Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper (Review)

I’m a hobby miser when it comes to fancy tools. I don’t like spending money on things that I don’t need, aren’t going to improve my craft, or I find overvalued. Redgrass Games, a company dedicated to providing high-quality tools for miniature painters and creatives, released two new tools in their line up: the Sprue Cutter and the Precision Nipper. After giving them a spin, I do recommend both of these tools for any discerning hobbyist looking to work with the premium equipment. Want to cut fast, precise, and make the process of assembling minis more enjoyable? Take a closer look at these premium model cutting tools.

Contents show

In this article, I review the RGG sprue cutter and nippers over a month of normal hobby use in various scale model kit assembly tasks. I also compared these Redgrassgames’ tools to similarly priced competitor plastic model kit cutters that I’ve used over many years.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - vertical feature image

Disclaimer: Redgrass Games (RGG) provided me with free demo copies of their sprue cutter and precision nipper (two different tools) for this review. Of course, they had no idea what I would write and I always maintain full liberty to express my honest opinion.

Short on time? See the top sprue cutters and nippers in this review 🏆

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - sprue cutter radial array with tips inwards
Does shape and size matter for cutting sprues, runners, and working with model kits?

Summary Verdict: Are the Redgrass games Sprue Cutters and Precision Nippers Worth it?

The Redgrass Games’ Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper are game changers. I don’t really like assembling minis. I much prefer the painting process. With this in mind, the RGG sprue cutter, in particular, has spoiled me. It certainly added a bit of “enjoyment” in what I consider a mundane aspect of the hobby.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - cutter and nipper on black cutting mat side by side
These RGG tools have become my favorite tools for almost every model kit assembly project. They work well together.

I don’t think I’ll ever use another plastic/resin model cutter tool again. Yes, I did get my copy free as for this review. But now that I’ve tried them for myself, I would totally buy the RGG sprue cutter for myself if I had the opportunity.

RELATED: Redgrass Games R9 Desk Lamp for Miniature Painting and Hobby Modeling (Review)

For all-purpose model kit assembly, I have decided to make the sprue cutters my primary go-to cutting tool. These orange-handled, sharp cutters do make the job of separating plastic and resin bits from sprues simple and fast. And yes, the RGG Precision Nipper is equally as impressive.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Close up of Tau battlesuit legs wip on plastic base with cutter in foreground
Working with plastic model kits? You’ll have an easier time with clean, flush cuts, which requires sharp cutting tools.

Together, they are expensive. Yet, realize that these tools are premium hobby products. The cutter’s and nipper’s sharpness, ergonomics, durability, and excellent ease-of-use set them apart from similarly priced competitors. The sturdy yet lightweight design ensures comfortable use, while the slim tip and low-pressure operation facilitate precise cuts in tight spaces.

Bottomline: If you’re serious about model-making, the Redgrass Games’ Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper are investments worth making. They might stretch your budget initially, but the elevated model-making experience they provide could be worth the budget splurge.

Pros & Cons

RGG Sprue CutterRGG Precision Nipper
SharpnessSlices through sprue effortlessly, leaving minimal to no residual nubsOffers a clean, flush cut that minimizes damage to parts removed from the sprue
ErgonomicsComfortable grip, balanced weight, and provides satisfactory feedback when usedHas a slim tip that fits into tight spaces, operates with very little pressure, custom spring tension
DurabilityMaintains sharpness even after extensive useRetains sharpness and flush cuts with reproducible precision
Low maintenanceSimple clean up after each useAlmost no effort required to maintain
PriceThe premium cost could be a barrier for hobbyists on a budgetAs with the sprue cutter, the premium price might be prohibitive for some hobbyists

Read on to see the full review of the RGG Sprue Cutter and RGG Precision Nippers.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - pile of plastic sprues from Games Workshop model kits
Got plastic?

7 Essential Features of Sprue Cutters and Precision Nippers

Here’s a quick overview of what I see as important factors to consider in any cutting implement. Back when I was younger, I used to whittle and carve wood. I learned a lot from this hobby.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - a radial array of cutting tools for working with plastic and resin.
A variety of plastic/resin cutting tools, and a traditional wire cutter (which I relied on for many years for pewter metal modeling).

For example, a durable knife that keeps its edge even through hard use is worth its weight in gold. Of course, there are many other factors that go into what makes an effective and fun cutting tool. Sprue cutters and nippers are no different.

Here are 7 things you should know about finding the right model plastic sprue cutter/nipper for your hobby work.

