Mares XR Line Cutter
For many years I have faithfully carried a variety of dive knives as they are an essential tool for safety and a required piece of equipment for the working dive professional - however very rarely have I ever had to use it apart from preparing a variety of tropical fruit (mango being a favorite) and the occasional cracking of a fallen coconut.
Some time ago line cutters were developed and unleashed on the scuba market and they were welcomed with open arms being extremely sharp, small and easily stowed. I bought into this and it soon became an essential piece of my total diving system. I have lost count how many times my trusty old line cutter has endured, fishing line, mooring line, nylon webbing and even cutting wetsuit off divers in emergencies, the list goes on…
I still carry my dive knife (and also a set of medical shears stowed away in thigh pocket) but my line cutter neatly attached onto my dive computer bungy cords on the wrist, sits there waiting to be drawn like excalibur.
Recently we received a product from Mares, their new XR Line cutter and decided to put it to the test. This ceramic hand line-cutter boasts an ultra sharp, abrasion and corrosion resistant blade combined with a velcro fastener and dedicated heavy duty carry holster. First thing I noticed was its simply but effective holster which is cleverly designed to enable the tool to be attached either vertically or horizontally. This means it can be attached to waist webbing, shoulder webbing or on the wrist/arm - neat!
It is worth pointing out that your dive knife/cutting tool should always be mounted in a position that can easily be accessed by either hand so two of these mounted on either side of the body is the optimum configuration. It's worth noting that this cutter can easily be deployed and used with one hand.
The blade is incredibly sharp and its material does not corrode like steel which is a bonus as some line cutter blades can rust with age. The body is stainless steel and has a safe, ergonomic design making it difficult to accidentally cut yourself or your equipment but quick and easy to cut line, webbing and just about anything else you can throw at it. Even thicker rope was no problem to cut, basically if you can fit it into the blade jaws, it will severe it.
I tested the cutting tool for its ability to cut a variety of lines, from monofilament fishing line to heavy rope. I also evaluated how well they held an edge after repeated use. I also tested how they held up to extremely heavy use, including prying and cutting metal wires, this little cutter was in a class of its own.
I've used many cutters that worked well, but my gripe with most has been rusting steel blades that require frequent replacement. These blades won’t rust, and they are sharp. It cut heavy plastic line so well I tried two lines at once: no problem. What I also liked was its robust handle and large finger hole, good for those dry glove divers. The cutter is finished in a slick tech black with Mares XR logo in white and really is an excellent product. The only problem is I now wish to retire my ageing rusty one for one of these…or better still two, one for each wrist!
The Mares XR Hand Line Cutter is now available in our store, click here for more information.
If you wish to learn more and get more from your scuba gear, why not sign up for the SSI Equipment Techniques specialty program. Click here for further information.
Until next time, have a great weekend diving.