Although you may use pliers on a regular basis, here’s a chance to brush up on your safety skills. As Klein Tools presents in their most recent catalog, the following points are of great importance when working with pliers:
1. Do not use pliers to do another tool’s job. We’re all probably guilty of using pliers as a hammer at some point, but doing so may lead to damaging your tools and your work, as well as potentially injuring yourself.
2. Never try to use pliers beyond their ability. Trying to bend stiff wire with light-duty pliers may spring or break them. Stronger, blunt nose pliers are more suitable for this task. Also, don’t exceed the length of the pliers’ handles. Larger pliers may be needed if the handles do not extend as far as the task calls for.
3. Do not expose pliers to excessive heat. Because pliers are sensitive to high heat, your tool may be destroyed if placed under direct flames.
4. Always cut at right angles, not side to side. By rocking the pliers from side to side when cutting wire or bending the wire against the cutting knives, you may dull or nick the cutting edges. If you have trouble cutting, try sharpening the knives or using pliers with greater leverage.
5. Be sure the type of pliers match the application. Unless your pliers are specifically designed to cut hardened wire, do not use ordinary pliers to do so.
6. Always protect your eyes before cutting wire or metal. Wearing approved eye wear such as goggles, a face mask, or another protective device is a must when using pliers for cutting wire.
7. Do not use pliers on live electrical circuits. Comfort grips or plastic-dipped handles are not designed to protect the user from electric shock. If there is a chance that the tool will touch an energized source, be sure to only use insulated tools.
8. Oil pliers to maintain life and value. You can lengthen the life of your tool by occasionally putting a drop of oil at the joint of the pliers. This will also allow for easy operation.
Do you need specific pliers for your activity? Check out our Electronics Pliers, ESD-Safe Electronics Pliers, Mechanical Pliers, and Locking Pliers.