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How to use circlip pliers

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Circlip pliers resemble standard pliers, they are specially designed for use with retaining rings Circlip pliers are similar to standard pliers, which are generally used to grip, cut or bend materials. There are variations in the design and size of circlip pliers, so check the specifications to ensure you use the correct tool for the job.

For more information see also:  What are the different types of circlip pliers? and  What additional features can circlip pliers have?

How to use internal circlip pliers to install circlips

Insert the tips of the circlip pliers into the grip holes of the circlip

Step 1 – Insert tips

Insert the tips of the pliers into the grip holes of the circlip you want to install.

Squeeze the handles of internal circlip pliers to contract the circlip

Step 2 – Squeeze handles

Close the handles of the circlip pliers to close the tips; this will reduce the circlip’s size.

The handles only need to be closed enough so the circlip can fit in the bore – don’t over-contract the circlip or it may deform or break.

Internal circlip pliers are used to remove and install internal retaining rings and circlips

Step 3 – Install circlip

Hold the handles so the circlip is kept at a suitable size. It can then be inserted into the groove in the bore.

Ensure that it clicks securely into the groove.

How to use internal circlip pliers to remove circlips

Insert the tips of the circlip pliers into the grip holes of the circlip

Step 1 – Insert tips

Insert the tips of the pliers into the grip holes of the circlip you want to remove.

Squeeze the handles of internal circlip pliers to contract the circlip

Step 2 – Squeeze handles

Close the handles of the circlip pliers to close the tips; this will reduce the circlip’s size.

The handles only need to be closed enough so that circlip can be removed from the bore – don’t over-contract the circlip or it may deform or break.

Internal circlip pliers are used to remove and install internal retaining rings and circlips

Step 3 – Remove circlip

Hold the handles so the circlip is kept at a suitable size; it can then be removed from the bore.

How to use external circlip pliers to install circlips

The tips of circlip pliers should fit securely into the grip holes of circlips

Step 1 – Insert tips

Fit the tips of the pliers into the grip holes on the ends of the circlip you want to install.

External circlip pliers have tips which open then the handles are closed

Step 2 – Squeeze handles

Close the handles of the circlip pliers – this will open the tips and expand the circlip.

Only open the circlip enough so it can comfortably fit onto the shaft; if the circlip is overstretched it might break or deform.

External circlips fit securely onto shafts, external circlip pliers are used with external retaining rings

Step 3 – Install circlip

Hold the handles of the circlip pliers so the circlip stays the correct size. The circlip can then be secured into the groove on the shaft and should click into the groove.

How to use external circlip pliers to remove circlips

The tips of circlip pliers should fit securely into the grip holes of circlips

Step 1 – Insert tips

Fit the tips of the pliers into the grip holes on the ends of the circlip you want to remove.

External circlip pliers have tips which open then the handles are closed

Step 2 – Squeeze handles

Close the handles of the circlip pliers – this will open the tips and expand the circlip.

Only open the circlip enough so it can be removed from the shaft; if the circlip is overstretched it might break or deform.

External circlips fit securely onto shafts, external circlip pliers are used with external retaining rings

Step 3 – Remove circlip

Hold the handles of the circlip pliers so the circlip stays the correct size. The circlip can then be pulled out of the groove and off the shaft.

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