The Mares XR Ceramic Line Cutter was a ScubaLab Testers Choice during the 2018 dive knife test. Learn what our testers liked about this cutting tool in this video review. See the full ScubaLab dive knife review here.
I'm Roger Roy, the ScubaLab director. We tested the Mares XR Ceramic Line Cutter. Handy, low-maintenance and capable, the Ceramic Line Cutter was our Testers Choice for cutting tools.
We tested knives for their ability to cut a variety of lines, from monofilament fishing line to heavy rope. We also evaluated how well they held an edge after repeated use. We rated them for the performance of their sheaths, their locks and grips, and how easy they were to handle and operate - with and without gloves. We tested how they held up to extremely heavy use, including prying and cutting metal wires. And we gauged their resistance to corrosion by soaking them for up to 24 hours in salt water.
We don’t usually give a Testers Choice in categories with no competition. But this little cutter was in a class of its own. We've used many cutters that worked well, but our gripe with most has been rusting steel blades that require frequent replacement. These ceramic blades won’t rust, and they are sharp, cutting with ease even the heavy plastic line that stymied most of the knives in our test. In fact, this was the only tool to take a perfect cutting score in our test. It cut heavy plastic line so well we tried two lines at once: no problem. Then we did 4, then 6, then 8. As one tester said, “If you can fit it in, this thing will cut it." The owners manual notes that ceramic blades aren’t made for cutting metal or wire (for those jobs, Mares makes a cutter with one ceramic and one serrated titanium blade). Still, the ceramic cutter isn't at all fragile; we made many dozens of wire cuts with it before we were finally able to break a blade. We also liked the soft sheath , which stores the cutter securely while keeping it handy for instant use. The Mares Ceramic Line Cutter was our Testers Choice for cutting tools.