Snap ring pliers, also known as circlip pliers or retaining ring pliers, are essential tools for working with snap rings, circlips, and retaining rings. These pliers help in the installation or removal of these rings, which are used to secure components on shafts or within bores. As there are several types and sizes of snap rings, it's crucial to choose the right snap ring pliers that cater to your needs.
In this review, we'll take a look at the best snap ring pliers available in 2023, considering factors such as durability, versatility, ease of use, and affordability. Let's dive into our top picks!
Types of Snap Ring Pliers
There are two main types of snap ring pliers: internal and external. Some pliers are designed for a specific purpose, while others can be used for both applications with interchangeable tips.
- Internal Snap Ring Pliers: As the name suggests, internal snap ring pliers are designed to handle snap rings inside a bore or housing. These pliers have tips that curve inward, allowing them to compress the snap ring and remove or install it.
- External Snap Ring Pliers: External snap ring pliers are used for working with snap rings on shafts or outside components. The tips of these pliers curve outward, enabling them to expand the snap ring for removal or installation.
- Combination Snap Ring Pliers: Some snap ring pliers feature interchangeable tips or reversible jaws, allowing them to function as both internal and external snap ring pliers. This can be a cost-effective option if you require both types of pliers for your projects.
Important Features to Consider
When buying snap ring pliers, you should consider the following features:
- Quality: Choose pliers made from high-quality materials, such as hardened steel or alloy steel, to ensure durability and longevity. Additionally, look for pliers with precise machining and a smooth finish to prevent damage to snap rings and components.
- Comfort and Ease of Use: Ergonomic handles and non-slip grips can make using snap ring pliers more comfortable and reduce hand fatigue during extended use. Additionally, pliers with spring-loaded handles can help make repetitive work easier and quicker.
- Tip Size and Shape: Select pliers with the appropriate tip size and shape for the snap rings you'll be working with. Some pliers come with interchangeable tips or sets that include multiple tip sizes and shapes, providing versatility for various applications.
- Range and Capacity: Consider the range and capacity of the snap ring pliers to ensure they can handle the sizes of snap rings you typically work with. Some pliers have adjustable jaws, while others are designed for a specific range of snap ring sizes.
- Brand Reputation and Warranty: Opt for well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality tools. It's also a good idea to look for products with a warranty or satisfaction guarantee for peace of mind.
Top 5 Snap Ring Pliers of 2023
Here is our list of the top 5 snap ring pliers available in 2023:
1. Knipex 00 20 04 SB Precision Circlip Pliers Set
Knipex is a well-known brand, famous for producing high-quality tools, and their 00 20 04 SB Precision Circlip Pliers Set is no exception. This set includes four pliers: two for internal circlips and two for external circlips. The pliers are made of high-grade special tool steel, ensuring durability and longevity, while the forged tips provide excellent stability and prevent snap ring deformation.
The pliers' ergonomic handles are designed for comfort and ease of use, while the non-slip coating ensures a secure grip even in wet conditions. This set is perfect for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike, and it comes in a sturdy plastic case for easy storage and organization.
2. Channellock 927 8-Inch Retaining Ring Plier
The Channellock 927 Retaining Ring Plier is a versatile tool that can handle both internal and external snap rings with ease. With its quick and efficient changeover mechanism, you can switch between internal and external operations in no time.
This 8-inch plier is made of high-carbon steel for enhanced durability, while the blue grip handles ensure comfortable usage. The pliers come with five pairs of interchangeable tips, making them compatible with a wide range of snap ring sizes. The Channellock 927 is a reliable and cost-effective option for those who need a versatile and easy-to-use snap ring plier.
3. GEARWRENCH 82150 12 Pc. Universal Convertible Retaining Ring Pliers Set
GEARWRENCH is another reputable brand in the world of tools, and their 82150 Universal Convertible Retaining Ring Pliers Set is an excellent choice for those who work with various snap ring sizes. This 12-piece set includes six pliers, each with a convertible design for handling both internal and external snap rings. The pliers are made of alloy steel, ensuring high strength and durability.
The set also comes with a hex wrench and replacement screws for easy maintenance. The cushioned grip handles provide comfort during prolonged use, and the pliers are designed to meet or exceed ANSI standards. This set is perfect for professionals who require a wide range of snap ring plier sizes and configurations.
4. IRWIN VISE-GRIP Convertible Snap Ring Pliers, 6-1/2-Inch (2078900)
IRWIN's VISE-GRIP Convertible Snap Ring Pliers are a great option for those looking for a compact and budget-friendly tool. These 6-1/2-inch pliers can easily switch between internal and external snap ring operations using the simple push-button mechanism.
Constructed from durable chrome vanadium steel, the pliers feature a built-in spring for reduced hand fatigue during repetitive use. The ProTouch grips are designed for comfort and control, allowing for precise handling of snap rings. The IRWIN VISE-GRIP pliers come with four interchangeable tips, accommodating various snap ring sizes.
5. Lang Tools (3495) 12-Piece Fixed Tip Combination Internal/External Snap Ring Pliers Set
The Lang Tools 3495 Snap Ring Pliers Set is perfect for those who need a comprehensive selection of pliers for different snap ring sizes. This 12-piece set includes six internal and six external snap ring pliers, each with a fixed tip design for increased durability and strength.
The pliers are made of heat-treated high carbon steel, ensuring their longevity and resistance to wear and tear. The cushioned grip handles provide comfort during extended use, while the spring-loaded design allows for efficient and easy operation. This set comes in a durable plastic case for convenient transport and storage.
In conclusion, the best snap ring pliers for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for a comprehensive set with a wide range of sizes and configurations, the GEARWRENCH 82150 or Lang Tools 3495 sets are excellent options. For those who need a versatile and budget-friendly tool, the Channellock 927 or IRWIN VISE-GRIP 2078900 are great choices.
Whichever pliers you choose, it's essential to prioritize quality and durability. High-quality snap ring pliers will make your tasks easier and more efficient, and they will last longer, saving you money in the long run. By selecting one of the top picks in this review, you can be confident that you're investing in a reliable and effective tool for working with snap rings.