We consider Tronex Cutters and Pliers to be Lifetime Tools. This means that if you take proper care of them, they will more than likely last for your lifetime. We do not look at these tools as consumables, as we want to see them lasting you an exceptionally long time.
Tronex Pliers and Cutters are “Precision” tools, and like most precision tools, they are designed for doing precision work. Note that “Precision” and “Heavy Duty” are two different terms and are often opposite in nature. The cost of a tool is not necessarily related to how heavy a gauge of material you can work with. To make a tool “Heavy Duty,” you often need to make it bigger and bulkier, which in turn makes it too big for precision work.
Staying within the design use parameters of your tools will help to ensure that they are in good shape the next time you use them. Bending, forming, and cutting material that the tool was not rated for is the fastest way to damage or even destroy it. The rated cutting capacity of most standard cutters from most brands is given for “Soft Copper Wire”. This cutting capacity is normally given for the throat of the cutter and not the tip. In most cutters, the cutting capacity at the tip is at least 4 awg (larger number) less than the throat.
Know the material that you are working with and its hardness. Realize that even dead soft sterling is harder than copper. I am not saying that you cannot cut or form metals other than copper, but you should know their hardness so that you do not over-stress/damage your tools. When you need to cut the harder/heavier materials, use an appropriate cutter like a Xuron 2193 memory wire cutter. All Tronex cutters should cut easily through any material that they are designed to cut. If you find yourself needing to use force (or the extra leverage of the longer handles) with a Tronex cutter, think twice as that material is likely outside the rated capacity/material of the cutter.
With pliers, while working with heavier gauge and harder material, the user will sometimes squeeze harder and harder to get a better grip, until they break the handle. I refer to this as the “Death Grip”. Like with most brands of precision pliers, using the death grip can be fatal for the tool. Even if it is not damaging to the tool, it can mar your work. Stay within the design parameters using the pressure needed to hold your work, but nothing extra. Not only is the death grip hard on your tools and your work, it is hard on your hands and arms.
The tips of most of the pliers are hardened to HRC60, but as fine as some of the tips go, they can still be bent when excessive force is applied. Therefore, it is not advisable to use the pliers as a prying device. Pliers are not crimpers. Trying to use your pliers as crimpers can do one of two things: deform the tips or worse yet, break a handle if the death grip is used.
Rust is an issue we must deal with for all steel tools. For some of us, it is a bigger issue than for others, as it depends heavily on the environment where you live and store your tools. Controlling humidity is the key. Using a humidity control device like a de-humidifier works wonders. Try adding a moisture-absorbing gel pack to your toolbox or drawer. These silica-gel desiccants absorb excess moisture and reduce the humidity level in enclosed areas.
To help prevent rust, you can apply a light coat of oil (sewing machine oil is fine) over the entire metal surface then wipe off the excess. We do not recommend using WD40 on your tools.
Another thing that you can do is apply a protective coating. Micro-Tools Tool Wipes are Rust Blocker VpCIs (Vapor Phase Corrosion Inhibitors). These wipes are environmentally safe and do not contain nitrates or other harmful chemicals, providing exceptional product protection.
Keep your tools far away from acids. Some acids can be hazardous to the handles or even the steel. In the jewelry trade, the biggest acid exposure is normally from flux while soldering. When flux is heated with a torch it can go airborne and end up on nearby tools.
Tronex does offer a reconditioning/sharpening service, which runs from $20-$27 per tool and takes 4-6 weeks. Not all cutters can be re-sharpened. It all depends on their condition. If you have large divots from trying to cut the wrong type of material, this is not repairable. If you broke a tip off, this is not repairable.
Handle Springs are typically not consumer replaceable. The springs in Tronex Tools go way down into the handle and the handle is glued on. We offer a free service to replace broken springs and put new handles onto your Tronex Tools. The only cost to you is the postage to us.
- Know your tool and its rated capacities
- Know the material you are working with
- Protect your tools from moisture
- Protect your tools from acid
- Stay within the design use parameters
- Use your pliers as crimpers
- Use your pliers as a prying device
- Use your precision tools while or near soldering
- Attempt to cut hard or memory wire