Selecting The Right Pliers
Help with Selecting a Pair of Pliers
Tronex pliers are designed for precision work. Because pliers have so many different uses, rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s best to have a variety of pliers so you can select the best pair for your current need. To ensure that you’ll always have the right tool for the job, Tronex pliers come in a variety of handle and tip combinations to cover most all possible uses.
Tronex pliers come in two handle lengths, standard and long ergonomic. The standard handle is lighter in weight if you plan on extended use. The standard handle is also the more popular of the two. The extra length of the long ergonomic handle gives you more leverage and gripping power. If you have larger hands, you might find the ergonomic handle more comfortable.
After selecting a handle length, you’ll want to decide what tip best fits your need. Shorter tip length pliers are stronger, flex less, grip better, and keep your hands closer to your work for finer control over delicate tasks. So when you have a choice between a shorter or longer tip, it’s usually better to go with the shortest tip that meets your needs.
The beefier the pliers are, the better their gripping power. Serrated tips also increase gripping power, but can leave marks on your work and usually aren’t good for for jewelry.
Pliers are not crimpers. You’ll get much better crimping using a $5.00 pair of crimpers than you will with any pliers. My favorite crimpers are from Omtara.
Pliers are not prying devices. You’ll bend the tips using pliers for prying. Instead, use an old screwdriver or a mini pry-bar for prying.
Like cutters, pliers have rated capacities. With enough force, you can break the handle of any pair of pliers; precision pliers are especially vulnerable. Tip damage is usually means that the pliers were used for something they weren’t designed for.
Let’s take a look at some of the different tips that Tronex offers:
- Chain nose pliers are commonly used for electronic assembly and rework, and in fine jewelry work. Tronex offers chain nose pliers in two tip lengths, each with either a smooth surface or serrations at the tip of the inner jaw.
- Needle nose pliers are similar to chain nose pliers, but narrower. Their primary use is fine electronics work. Their jaws are machined into thin half cones, creating a thin profile to improve tool access. The cone shape can be used for precision loop forming of leads or wire. Tronex needle nose pliers are offered in two different tip lengths and can have either smooth surfaces or have serrations at the tips of the inner jaw.
- Round nose pliers are often called rosary pliers in the jewelry trade. Round nose pliers are a specialized type of plier characterized by jaws with an approximately round cross-section, a usually smooth surface, and a diameter tapering toward the tip. Round nose pliers are used in electronics and jewelry making for bending and shaping wire, or for making loops. Tronex round nose pliers are offered in two tip lengths, and are also available in a bent nose version.
- Flat nose pliers: Commonly used in electronics, these fine-tipped pliers are also a favorite for fine jewelry work such as wire wrapping. With the longer tip versions, an added step on the pliers jaws provides additional leverage at the tip. Tronex flat nose pliers come in two tip lengths, as well as multiple shapes, and can have either smooth surfaces or serrations at the tip of the inner jaw.
- Chainmaille specialty flat nose pliers have very short tips that makes them ideal for gripping and opening/closing jump rings. Tronex offers a standard-duty version and a heavy-duty version, each with straight and oblique tip options.
- Bent nose pliers are used for shaping, bending wire, and gripping. Quite often in the jewelry trade they’re used for chainmaille, with the back side of the bend area used to hold jump rings. Bent nose pliers are also particularly good for picking up small pieces/parts from a flat surface.
- Combination nose pliers: These specialty pliers are used for wrapping and bending wire or leads. Half chain nose and half round nose pliers or jaws are shaped so that one side is rounded (half round) and the other side of that jaw is flat.