When Milliseconds Matter™

Pyrotechnic Cutter (Guillotine, Reefing).

Pyro Cutters | Pyro Wire Cutter | Pyro Tube Cutter | Pyro Cable Cutter

PacSci EMC / Products / Cartridge Actuated Devices (CADs) / Pyrotechnic Cutter (Guillotine, Reefing)


(Guillotine, Reefing)

Pyrotechnic cutters are used to sever a multitude of materials and cross-sectional shapes. Common target materials used with ordnance cutting devices are: steel, electrical or fiber optic cables, bolts, tubes and woven fiber cords / lines.

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Pyro cutters can be mechanically, electrically or laser initiated. After initiation, energetics drive a blade to forcibly slice the target material. Energetic loading, blade geometry, anvil geometry, and structural materials are all variable based on target and application requirements. Time from input of firing energy to completely severing the target material is on the order of several milliseconds for most applications.


Pyrotechnic cutters are used to sever steel, electrical or fiber optic cables, bolts, tubes and woven fiber cords / lines on a multitude of applications. Typical applications for pyro cutters are stage separation systems, staging parachute systems ( reefing lines ), opening electrical or fiber optic line circuits, releasing pre-loaded / folded assemblies ( i.e. wing, fin, etc.) opening or closing gas flow ( pyro-valve) and releasing cargo or munitions restrained by cords.


We have designed and manufactured cutters that are qualified and used on various military, commercial, and aerospace platforms including: space launch vehicles and multiple missile platforms.


  • All-Fire

    4.5 amps for 10 milliseconds minimum ( .999 reliability at 95% confidence )

  • No-Fire

    1.0 amp / 1.0 watt for 5 minutes maximum

  • Bridgewire Resistance

    1.0 +/- 0.1 ohm

  • Operating Temperature

    -54°C to +71°C

  • Function Time

    With the application of the All-Fire current, Cutter will completely sever the Target in 20 milliseconds maximum

  • Applicable Specifications

    Qualified for:

    • MIL-DTL-23659
    • MIL-STD-1512
    • MIL-STD-1576
    • MIL-HDBK-83578
  • Target Materials

    PacSci EMC has designed pyro cutters for the following targets:

    • Cables ranging from 1/16 to 1.0 inch diameter
    • High strength steel bolts and tubes up to ½ inch diameter
    • Woven fiber cords and straps ranging from 1/16 diameter to 2.0 inch wide


Geometric interface features and severing performance can be customized to meet customer application.


Need more information or have a specific requirement you would like us to meet?
Email space@psemc.com or call (888) 995-5659.

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