The British army has used the same design of folding wire cutters for well over a century now. This simple design is clearly effective and combines a small size, relatively low weight and the leverage necessary to cut through heavy gauge wire. Whilst the wire cutters have not changed, the pouches used to carry them have undergone a number of revisions over the years. The original webbing carriers were replaced with PLCE compatible designs in the mid 1990s, initially in the standard DPM camouflage of the period. Today the design of this pouch remains the same, however the pattern of camouflage it is manufactured from has been updated to the modern MTP pattern:
The pouch is triangular in shape, with a large top flap secured by a tab and single press stud. Opening this allows access to the interior of the pouch, which is sized to hold a pair of wire cutters comfortably:
The interior of the pouch is lined with a plastic coating to keep moisture out and prevent the wire cutters from rusting. The rear face of the pouch has a large flap secured by a pair of press studs:
This created a loop that can be slipped onto any belt, however as the pouch is designed for use with the PLCE system, a pair of plastic T- bars are fitted that engage with the woven pockets on the rear of a PLCE belt and prevent the pouch from sliding back and forth:
A label inside the wire cutter pouch indicates that this particular example was manufactured in 2015:
Sometimes the simplest designs are the best, and the longevity of this pattern of wire cutter bears this out. It still feels strange to have a piece of equipment that is equally in home in my World War One kit as it is in my War on Terror kit and this pouch is a nice addition to go with my most modern British Army field equipment.
It’s always said that “if it works, don’t fix it”.
Our motto was “if it works, take it apart and see what makes IT so damned special” 😉