When you’re building Gunpla models, your side-cutters are the tool you’ll use more than any other. Great for getting parts cleanly out of their runners and paring down larger imperfections, a good pair of side-cutters can be like an extension of your own hand.
We recently had the awesome opportunity to review a pair of Gundam Planet Premium Side Cutters, and using them simply reminded me that good, sharp cutters like these are invaluable.
Over the years, I’ve used some questionable side-cutter choices. Before I knew where to buy side-cutters specifically designed for model building, I used to buy jewelry nippers at the craft store. They’re OK in a pinch, but they are much blunter than hobby side-cutters.
Next, I graduated to the Tamiya side-cutters I’ve been recommending for years. I still like these, but my time using the Gundam Planet side-cutters has spoiled me even more!
The thing that makes Gundam Planet’s cutters special is an extremely sharp, thin nose. I’ve taken pictures from multiple angles because it’s honestly hard to capture the slim tip. I found this very helpful for precision-cutting, and for angling into small gaps between the sprues.
On the other hand, the Gundam Planet side-cutters’ small nose size means I’m too nervous to use them to cut larger pieces. On the biggest, most noticeable pieces of a model, I won’t cut flush against it, but leave a bit of a nub that I can shave away with an X-Acto knife. But I didn’t want to use the cutters to snip through thicker sprues because they’re so thin. While they’re probably sharp enough to handle it, I do want to make them last a while. Meanwhile, my Tamiya cutters are older and blunter and I don’t mind making them do the heavy lifting.
My verdict: Gundam Planet’s side cutters are awesome, and have replaced my Tamiya cutters for all but the thickest sprue cutting. Thin, lightweight, sharp and springy, they feel like good side-cutters should: a mere extension of my hand.