Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Hot Wire Cutter!

Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Hot Wire Cutter!

After making extensive use of this wire cutter in his most recent One Day Build, Adam dives deeper into how to use his favorite Proxxon hot wire cutter for shaping foam. It’s a powerful tool for quickly carving foam sheets both thick and thin, and an essential piece for kit for modelmakers and other foamsmiths.

Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter:

Shot by Adam Savage

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Intro bumper by Abe Dieckman
Set design by Danica Johnson
Set build by Asa Hillis

Thanks for watching!

#AdamSavage #favoritetools


  1. Stan Marymee on July 6, 2021 at 2:20 am

    Would this power adapter cord work for a hot wire cutter? SHNITPWR 3V ~ 24V 3A 72W Power Supply Adjustable DC 3V 5V 6V 9V 12V 15V 16V 18V 19V 20V 24V Variable Universal AC/DC Adapter 100V-240V AC to DC Converter with 14 Tips 5.5×2.5mm 4.0×1.7mm 3.5×1.35mm

  2. DrX6xx on July 6, 2021 at 2:21 am

    finally a tool i have lol my shop envy is real

  3. Elizabeth Tana on July 6, 2021 at 2:21 am

    Theory, Adam is Invader Zim, and this attempt to take over the world got way out of hand.

  4. Trivial Trav on July 6, 2021 at 2:22 am

    When I read the title I thought he was going to show a tool to cut live high volt wires.

  5. Chris N Design on July 6, 2021 at 2:27 am

    I’m an industrial design graduate and I wish I knew about this during my time in college. Awesome tool tip, Adam!

  6. J Courtman on July 6, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Worked in architectural model shop many, many years ago doing study models. For 1-off guides, manila folders make great templates – put on bottom with a quick spray of low tack adhesive. circles? just like for a band saw – little sheet of plex with a pin through it. Make life easier by putting an inexpensive foot switch on the machine – you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off! One thing the Proxxon lacks is a tiltable upper arm – like the tilting table on scroll or bandsaw – that adds a lot of possibilities.

  7. Frédéric Zobel on July 6, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Hi Adam, hope this massage finds its way.
    In architecture class we used these a lot. If you want more flexibility set the square to 90° and you can establish the cutting width precisely.
    For circles, you want to run a piece of wood next to the wire. Run a small nail into it with the distance of the acquired radius to the cutting line. While cutting at the moment you get past the nail just stop pushing and start rotating.
    Last but not least you can run the "wirecar" down the upper arm to cut in an angle on the z-axis.
    Have a nice one and be safe!

  8. The Lock Picking Lebowski on July 6, 2021 at 2:31 am

    11:28 Kraftwerk

  9. Tom Nelson on July 6, 2021 at 2:32 am

    The wire is hard to see and VERY hot. Know where it is at all times!

  10. bacsi jancsi on July 6, 2021 at 2:36 am

    There are versions where you can lean the cutting wire to cut out some angels, and btw it also cuts EVA foam very well great for cosplayers, you have to raise the temperature a bit….

  11. Viper vids gaming plus on July 6, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Nichrome wire is nickel/chromium wire with a small amount of iron being a common contaminant. Commonly 80%nickel and 20% chromium

  12. Bruno Van Vaerenbergh on July 6, 2021 at 2:37 am

    Using metal templates might not be the best idea as they will draw heat from the wire, influencing it’s path.

  13. Gene Dassing on July 6, 2021 at 2:37 am

    This brings back such memories of all-nighters at my first architecture internship building models. We must have run thru 50′ of wire over the course of that summer.

    I tried building my own wire cutter as Adam describes, trust me – just buy one. I never got it to work right and the real one you’re guaranteed right angles to the table.

    FYI – the "blue" insulation foam is denser and generally cuts nicer than the "pink" foam. It’s somewhat harder to find. The true white whale of foams is the 4" thick blue foam.

  14. No Name on July 6, 2021 at 2:40 am

    I made one from a coping saw…

  15. Ahman Millener on July 6, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Never change Adam…

  16. Ken Florian on July 6, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Adam, you need to add all the various jigs that are specifically for the Proxxon wire cutter you (and I) use.

    It takes the Proxxon to truly other level. My favorite jig? The one that squares a piece. Magic.

    The likelihood you’ll see this is zero, so I hope somebody else points you to Shifting Lands.

  17. Myles on July 6, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I bought this years ago, it was my first Proxxon tool, love them!!

  18. bacsi jancsi on July 6, 2021 at 2:44 am

    You can also make great templates from plywood even lasercutting a thin plywood (like 3mm) and using that as a template. You can also buy bigger less expensive versions from E-Bay. Proxxon is great but a bit costly as usual…great quality although…

  19. Iron on July 6, 2021 at 2:44 am

    Proxxon needs to send you a check for this commercial. Looks like a blast!

  20. steakatron on July 6, 2021 at 2:49 am

    I play Warhammer 40,000 and my buddy and I bought one of these with the intention of making terrain for our table. absolutely no regrets, plenty of rock formations, crystals, structures, and anything we want to make things look good.

  21. NotGreat on July 6, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Adam’s such a savage, he’s got a tattoo on his forearm that literally lets him force people to back up their claims of having an average-sized penis.

  22. Grace Hampton on July 6, 2021 at 2:51 am

    That’s a pretty cool thingy

  23. LowellMorgan on July 6, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Like my mother’s words through my self esteem.