  1. Shape of cutting blade edges
  2. Ergonomics and comfort
  3. Size and weight
  4. Sharpness
  5. Durability
  6. Ease of maintenance
  7. Price

1. Shape of Cutting Blade Edges

When choosing a sprue cutter or precision nipper, the shape of the cutting blade edges is important. Fine-pointed, steep beveled blades (i.e., with asymmetric cutting edges in a compact tip), like those you find in the Precision Nippers, are excellent for intricate cuts in hard-to-reach spaces. Longer, flat blades, such as in the Sprue Cutters, are ideal for straight and accurate cuts on larger sprues or when you want to work more quickly.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Close up view of the RGG sprue cutter
RGG Sprue cutter long blade and cutting edge
Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - close up of the RGG precision nipper, notice the asymmetric blades in the cutting tip
RGG Precision nipper with asymmetric cutting edges

2. Ergonomics and Comfort

Ergonomics play a vital role in tool selection. Handling comfort is a top priority for any pleasant hobby experience. Look for tools with a comfortable handle designed to fit comfortably in your hand, reduce strain, and improve control.

RGG precision nipper with orange textured handle and Redgrassgames logo in black ink on it

The RGG Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper have curved handles that naturally fit the relaxed position of your fingers and palm in a rested posture. You want tools that can help reduce hand cramping as they are designed to work within your natural range of motion. The rubberized or non-slip grips give you more control over the course of your work. The orange color also gives you a visual cue of where your hands should go.

3. Size and Weight

This is related to the ergonomics of a tool. Compact and lightweight tools are preferable as they are easy to maneuver, reducing hand fatigue, and allow for precise control. In some cases, extra weight or mass does help with stability or torque applications, such as you may want in seam scrappers or wrenches.

Portable painting and assembly workstation deployed on a desk in a hotel room
If you’re traveling with your hobby, you’ll want tools that store away easily.

But with cutting tools, a light weight system that fits your natural grip make these types of tools easier to use, and improves comfort and performance. The RGG cutters and nippers are a perfect size for these reasons and they also happen to travel well. Just remember to use the blade tip covers when you’re storing them in your travel bag or case.

4. Sharpness

A blunt tool is useless. The sharpness of a tool’s blades directly impacts the quality of the cut. Finely sharpened blades, like those on the Redgrass Games tools, provide clean, precise cuts with minimal effort. If your cutters have dull edges, then you’ll have to apply more force to finish the cut. This can increase the risk for damaging the delicate model part, or make the edge prone to slippage leading to a misaligned cut or injury to yourself.

Razor sharp blade edge on the RGG sprue cutter, black metal with redgrass logo.
The blade on the RGG sprue cutter is really-sharp! Will it stay that way? In my testing, it has held up very well with weeks of use.

The RGG sprue cutter and nipper are super sharp. In fact, they are currently the sharpest bladed tools I own aside from my hobby knives.

5. Durability

Durability is a key consideration. Look for tools made from robust materials, like hardened steel for blades and high-quality plastic or metal for handles, to ensure they withstand extended use. The Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper are great examples of such durable tools. Their handles are entirely metal and extend right into the cutting tips.

6. Ease of Maintenance

The ideal tool is easy to maintain. Look for designs that allow for easy cleaning and infrequent sharpening, much like the Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper. A simple wipe down after use can prolong the life and performance of your tools. Using knife oil on bladed tools also keeps rust or patina from forming, improving performance and service life. I use knife pivot lube on my wood whittling tools (used in this project) to keep them in top condition.

7. Price

While cost is an important factor, it’s crucial to consider the value you’re getting. The Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper’s combination of robust design, durability, and precision cutting capabilities offers a compelling value for their price.

While I was not initially expecting there to be a noticeable difference with RGG’s tools as compared with less expensive cutters I’d used before, I quickly realized what I was missing. Read more below for why. I have to take my advice: As with anything you buy for the hobby, balancing cost with quality will lead to a worthwhile investment in your model-making toolkit.

Sprue Cutter Versus Precision Nippers: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a sprue cutter and precision nipper? I had to dig deeper to find out more about their similarities and differences. Picking between the two? It all boils down to what you need and how you’re gonna use them. Basically, your choice depends on what jobs you’ve got lined up for these tools.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - side by side shot of the two tools on a black backdrop
Sprue cutter (left) and Precision nipper (right)

Sprue Cutters

These tools are designed to remove parts from sprues (the frames to which parts of plastic or resin model kits are attached). Sprue cutters typically have a broader, flat blade which is designed to cut closer to the part without damaging it. They’re usually strong and robust, capable of handling larger, thicker sprues. The RGG sprue cutter has is fantastic for breaking down general stock plastic/resin model kits without worrying about damage to the tool (within reason).

