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There are five general types of bolt cutters. Some are made for precious metals, others are designed for high-tensile wires. Some bolt cutters are designed to cut metal heated in a furnace to extreme temperatures, and another type is made to cut steel with high carbon content. General use bolt cutters can cut through brass, "mild" steel, copper, and other materials most likely to be used in household DIY projects such as plumbing or lock replacement. Depending on the job, you may need a set of angle-cut, which make for easy insertion. If you need to cut flat surfaces, try a clipper cut blade instead of the angle cut.