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Thread: Cutting metal keepers on a nato strap

  1. #1
    Master
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    Cutting metal keepers on a nato strap

    I saw a post on the Rolex Forums from somebody who had cut off the second metal keeper of a nato strap (in addition to cutting off the extra 'under' bit of strap) and it piqued my interest. The guy suggested using Knipex cutting pliers, but a quick look online and they look a bit pricier than I'd like to pay for what is a potential bit of fun with a few cheap natos.

    Has anybody done this and has any suggestions for (cheapish) cutting pliers? I assume a slim set is better to get into the gap, but am I looking for a specific type that are strong enough to cut the metal? I'd probably be using it more on thin keepers (like phoenix or other more 'traditional' natos have, but wouldn't necessarily rule out using it on ones with thicker metal either). And possibly would use them for cutting shoulderless springbars too, but I have some wire cutters that seem to be strong enough for that already.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Master
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    I used sidcutters before ,no problems.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzodog View Post
    I used sidcutters before ,no problems.
    Any particular size or brand I should look for? Trying to look through Amazon and there's quite the range of mini-sized, normal-sized, wire cutters, etc. I confess I'm a bit lost with all the choices!

    Ideally looking at as cheap as possible, which I appreciate might not mean the best quality, but it's more for a bit of fun experimentation than anything else so I'm not looking at buying professional grade kit!

  4. #4
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Lindstrom for side cutters. I was issued with a pair in 1965, they are still going strong as are my Lindstrom pliers wiring no 81. Great quality tools.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I'd hate to be with you when you're on your own.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griswold View Post
    Lindstrom for side cutters. I was issued with a pair in 1965, they are still going strong as are my Lindstrom pliers wiring no 81. Great quality tools.
    Blooming heck, impressive!

  6. #6
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Alternative suggestions - do you have a Dremel, or a junior hacksaw?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy100 View Post
    Any particular size or brand I should look for? Trying to look through Amazon and there's quite the range of mini-sized, normal-sized, wire cutters, etc. I confess I'm a bit lost with all the choices!

    Ideally looking at as cheap as possible, which I appreciate might not mean the best quality, but it's more for a bit of fun experimentation than anything else so I'm not looking at buying professional grade kit!
    I use Wiah

  8. #8
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    As above......decent sidecutters, dremel with a cutting disc is excellent too. Just make sure you protect the strap if you're using a dremel.

    If all else fails then a plasma cutter will do it np <joking oc!>

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    Alternative suggestions - do you have a Dremel, or a junior hacksaw?
    Unfortunately I don't have either (although I've always fancied a dremel, but feel I'd probably have to make up reasons to use it! I guess a hacksaw is probably the cheapest option but seems a bit more effort than just cutting with a pair of cutters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzodog View Post
    I use Wiah
    Thanks, I'll check them out too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    As above......decent sidecutters, dremel with a cutting disc is excellent too. Just make sure you protect the strap if you're using a dremel.

    If all else fails then a plasma cutter will do it np <joking oc!>
    Now there's an idea for something to look into buying. Not sure the missus would be terribly impressed though!

  10. #10
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    Probably sorted by now but I know that, at least on Zuludiver straps, the keepers are not solid. They are merely folded with the ends inside the canvas and can easily be pulled out with two fine nosed pliers. I would imagine that many others are the same.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomGW View Post
    Probably sorted by now but I know that, at least on Zuludiver straps, the keepers are not solid. They are merely folded with the ends inside the canvas and can easily be pulled out with two fine nosed pliers. I would imagine that many others are the same.
    Yes I actually discovered this to be the same on a Cousins nato I'd bought to test the waters. And the zuludiver single pass I bought allows for the second 'loose' keeper to just be slid off of the end which was a bonus!

  12. #12
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    Don't do what my recent dental student did when attempting to cut a clasp off a partial denture...she didn't have the strength in one arm to cut it off using the Maun wire cutters....so she let go of the denture & used both hands....time seemed to stand still as my eyes went wide & a low pitched & an extended Noooooooo! emanated from my lips. A millisecond later the clasp gave way & the denture flew into the next cubicle. No common sense these youngsters.
    Last edited by trident-7; 24th March 2024 at 19:47.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    Don't do what my recent dental student did when attempting to cut a clasp off a partial denture...she didn't have the strength in one arm to cut it off using the Maun wire cutters....so she let go of the denture & used both hands....time seemed to stand still as my eyes went wide & a low pitched & an extended Noooooooo! emanated from my lips. A millisecond later the clasp gave way & the denture flew into the next cubicle. No common sense these youngsters.
    It makes my teeth ache just thinking about that! 😂

    I've now bought my wife a dremel (long story) under the condition I can use it for any watch strap-related jobs that need doing.

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