Precision Nippers

These are fine-tuned for more intricate and delicate work. Precision nippers usually have a narrower, sharp-edged blade for precise, close cuts. This allows model makers to remove smaller parts or trim away excess plastic with higher precision, including in hard-to-reach areas.

A closer look at the RGG nippers will reveal an asymmetric blades. One side is beveled with a steeper angle than the other. While the other continues to have an extremely sharp single edge. In this case, this single side cutter configuration places less stress on more fragile material, e.g., fine cast resin, allowing for a clean cut with less risk of breakage or cracking of the parts.

Which should I choose?

If I had to choose just one tool, the sprue cutter or precision nipper, I’d buy the sprue cutter. The sprue cutter may not create the flush, super-smooth cuts through small plastic or resin pieces that the precision nippers can make. But the sprue cutter is more durable and versatile.

The sprue cutter also appears to leverage more force easily. And, while this could risk some cracking or breakage on very delicate materials on very small parts, the sprue cutters can do quite a lot of work in any modeling task with some gentle care and patience.

In general, imho, you’ll find more uses with the sprue cutter in various hobby tasks. If you need the smoother, flush-cut surfaces that a precision nipper provides and you only have a sprue cutter, you can always clean up the material surface with sandpaper, a small file, or a hobby knife.

Summary: Sprue Cutter vs Precision Nippers

Sprue CuttersPrecision Nippers
Blade SizeLarger/longerSmaller/thinner
Primary UseCutting through sprues/runnersCutting close to parts for cleanup
Jaw ThicknessThickThin
Cut SmoothnessStandard, reliableSmooth without stress marks
Closeness of CutStandard (close)Cuts closer with part
DurabilityHighly durableRequires care with low force

Arrival and Unboxing of the RGG Sprue Cutter/Nipper

My experience with Redgrass Games has always been excellent. So, I was not surprised that the tools arrived safe and sound. Both the sprue cutter and precision nipper arrived packaged in simple, yet effective blister packs with minimal plastic packaging.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - RGG precision nipper in packaging
Redgrass Sprue cutters in packaging blister pack

On the back of each package, I found instructions for best uses for the cutter/nipper. I also noted a warning to avoid cutting material with only the tips of the blades, as this could snap those tips.

Cautionary instructions on the RGG precision nipper
Notice the instructions for the RGG precision nipper? One edge of the cutting tool is ultra sharp. It provides one of the most distinctive cutting and trimming experiences in my testing. And, the nipper doesn’t require much force to slice through plastic, creating thin translucent slivers during trim and smoothing work.

Removing these tools from the packaging was a simple process. Once I removed the protective wrapping, the cutter and nipper greeted me with bright orange textured handles, fine honed edged blades, and a nice springy handle response–dampened perfectly. See below about these tools’ handling and ergonomics.

Close up of the RGG Precision Nipper spring within the handle pivot point
The dampening spring in the RGG precision nipper is perfectly tensioned for maximum control and comfort. I thoroughly enjoyed using this for finer scale plastic work.

The cutting ends of each tool came with translucent rubber caps to protect the metallic tips (and you) from damage. I put these plastic caps aside, as I know I’d want to use them later if I ended up traveling with the cutters. I often take my hobby with me on trips to conventions or for business meetings away from home.

Rubber cap on the RGG precision nipper
Protect yourself and the tool by capping the cutter with the included rubber cap.

First USE and Lasting Impressions: Cuts like a Hot Knife Through Butter

I performed various tests on random plastic and resin sprues and bits I had. I also assembled a complete box of Tau XV25 Stealth Battlesuits using these cutters/nippers. It’s a new Warhammer 40k army and so why not start with fresh tools and in-depth look at how the Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter/Precision Nipper can help me.

Front box cover for the warhammer 40k Tau XV5 Stealth Battlesuits for assembly on my desk
I’m preparing to assemble this box of Warhammer 40k Tau XV25 Stealth Battlesuits. All miniature painting and modeling journeys start here.

Note that in the cutter and nipper a set screw prevents the two blade sides from touching too closely. The metal in each edge can damage the cutting tips if these screws aren’t calibrated properly. The good news is that my copies arrived with these set screws perfectly aligned, and I didn’t have to do anything to start working with the tools.

