Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ratcheting Wire Cutters

Wire Cutting ToolsFor those who work with cables and wire, wire cutters are indispensible tools of the trade. Whether cutting WG8 or 1000 MCM cables, you need tools that are strong enough to do the job but careful enough to make precise cuts. When you are looking for wire cutting tools, whether dedicated or universal, try to get the best quality you can afford. This extends the life of your tool and ensures that you will get the best results.

How do you choose the right tool for your needs. The first thing to take into account when choosing a wire cutting tool is the limitations of the particular cutter. You have to pick one that will cut the maximum gauge of wire you are using.

If you try to cut a 12 gauge wire on a cutter that’s only rated for 18 gauge, you’ll ruin the cutting edge of the tool and wind up with a messy end on your wire. Cutting through cable requires a tool with strong jaws and sharp edges. There are many types of cutters: diagonal cutting pliers “dikes” are small wedge-shape cutters, one side of the blade is flat and the opposite is curved for cutting wire flush with surfaces best for cutting through small individual wire. Wire Cutters slice through individual wires and sheathed electrical cable with a long thin cutting blade. Cable cutters cut through thick electrical cable with 2 C-shaped cutting heads attached to straight, hinged handles. Ratcheting cable cutters reduces the amount of muscle power required to cut through thick cables. Like standard cable cutters, the ratcheting cable cutter consists of cutting heads and hinged handles. The ratcheting cable cutter’s heads, however, remain locked in place following the compression of its handles. With every compression of its handles, the ratcheting cable cutter grips and bites a cable. As such, the ratcheting cable cutter relies not on short, strong bursts of strength but repeated, firm pushes this ratcheting action helps to cut thick cables much better than trying to use strength with a pair of snips.

If you have never used a pair of ratcheting cable cutters, here are some steps to take to use them properly.

The first step to working with a ratcheting cable cutter is to become familiar with it. Look over the tool, see how the ratchet works, become accustomed to the release mechanism, and try it out without any type of cable. This works much like that of a handcuff. The jaw opens up so that you can insert the cable into the cutting area.

Once the cutter is opened, you can then close the ratcheting cutter around the cable. Make sure it locks into position so that when you depress the handles, the ratcheting action will start to work. Keep the cutter at a perpendicular position to the cable. This will help make a cleaner cut and lessen the chance of any type of injury.

Now that the cable is positioned in the cable cutter, you can begin the process of cutting through the cable. Do not be surprised if it does not go through the cable in one slice. The ratcheting action of the cutter is there to help power through larger diameter cables in smaller cuts. The pressure of the ratchet, as the cutter clamps down on the cable, keeps the blade working through the cable.

As you begin to cut through the cable, you will continue to ratchet the cutters until you have a clean cut.

Clean the blade of any remaining residue.

And remember to always wear eye protection when using any wire cutter.

RectorSeal has a complete line of ratcheting cutting tools-UpperCut click here to view

MV Air Diffuser Installation Video – Rectorseal

Strong. Professional grade polymers for long lasting durability.
Versatile. Stepped collar tears off to enlarge duct size allowing job site flexibility.
Quiet. Virtually air tight construction insures efficient and quiet air delivery. The MV 73 second diffuser install.

The one piece design eliminates the need for tedious mastic and external sealers and cuts attic time. Installation is no longer a two man job. Five grille patterns allow optimum air flow direction for any room. Center handle turns easily for full range of air flow adjustment.

To purchase the complete line of Airtec products, including air diffusers, lineset protection products, condensate management products, equipment mounting products and mini-split products, visit:


HOUSTON, TX – RectorSeal is proud to announce the asset purchase of Airtec Products Corporation (Airtec) of Fall River, Massachusetts on August 8, 2011.

Airtec offers a line of uniquely designed and patented diffusers that incorporate a quick and easy to install grill, box and multi-size boot and damper all in one as well as a group of accessory items to help in the ceiling diffuser installation.

Additional they offer the EZ Trap® brand of products for condensate removal from air conditioning and refrigeration systems. This uniquely designed and patented see through trap comes in both a standard ‘P’ trap configuration as well as a waterless model.  Both traps are available with either a mechanical or electronic drain pan overflow cutoff switch.

The patented Novent® locking refrigerant caps offered by Airtec enables the contractor to meet the requirements in the 2009 ICC Residential and Mechanical building codes for locking refrigerant caps on new equipment installations.

Rounding out the line of Airtec products are the Aspen condensate pumps for use in minisplit air conditioning systems, the Fortress™ and Slimduct™ line set ducting products, minisplit mounting accessories, and the Big Foot™ roof top mounting system.

“Airtec Products Corporation is known for innovative, quality products and will make an excellent complement to the RectorSeal line of air conditioning and refrigeration products”, states Larry Kaiser, Vice President of Sales for the RectorSeal Corporation

Tools for Electrical Wire Pulling

electrical wireWires are defined as insulated conductors used to carry electricity. Most commercial buildings have wires and cables running through walls and above suspended ceilings to provide basic electricity, telephone service, high-speed data and video connections, and operate building controls and security systems. Electricians need a way to run this wire and cable through walls and conduit.

For residential and light commercial work, most wires can be pulled manually. Power-pulling tools are however, needed for larger wire with long runs and multiple-cable installations. Long runs usually have multiple bends which make it almost impossible to pull manually.

A pulling tool’s basic components are its frame, power source, capstan that pulls rope and wire, and the mechanism that turns the capstan.

These components today are the same as those of the first power puller introduced by Ensley Tools in the 1960s, but improved technology has made today’s pullers more powerful, versatile, easier to use, and safer. The first pullers trend was bigger was better and stronger, but now the market is seeking smaller models. The user wants self-contained equipment, one machine that operates many functions to handle a wide range of jobs.

Light duty pullers are small, self-contained and can be carried by one person. These cover 80% of the pulls found in commercial building projects. When pulling the frame is attached to the conduit attached to the electrical panel box eliminating the need attach it to the floor.  Most have two pulling speeds: fast and slow (for heavy pulls). Large pullers generally need to be bolted to the floor.

Cable-puller capabilities are defined by pulling force, stated in pounds or kilonewtons (kN); pulling speed in feet or meters per minute; and rope strength, defined by average breaking strength.

Lubricants are an important part of the pulling process. Pulling lubricant is very important to reduce friction and minimize damage to the cable jacket. Lubricant decreases pulling time to complete the job.

To match cable puller and accessories to job requirements, contractors consider length of the pull, number of bends in the conduit, cable weight, and the amount of force necessary to complete the pull. It is necessary to know these variables to select the correct pulling rope.

There are many tools on the market with many different functions and accessories. RectorSeal® markets a 4,000 lb. capacity lightweight cable puller called StrongArm™. It is incredibly strong, but is easy to set up and use. Designed for one man operation, it sets up and locks into position in 60 seconds. A swivel head easily switches from underground to overhead pulls. The StrongArm™ has two pulling speeds: 80ft./min. or 20ft./min. and is operated with an easy to use foot pedal. It folds for easy handling and storage.

Safety is an important consideration when evaluating pullers.

For more information on the StrongArm click here