Australian Wire Cutters

Whilst the wire cutters we looked at a few weeks back were the most common pattern used by the British Empire in World War Two, other variations did exist. Tonight’s cutters are a far simpler design then the folding pair featured previously, consisting of just two metal castings hinged together in a scissors style:

169C3D16-8AC2-40E5-BC11-125319199ED1They are made of a white metal alloy, approximately 12 inches long. The long handles give the necessary leverage needed to cut heavy duty military wire with minimal effort on the part of the user:

C0975434-4085-47C7-A5F7-99ECAD1E0750On the body of the cutter is a maker’s mark of Gregsteel and the ‘D/|\D’ indicating they were made in Australia:

EB0DB0CD-498A-4F81-B552-A10C4F6D2A08Gregsteel was a trademark of ‘Gregory Steel Products’ of Melbourne who were a major manufacturer of tools for the military (both Australian and American) and were in business from c1912-1975. In 1952 they were the largest manufacturer of knives in the southern hemisphere. Unfortunately these cutters aren’t dated, but they do seem consistent with Second World War designs. The D/|\D mark stands for ‘Defence Department’ who were the Australian equivalent of the War Department in the UK. This particular design of cutter seems only to have been manufactured by this company in Australia and is another example of Empire countries increasingly looking to their own manufacturing capacity rather than relying on the mother country for all their military equipment.

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