Rgg precision nipper back side view closed blades and smooth operation
The RGG Precision Nipper closes tightly, but not so far that the blades side touch and damage themslves,
Redgrass sprue cutter closed blades close up back side
The pivot operation and perfect alignment make for a smoothly operating cutting action with the Redgrass sprue cutter.

I received two different tools: To keep things easy to follow I’ll organize this section by tool type, starting with my experience with RGG sprue cutter.

Using the RGG Sprue Cutter:

As someone who’s been knee-deep in Warhammer 40k modeling for a while now, I’ve always been on the lookout for tools that can streamline my hobby. The Redgrassgames Sprue Cutters are a premium at $39.99 but they caught my attention early on.

Redgrass Sprue cutter in packaging blister pack

Without getting into the weeds, I would have bought them earlier if I actually knew how well they’d perform right out of the box. The RGG Sprue Cutter cuts through plastic modeling sprues like a hot knife through butter. Cliche, I know. But I’m lazy, and you all know what butter does when you slide a knife across it on hot toast.

Tau plastic model kit on hobby desk with cutters laying nearby
Laying out the plastic sprue and ready to snip away!

I started my experiment with some plastic parts from one of my model kits, and the sprue cutters made quick work of it. I was very impressed by how easy it was to make precise and clean cuts with this tool. The ergonomic handles fit comfortably in my hands, and the rubberized grip allowed me to keep a secure hold.

Redgrass sprue cutter with cut off part from the Tau model kit sprue runner
Well, that’s was fun. Let’s do that again!

As long as I aligned the flat side of the cutting blades against the part I wanted to remove, the sharply beveled blades snipped cleanly. A single cut created a fairly flush surface on the desired model part.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Close up of the sprue cutter in action with a plastic model part in the kit
You can get really close the part with the thin profile of the Redgrass games sprue cutter.

Interesting Observations with RGG Sprue Cutters

Here’s a note about versatility. The Redgrass Sprue Cutters are touted as capable of handling both small-scale and large-scale model parts. I found this to be accurate. I’ve used them on a variety of sprues, from the intricate and tiny pieces of the Tau weapon bits to the bigger and more robust chunks of an landraider kit. I also worked on some resin blocks from a Forgeworld model I still had to work on.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Landraider door part removal from plastic runner with RGG sprue cutter
Large parts with their thicker runners and gates are no problem for the RGG sprue cutter.

The adaptability of these cutters truly impressed me; I was able to transition seamlessly between different project scales without changing tools, which I found to be a big time-saver.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Forgeworld modeling resin in a plastic bag with the RGG sprue cutter on a black tabletop
Resin isn’t a problem for either the Regrass Precision Nipper or Sprue Cutter.

Will they last?

The next claim was about durability. Built with premium materials, these cutters are supposed to withstand the test of time and regular use. My experience? They feel solid, really solid. After weeks of consistent use, they’ve shown no sign of wear.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - flash removal from a block of resin from a FW Citadel Kit

I’ve had my fair share of tools breaking down midway through a project, but these cutters are sturdy, and I’ve got a feeling they’re in it for the long haul.

Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper Review - RGG sprue cutter RGG precision nipper - Tau modeling parts subassemblies on a glass palette
Assembling my Tau model kit continues….

Now, the most critical factor for me is always precision. The Redgrass Sprue Cutters promise clean, smooth finishes with a distinct narrow head design. I was skeptical, and never thought much about how much better premium tools would be for something as simple as sprue cutting would be.

A clean cut shown close up with the precision nipper
Examining the model part for residual plastic from the sprue after cutting with the precision nipper.

Whether it was plastic or resin, the cuts were incredibly clean, accurate, and notably, didn’t damage the integrity of my model pieces. Here’s where I was most pleased: The precision these cutters offered reduced the time I spent cleaning up the pieces, resulting in a more efficient and satisfying assembly process–And, I never really enjoyed assembling models. Blasphemy to some of you, I know!

Tau model assembly wip on a plastic base on a cutting mat from The Army Painter
The Warhammer 40k model kit subassemblies for this Tau Battlesuit cohort is coming together, nicely. On to the next step, weapon attachments.

If there’s one thing I would advise, it’s to handle the sprue cutters with care. They are precision tools, after all, not bolt cutters. But given their solid build, I expect them to last a long time with proper use.

