Firefighter Wire/Cable Cutter Mod

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By FF Robert Wiggins, Ladder co 242

Buy full size 9’’ cable cutters or wire cutters, whatever you can get your hands on.

  1. Hack the handles down to a length that just fits your gloved hand.

  2. Remove all factory grips and apply a length of looped webbing over the newly cut to length handles.

  3. Hockey tape the webbing to the handles until secure, or other adhesive tape. Do not use electrical tape (will get stretchy and slip in minor heat).

  4. Create a ball with the same tape in the middle of the loop for easy access identifying and retrieving.


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While every firefighter’s gear layout is different, we’ve found that carrying your cutters in your chest/radio pocket is the best option, especially if you wear a radio strap. It provides access with both hands in an emergency, is easily land-marked with gloved hands, and is always accessible. Side pockets on your pants are not ideal because there may be times when you cannot reach it due to entrapment or possible injury. The chest/radio pocket carry option tends to be the least likely to have the tool fall out and will not be stored with multiple objects that can snag and prevent deployment of the tool.

Not Ideal: Pant Pockets Aren’t Always Accessible

Example trapped without access to pant pocket

Example trapped without access to pant pocket

Example trapped without access to pant pocket

Example trapped without access to pant pocket

Ideal: How to Use The Wire/Cable Cutter Mod

cutter_in_pocket 1.png
ff in pocket 2.png
firefigher cale cutters mod.png

Let us know what you think in the comments! Submit your own firefighting hack.

Robert Wiggins is a Firefighter on Ladder co 242 in Ontario, Canada who believes, “No one cares, work harder.” You can follow FF Wiggins on Instagram @rob_wig.

Disclaimer: You must always consider your own personal safety and department policies and procedures.