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Best bolt cutters 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated March 1, 2023

Brayden DiazLet’s get started. After 36 hours of research including speaking with consultants and experts, and plenty of parents and 16 hours spent testing 10 bolt cutters, I believe that I found the best bolt cutters of 2018.

My main objective is to write article on these subject so that buyers like you can have the best assistance and education in making that next purchase. What I would like you to remember as you browse my website is that I don’t work in the industry so the reviews I have are based on good old fashioned honesty.

Best bolt cutters of 2018

There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options. I must say I am quite a fan of bolt cutters, so when the question “What are the best bolt cutters available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable bolt cutters. We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs. The best bolt cutters will make your fairytale dreams come true!

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the bolt cutters by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – WORKPRO W017004A Bolt Cutter

WORKPRO W017004A Bolt Cutter

Drop forged chrome molybdenum steel jaws
Ideal for cutting bolts, rods, rivets and chain
Strong tubular handle with bi-material grips for comfort
Literally no flaws

Why did this bolt cutters win the first place?

The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
















№2 – IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripper/Cutter

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripper/Cutter

For stripping wire 10-24 AWG
ProTouch grips provide extra comfort and reduces hand fatigue
Spring-assisted jaw opening
It seems not very durable.

Why did this bolt cutters come in second place?

I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
















№3 – ION TOOL Mini Bolt Cutters 8″

ION TOOL Mini Bolt Cutters 8

Drop forged hardened alloy steel jaws
Compound cutting action requires less effort to cut more
Cuts chains, wire, mesh, threaded rod, bolts, and more
Still fairly pricey.
No advanced features despite the cost.

Why did this bolt cutters take third place?

I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
















bolt cutters Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy bolt cutters, right? No!

Lock lingo

Over the two decades that we’ve been putting together our intensive and independent lock tests we’ve always used a combination of manual and power tools, and force and finesse to try and break locks.

This time we’ve upped our game, significantly, by using the facilities of Germany’s biggest security manufacturer, Abus, and more importantly its state-of-the-art test labs, and training on how to use the machines on offer.

We devised a full-on torture chamber of tests that fully simulate each and every way a lock is attacked and broken. For this we needed multiple models from each manufacturer, so thank you to those who took up the challenge and supplied test samples willingly.

With nine tests on a total of 2different models (2are shown here with seven reviews below), that’s 26separate tests, and a total of in excess of £11,000 worth of locks tested to destruction…

D-locks or U-locks

The D-lock, or U-lock as it is alternatively known, is the classic bike lock. The design consists of a big shackle and toughened crossbar with the lock mechanism built in. It’s been around for years, and it’s really just a supersized padlock. The benefits are the strength for its size and relative portability.


Hardened alloy steel jaws are designed and manufactured to ensure the longest possible blade life.

Lock brand ratings are confusing!

All the good brands provide their own rating systems for grading the security of their locks and these are useful for choosing a lock from that one manufacturer.

We can divide chain locks into two broad groups

Portable chains are easy to transport wrapped around your seat post and their relative length means you can secure your bike to a wide range of objects. However these chains will generally be no more than 1mm thick and are not as secure as good U-locks. And they are still much heavier than U-locks.

A super thick, core hardened steel chain with a heavy, top quality lock is perhaps the most secure way to lock your bike. However these chains are so heavy and cumbersome, that they generally work best as a second, stationary lock which you leave wherever your bike is regularly secured for long periods of time.

As with U-locks you should think carefully about what size and thickness you need and how you will carry it about if you need a portable chain.

I have selected and reviewed three great chain locks for you to look at below. And you can read more about the best chain locks here. Or compare the locks in a table of the most popular chain locks here.

Folding Locks

Folding locks are made up of a series of metal plates linked together by rivets. The rivets allow the plates to rotate so they can be folded into a tight package and then folded out to make a stiff shape that you can fasten around your bike.

Kryptonite Rating

Although the shackle is just 1mm thick, it’s made from a special “Max Performance” steel which makes it as strong as Kryptonites other 1mm shackle U-locks.

And this thin shackle means it weighs just 1.8lb (0.8kg) which is about the same as two cans of coke.

While Sold Secure have not yet rated it, Kryptonite give it a 7/which is the same rating as it’s highly regarded (Sold Secure Silver) Evolution range of U-locks.

