Cut A Metal Choke Cable

Special care is needed when cutting a metal choke cable.

The automotive industry uses metal choke cables for many different purposes, and nearly every type of vehicle uses a choke cable in some form or another. Bicycles use choke cables for brakes, cars for the carburetor and motorcycles for the throttle. The most obvious use of a choke cable, of course, is for the choke itself. Cutting a choke cable is relatively simple, but if you do not cut the cable correctly, the internal strand can twist or break.


1. Add an additional 2 to 3 inches for mistakes.

Measure off the amount of cable you need for the vehicle. Add an additional 2 to 3 inches in case you cut the cable in the wrong place and need to cut the cable again. The general rule of thumb used by mechanics is to add a half inch for every foot of cable, but you can add more than two or three inches if necessary.

2. Wrap the cut spot with duct tape to prevent fraying.

Wrap the area of the cable you intend to cut with duct tape. This will prevent damage in the process of cutting. In addition, it keeps the internal strand from twisting or breaking.

3. Mark the cut spot.

Mark the cut spot on top of the tape with a marker or pen.

4. Use “C” clamps to secure the now taped choke cable.

Use the “C” clamps to clamp down the cable to a scrap wood block or workbench on either side of the cut mark. This prevents the cable from moving while you cut it. Make sure both clamps keep the cable securely fastened. Make sure the clamps are tight enough to keep the cable stationary, but not too tight that they damage the cable sheath.

5. Pull the choke handle until the internal strand is past the cut mark. Keeping the internal strand past the cut mark, hold the choke cable handle in place and clamp down a third “C” clamp onto the wood block or table. Position the clamp around the cable but in front of the handle so the clamp prevents the choke cable handle from closing again. Since the cable is clamped to the table, the third “C” clamp will keep the cable from closing because the choke cable handle is too large to go through the opening of the third “C” clamp.

6. Use a fine-toothed metal cutting blade to cut the sheath.

Attach the fine-toothed metal blade to your cutting tool.

7. Slowly cut through the cable sheath with a circular cutting tool or hacksaw. Cut smoothly and keep the blade straight. Continue cutting until you are all the way through the sheath and into the wood.

8. Slowly release the clamps. The inner strand should now be longer than the cable’s sheath. Measure the needed length, and use tin snips to cut the internal strand.