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Thread: Needed: Hot wire tool advice

  1. #1

    Default Needed: Hot wire tool advice

    Landscape makers: I need advice on a model of hot wire foam cutter to buy. I know there's a lot of junk models out there, as well as those with thicker wires for insulation installing that are not good for modeling.
    I'll probably need to buy on the internet, as my local hobby/craft stores have come up null.
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  2. #2


    This is the one I have been using on and off for years now, Karl - simply contraption with two D batteries in the tube, rudimentary switch mechanism, and a wire that heats. Its hand-held nature allows for really easy manipulation, and once you've become used to the weight and balance, you can do pretty delicate stuff with it. The length of the wire is enough for the gaming scenery projects I've tackled.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did a quick Google search and found a more modern version - it's made by a company called FloraCraft and they've dubbed it a Styrocutter. Same rig as mine - two D batteries in the handle heat a wire. Looks like it would do the trick nicely. Perhaps you could find something similar at your local HobbyLobby or Michael's?

    All the best,

  3. #3


    I use the Woodland Scenics Hot Wire foam Cutter. It comes with an AC adapter so you don't need to worry about batteries. Its tough and durable and has interchangeable heads for different jobs. I am very happy with it. The handle is very ergonomical too.

  4. #4


    Thanks both of you; looks like I might have been looking in the wrong section of the stores
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  5. #5


    I think it's probably time for me to upgrade my capabilities - Jim's suggestion sounds perfect! Next time I'm at one of the craft stores, I shall look for a new one myself

    All the best,

  6. #6

  7. #7


    There usually is a vendor at the HMGS cons that sells a hot wire cutter. He demonstrates it while you are there. He should be there for Historicon.

  8. #8


    I have to look into a new hot wire cutter. I had the one Matt has but the filament broke. I think a plug in will be better than batteries. Historicon shopping list got one line longer.

  9. #9


    I didn't look at Cold wars but he usually there. Had my list and just went for those things. Micro Mark has a cutter that is a blade rather then a wire cutter.

  10. #10


    I forgot to look at Cold Wars. I was out of my mind with running 4 games. Hey, I'm taking it easy and only running 4 at Origins and Historicon.

  11. #11


    I have gone through a couple of them. The cheap flower one works great if you do not mind the batteries. I had a more expensive "Modeling" style one my wife got me for X-mas..did not last 3 months as it was too lightly made for my use. Get rechargeable batteries and that should not be an issue with the cheaper one. Only suggestion is to get extra wire as it breaks, and let it do the work, do not stress it pulling it through the foam. That will break or stretch out your wire quickly.

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