What do YOU call these things?


Image courtesy June’s Tech Files.

I use this tool all the time, but rarely have I ever heard any two people refer to it by the same name. “Wire cutters” is what I called them growing up, but since then I have heard “diagonal cutters,” “diagonal pliers,” “diags,” “side cutters,” “side cutting pliers,” “snips,” “snippers,” “dog-nips,” the easily-misinterpreted “strippers,” and the downright offensive “nips” and “dikes” (which apparently upsets Dutch people for some reason). So I’m starting a collection. Have I missed anything? What do you call them?

Update: Woohoo! Forty comments and still going strong. So far I’ve added: “cutting pliers,” “di-cutters,” “sprue cutters,” “fifty-fours,” “diagonal snips,” “Seitenschneider,” “Alicates de corte,” “bandits,” “toenail clippers,” and the diplomatically ingenious “alternative lifestyle pliers.” Thanks all!


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan