Cutting Devices

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Cutting devices are one of the most important pieces of equipment for divers in our area. Entanglement in fishing line, nets, or even a divers own navigation line is potentially lethal ("line is evil"). This piece of equipment is so important that it requires redundancy, in case one device is lost or non-functional.

May non divers (and even experienced divers) assume that this means a knife - preferably a large, imposing looking, military grade "BFK" strapped to the divers leg. While these make good props for movies (one of the reasons why they are so popular), my feeling is that they are a poor choice for most recreational diving applications. The one exception to this would be for spearfishing, but even then there are good additional choices to bring along. I understand that not everyone feels this way, but this is my opinion.

In order to cut line with a knife, you may need to exert significant pressure on it, possibly in an area where you can't see the blade well. When the line is cut, there is a sudden motion of a very sharp and pointy object which can damage other gear or even injure a diver. With something like EMS-style trauma shears, you can exert all the pressure you want safely, even if you are cutting something heavy like cable. There is no sharp end to the shears, they are very safe. Even if you successfully use a dive knife, it's possible to stab yourself or your BC when trying to replace it into the sheath.

Good quality shears are generally dependable, and very cheap. While they may become tarnished they remain functional, and you can replace them every season for a few dollars. They are extremely useful during the dive and above water for all sorts of work. They fit easily Into a pouch that can be attached to a harness or BC. And they have excellent cutting ability - you can exert significant pressure with a single hand.

For backing up the shears, I use a
Trilobite style line cutter. This is another very safe and inexpensive device, with a sheath that can be fixed to a dive computer wrist strap, or anywhere else easily accessible.

Please bring two cutting devices on every dive!

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