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What additional features can
circlip pliers have?

Shop for Circlip Pliers


There are many circlips pliers which have interchangeable parts As well as there being different designs of circlip pliers, some models come with additional features to make certain tasks easier. Some circlip pliers may not have any of these additional features, but others may have a number of them.

Interchangeable heads

Some circlip pliers have interchangeable heads for use with different applications Some circlip pliers have heads which can be removed and swapped for ones with tips set at different angles. These are supplied in a set which comprises a handle and four heads: two straight, one set at 45 degrees, and one set at 90 degrees.
Some circlip pliers have interchangeable heads for use with different applications They are usually able to work with circlips which range from 9.5mm (0.38 inch) to 50mm (2 inch) in diameter. The heads can be fixed onto the handles in different positions, which switches them between internal and external.

For more information see: How to change the heads on circlip pliers

Circlip pliers sometimes have interchangeable heads These may save you having to purchase different pairs of pliers for various types of circlip but within a limited size range. However, circlip pliers with interchangeable heads are usually made with cheaper steel, so they aren’t usually as strong as those with fixed heads. They are generally more suited to occasional use rather than regular use; professional users, such as engine technicians and mechanics, are likely to need stronger pliers.

Interchangeable tips

Many circlip plier have interchageable parts Many circlip pliers have tips which can be replaced, which means the same tool can be used with different sizes of circlip, in different positions. They can come in individual internal and external pairs, or may be adjustable and be able to switch between internal and external configurations.
Many circlip plier have interchangeable parts, such as heads or tips The tips can usually be installed easily by screwing or clipping them into the head of the pliers and come with variations in size and angle. The advantage these have over circlip pliers with adjustable heads is that they can be used with a larger range of differently sized circlips.

For more information see: How to change the tips on circlip pliers

Some circlip plier tips are colour coded

Colour coding

Lots of the circlip pliers with replaceable tips will have the different tips colour coded for the different sizes; this makes them easy to recognise quickly when working. The colours may differ between manufacturers and should be stated in the specifications.

Adjustable tips

Some circlip pliers can be adjusted to have straight or angled tips These pliers allow you to adjust the angle of the tips from straight to either 45 or 90 degrees. This may be useful when working with circlips in different positions, such as inside engines. They have screws which allow you to easily adjust the tips.

Lock pin

Locking mechanisms on some circlip pliers mean you won't over stretch the circlip Some circlip pliers have a locking feature, which can be used when there is a risk of overstretching a circlip.

The lock is used to set a maximum distance the pliers can open, therefore preventing possible overstretching. This feature is useful when working with smaller, thinner, or weaker circlips, which may be found on smaller mechanical parts, such as remote-controlled model cars.

Long tips

circlip pliers with long tip give you extra reach For reaching into longer bores, or for circlips which are placed in difficult-to-reach places, you can get circlip pliers with extended tips. Both straight tips and angled tips are available in long tip versions.

Insulated handles

Insulated handles help protect against electric shock If working near live electrical components, it’s important to use tools with insulated handles, so that any shock that reaches the user’s hands is reduced.

Most circlip pliers have plastic-coated handles, but the majority of these are not insulated, so offer no protection against electricity. If the circlip pliers have insulated handles, this should be stated in the specifications.

Compound action

Compound action circlip tools have extra leverage For more heavy duty uses, you might use circlip pliers which have a compound action. This is where a second pivot is added to the pliers, increasing the leverage produced, without needing to increase the force required to operate the tool, or it’s size.

These may be useful when reaching far into machinery or on large retaining rings, such as piston rings.