Pyrotechnic Cord & Wire Cutters

Space rated. And high reliability.

Pyrotechnic cord cutters targets

Designed to cut within milliseconds, our pyrotechnic cord and wire cutters can be used to sever single wires or simultaneously sever various sized bundles of electrical wires. Not to mention the ability to cut Kevlar, Vectran and zylon.

These cutters (or guillotines) primarily consist of a body (usually stainless steel) with an eyelet for threading the cord or wire, an end cap or anvil, a piston/cutter blade, shear pin(s) and an electrically fired actuator. The body housing the piston/cutter blade, provides for installation of the cartridge, and attachment of the anvil. The anvil is removable to facilitate removal and installation of either the guillotine or wire bundle. Lugs, for attaching the guillotine to the releasing structure, are an integral part of the guillotine body. Capacity may be increased with minor changes in the housing or actuator. We have a wide range of operating temperatures we can design to along with offering a long storage life. Our cutters are also space rated, environmentally sealed and include an extremely high demonstrated reliability.

Interested in our Ignition Safety Device?

We would love to hear about your program and how we may help.

How Pyrotechnic Cord and Wire Cutters Work

After initiation, in this case most often electrically initiated, a pressure cartridge fully confined inside produces gas pressure which breaks a shear pin, thereby driving the cutter blade down the shaft to forcibly slice the target material (in this case cords and/or wires, including Kevlar, Vectran or Zylon) and stops against the anvil. In a matter of milliseconds the target material is instantaneously severed and released. Time from input of firing energy to completely severing the target material is on the order of several milliseconds.



The Cord Cutter has been specifically designed and qualified to function underwater to a depth of 5 feet. Its wide operational temperature range and high level of demonstrated reliability make it an ideal choice to sever a variety of cord applications.


  • Operating Temperature
    -54°C to +71°C (-65.2°F to 159.8°F)
  • Function Time
    With the application of the All-Fire current, the cutter will completely sever the target in < 20 milliseconds
  • Reliability
    99% at 95% confidence level
  • Altitude
    10,000 feet underwater to Deep Space
  • Estimated Weight
    27 to 173 grams
  • Target Materials
    Cord/wires ranging from 1/16 to 7/16 inches
  • Applicable Specifications
    MIL- STD-1512
  • Electrical
    Bridgewire Resistance 0.9 to 1.30 ohms
    Insulation Resistance 100 megohms 500 VDC
    No Fire 1 amp/ 1 Watt for 5 Minutes
    Recommended All Fire 4.0 Amps for 50 millisecond duration
    ESD 25KV Electrostatic discharge: 25 kV DC from 500 pF Cap thru a 5k ohm resistor – shorted pins to case and pin-to-pin
    Electrical connections can be lead wire, bayonet or threaded connectors

Envelope/Interface Design

Energetic loading, blade geometry, anvil geometry, and structural materials are all variable based on target and application requirements. Each blade is optimized for the intended target material to ensure precision severance.

Questions to Consider

  • Application – what are you trying to accomplish?
  • What are your target materials?
  • What are your space constraints?
  • Is containment required?
  • Redundancy requirements?
  • Input power requirements – electrical, ETL, mechanical?
  • Environmental requirements?
  • Qualification requirements?
  • Military or other requirements?