Best Bolt Cutters for Padlocks You Need To Cut For Forced Entry

Lost your keys? Now, do you need to cut your padlock’s shackle for forced entry?

Bolt cutters are one of the most common tools for cutting padlocks and metal materials you know. These are quite easy to use, cost-efficient, and get the job done pretty well.

But padlocks are undoubtedly made with maximum quality solid materials. So, it’s very important to get a decent quality bolt cutter with the right size and grip that you need. That will actually make your job easier and smarter, and you won’t have to wastefully put excessive effort into cutting the padlock.

In this brief guide, we’ll cover 5 of the best bolt cutters for padlocks that you can buy from the market. Also, we’ll go over a few in-depth guides that help you understand a couple of key points you need to look out for before you buy a bolt cutter. 

Quick Chart (Best All-Around) 

Best All-Around: HK Porter Power Link Bolt Cutter

It’s super effective, durable, and has a comfortable grip. All of the best padlock cutters you see out there. What makes it even better of a deal is the surprisingly low price tag. You’re getting all the premium materials and features, but the cost is minimal at the same time. Nothing can get better than that. 

Best Convenience: MAXPOWER 24″ Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter

This Maxpower 24 inch bolt cutter is super lightweight and easy to get a grip on. The grip feels quite nice on the hands as well, making it one of the best convenient and easy-to-use bolt cutters out there. 

Top Class Quality: RIDGID S30 Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter

This Ridgid bolt cutter is built with premium material giving it the advantage over heavy-duty usage. Besides, you’ll definitely get good longevity from it as well. So, if you can bear the extra cost, it’s the single most premium option available.

Best for Casual Scenarios: Crescent H.K. Porter 18″ Bolt Cutter

If you don’t want to use the cutter for heavyweight stuff, then this Crescent cutter is the best pick for you. It provides you with all the basic features that you need, and that helps to cut down the expenses by a lot. This bolt cutter is not solid enough for extreme scenarios.

5 Best Bolt Cutters for Padlocks

Down below, we’re going to know our top 5 picks of bolt cutters that you can get from the market. You can easily pick one of these to get the best value out of your money.

However, if you are not sure about the size and specs, it’s recommended that you go through our guides before putting your money on the table for a bolt cutter. That way, you’ll get perfect stuff for your case.

H.K. Porter 0190MCD Power Link Bolt Cutter For Padlock

H.K. Porter has a reputation for manufacturing industry-leading tools, and this power bolt cutter is definitely their top-of-the-line creation. This 0190MCD is the perfect bolt cutter if you’re searching for better efficiency and power compared to traditional ones. 

Since 1880, H.K. Porter is in the game for best cutters, and this model is a perfection. With precision ground, induction hardened, cutting material isn’t the same anymore. It takes way less effort, and you get more effectiveness out of the cutter as well.

Not to mention, the Powerlink Technology is one of the best features of the 0190MCD heavy-duty bolt cutters. It reduces up to 30 percent of your effort to cut the material, which helps to make the job a lot easier. In terms of price, it might feel a bit overpriced compared to the other alternatives on our list. But overall, it’s well worth the investment.

Key Features

  • Hardened Cutting Blades: The precision ground, induction hardened blades makes this tool super effective against hard-to-cut materials. Perfect for padlocks.
  • Powerlink technology: Significantly decreases up to 30 percent effort needed to cut material using this bolt cutter.


  • Has power to withstand a lot of force without any issue
  • Takes way less effort to cut through materials 
  • Can be used on bolts, rods, chains, etc.; very versatile.


  • Might be a bit hard to get a lot of leverage on openings larger than 1/4″

MAXPOWER 24″ Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter For Padlock

MAXPOWER 24" Heavy Duty Bolt Cutter
  • CR-MO - Drop-forged Chromoly steel for a lighter, stronger, more durable tool
  • STURDY STEEL JAWS - Quality construction ensures long-lasting blade life
  • GRIPPED HANDLES - Avoid slippage or hand strain with these comfortable grips
  • OPTIMIZED DESIGN - Blade and handle are carefully crafted for precision and maximum cutting power
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Buy with confidence from Maxpower
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03/01/2024 01:52 pm GMT

Next up, we have another brand that produces top-class cutters. Even better, Maxpower is a brand that has a massive range of bolt cutters that possess the power of hydraulic bolt cutters but are at a super affordable price range as well. 