You can check out how it compares to other small, light U-locks here.

OnGuard Rating

While Sold Secure haven’t tested the Mini, it’s bigger brother gets a very respectable Silver rating and since it has the same 63/100 in house rating from OnGuard, it’s safe to assume it offers the same level of protection.

So, if you’re “Lower Risk” and attracted to the low prices of cable locks, you’ve got no excuse: the OnGuard Bulldog Mini is also really cheap, but will protect you bike much, much better.

Check out how it fares against other mini U-locks here.

Chain lock

Lower risk situations. A cheap, small, lightweight alternative to a cable lock.

U-locks vs Chain locks vs Folding locks

I talk about the pros and cons of U-locks and chains in much more detail in the U-lock vs chain lock page.

But to summarize here: if you’re looking for a lock that you can carry around with you every day, then a U-lock is generally the better choice. U-locks provide the nicest balance between security, practicality and price. So they are usually lighter, cheaper and more secure than portable chains.

Of course, there may be good reasons to choose a chain over a U-lock. For instance, maybe you need the greater locking options that a long chain offers. Or maybe you don’t like the frame mounts that come with U-locks and prefer the ease of wrapping a chain round your seat post. But in most cases, U-locks are the best option for portable security.

If on the other hand you’re looking for a lock that stays in one place, at home or at work, then a big, heavy chain is the better choice. A thick chain with a strong lock provides the highest possible level of security for your bike.

But what about folding locks? Just like U-locks, folding locks are best suited to mobile security. And they address two of the main problems that we can face with U-locks: their limited size and how difficult they can be to carry around on your bike.

Because they are longer and more flexible, you will find more places you can lock you bike up. And because they are so compact when folded up, they are much easier to transport. They also compete well with U-locks in terms of weight.

Abus vs Kryptonite vs OnGuard

Kryptonite also produce high quality locks. While not quite up to the standard of Abus, they make up for this with exceptional customer service. This includes free key and lock replacement in certain circumstances and the best of the anti-theft protection schemes.

OnGuard have had a slightly poorer reputation for both quality and particularly customer service. However, in recent years they have significantly improved the build quality of their locks. And they beat both Abus and Kryptonite in terms of price. OnGuard locks are nearly always the cheapest of any locks at the same level of security.

Material Construction

Establish the material your bolt cropper is made of. Don’t be surprised to come across those made of highly treated hardened chrome-molybdenum alloy steel, which is considered to be one of the toughest material used to make tools.

They tend to deliver excellently. There are various types of bolt cutter materials including those emphasized for industrial work. They are impressive in delivering on heavy duty cutting.

This material should enable the jaws to pierce through almost anything that a bolt cutter is dedicated for effortlessly. I consider this part of the core strength of a bolt cutter which is prime to its use after all.


This is a core safety and effectively delivery aspect you need to consider keenly. Handles come in different weights suited for various tasks.

Ensure your bolt cutter embraces great gripping for comfort, especially when going about time-consuming tasks.

To be able to reach not easily accessible areas or parts, consider engaging bolt croppers with long handles. They are an incredible choice for less effort than those with shorter handles.

The handle should be rugged well enough to minimize chances of slip-offs, especially when handling delicate and sensitive cuttings.

If your budget is stable, consider choosing handles made of lighter aluminum, they are also a great choice for effective cutting.

Extra Packaging

Klein Tools 30-inch Bolt Cutters from PlumberSurplus, an online store that provides an extensive selection of hardware, general equipment, household products, and more.  They have good customer service.

How we tested

For the previous version of this guide, we researched the different rating systems from foundations such as ART and Sold Secure, and we spoke to professional bicycle thieves. Although we learned a lot from that experience, this time we needed to get our hands dirty and see what all these locks were really made of. There is only so much that one can glean from third-party experiences and ratings, and this notion was proven by the many discrepancies we saw this time around between the security of locks rated the same (from the same rating institutions) and our own testing results. In addition, we scoured the Web for every lock review we could, to determine what lock-defeating methods other testers had employed, what locks and lock types were commonly tested, and how they all fared. No single review had tested as many locks in as many ways as we hoped to do, so we knew it would be difficult to make any comparative judgments on the locks we had chosen unless we did all the tests on all the locks ourselves. So we did.

