office (407) 474-6400
fax (386) 575-3040
email info@mccutter.com

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

updated (05/01/2017)

How do I order and pay for a MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer?  

How long do the blades last?

How do I go about getting a new spare drill motor?

How do I acquire replacement notching and cut-off blades?  

Where can I bring my machine for servicing and/or adjustment?

Where and how should I lubricate the MC Cable Cutter and Pigtailer?  

Why are some of the welds black?

How should I carry and store the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer?  

How do I cut more than one whip at a time?

What happens to the "extra" parts you remove from the saw and drills?  (Updated!)

Why use MC or AC Cable?

What is "Pre-Fab"?  

Do you ever have "used" machines available?  

Can I cut Flex or Conduit with the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer?  (NEW!)

 


How do I order and pay for a MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer? 

Visit the Contact Us page for the latest ordering information.

Back to Top

How long do the blades last? 

We now use a continuous-rim diamond blade as our standard cut-off saw blade. They are proven to work reliably, cut fairly clean and last indefinitely. They also do not require adjustment as a fiber blade would as it wears down.

A fiber blade should be used for cutting harder items such as EMT conduit. Some aftermarket fiber blades (not sold by us) have been known to separate and come apart and should not be used. If using a fiber blade and the machine develops a vibration, you should stop using it and inspect the cut-off blade for damage immediately.

The standard black-oxide 60T notching blade will last almost indefinately when cutting aluminum-jacketed armored cable. It can also be used for steel-jacketed cable but requires a slower cut and may not last as long.

The optional precision-ground 132T notching blade works quite well with steel-jacketed cable but may clog when used with aluminum-jacketed cable. We do not have any definitive figures on how long they last but you can expect many 1000s of cuts with these. We are the only supplier of these blades as they are made especially for us.

On all of these blades it is important to "let the tool do the work". Adding a second or two to the cutting motion will greatly increase blade life, particularly with the notching blades. Examples of cutting too quickly would be broken blade teeth and "grabbing" of the cable.

Back to Top

How do I go about getting a new or spare drill motor?  

UPDATE:  Visit the Drills page for the latest developments about the drills we use in the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer and how to obtain a replacement drill or adapter kit.

Back to Top

How do I acquire replacement notching and cut-off blades? 

UPDATE: Visit the new Products, Drills and Saw web pages for more information and be sure to download the "Order Form" which has the most recent pricing.  (add shipping and don't forget sales tax for Florida companies)

We usually have coarse (60T) and fine (132T) blades in stock and usually ship via USPS Priority or we can use FedEx if you need them in a hurry.  A 10-pack is the best value.  On occasion, we may have to limit stock. Larger orders can be scheduled with prepayment. Shipping is additional and will have to be determined.  Feel free to use the Order Form.   Call or Fax us to order any saw blades or accessories from us.

We currently only offer diamond cut-off blades and they are now the standard blade. See the Saw page for more details.

Back to Top

Where can I bring my machine for servicing and/or adjustment?

We are currently the only company that is authorized to service the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer although adjustments are easily done by the operator.  We would be very happy to walk you through any adjustments by phone but be sure to check out the most recent revision of the Operation Instructions available at the Downloads page, first.  We also offer an updating/refurbishing service for older machines with a turnaround time of a week or two, plus shipping time.  Call us for details...

Back to Top

Where and how should I lubricate the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer?  

We recommend using a small amount of WD-40 type of lubricant on the frame pivot bolts and the spring-loaded hold-down tubes.  Do this once a day or as needed.  Avoid getting any in the microswitch or other electrical components.  We also recommend a small amount wiped on the drill frame guide rods to ease adjustment.  Heavier weight oils and grease can collect grit from cutting and damage components.  The drills and saw are permanently lubricated from the factory and require no periodic lubrication.

Back to Top

Why are some of the welds black?

Later machines have the top and bottom frames silver anodized for appearance and durability.  The 4043 alloy filler metal used in the welding process contains silicon which causes the weld to turn dark during the anodizing process.  This in no way affects the strength or longevity of the weld. 

Back to Top

How should I carry and store the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer?  

The MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer is designed to be carried by the top frame just to the right of the sawplate.  This way, you can hold it with one hand while assuring the carrying latch doesn't pop out.  Be careful when transporting it and treat it as you would any other precision cutting machine--WITH CARE!

We recommend that you operate and store the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer in a secure, dry location.  This will prevent damage from the elements and deter theft or unauthorized use.  If used outside, it should be covered during rainstorms.  To avoid tweaking the machine, it should be stored flat on a level shelf or tabletop.  Some users store the machine on its back, latch side up which is acceptable.  Some store the machine leaning up on its side which is not recommended.  If you will be storing the machine for an extended period of time, the box it was shipped in makes a great storage container.  UPDATE: New machines are now shipped in a wooden "crate" within a box.  This packaging is a small part of the cost of the machine and makes a perfect storage box for the machine.  This packaging is our solution to a rash of machines damaged in transit.