  24. W.L. Ziegler on July 6, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Reminds me of junior high shop class where we used a hot wire cutter and foam to make a stencile for our CO2 cartridge race cars (eventually made out of wood)

  25. H. Kathryn Lamat on July 6, 2021 at 2:52 am

    Why diss the word “craft”???
    CRAFTSMEN were the experts !!
    I suggest it is rather sexist to reject the word “craft” just because MILLIONS of Femmes enjoy CRAFTING untold number and manner of things for education, decoration, entertainment, utilitarian purposes.

  26. QUARTERMASTEREMI6 on July 6, 2021 at 2:55 am

    2:32 Being as I am currently studying Industrial Design, that moment made me both smile and cry tears of sorrow!

  27. HappyTrails 1 on July 6, 2021 at 2:55 am

    You know how quickly I could make scrap pile of foam with this thing🤣🤣🤣

  28. Happy Fox on July 6, 2021 at 2:55 am

    this is why Adam Savage should do tool reviews instead of magazines… he uses it, he knows how to use it and he knows that thermal properties will only transfer to metal instead of melting it like a refinery

  29. kalizk on July 6, 2021 at 2:55 am

    Can you also use it on EVA foam?

  30. Peter Jansen on July 6, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Fucking stupid Google adverts! I had enough, unsubscribed.

  31. James Baird on July 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Check out this site. They make all kinds of jigs specifically for this Proxon. I have this cutter and a rip fence and circle cutter. They are simple, strong and work well.

  32. Mike D on July 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Lindybeige did a video on this a couple of years ago which prompted me to buy one. I used it to cut strips of foam and then used textured rollers to create cobblestone roads and brick walls for a model railway layout. Check out Black Magic Craft’s hag hut video for some great tips on what this cutter can do.
    The fence is a little wobbly but with practice it gets better.

  33. AlienWacker on July 6, 2021 at 2:59 am

    I had to cut a bunch of 4 inch circles to fill a tube, and I put a circle of project board (thin processed wood, practically cardboard, otherwise known as Hardboard) onto a lazy susan bearing, with some tacks poked through to hold the small pieces of foam in place… I then rotated the contraption against the wire by hand, and made 20-25 perfect circles…

  34. +Tec on July 6, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Definitly USE A SUITABLE RESPIRATOR or make sure that you have very good ventilation when using tools like that. If you get a hedache after using it, you know you’ve done something wrong. Don’t ask me how I know.

  35. Anthony Thiebaut on July 6, 2021 at 3:02 am

    I bought one of these a few days before I saw this video, love it.

  36. thatgirlisageek on July 6, 2021 at 3:03 am

    Pardon me while I invent a new project so I have a reason to add this to my shop.

  37. Brigand231 on July 6, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Jeremy at Black Magic Craft uses his wire cutter a LOT, I think he has the same model.

  38. bevo335 on July 6, 2021 at 3:04 am

    I built one a while back to cut the foam to the shape of my guns for a Pelican case. After watching this, I need to come up with a project to break it out again.

  39. Dane Ault on July 6, 2021 at 3:05 am

    Any thoughts on if this thing would work for coroplast (corrugated plastic sheets)?

  40. Adam Savage’s Tested on July 6, 2021 at 3:06 am

    Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter:
    Adam’s One Day Build featuring this tool:

  41. MyllerSWE on July 6, 2021 at 3:06 am

    Hehe you totally missed how to use the square on the machine. 🙂

  42. Ngân Hoàng on July 6, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Hello sir, I wanna know the min and max temperature of the hot wire. Plz answer me. Thanks!

  43. Michael McCormick on July 6, 2021 at 3:09 am

    Adam Savage has a H.S. diploma, Einstine was a poor student, the Wright brothers did not finish high school. higher education is what????…… it’s what you make it. let’s learn how to fly!!!!!

  44. james abbott on July 6, 2021 at 3:10 am

    My one big thing with mine is always try to turn it off between cuts. And double check the wire is square with the base before a cutting session. That top bar can bend if knocked or something and it can be an arse to get back in line.

  45. Danny Comsa on July 6, 2021 at 3:11 am

    The METAL WASHER sucks the heat out of the Nichrome Wire. Need to use a none heat conductive pattern material. That should solve the pattern problem.
    Try a nylon pattern – have to be careful of melting it also – so maybe a hardboard pattern.

  46. ThrA-X on July 6, 2021 at 3:13 am

    a handheld and some regular expanded polystyrene can carve out Halloween decorations of impractical size in improbable time.

  47. Evan Gradick on July 6, 2021 at 3:14 am

    He should had built one him self for a one day build

  48. Stephen Taylor on July 6, 2021 at 3:14 am

    I made one of these years ago to cut out 50 styrofoam fish for a birthday lawn sign. I built it out of an old computer power supply, some scrap plywood and an old guitar string. Worked so fast. 👍👍

  49. Darkbirdy on July 6, 2021 at 3:16 am

    In regards to the washer circle: lower the heat and cut slower. High heat = faster cuts, but more melt (lost material, less precision), lower heat = more precision, less lost material, but slower working.

    For anybody getting one of these, I strongly recommend this intro:

    And to see it in action, check out the projects by this guy:

  50. GameSnippetsUK on July 6, 2021 at 3:16 am

    Looking at this makes me wonder if Adam has any forever-lasting machines made in the Soviet Union that still operate like new