Summary of key observations with the RGG Sprue Cutter

Cutting Blade Edge ShapeThe broad, flat blades of the Redgrass Sprue Cutters deliver accurate cuts across a variety of sprues, proving invaluable for intricate Warhammer 40k models and larger modeling parts, e.g., terrain, vehicles
Ergonomics and ComfortThe ergonomic design reduces hand strain during prolonged modeling sessions, while providing a secure grip that improves cutting precision
Size and WeightDespite their compact and lightweight design, these cutters pack a powerful punch. They’re not only easy to handle and store, but also significantly reduce hand fatigue
SharpnessThanks to their finely sharpened blades, the cutters ensure clean, precise cuts with minimal effort, whether on plastic or resin
DurabilityConstructed from premium materials, the Redgrass Sprue Cutters have shown no signs of wear after weeks of regular use, validating their durability claim
Ease of MaintenanceLow maintenance is another key feature. A simple wipe down post-use keeps these cutters in excellent condition, without the need for frequent sharpening
PricePriced at $39.99, the Redgrass Sprue Cutters may seem expensive. However, considering their robust design, versatility, cutting efficiency, and durability, they are definitely a tool I would recommend taking a closer look

My experience with the RGG Precision Nipper:

The RGG Precision Nippers from are listed at $49.99. Precision nippers are tasked with cutting close and personal with model parts. As detailed above, they are designed to easily remove miniature easily remove miniature parts with precise, smooth cuts that reduces your effort when it comes to clean up prior to priming and painting.

RGG precision nipper in blister packaging

My initial impression? The Redgrassgames Precision Nippers truly embody their name. When it comes to accurately cutting parts off plastic miniatures or resin models, I found these did the job exactly as marketed.

RGG precision nipper close up removing small greeble parts from the model sprue
The snipped off pieces using the RGG precision nipper came off cleanly. I didn’t have to apply much force for the cut.

Whether dealing with tiny, intricate components or larger, bulkier pieces, these nippers provided a close, clean cut every time. I went gently and slowly at first. Then, as I grew comfortable, I went more quickly and purposely with these nippers.

RGG precision nipper working on larger parts
While the precision nipper works fine on larger parts, you should avoid opening the blades more than 3mm to avoid damaging the tool. You’ll also be more effective on thicker plastic/resin parts if you opt to use the sprue cutter instead.


They chewed through part after part on a pile of sprue kits I had to work through. I used them on an array of Warhammer 40k models, from Space Marines to Tau Empire battlesuits, and in every instance, I found that the cleanup afterwards was significantly reduced.

RGG precisoin nipper close up during clean up work.
The single razor-sharp blade on one side the RGG precision nipper is incredible. I was able to trim and smooth the leftover plastic nubs left behind by the sprue cutter. Very little force was needed, and the process was fast!

The Nippers’ angled blade design is indeed sharp and offers an edge over other models I’ve tried before. This feature came to the fore when I was working on delicate parts, such as hands, heads, and weapon parts.

Large vehicle part with plastic clean up close up photo
A touch of sandpaper on this surface and it’s done.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the careful cuts from the Precision Nipper reduced the pressure on these delicate components, minimizing the risk of damage.

The Custom Spring in the RGG Nipper Felt Good

One of the things I appreciate the most about these nippers is their custom spring mechanism. These I assume were carefully selected in the design to provide a dampening effect while the cutters are in operation.

Close up of the orange textured handle of the RGG precision nipper and curled metall handle shape
Ergonomically, the RGG precision nipper fit perfectly in my hand, Using an over- or under-handed grip felt natural during each cutting task.

It adds a sense of fluidity to each cut, making the entire process feel smoother and faster. The soft, ergonomic grips further enhance the comfort factor, meaning that even after hours of assembly work, my hands felt relaxed and strain-free.

The spring loaded cutting tip of the precision nipper gave me meticulous contol over each cut.

Something that really struck me was their versatility in dealing with both plastic and resin kits. Working with resin can be challenging due to its brittle nature, but the Precision Nippers navigated through with ease. This ability to transition seamlessly between different material types is a major plus point for me.

Now, let’s talk durability. The RGG Precision Nipper feels robust and sturdy. After several weeks of regular use, I haven’t noticed any wear on the blades or the grips. This gives me confidence that they’re built to last, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they hold up in the long term.

RGG precisoin nipper close up of the back of the blade end, polished view
This close up shows the polished finish on the RGG precision nipper.