Back to Top

How do we cut more than one whip at a time?

That is a "trick" question because it has more than one answer.  The first answer comes from observations and conversations with people out in the field using the machine.  What they are doing is removing the guides and the wear cone.  Then they will pull multiple runs of MC cable off the spool holder to their measured point and lay it in front of the machine.  Finally, they cut each whip by simply laying them in the V-Block one-at-a-time and bringing the top frame down and up again for each whip. Note that removing the wear cone will accelerate wear to the aluminum V-block. A steel V-block is less susceptable to wear from the cable.

Another way to cut more than one whip at a time is to buy more than one MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer!  

Back to Top

What happens to the "extra" parts you remove from the saw and drills?  (Updated!)

 

We occasionally have 7-1/4" 24T carbide toothed saw blades available for purchase. These are NOT for use on the machine.

Since we use specially-made arbors we have to remove the original drill chucks.  They are made in Japan, Keyless 3/8-24 thread.  We also have the original 2-prong power cord end which gets cut off.  They are black and a little over 4 feet long.  We sometimes have dozens of each item available--phone Bob for more info or to purchase very reasonably.  Dealer inquiries welcome...  Click the picture above to enlarge. 

Back to Top

Why Use MC or AC Cable?

    Armored Cable is a labor-saving alternative to the traditional Conduit and Wire method.

    The Conduit and Wire method requires a multi-step process by the electrician at a jobsite: measuring, cutting, bending, reaming, connecting and installation of the conduit, THEN he or she still has to push or pull the wire through the conduit!

    With Armored Cable (such as MC or AC Cable), the electrician simply routes and secures the cable>>>>DONE!

    Installed costs of using Armored Cable can be as little as half what it would cost you to use traditional Conduit and Wire.

    The MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer allows you to save even more by being able to cut and pigtail a 1500+ whips a day!

Back to Top

What is "Pre-Fab"?  

"Pre-Fab" as it relates to Electrical Contracting, is the preparation of electrical assemblies in a shop-type setting, then transporting those assemblies, ready-to-install, to the jobsite where they are then installed by qualified electricians.  In a project such as a hotel, where many rooms have identical fixtures and wiring, it is beneficial to cut MC and AC whips ahead of time install them into a breaker panel, etc., label them, then transport them to to the jobsite to be installed.  The MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer is essential to a Pre-Fab shop in these cases because it can cut many thousands of identical whips a day.  Visit the Pre-Fab web page to view many pictures of prefab shops.

Back to Top

Do you ever have "used" machines available?  

We usually don't have used MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailers because every company that buys them keeps them due to the fact that they are such a valuable tool.  We offer an updating service for older machines so even the earliest machines get updated if necessary, and are continued to be worked.

With that said, occasionally you may find used machines on Ebay and maybe Amazon. The machines we have seen are older but have appeared to be in decent condition. Expect to pay at least 50% of the current going rate.

We seldom have "used" or refurbished machines available because they sell very quickly.   Call us to get added to a "refurbished machine" waiting list.

Back to Top

Can I cut Flex or Conduit with the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer? (NEW)

Earlier machines had the ability to swing the drill frames up from the front drill rods.  This made it easy to turn the drills off, loosen the drill frames and tilt them up then insert a piece of Flex or Conduit in the V-Block and cut it off with the Cut-off Saw.  To allow for more precision during manufacturing and to strengthen the drill frame this "feature" was eliminated years ago.

While the current MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer is not specifically built for this purpose, it is still possible to use the machine to cut up to 1" Flex or Thin-Walled Conduit.  Keep in mind that you may have to re-adjust notching depth when done. And only a metal-cutting, fiber blade should be used for this purpose. Here are the steps:

  • Unplug the machine

  • Unlock the trigger locks on the drills

  • Remove both notching blades, noting right and left and direction of rotation

  • Remove both hold-down pad assemblies from the tubes noting right and left and avoid disturbing the adjustment (lower) nuts

  • Prop the hold-downs partially open with a 1/2" spacer of some sort (5/16" nuts, 12-2 scraps, etc.)

  • Check cutting depth of cut-off blade and adjust if necessary

  • Remove the wear cone and cable guides if they are in the way

  • Cut your Flex or Conduit being careful not to lug the machine--let the saw and sawblade do the work

To resume cutting MC, HCF or AC cable reverse these steps noting that you may have to re-adjust cut-off and notching blade depth.  Refer to the Downloads page for more info and operating instructions.