Struggling to get clean, straight ends, for your N, OO and HO track when cutting it? Here’s how I use the Xuron cutters to get perfect track every time.
Hello, my name is Andy and I’m a model railway addict.
My railways are my sanctuary. The thing I turn to when I need to relax. I can disappear into my loft, shed or den, depending which railway I’m working on, and spend hours in my own little world.
But it’s not running trains that gives me enjoyment. Instead its creating and building layouts. The community for this website isn’t named ModelRailwayBuilders by chance. Researching and drawing up landscape and track plans, building scenery and laying track is what gives me the most enjoyment.
And as a result I’m continually cutting, laying and fixing track. For most of this track work, my Dremel is the goto tool but for odd quick track snipping Xuron track cutters are always within grasping distance.
When i got my first pair of Xuron cutters, I just attacked my rails, cutting them with abandon. It was only when I came to slide the rail joiners over the newly cut ends I realised the error of my
As good as the cutters are they’re only as good as the person using them and being an idiot, I’d used them the wrong way.
So how do you use them?
Well first things first, there are actually two types of Xuron track cutters.
The Xuron PXU2175B and the PXU2175M.
Make sure to get the right one.
The PXU2175B model is what I use most often, being used for track that’s not yet been laid or where you can easily hold it. It works for Z, N, HO and S gauges and when used correctly, unlikely how I used them, has a shear cutting action to give square ends to the rails.
These cutters work for Hornby and Peco fixed or flexi-track, Brass or Silver/Nickel rails up to code 100. For track with plastic bases, such a Kato, a Dremel or razor saw will be needed.
To cut the rails, hold them flat and steady and present the cutters to the rail so the cut is from top to bottom, not side to side, as seen in the photo here.
You’ll see the cutters have a flat face on one side, the rails end facing this surface will be square. The other rail will be rough.
Turn the cutters over and cut the rail with the rough edge so the flat surface of the blade faces the rai and cut.
Using this technique will give to two flat, square ends. Doing so allows clean cuts with no rough ends or burs and allows very slight cuts – when you only need to chop a few milli-meters off a rail for example.
My early errors of course to cut once, leaving rough ends, and to cut side to side damaging the rail profile.
This takes me nicely to the the other version, PXU2175M. These are designed for cutting rails that have been laid for which it’s not possible to cut the blades above and below the rails for a top to bottom cutting action as described above.
The M version cuts horizontally, across the rails so you can cut track thats fixed down.
Having the right Xuron cutters and using them correctly has helped me considerabl. And once I started using them correctly my track cutting got a lot better with rail ends that now slide into the joiners first time, every time, helping feed my addiction 🙂
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