The Precision Nippers do come at a premium price. But considering the superior cutting experience, reduced cleanup time, and comfortable, ergonomic design, I consider it a worthwhile investment.

summary of my observations with the RGG Precision Nipper

Cutting Blade Edge ShapeThe sharp, angled blades of the RGG Precision Nipper ensure a clean and precise cut on a variety of components. They are designed to remove miniature plastic components and scale model plastic parts from their sprues with minimal cleanup. The asymmetric cutting blades ensures that you can accurately and closely cut each component from the sprue with minimal force.
Ergonomics and ComfortThe custom spring mechanism and soft ergonomic grips make these nippers easy on your hands, even during extended use. The handle is distinctive and comfortable, allowing for optimal use regardless of how long your assembly session takes. As with the sprue cutter, the handle is entirely metal coated in a rubberized textured grip. It is very comfortable in my medium sized hands.
SharpnessThe high-quality steel blade is designed for clean, precise cuts. This makes the clipping process quick, easy, and accurate.
Size and WeightCompact and designed for effortless use, the RGG Precision Nipper is also lightweight and easy to handle, similar to the Redgrass Sprue Cutters.
DurabilityWith its robust build, the RGG Precision Nipper is designed for long-term use and durability, showing no signs of wear even after several weeks of use.
Ease of MaintenanceThe RGG Precision Nipper requires almost no maintenance. A simple wipe down after use keeps it in excellent condition.
PriceThe RGG Precision Nipper is priced at $49.99. Considering the level of precision, reduced cleanup time, and overall quality, this tool is a worthy of a closer look. From my experience and market research, these nippers appear to provide the closest cut for its class of affordable, premium, model cutters.

Scale Model Plastic Parts Removal with the Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper

As an enthusiast who’s spent considerable time assembling Warhammer 40k models, I’ve experienced firsthand the importance of using the right tools for the job.

Ork and space marine warhammer 40k model on a desk working surface
Sometimes you need a blunt instrument to do the finish the job. Other times, you need a precision strike. Of course, you’ll need to decide for yourself how much of a mess you want to make along the way.

For working with plastic modeling kits, the Sprue Cutter with its broad, flat blades, is a workhorse. It cuts through plastic parts effortlessly, making it ideal for quickly removing larger parts from sprues. It’s an excellent general-purpose tool for plastic model kits.

Cutting clear acrylic bases with the RGG sprue cutter is easy
Get close and personal with your tools.

On the other hand, the Precision Nipper brings a more targeted approach. It is the scalpel to the Sprue Cutter’s sword. Its sharp, angled blades offers the closest and most precise cut available on the market.

My over handed grip on the RGG precision nipper. Close up of the RGG logo on the handle and the metallic pivot point.
A razor’s edge…the RGG Precision Nipper

This tool comes into its own when working with smaller, more intricate components, reducing the chances of damaging them while minimizing the amount of cleanup work later on.

Assembled Tau XV25 Stealth Battlesuits in gray plastic, unpainted on a black backdrop
These 40k Tau Stealth Battlesuits came together quickly with the help of some clean, smooth cuts, a tiny dab of my favorite super glue and a healthy dose of caffeine.

Importantly, both tools are capable of handling both plastic and resin kits, adding to their versatility. The difference lies in the nature of the cut: the Sprue Cutter is more suited to broad strokes, while the Precision Nipper excels in detail work.


In terms of ergonomics, both tools deliver with a comfortable grip and a design that reduces hand strain during prolonged modeling sessions. I’ve spent hours working on assembling models with these tools.

Plastic model close up from Warhammer 40k Games Workshop Citadel miniature
I assembled this limited edition Warhammer 40k model in a hotel room.

For large, robust parts and general use, the Sprue Cutter is your tool of choice. I recommend the sprue cutter if you’re unsure which to choose first. When it comes to smaller, delicate parts or when greater precision is required, the Precision Nipper truly shines, e.g., 3D printed parts, cured resin scaffolding removal.

Resin 3D print with scaffolding material that needs removal
I never enjoyed the process of cleaning up a 3D resin print. Scaffolding material always leaves behind an ugly array of stubs that require sandpaper or filing to smooth out.
Final 3D printed model painted to a high standard.
For 3D printed miniatures, cleaning up build lines and removing scaffolding material is required for best results.

At some point, if you’re working with a variety of model types, sizes, and scales, e.g., Gunpla, tabletop miniatures, military scale models, the sprue cutter and nippers complement each other. With them together, you have the entire arsenal you need to handle any modeling assembly task.

How About Resin Models?

A quick word for working with resin. Because resin is a softer material than plastic, it could be a tad more fragile. Resin is prone to cracking, and does take a bit more skill to cut smoothly (despite its soft character).