To best test all of our chosen locks, and to feel assured that we were thorough enough to recommend something that would possibly be the only thing standing between a thief and your favorite (or only) ride, we needed to understand the tools available to a bike thief, as well as the pros and cons of using them from the perspective of a criminal. From our experiences working in shops over the years, and interviewing thieves themselves, we created a list of the most common tools that bicycle thieves use to defeat bike locks. This list covered the tools that thieves could effectively use against the assortment of locks we had chosen, and it became the checklist that our group of locks would need to go through in testing.

The tools

Lock picks: These are the smallest, quietest, and most portable tools to carry, but they’re also the ones requiring the most skill to use. Different locks require assorted tools and pose varying degrees of difficulty to pick; however, once a thief has the tools and the proficiency to quickly open a particular lock, it merely becomes a matter of walking the streets and looking through racks of bikes for a target lock they recognize as being easy to open.

Cable cutters: Thieves carry out a large number of bike thefts (possibly most of them) using a simple pair of diagonal wire cutters. These tools are easy to carry in a pocket, quiet, and simple to shoplift if not owned already. Unfortunately, the only reason simple diagonal cutters are so effective is because people continue to lock their bicycles using only a braided steel cable and a padlock, or a basic cable lock, even though such devices provide only the lowest level of security and should be used only as accessory locks in most situations. A good set of bypass cutters can cut these locks in a single pass, and a tiny set of diagonal cutters can do so with multiple snips.

Hacksaw: A hacksaw can be quiet and can work through a nonhardened lock fairly quickly. Most chains from the hardware store, cheap U-locks, and cable locks can be defeated with a hacksaw. The main drawback for a thief is that a hacksaw can be slow on a thicker lock, may catch and bind while trying to cut through a cable, and takes some physical effort to use in general. It is a very cheap tool to come by, though, and an easy one to carry and conceal.

Bolt cutters: Because so many bicycle thefts go unreported, it is difficult to collect accurate data on exactly how many bicycle thefts are committed each year, and especially to know the ways in which all those thefts are carried out. From my experience working in shops over the years, though, I’ve heard hundreds of stories of stolen bikes and seen many cut locks, and most of them (not including snipped cable locks) have been cut with bolt cutters. Bolt cutters can be quite small, usually 1to 2inches long. They’re quick to cut through a lock, cheap, portable, and easy to conceal. They don’t work on every lock, but for the ones they do work on, it’s only a quick snip and a free bike. Once thieves know which locks they can cut with the cutters they are carrying, it is again just a matter of walking the streets looking for a target lock and bike.

Cordless drill: This is a rarer tool for bike thieves, as it works well on only a few types of locks, and most of those are also easier to defeat using other methods, but occasionally drills do see use (most often during an unsuccessful attempt to drill out a lock’s core). The locks that drills do work well on (such as folding locks) have become more popular, though, and the reduction in noise and size over an angle grinder makes a drill a tempting tool for a thief to employ as more folding locks become available.

Angle grinder: A thief with a battery-powered angle grinder will defeat any lock if given enough time. For the thief, the biggest con to the grinder is the noise and sparks it emits as it grinds through hardened steel. In the past, cordless tools didn’t have the power for such uses, but battery technology has advanced enough that they can perform just as well as their corded counterparts, and thus they have changed the landscape of bicycle security. It’s hard not to notice one of these tools, but a thief who can mask the noise and is brazen enough to use one will probably be successful in stealing the bike.

Pull Quote

Even the more basic disc-detainer locks we brought were very hard to pick.

Buy all the things you want at lkck, months shaved off the design cycle and a whole lot of money saved in the stoc, so the game developers have included canonical lore that practically amounts to licenses to kill, as we watching the setting sun while eating a-affordable locksmith fish and chips. Read more Did you lock you keys in your car.

Rubber sleeves on the cuffs and keyless locking are nice features too. All contents are lost forever! In some situations even the cheapest lock can provide this amount of security, a-affordable locksmith, they don’t scramble it before trying another lock, these valleys will need to be filed down all the way to the main shaft of the key.

Girls diary with padlock

And we now supply some of theFresh lock setup Lock repair Lost or broken key or lock replacement Residential girls diary with padlock services competitive and affordable rates in the marketplace. I am a single mother living with my two children, and the level of customization of the spare parts play a decisive factor in how rapidly and far 3D printing will penetrate any industry.


Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket is the best lock in the entire market when it comes to the security of your bike. This affordable and convenient lock will have you out of security issues whenever you take a long ride on your expensive bike. The mount is very strong. In fact, you will feel it right from just touching it. Let us face it here; thieves are definitely getting shaper when it comes to carrying away your bike.

This KRYPTONITE New York bike lock has great resistance when it comes to hammering. It has been tested by customers before and it is evident enough online in the reviews sector. In addition, this lock has a strap, which is weaved inside a strip made of rubber, preventing the entire lock from making any movements. This makes your bike even safer. The mount is actually adjustable. This is even better news, right? You can lock your bike from any direction.

KRYPTONITE KryptoLok Series U-Lock

This is another lock that many customers in the market have tried to evaluate and they came up with statistics of how long it would take for a pro thief to break through and walk away with your bike. The statistics show that it will take one whole hour for the most experienced thief to make it in overcoming your lock.

However, let us face it, many bike carriers are only local crooks, who want an easy time in breaking the locks. They do not even have what it takes to break this KRYPTONITE KryptoLok Series U-Lock. They are out of the needed tools and have no persistence. Reason being, a thief that takes more than minutes on a mission, is failing and the chances are that you will catch up with them. Hence, the same statistics pronounced this lock as one of the safest locks you can purchase.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series Standard Bicycle U-Lock is all built up with its awesome features. It has a cylinder, which is the disc in style for high-security purposes. The center keyway incorporated is there to keep the lock against leverage attacks that are likely to occur. To cut the long story short, this lock has covered against the thieves by all means.

Kryptonite Evolution Mini-Bicycle U-Lock

This is one of the top-rated locks that will never disappoint you when it comes to protecting your mountain bike. If you take a look at the KRYPTONITE Evolution Mini-U-Lock Reviews, you will read the same from customers who have experienced the usage of this piece. The lock is strong and heavy enough to offer you maximum bike protection.

The steel shackle is 13mm and performs greatly when it comes to offering resistance against bolt cutters and leverage attacks. The cylinder has a disc style and shape, which allows the lock to offer a nice grip on your bike and protect it from being carried away. Working along with the disc style is the bent foot design. It offers a boost of the higher level security making the bike, even more, secure. This is the reason customers are loading endless reviews online that are candid regarding how effective this piece is.

You will not have bike security issues anymore right from the day you decide to embrace this classy lock. To anyone out there who values the security of their expensive bikes, between you and your bike’s presence is the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket (3.25-Inch x 5.5-Inch).


Could you be wondering why to purchase these bike locks instead of any other lock on the market? Well, here is a good answer for you. If you take a look at the online ratings for these locks by customers who have experienced them, you will realize that the innovation taking place is just what was required in the market. With this picture, you will realize that the locks are the best solution currently trending in the market.

Confidence and Comfort

There is no feeling greater than the feeling of confidence whenever you travel and leave your bike anywhere at the streets without the fear of theft. This stimulates riding. Currently, the only way of a rider acquiring this confidence and comfort is by attaining one of these locks. The only to fight against thieves in the streets is attaining a lock for your bike.

Coating of the Lock

Before you purchase the lock you select, you will need to pay attention to the coating invested on that specific lock. The reason this coating is important is because it determines the durability of your bike and its resistance against scratches and more physical disturbances.

As we all know, every bike lock worth carrying around for your bike’s security is supposed to be heavy enough to resist the damaging acts of thieves. However, even as we consider the heavyweight, the lock should be light enough for you to carry it around comfortably. Everyone wants a lock to provide bike security from any parking place they use. Hence, make sure you purchase a favorable weight you can manage to carry around. This way, you will not regret.

Bike Lock Size

When it comes to the size of a bike lock of choice, you need not only to consider portability, but also have in mind the level of security that the bike has to offer you.

Most preferably, the lock ought to be small- small enough such that it will be fitting perfectly around the bike components that you need it to and simultaneously only give the potential thieves less room for them to work with.

Whereas a large bicycle lock will probe quite handy. When it comes to strap it in different places and in a variety of lamp posts it might be little bit difficult.

Bike Lock Insurance

In some cases, the bike lock companies might offer you insurance. As awesome as this sounds and as much as it should come in handy, it is quite seldom that the bike locks companies give you the promised amount when your lock is broken.

