Professional => Workspace, tools, machinery, and manufacturing => Topic started by: Skunk Gear on February 10, 2017, 07:19:37 AM

Title: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: Skunk Gear on February 10, 2017, 07:19:37 AM
Hi all,

I was planning to type this down and share it for a long time, but was too busy moving the shop etc etc…as always.

As many of you, I started out cutting webbing with scissors and a lighter, but as that didn't cut it, I bought a HSGM handheld hot-cutter. Great tool, but i needed something that could cut straight more easily and faster.
I soon found out that I couldn't afford the step up in buying one. Especially that period :) Most reliable machines I found were something in the range of 450-600 euros so I decided to build one myself.
This turned out to be quite simple really. And very satisfying. It took me around 16 hours of work, plus some material sourcing and around a 100 euros total cost.

I wanted a 10cm (4") knife, but you make any size blade, just make sure the cartridge heater has enough watts to deliver the heat.
I just took some pictures of existing webbing cutters and just started out. I didn't accurately document it, it was a "go with the flow" build.

The main idea is that you have a steel knife, embedded in a heated brass bar. The heating comes from a cartridge heater,  powered by a dimmer circuit, which is connected to the mains. The brass transfers the heat to the steel knife evenly.
For safety reasons, the heater block and/or sheath MUST be bonded to earth. The dimmer circuit i used also has a fuse for safety.

The 25x25 mm square brass bar was drilled first with the exact diameter of the cartridge heater with a lathe and then one side was milled in the diameter of the steel knife. The 5 mm thick piece of steel was just cut milled and ground to a regular knife shape on one side. Doesn't have to be sharp off course. Just even.
Then the whole thing was bolted together, tightening the cartridge heater and the steel knife at the same time.

The brass / knife block is suspended with springs on the aluminum profile bar.
The profile bar has a wooded grip (doesn't get hot) and is connected with a simple hinge to the main shaft of the machine.

The aluminum protection plates on the sides were made of scrap material, as well as the steel bottom plate.
The bottom plate was screwed on a piece of wood since since it bent a little. At a later stage, i attached the steel guide bar on the left of the floor plate to keep webbing in place and also a big metal ruler on the right to easily cut various lengths without having to mark them.
For batch processing, you can clamp something like a wooden block at any certain length.

I attached a ring near the wooden grip for connecting a piece of webbing which enables cutting with your feet.

I also made an air suction unit out of a PP storage box, i got that idea of DIY tactical.

For the rest, I guess most of you can see how it's made from the pics, but if you have any questions, just let me know.

Hope this helps some of you on their gear making journey.

Some material sourcing & info:

Metal electronic case:

Dimmer (denoised):

Cartidge heater: Look for 500 Watts minimum:

Glass fiber insulated hose to insulate the electric wires from the control unit to the cartridge heater: ebay

Big springs on the "roof": (

Compression springs for knife block: (

Extruded aluminium profile bar 30x30 mm.  Also look for all washers and bolts that fit the profile. Should be widely available.

Brass piece : 25x25 and 10 cm long : Metals shop
5 x 30 x 100 mm steel bar : metals shop

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Title: Re: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: on February 10, 2017, 08:28:54 AM
Very nice!  Thank you for sharing :)
Title: Re: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: Bootcat on February 10, 2017, 08:58:12 AM
Totally cool.

Would you sell me such a cutter but with a longer blade (160mm, which requires this cartridge I think ( Maybe my search skills are weak but I couldn't find such a machine in 220V in Europe, only in 110V in the USA which is mostly useless. Just name your price + VAT by PM  :). I will build a fume extractor myself for my next workshop but the cutter is awesome.
Title: Re: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: Skunk Gear on February 10, 2017, 09:04:26 AM
Thanx! I would love to make one for you and a couple more, but the neighbour who let me use his lathe and mill is gone (and his metal workshop). I'll keep my eyes open, but to have that milled and drilled externally will add a lot to the cost I'm afraid.
Title: Re: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: Skunk Gear on February 10, 2017, 09:14:01 AM

In denmark. He even has one with an 8" blade

The 4" was about 600 euros iirc
Title: Re: DIY Webbing Cutter
Post by: Bootcat on February 10, 2017, 09:14:08 AM