Diagonal Cutting Pliers
Diagonal pliers or wire cutters or diagonal cutting pliers, are wire-cutting pliers (though they are not used to grab or turn anything, but are used to cut wire). They are sometimes called side cutting pliers or side cutters, although these terms are shared by other pliers designs and may lead to confusion. The plane defined by the cutting edges of the jaws intersects the joint rivet at an angle or "on a diagonal", hence the name. Instead of using a shearing action as with scissors, they cut by indenting and wedging the wire apart. The jaw edges are ground to a symmetrical "V" shape, thus the two jaws can be visualized to form the letter "X", as seen end-on when fully occluded. The pliers are made of tempered steel and inductive heating and quenching is often used to selectively harden the jaws.
Dikes â€” as in the phrase "a pair of dikes" â€” is jargon used especially in the electrical industry, to describe diagonal pliers. It is a nickname derived from"diagonal cutters".