Owing to this possibility, this should not be one of the best determining factors when it comes to the selection of the best bicycle lock.

When it comes to insurance, there are a number of things that you may need to meet for the bike lock company to deem you eligible to it. Not registering your lock within a given period voids the insurance. Residents from some areas are not deemed eligible for the insurance.

Location of your Residence Area

Where you come from does count. The types of lock to be picked by a country-side person and from a person of a metropolitan area are totally different.

Most of the bike lock companies do not consider offering insurance to Metropolitan areas such as New York due to the rampant theft cases. This bike lock brand has been rated as the best by most of the bike lock testers such as Slate, Popular Science and Men’s journal.

This lock is one of the most expensive that you’ll get in the market but on the upside, it is harder to crack which is an added advantage to you.

Bike protection

When it comes to protecting the bike’s metal frame, the best road bike locks will offer you protection either in the form of a plastic sleeve or a nylon coating.

With such, the metallic surface of the bike lock will not clutter against the frame hence your bike is bound to maintain its good looks at all times.


When you deem chain locks to be the best bicycle lock for you, then you need to pay attention to the internal diameter. This should be small; small enough such that the space for the insertion of a lever is small.

In addition to make it difficult for the insertion of a lever, chain links having a small diameter see to it that the lock is more flexible and in the long run, there is added versatility to the chain lock.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Owing to the fact that it boasts to be from one of the bike locks manufacturers that there are globally, the Kryptonite Kryptolok Series Standard Bicycle U-Lock comes with hardened performance steel shackles.

Due to these, this bicycle U-lock proves to be one of the best as it resists both the cutting and leverage attacks. The security that this lock has got to offer is further backed up by the Bent Foot design that makes it easy for you to use the lock.

The bent foot feature allows you to insert one end of the U-lock and leverage that inserted side to insert the other end.

With its disc-style cylinder mechanism, the bike lock is deemed as one of the best in the market as this renders it pick and drill resistant. To add on to the security of the bike lock, Kryptonite incorporated to it keys that are basically the “I” style ones meaning that they will also prove quite easy for you to use.

The transit FlexFrame makes it easy for you to mount the lock on the bike’s frame tubing ranging from 25mm to 80mm whether it is round, oval, triangular or square. The transit FlexFrame also allows for 360 degrees rotation. That means you’ll get to have not only a better fit but in addition to this, you will have the best alignment of your bike frame in the desired geometry.

Abus Mini 140 U-Lock

We can both agree to the fact that before choosing a bike lock, weight is one of the key things that you’ll pay heed to. If you are searching for a bike lock that is bound to offer you the best security and simultaneously prove to be least cumbersome to handle, then the Abus Mini 140 U-Lock is definitely what you are looking for.

Don’t let the weight of this U-lock think of it as not being up to the task since it has got an outstanding strength to weight ratio. While still at the strength of the lock, it is made of corrosion resistant metal meaning that you do not have to worry about it being less durable.

As for handling, the ergonomic shape of this lock makes it quite easy to handle- a feature that is not found in most U-locks in its class.

As for protection, the premium cylinder offers the highest protection against manipulation such as lock picks. As for the keys, these amount to a total of which are supplied with the lock.

The shackle of the lock is double bolted on to the lock body. In addition to this it is made of hardened steel as are other supporting elements of the lock.

OnGuard Bulldog DT U-Lock with 4-Inch Cinch Loop Cable

When it comes to shopping for a bike lock, one of the best choices that you should not overlook are the U-locks.

The OnGuard Bulldog DT U-Lock with 4-Inch Cinch Loop Cable proves to be one of the best bicycle lock that you can settle for out there. With the New Z-Cylinder, this bike lock proves to not only be bump proof but also pick, pull and drill resistant.

With the 4-inch braided steel cable, you’ll get to have extra locking options at your disposal. This means that upon securing your bike, you will be able to do so in a way that you deem most fit.

Master Lock 8118DPF Vinyl-Covered Mini U-Lock

Being ideal for use with a heavy duty Cable chain, the flexibility for use of this lock definitely guarantees you top-notch security.

When it comes to pry resistance, the lock has got a double locking shackle hence you do not have to worry about compromising the safety of your bike.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the bolt cutters by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your bolt cutters wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of bolt cutters



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about bolt cutters is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

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