One of the best things about this bolt cutter is its brilliant design. It is light, compact, and elegant, which allows for a stronger performance. Also, you get to use it very easily as well.

This Maxpower bolt cutter features gripped handles as well. So, gripping the cutter feels very natural on hand. Not to mention, it eliminates the risk of slipping out, which is very critical to ensure safety.  

Also, this bolt cutter has steel jaws, and that gives it decent strength to cut through tough materials. Klein Tools 63324 is a competitor of this Maxpower bolt cutter. But despite being almost the same in terms of specs and features, that one is way overpriced. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want a good-quality bolt cutter, Maxpower is the right pick for you.

Key Features

  • Steel Jaws: The steel jaws provide maximum sturdiness while making them super effective in cutting the materials fast.
  • Gripped Handles: With gripped handles, this bolt cutter is extremely comfortable to handle. Also, it reduces the risk of the tool slipping out of your hand as well.


  • Very easy to use and comfortable on the grip
  • Built well with premium quality steel material
  • Lighter, compact, and stronger design


  • Not meant for performing extremely heavy-duty cuts

RIDGID S30 Bolt Cutter For Padlock

RIDGID 14228 Model S30 Heavy-Duty Bolt Cutter with Comfortable Grips and Alloy Steel Jaws 14228, 31”, Red
  • 31" HEAVY-DUTY BOLT CUTTER: Designed to power past tough cutting jobs with solid hardened alloy steel jaws for maximum blade life, strength, and durability
  • SUPERIOR CUTTING POWER: 1-step internal cam mechanism ensures accurate blade alignment that maximizes leverage and improves cutting power, making cutting tasks quick and efficient
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED HANDLES: Long handles feature a comfortable grip, reducing pressure on your hands while offering an improved hold for crisp and controlled cutting
  • MULTIPLE CAPACITY: Features a center that has a 1/2-inch capacity for soft metals, a 7/16-inch capacity for medium metals, and a 3/8-inch capacity for hard metals, allowing you to cut through...
  • VERSATILE USES: Cut through chains, nets, wires, poles, bolts, screws, or rods to in industrial jobsites or complete home improvement projects, repair jobs and more
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Ridgid produces nothing but the best and premium cutters. Their products are usually quite pricey, but with impressive specs and features, it’s well worth the price tag. The S30 bolt cutter is their best-selling one, and it’s just packed with amazing stuff. 

Featuring the hardened alloy steel jaws, you get exceptional efficiency out of this cutter. It takes so little effort to cut the materials compared to any other conventional bolt cutter you find in the market. Not to mention, the durability of this cutter is also incredible, giving you the best value for your money.

You might find WORKPRO W017007A bolt cutter way cheaper on the market. It does have a nice design and decent construction. But it’s not able to handle extreme cutting. So, if you want heavy-duty tactical bolt cutters, then the Ridgid S30 bolt is the perfect choice for you. 

Key Features

  • Premium thick build quality: This bolt cutter has premium material that provides durability and efficiency unlike anything available in the market.
  • One-step internal cam mechanism: Featuring this wonderful technology, the Ridgid S30 bolt cutter is easy to get a precise cut. 


  • The better grip allows for easier leverage and overall safety
  • Premium quality build guarantees maximum durability and efficiently
  • Takes way less effort to cut a material compared to other cutters.


  • Not the most affordable piece of bolt cutter available for everyone

TEKTON 36 Inch Bolt Cutter

TEKTON 36 Inch Bolt Cutter | 3421
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02/28/2024 10:45 pm GMT

If you are searching for the best well-balanced bolt cutters for your money, Tekton has the best deal for you. This 36 inch bolt cutter is undoubtedly the perfect overall bolt cutter that you can get from the market. It allows you to cut materials with minimal effort, lasts a long time, and is affordable at the same time. What more can you ask for from a bolt cutter?

With the hardened alloy steel jaws, you get better effectiveness in cutting your padlocks or any other materials. It also helps to reduce the effort you need to put in for completing the job, which is great. Neiko 00562A is somewhat a similar bolt cutter to this one. But you can’t get enough leverage with that one, and that’s not very ideal. 

