Cinch Trap Care 

When it comes to cinch trap care I can speak from years of experience. I have been using them for more than 20 years and have been able to get a service life of 4-5 years. The trap is most effective when it is new, the action is smooth and strong. After a few months of soil and moisture there are parts of the trap that may need maintenance.

First, and most importantly are the trip wires. These wires must be able to slide past each other and also move out of the way for the action to be quick. If they are not clean, they can and will stop the trap from closing. This is frustrating and time wasting as you may have set the trap correctly but missed catching the animal due to a malfunction you could have avoided. I keep the trip wires clean and lightly sand them when they get rusty and coat them with a silicone spray lubricant.
Be sure to sand any burrs at the end of the trip wires smooth as well.  Work them around the holding tabs to make sure they don’t stick.

This trap is rusty and can stick and not spring properly without cleaning Sand trip wires and also the trigger rod

Often, when I have time I will replace the trip wires with ones I make myself from 12 gauge galvanized wire. This is a soft wire and can be bent easily into a new trip wire that will never rust. The wire is a little soft but I haven’t had a problem with using it. I just use a pair of diagonal cutters to make the new trip wire.

Cinch Trap Care ~ Make New Replacement Trip Wires

galvanized wire from hardware store (1) Cut wire longer than pin (2) Carefully bend loop (3) Loop should look like this (4) Top is stock pin, next is good replacement, loop too large and loop too small (5) Install new pin and cut to length (6) Install second pin and cut to length (7) New pins in place (8)

The other place I constantly have to work on is the alignment of the two jaws as the ferrule at the jaw end of the trap wears. Sometimes the spring pulls the movable jaw down a little and the jaws don’t close properly. I unhook the spring and tap the large lever at the end of the moveable jaw back into place.

Cinch Trap Care ~ Realign

Trap with misaligned spring and moveable jaw (1) Re-bend spring and move jaw back into place (2) Re-attach spring (3)

Also as the traps age the jaw does not always open completely when the trap is set. I will take a pair of pliers and open the jaws all the way again.

**Note where my thumb is keeping the trap from an accidental closing that can be dangerous.

Cinch Trap Care ~ Reopen Jaw

cinch trap care

Bending jaw back to wide open position

I lubricate the trap with silicone spray to avoid any strong odors and to prevent getting petroleum products into the soil.

Cinch Trap Care ~ Lubricate

Lubricate the spring Lubricate the pins and especially the pin holders The trip rod and hole

These are all very simple ways to keep your Cinch trap working as it should. Sometimes it is best to just replace the trap for the best action.

Thomas Wittman

Gophers Limited Inc