Master class: how to cut a shifting housing without housing cutter

This article may be useful for those who need to route a new shifting housing, and who want to do it on their own at home.

Shifting housing is a plastic tube surrounded by a bundle of longitudinal steel wires, which, in turn, are also protected by a pair of plastic layers. It is unreal to cut housing by usual side cutters, in the workshops, there are special cutters for housing.

I needed to cut the housing, but I didn’t want to spend money on such cutters, just to do it a couple of times. I found on YouTube a great video of terrible quality, how to make a perfect cut without housing cutters 😃


  1. Measure the required housing length.
  2. Shift 1.5 sm further.
  3. Cut off the housing at this point. This is not easy to do, the cut place will be torn. First, you need to strongly squeeze the cut point with side cutters (or pliers), sometimes you need to do this from several sides so that the wires inside the housing are exposed. It’s good if dents appear on them. Then you need to bend the housing back and forth with your hands in this place many times until the wires break.
  4. Now you need to use a knife to remove the outer layer to the place where you need a clean cut. This is similar to preparing the wire for soldering.
  5. At this stage, you need a file with a sharp edge. I had a triangular one, it fit perfectly. It is necessary to walk in a circle and carefully make a cut at the base of each wire. It’s easier than it sounds.
  6. Peel back each wire. Due to the notch, this is done easily.
  7. Bend and unbend each wire until it breaks. As a rule, it breaks after 2-3 movements.
  8. The last step is to cut off the inner plastic tube.
  9. Voilà! We got a perfect cut, perhaps even better than with wire cutters 😎