This Tekton bolt cutter, on the other hand, is very versatile. Also, you get to adjust and replace the jaws according to your needs, which is amazing. Overall, it’s undoubtedly one of the best bolt cutters for padlocks that you can find on the market. 

Key Features

  • Adjustable and Replaceable Jaws: Allowing to swipe just the jaws rather than going for a whole new bolt cutter. Helps to save money.
  • Super-versatile: Can be used on padlocks, chains, and much more. 


  • Built with quality materials; can withstand more force
  • Hardened steel jaw provides better efficiency in cutting material
  • Best value for your money


  • Doesn’t provide superior longevity 

Crescent H.K. Porter 18″ Bolt Cutter

Crescent H.K. Porter 18" PowerPivot™ Center Cut Double Compound Action Bolt Cutter - 0090MCP
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02/29/2024 07:31 pm GMT

Finally, we’ll review the 18-inch action bolt cutter, which is considered one of the best military bolt cutters in the market. It’s versatile, durable, and safe. So, you will get the best effectiveness out of this wonderful bolt cutter.

It’s made with premium quality materials that allow for a better sturdy construction. So, this cutter won’t struggle with a bit of extra pressure, which is great. Also, the design is super lightweight and compact, making it easy to use and portable at the same time. However, the size might feel a bit limiting in some cases, as 18 inches is not that ideal for getting maximum leverage at wider and thicker padlocks.

GreatNeck BC30 is a great bolt cutter that offers similar features at a lower price range. However, that doesn’t have the same quality as this H.K. one. So, it’s recommended that you save up a bit to get this one for better performance and service. You will definitely get the best value out of this wonderful bolt cutter.

Key Features

  • Double Compound Action PowerPivot Technology: Cuts down 30 percent effort needed to perform a cut. 
  • Tubular steel Handles: Enhances durability while providing better leverage to cut the material more efficiently.


  • Can withstand a good amount of pressure
  • Great design makes it easier to cut
  • Comfortable on the hand; safe and easy to use


  • The size makes it limiting for some scenarios. 

Features Of A Reliable Bolt Cutter: What To Look For

Now that you have a list of some of the best bolt cutters for padlocks, you can choose between them pretty easily. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to randomly pick one. Let’s go over a few things you should consider before you put your money on a bolt cutter.

Bolt Cutter Size

Perhaps, the most important thing that you need to consider before you put your money on the table for a bolt cutter is the size of it. The amount of leverage and overall usability depends on the size of the bolt cutter. So, make sure to get the right size for your job. 

Smaller bolt cutters are designed for cutting less thicker materials, and bigger-sized bolt cutters are designed for thicker materials. Picking accordingly will give you the perfect fit that you need.

Bolt Cutter Handle

The handle of the bolt cutter is equally important. You can see a variety of handles, such as tubular handles, rubber handles, and so on. These are directly co-related to your grip, and thus, you should put emphasis on getting the cutter with a decent handle.

The tubular steel handles are stiffer, while rubber handles are much grippy on the hand. Also, rubber grip is better for control and precise motion, which ensures overall safety.

Bolt Cutters Blade

A Bolt cutter blade is the most critical part of the tool. You definitely want to get a cutter that’s made with premium quality material to ensure that the cutter will be able to cut through the padlock. Also, it needs to be edgy and durable as well to give better effectiveness. 

Cutter Adjustability

The room for adjustability gives you better versatility over your tool, and you can use it for different thickness levels of the padlock thanks to this feature. So, if you plan to use the cutter on different level thickness material, then you should look out for this feature along with durability and ergonomic handles as it will come in handy.

Cutting Capacity

Finally, you need to check the cutting capacity of the bolt cutter before you actually buy it. There is no point in having all the features mentioned above if the cutter is not able to get the job done. So, check the security grade, check the build quality material, and test the edginess to see if it has a good cutting capacity or not.

How to Choose the Best Bolt Cutter

A few things you need to consider to get the perfect bolt cutter for your own scenario. You probably know already that bolt cutters come in different sizes and specs. At first, you need to identify what you actually need. It depends on the thickness, material of your padlock, or any other objects that you want to cut.

Typically, you want to get a cutter with comfortable grips and solid build quality for heavy-duty cutting. Getting the right size will ensure that you get better leverage with minimal effort. The design also makes a big difference in the whole process. In most cases, a lightweight and compact design will be better for you as it’s easy to use and portable.

