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Using diagonal clippers

A handy tool tip from Ladyada on using diagonal flush clippers to cut headers (m4v).

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  1. Thanks for the quick tips.
    I can’t tell you how many female headers I have destroyed by not using this simple technique.

    BTW, I saw you wandering around Maker Faire RI. I wanted to introduce myself and say “Hi”, but when I later looked for you I couldn’t find you. Maybe next time…

  2. After cutting, you can clean up the female headers with an exacto — I find it makes for a prettier edge. When I’m being really tweaky I use a sanding block, too.

  3. Just a couple tips on cutting female header.

    * Save your diagonal cutters and pull the male pin out of the female header first. Use a pair of needle nose pliers for that. Why cut into metal if you don’t need to? Also easier to figure out where to cut, where the missing male pin is.

    * After nibling down the edge a bit, sand it smooths with a couple swipes on some gritty sandpaper. Always keep some at the left side of your desk for such things.

    Great video, thanks for this!

  4. @dataman: agreed.
    I’m a fan of removing the metal pin before cutting into the header. Doesn’t take much more time and it saves your cutters from getting notched / going blunt prematurely.

    Thankyou Ladyada, it’s a great tutorial about one of the many uses for a versatile tool.

  5. Ladyada, have you ever tried laser cutting the female headers to see if you can save both pins?

    I don’t know if it’d work, but it would be fun to try.

  6. abs plastic doesn’t laser well

    also, not sure why taking out the pin is that beneficial. the cutters are specifically made for cutting the kind of metal that headers are made of. after using them to cut thousands of leads i am not convinced they will notch when cutting through a header pin. 😉

  7. Nice tip – I’ve been doing the same thing for quite some time.

    I would add one thing though from the other comments. Skip the sanding paper altogether. No one wants to buy sandpaper when they can have a permanent tool for the job: a diamond fingernail manicuring board works wonders and cuts through most materials really quickly. I’m a guy and I have at least two of these in the house because they’re just so useful for small sanding/cleaning jobs.

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