From time to time we get asked if we can supply electrically driven scissors. Due to the problems of repetitive strain injury, these devices are starting to play an increasing role in the workplace. As well as scissors, we can offer the much more powerful but also much heavier rotary disc cutters (see separate webpage).
We are offering two different electric scissors, both as popularised in USA, where their use is much more common.
One is a dual-mode scissor which used to carry the Dritz® brand, but which now comes as the "Easy Cutter" (click for the page link). If you want to use it in cordless mode, you fit the rechargeable Ni-MH battery, which snaps into the rear of the device. Alternatively you can use it with a continuous power supply from a low-voltage lead which goes to the plug-in transformer. This scissor is the cheaper one of the two but as it can be used in the cordless as well as the plug-in mode, it may be considered technically more advanced than the other one.
The Easy Cutter comes with a UK 3-pin 240V plug, but we can also assist with continental 2-pin or USA-style adapters if necessary.
We have first hand experience of the Dritz/Easy Cutter scissor over a 5-year period, and we think it is really well designed, nicely presented and works really well. I used it on a job cutting out heavyweight plasticised boat-cover material which it cut with ease so long as you didn't try to push against the scissor. It relies on fast 'snips' of small size to cut the material rather than providing a particularly powerful 'bite' at low speed.
Long term experience of the Dritz units which are out in the field has been very satisfactory, and we have been pleased with the lack of problems encountered. Originally we thought the blades might not last long if you used them on glass-fibre or aramid materials, but on closer inspection we found the blades have tungsten carbide inserts in the cutting zone - this means good durability on all materials. However, if you want to cut glassfibre, kevlar and silk all with the same scissor, it would be a good idea to keep different sets of blades for the three materials! You also have to be a bit careful when changing blades, or you can snap the plastic location arms.
The second scissor carries the ProCut brand (click for the page link) and is made in Japan. This is not rechargeable but works on a long cable coming from the mains transformer, the idea being to avoid electrocution in the event of cutting the low voltage lead. In fact, the scissor would never cut this lead because it can't accept such a big 'mouthful'. With the caveat mentioned below, it is normally available from us in the 240V version but can also be obtained as a 110V 50/60 Hz unit. This is a very powerful product with a lot more 'torque' than the Dritz.
We have lower numbers of the Procut scissor out in the field, but have had no problems at all reported over a four year period. As the name suggests, we feel this scissor will appeal more to the professional who uses the scissor for a large part of the day. We tried it on three kinds of material:
- on Denim it romped along on fast or slow speed. We were impressed that even on slow speed you could start a cut with the 3-thickness hem or the 4-thickness seam of the denim in the blades. It didn't stall at all! It couldn't do the 7-thickness layer where they all met, mainly because the blades don't open wide enough.
- on heavyweight plasticised boat-cover material it was perfectly happy on single or multiple thicknesses of material, even starting the cut on several thicknesses was no problem.
- on loose fibre tows there was a problem, because the fibres got into the gap between the blade inserts and their holders.
The blades of this scissor are made of high-speed steel and not tungsten carbide. They will cut 'sharper' than carbide, but won't last as long, especially on high modulus aramid fibres. New blades are pretty cheap and quick to change, so if you need a heavy duty scissor for Kevlar-type materials, just plan to change the blades when they go blunt and off you go.
The Procut scissor was discontinued by the manufacturer in 2012, however, we may still be able to find one for you if you really need one, and can still supply blades and other spares to existing owners.
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