Also, as you pick the best bolt cutters for padlocks, it’s wise to test out a variety of materials. That should give you a decent idea of the longevity you are going to get from the cutter, along with the cutting capacity. If it’s edgy and effective but doesn’t have decent durability, you’ll have to waste a lot of money on replacement pretty often.

So, keeping these things in mind will definitely help you get the perfect bolt cutter for your job.

What Size Bolt Cutter To Use To Cut A Padlock?

You’ll see 18 inches 24 inches bolt cutters most commonly used for cutting padlocks. These have a decent range that allows for better leverage without much effort.

However, if you want to get more thick material cut, the toughest application, then you should get a bigger bolt cutter. Jaws are one of the biggest components here as it controls the whole thing. The bigger the cutter is, the thicker materials you’ll be able to cut through. So, you should identify what you’re going to be dealing with before making any decisions. After that, you should be able to pick the perfect bolt cutter to use to cut a padlock.

How To Sharpen Bolt Cutter

An angle grinder is the most commonly used tool for sharpening bolt cutters. However, if you don’t know how to do it, you should probably get an expert to do the job for you. Sharpening the cutters that you use to cut chain link fences is no joke, and it’s risky.

The best way to sharpen them is to use a thinner angle grinder. This allows for better precision and less damage. Sometimes, the thicker blades can actually produce excessive heat, which is not good for the bolt cutter. So, having a thinner angle grinder will help to get more control and protection over the bolt cutter.

One of the downsides of using a thinner blade is that it can break more easily. So, make sure to put additional effort into making sure that the tool is locked in place properly. And wear protective gear on your face to prevent any accidents as well. 

Benefits of Bolt Cutter

There is no doubt that bolt cutters are very effective for cutting padlocks. But they have some great benefits that make them so useful. Let’s check out some of the benefits of using a bolt cutter over any other tools.

Traditional Mechanism

Believe it or not, bolt cutters are commonly used to cut padlocks even in this era where everything you see is flooded by advanced technology and devices. And it’s been used for so many years. Even some of the bolt cutters for padlocks you see out there in the market are models that were designed decades ago. It goes to show that it’s a traditional tool when it comes to cutting. 


One of the best things about a bolt cutter is that it’s foldable and easy to carry. You can carry them anywhere with you. A lot of brands are manufacturing maximum compatible bolt cutters that you get to use. They are very easy to use and fit inside your tool bag without any issue.

And most of the modern bolt cutter designs focus on being lightweight and compact. This allows you to get the best user experience. But if you want to get the bigger ones that are super heavy-duty, you might have to compromise it with foldable components.


Another great benefit of bolt cutters is that some of the models allow you to extend them for versatile use. So, rather than being just a standard master lock tool, you would be able to use it on different-sized eccentric bolts. That is a very useful feature, and it allows you to get the best usability out of the product without getting different bolt cutters for different thickness levels of the material.


Do these cut a combination lock?

With a bolt cutter, you can cut most Combinations locks as well. However, as you might’ve already guessed, that totally depends on the type of lock you’re dealing with.

What Tools to Use to Cut Padlocks?

Bolt cutters are the most common tool that’s used to cut padlocks to this day. But the angle grinder also does the job pretty well.

When do you require a Bolt Cutter?

A bolt cutter is typically used to cut shackles, locks, or anything of that sort if people lost their keys or the lock is jammed for some reason.

Which kind of handle is best for bolt cutters?

Rubber handles are usually the best handle for bolt cutters.

Can bolt cutters cut through hardened steel?

With a suitable thickness, a bolt cutter can cut through hardened steel without any issue.

Final Words

If chosen correctly, a bolt cutter can cut the padlock very easily. You just went through our top 5 picks on the best bolt cutters available out there. 

As you saw, the TEKTON 36” bolt cutter was a pretty good deal for your money, and it’s recommended for you if you’re looking for great overall performance on a tight budget. But of course, if you want to get better performance, the other alternatives are amazing.

For maximum efficiency, you’d have to invest in the RIDGID S30, which costs a lot. But at the end of the day, it’s worth your money by every penny, and you definitely will appreciate these robust tools.

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