How do I cut wire mesh (chicken wire)?

NetherCraft 0

What tool do i buy to cut wire mesh with? Any tips?

I will need to cut out large areas and do some more intricate work as I am making extensions for my gerbil cages.

PS do wire cutters have another name? I;m looking for them on the Focus website ( and can’t find any..

20 Answers

  • Wire cutters but make sure you get a decent pair or they won’t last long. A pair with long handles would be best.

    Chicken wire is not an easy thing to cut as you snag yourself a lot on the cut bits so make sure you have some plasters to hand.

    EDIT…Here is the link on Focus for Stanley wire cutters. They are pretty good quality.…

  • 1

  • If you buy wire cutters you will only be able to cut one strand of wire at a time. This will make an uneven edge and will also take ages.

    Tinsnips are cutters designed to cut thin sheet metal. The jaws of tinsnips are about one and a half inches long, so you will be able to cut the mesh in a straight line and much quicker.

    Ordinary tinsnips are a bit like garden shears with very short blades, the best type has a double pivot and a spring at the end. The handles are hinged at the end and the cutting blades, which are separate and have their own hinge, are attached to the handles with a pair of bolts or rivets. This arrangement gives you more leverage and allows you to cut continuously WITH ONE HAND while controlling the mesh with the other hand. The spring opens the jaws of the blades ready for the next cut.

    EDIT: Ben, just above me, has posted a great photo. Follow the first link and the middle pair of tinsnips is the straight-cut. You can buy these in B&Q or Homebase or at a decent, old fashioned, local hardware shop. I have just had a look on ebay and there are a couple of hundred pairs for sale.

    (Thanks Ben, one picture IS worth a thousand words!)

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    How do I cut wire mesh (chicken wire)?

    What tool do i buy to cut wire mesh with? Any tips?

    I will need to cut out large areas and do some more intricate work as I am making extensions for my gerbil cages.

  • Chicken Wire Homebase

  • Homebase Chicken Wire

  • Simple wire cutters will work, but will require a separate cut for each wire. If you need to do any shaping tin snips will work better and they will cut across several wires with one stroke. They come in left-hand, right-hand, and straight-jaw variety. Photo below. Any kind will work, but it you are going to buy only one pair get the straight jawed one.

    Second pic below is a simple diagonal jaw wire cutter. They must call them by another name in the U.K. Most pliers, including needle nose pliers, have a wire cutter at the back of the jaws, but these are not as sharp and not nearly as easy to use as snips or a proper wire cutter.

    Third link is to Amazon, which I assume ships to the UK, but it’s probably much less expensive to buy them at a local hardware store.

    Good luck.

  • You can use tin snips.

    Or wire cutters, but wire cutters are usually designed for soft metals like copper or aluminum wire.

    Here is a picture of tin snips.…


    I call it expanded steel I don’t know where to find it local to wherever u ?R a sheet metal supply house would be a most likely candidate it can be cut & formed using equipment I am unviosioning usng colorful bows to tie ur letters to the expanded steel once you see it all will be clear the material comes in plastic as well so if weight is a factor(?)

  • hi frm n.z

    to cure your problem…..go to a industrial tool supplier or good hardware/toolstore or second hand tool shop and ask for a pair of straight cut GILBOW brand (marketed by irwin-records tools) tin/sheet metal snips they come in various sizes and will cut most chicken and whitebait mesh, sheet metal etc, these are kinda simular to sewing scissors.

    failing that a pair of spring asisted aviation shears made by stanley or wiss brands. they are easier to use but more cumbersome.

    carl g

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