12 Useful Gap Fillers for Miniatures and Models (Review and Tips) - Forgeowlrd resin model for a adeptus custodes army warhammer 40k 30k
“Forgeworld Adeptus Custodes Hover Tank” | This is a resin model that required finesse to assemble properly. Each part had excess flash, mold lines, and other bits that required precision trimming and smoothing. If I didn’t have the right tools, this could have been an extremely challenging job to do well.
12 Useful Gap Fillers for Miniatures (Review and Tips) - assembling resin from forgeworld a hover tank for 40k adeptus custodes army
Assembling this resin Forgeworld model (Games Workshop) was challenging.

While I won’t bore you with the same experiences I had with plastic (as resin snips and cuts easier), the character of an effortless cut through resin model pieces with either RGG tool was super easy. As with plastic, I felt that the low profile of the precision nipper in particular helped to reduce hand fatigue when working on detailed, intricate parts.

Best Way to Remove Miniature Plastic Components (Tips and Insight)

If you are a hobbyist who enjoys building models or miniatures, you know how important it is to remove the plastic components from the sprues without damaging them. Sprues are the plastic frames that hold the parts together and are usually attached to the parts by thin connectors. Sometimes, these connectors can leave unsightly marks or nubs on the parts when they are cut off, which can ruin the appearance of your model.


A oft recommended way to remove miniature plastic components from model kit sprues is to use both sprue cutters and precision nippers in a two-step process.

First, use the sprue cutters to cut off the connectors close to the sprue, leaving a small nub on the part. Then, use the precision nippers to remove the nub from the part, cutting flush with the surface. This way, you can avoid damaging or deforming the part and achieve a clean and professional look.

Here are some tips I found from various sources that should help you get the best results when removing the parts from sprues for miniatures or scale models:

  • Use flush side cutters to separate the parts from the sprues. RGG cutters/nippers have a flat or flush side, which you should place against the model part when cutting off the sprue.
  • Trim excess plastic leftover from the molds using precision nippers (easier, safer) or a hobby knife (requires a bit more skill and care).
  • Use a small file or sandpaper to smooth out any residual imperfections from the cut
  • A gap filler substrate can help you recreate the original surface if you accidentally damaged the part during the cutting process.

Comparison with Other Clippers, Cutters, and Nippers

Other nippers may look sharper or pretty in prime condition. But, in my comparison against Army Painter Cutters, also known as plastic frame cutters, or the single blade nippers that I found a long time ago in a hardware store, the RGG Sprue Cutters and Precision Nippers performed equal to or better than all of them.

The RGG sprue cutter and precision nipper should be used in a two step process for best results
Use these tools in a two-step process: 1) Apply the Sprue Cutter (left) to cut and remove parts cleanly and quickly from the plastic sprue, and then 2) trim parts with the Precision Nipper (right) to recreate the flush surface

The cost of affordable?

Upon closer inspection with “affordable” cutters, you can see that the quality of the steel, the grind at the blade edge isn’t as polished as the RGG offerings.

The Godhand ultimate nipper is an RGG precision nipper competitor
In my view, the GodHand Ultimate Nipper with its ultra-thin single-edged structure is probably the closest competitor to the RGG Precision Nipper. The Godhand nipper can sever plastic parts without stress compression marks, e.g., that white colorization, and leaves behind a smooth surface. Of course, the Godhand Ultimate Nipper is also more expensive than the RGG Precision Nipper.

The high quality steel for the RGG sprue cutters in particular impressed me, holding an extremely sharp single edge even when I tried the tools on metal (pewter) model parts.

Back of the Redgrass sprue cutter blades smooth and polished appearing
RGG Sprue Cutter blade edge (close view)
The Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter - close up of the blade with rust and imperfections in the cutting edge
The Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter. Brand new from the package, I noticed imperfections in the cutting edge, e.g., rust, dings. Does this affect it’s function? It depends on what you expect these to do.
Wire cutter blade close up
Quality wire snippers. They work, but are heavy and require a bit of force to split plastic because they aren’t very sharp. Not ideal for long assembly sessions, and could get uncomfortable.

By the way, while I don’t recommend you cut materials other than plastic or resin, I’m fairly sure a few snips in soft metal or wood wouldn’t hurt these tools. Just be aware these materials are outside their intended function.

A Comparison: The Army Painter Frame Cutter?

The army painter plastic frame cutter wide angle photo on a black tabletop
The Army Painter Plastic Frame cutter features sturdy red rubber grips and spring-loaded cutting blades that function well as intended. They require a bit more force to split plastic parts than the RGG sprue cutter, and leave behind a rough surface.

