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Pad cutters would probably appear far down the list of essential tools for most farriers. In truth, pad cutters are seen on so few rigs that newcomers to the business might not even recognize the bench-mounted, crank-operated devices, which resemble a heavy-duty caulking gun and operate much like a kitchen can opener.
The cutting is done by two blades, a cutter and a feeder, at the end of the barrel opposite the crank. The device cuts both leather and plastic pads, but not metal.
Two brands of pad cutters are manufactured especially for the farrier industry: Duval and Jackson. An online search shows that the Duval unit sells for approximately $240, with replacement blades available for about $40 per pair. The Jackson pad cutters costs a bit more, about $310, with replacement blades priced at roughly $80 per pair.
Tom Riddle, general manager of Centaur Forge, a farrier supply distributor in Burlington, Wis., and New Braunfels, Texas, notes that the Duval brand is made from aluminum, while the Jackson model is built with steel and has slightly larger blades. He says the two brands offer similar performance.
Riddle says many farriers shy away from pad cutters because they believe they don’t work with pads often enough to justify an investment in pad cutters.
“They see pad cutters as an expensive replacement for their $15 tin snips or their nippers,” Riddle says, “but the farriers who use pad cutters make better cuts, save time and avoid wear and tear on their…