How To Cut Winch Cable: User’s Guide

Wire rope or cable is the most important part of a winch which is used for the aid of recovering a vehicle when it becomes stuck in sand or mud. The winch cable is often made of synthetic rope or steel and tends to fray. In such a case it might need to be cut in order to repair the winch cable.

Winch cable cutting is as simple as cutting a piece of cake if you know the right path whether it is synthetic or steel cable.

In this article, we will explore how to cut different types of winch cable very perfectly. So, let’s begin. 

How To Cut Winch Cable

Usually, it is not needed to cut the winch cable. But in case of a cable break of the winch, someone might need to cut their winch cable to repair the winch. Besides when someone changes their winch cable for adding a new one that time the winch cable might need to be cut. When the winch cable hook broke off then it had to be cut for making a new hook slot. 

For cutting a winch rope, whether it is steel cable or synthetic cable you might need some accessories included below. 

How To Cut Synthetic Winch Rope

For the best outcome when cutting synthetic winch rope, use only a webbing cutter. At the ideal temperature of 170-180 °C, it operates via melt-cutting.

To prevent burns from a blade or molten polypropylene ropes, safety procedures must be taken when cutting winch ropes or webbing.

Step-01: Angle of Cutting

Ropes need to be cut at an angle of 45-55 degrees for getting the best outcome. Starting from the thicker section of the rope and cutting toward the thin end of the tip. In this manner, the tip will have the proper angle and a sharp edge without splitting.

Step-02: Cutting Technique

Under heavy strain, avoid pressing the rope against resistance! The cut is executed by applying pressure and moving sideways (cutting). The cutting edge should be sealed smoothly after being correctly sliced.

Step-03: Cutting Speed

Another crucial element that demands training and expertise is the proper cutting speed and pressure applied to the rope. Large amounts of material are melted when cutting slowly, which causes a significant overflow. Fast cutting, however, causes tips to split.

Besides this technique, there are several methods available for cutting synthetic winch rope. Click here to watch. 

How To Cut Steel Winch Cable

Steel winch rope cutting is a little bit more tricky than synthetic winch rope cutting. But if you follow these steps below then it would be easier than cutting a piece of cake. 

Step-01: Select the Right Tools

It is challenging and will produce pretty mediocre results to cut steel winch wire rope with the incorrect instrument. For this reason, you should always verify the wire’s thickness before cutting it with a tool.

Steps-02: Get Ready

It’s necessary to set up your work area and yourself before attempting to cut steel wire rope. Must wear safety gloves to increase hand grip and prevent any injuries. Setting up a vice to hold the wire in place would be beneficial.

Steps-03: Measuring

First, measure the wire rope carefully before cutting. It’s essential to double-check before using the cutters since an inaccurately measured length of wire could not be useful. Take your time, measure accurately then use a dark felt-tip pen to mark out exactly where you need to cut.

Steps-04: Cut The Winch Rope

Carefully place the steel rope into the cutting tool, taking care to line it up with the mark you just made then apply a steady and consistent level of pressure. This method will guarantee that your first cut is clean and professional, especially if you use the right cutters.

Steps-05: Finishing Touch

Then gives the final touch to finish the cutting process by soldering the end of the winch cable.

Click here to watch the animation video for properly cutting steel winch cables.


What is the best tool to cut a cable?

Ans: Ratcheting Cable Cutter is the best tool to cut a cable. Small-diameter cable cutting plier is the best tool.

How to cut wire cable without fraying?

Ans: Twist adhesive tape on the cable cutting place then cut the cable using any cutting tool. In this way, fraying can be defended hundred percent.

Final Thoughts

A winch cable may break in many ways during operation. So it might be repaired rather than buying a new one. We discussed a few tricks and techniques to cut a winch cable avoiding injury. But steel there are many more.

So, use your brain to follow the best procedure and cut your winch rope successfully. 

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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