In a direct comparison with The Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter, the RGG sprue cutter does easily perform in a class of its own. Here, the RGG Cutter stands out with its ultra-sharp steel blades and a slightly higher precision due to a slimmer, pointed tip.

Cutting large plastic parts from a model plastic kit using the army painter plastic frame cutter
Working with The Army Painter Cutter is simple on large model sprue parts.
Close up of an imperfect cut on a vehicle part from a plastic sprue frame, with leftover nub
Budget cutters work well, but often leave a nub of plastic that requires clean up.

However, the Army Painter Cutter, being less expensive, provides the function for those looking to simply remove plastic parts for their kit assembly workflow, i.e., albeit with a rougher cut that will require clean up for best results.

Plastic sprue runner cut using cheap wire cutter. Notice the stress cut marks (change in plastic color)
For large, thick cuts, use a less expensive budget cutting tool. You’ll protect your finer instruments from excess wear and tear, when precision and accuracy are paramount.

The Army Painter rubber-coated handle works fine for extended crafting sessions but I realized quickly why the RGG sprue cutters/nippers cost more. The RGG offerings are lighter weight, easier to handle and maneuver in tight places, and I felt more confident working quickly.

Smooth cut surface on large plastic part using the Redgrass sprue cutter
Snipped with an RGG sprue cutter

There are certainly other premium tool cutters in my tool box that can cut-down polystyrene modeling plastic and resin. But they were designed primarily as industrial tools, e.g., wire cutters, and have a heft and handling to them that aren’t optimized for accurate, flush and smooth cuts that a hobbyist would prefer.

Summary of Sprue Cutters and Precision Nippers

Image Product Feature
Redgrass Games sprue cutters Redgrass Games Sprue Cutter Recommended high quality sprue cutting tool for detaching both small and large scale model parts from sprues and runners, cleanly and accurately
RGG precision nippers Redgrass Games Precision Nipper Precision nipper tool with ultra-sharp blades and exceptional precision, ideal for intricate miniature hobby tasks; Nearly eliminates need for part clean up
Alternative competitor cutters Generic Wire Flush Cutter My old workhorse small part cutter, e.g., modeling kits, resin modeling, 3D printed scaffold and part removal, and anything hobby related
Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter The Army Painter Plastic Frame Cutter Affordable model kit plastic sprue cutter
Godhand nipper blue handle GodHand Ultimate Nipper Exotic high-end (expensive import) precision nipper for gunpla, scale modelers, and other fine detail kit hobbyists’ needs

Blade Maintenance

You should not need to sharpen your sprue cutter or nippers for a very, very long time (if ever), as long as you handle them with care, avoid cutting anything other than plastic or resin (e.g., soft materials).

To ensure long service life of the blades in these tools, make sure you avoid cutting any material that could dull them. Also, make sure to replace the plastic cap that came with each tool to protect the tips from damage.

Knife oil bottle with dropper top
Knife oil is a specialized lubricant you use to maintain, protect, and improve the functionality of bladed tools. Every few months, I apply a small amount to the pivot point and blade-edge on my cutting tools.

While I can’t tell you exactly what kind of metal the RGG blades are made of, they are certainly strong and seem quite durable. If I had to guess, based on their performance and the common materials used in such tools, I would hazard they are possibly made of one of the standard steels used in blades for wire cutting tools, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, chrome vanadium steel, or even tungsten carbide.

If they are made with any of those steels I mention above, I know that knife oil can maintain a sharp-edged tool’s performance. A light dab of tool or knife oil on the blades and the pivot will keep any sprue cutter or nipper going for a very long time.


The Redgrassgames’ Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper are amazing tools that surpassed my initial expectations. Their premium cost is justified by their performance in my use assembling miniatures and models for my growing Warhammer 40k army.

Despite my usual reluctance to spend more on hobby tools, these products have changed my mind when it comes to what ails me about assembly–the frustration with poorly snipped bits and parts that takes too long and produces an uneven cut that I spend tedious hours cleaning up with sandpaper or files. Precise cuts with the sharp RGG cutter or nipper did make this process much more efficient for me!

I suppose as with choosing between cheap or quality hobby paints, there are times when choosing the right (best) supplies will save you the hassle and frustration of unexpected results.

Compared with a similarly priced competitor cutting tools, Redgrass Games’ offerings held up well. Regardless of one’s level of experience with model-making, the Sprue Cutter and Precision Nipper can be considered worthwhile additions to any hobbyist’s toolbox.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found this review helpful!

Do you own any Redgrass Games’ tools or palettes? I want to know what you think of them! Send me a message or leave a comment below 👍😀.

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