side, and the parts cut with the Xuron are on the right.

Video Demonstration:



After testing out both sets of side cutters I've come to a conclusion about which tool I prefer, which tool cuts better and which tool I consider to be the better tool for the money. Please remember that these conclusions are based on my use of the tools but also on my personal opinion and experience as a modeler.

Which tool produces the better cut: 

Tamiya's sharp pointed nippers provide a marginally cleaner cut than the Xuron's offer. Tamiya's side cutters are sharper and don't cause the plastic to stress as much as the Xuron set. I also like that Tamiya's side cutters have very thin fine cutting surfaces; which makes cutting in confined areas much easier than the Xuron set. The spring action in the handle is lighter and easier to compress than the Xuron set which makes repeated cutting even easier.

The better tool for the money:

I paid $32.05 for Tamiya's sharp pointed side cutters and $21.49 for Xuron's professional side cutters. In my opinion Tamiya's side cutters are the better tool but I don't believe that the Tamiya side cutters justify the 49% price premium over Xuron's offering.  

And here's why...

Side cutters are primarily used to remove parts from the sprues; once they're off the sprues most modelers will use a hobby knife to clean up any remaining nub material. I used a knife to clean up both of these pieces, can you tell which side cutter was used on which part?

More advanced modelers will also likely sand, prime and paint the parts after the initial clean up further muddling the results. Side cutters are an important part of the modeling process, but they're only one part of the process.

The tool I prefer:

I prefer the set of Xuron professional side cutters to the set of Tamiya side cutters primarily due to their larger size. I have larger hands and they're just easier to use for longer cutting sessions. The secondary reason I prefer the Xuron side cutters is their lower price point.


If you agree with my conclusion that's great, if not that's fine too.  What's important here is for you to find the tool or tools that work best for you. And to be honest. if you're just getting started in the hobby I wouldn't recommend either of these tools for you; start with a cheaper pair in the 5 to 10 dollar range. If you're more advanced and looking to upgrade either would be a good choice although I would push people with larger hands like mine to go with the Xurons.

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