How to Use Snap Ring Pliers (Circlip Pliers): 5 Tips & Tricks

Snap ring pliers are fully diverse from your common pliers, regardless of their identify. These pliers are specifically manufactured to be employed with snap rings. These snap rings are extremely strong (but thin) rings that retain fasteners on shafts and other assembly parts. As you may possibly picture, they are incredibly important.

Nevertheless, setting up them is a little bit of a distinct work. While you can do it by hand and with the tools you have laying close to, it is best to do it with snap ring pliers. For that reason, if you work with these rings typically, you will very likely want to purchase a pair of these pliers.

Thankfully, utilizing these pliers is incredibly straightforward. It only normally takes a handful of straightforward measures, most of which are fairly straightforward. Nonetheless, you can only use them with snap rings that have grip holes, grooved finishes, or bent finishes.

tool divider

The 5 Tips & Tricks On Using Snap Ring (Circlip) Pliers

1. Wear Protective Gear

safety glasses and gloves
Image Credit: mihalec, Shutterstock

You will want to begin by placing on protecting equipment. While set up is not particularly unsafe, parts of steel can fly off if you pull on them a small way too considerably. Consequently, you will at minimum want to use security goggles to make sure that practically nothing hits you in the eye.

Even so, we also suggest sporting protective gloves to keep the steel from scratching your palms. Normally, the far more protecting gear you dress in, the greater.

2. Insert the Tip of the Pliers

Next, you will want to insert the pliers into the stop of the snap ring. This ring ought to have grooved edges or grip holes, which permit the pliers to grip the ring. Sometimes, the ends could merely be bent, which allows the pliers to get a grip, as properly.

If the rings do not have everywhere for the pliers to hold on to, you will not be capable to install them with the pliers. For that reason, you need to verify just before getting a pair of pliers for the work.

3. Press the Handles of the Pliers

Now, you will want to compress the ring by squeezing the handle of the pliers. This allows it to suit the bore or housing, which tends to make installation significantly easier. Due to the fact of how pliers are designed, employing the pliers can make this action much less difficult than putting in them by hand.

Be sure your pliers have a good grip ahead of you start this action. Or else, they could slip off, leading to the ring to go flying and perhaps injure you or somebody else.

4. Slide the Ring into Place

man using snap ring pliers
Image Credit: Hyper Story, shutterstock

Now that the ring is compressed, you will want to slide it into place. All you want to do is slide it into the wire lock groove, which will hold it in spot. Even though this may call for a bit of finesse, it is a lot easier to do this with the pliers than by hand.

5. Inspect Your Job

mechanic fixing axel joint
Image Credit: Setta Sornnoi, Shutterstock

Following, you will want to ensure that the ring is in the appropriate location. Whilst it is simple to skip this step, it isn’t odd for the snap ring to be somewhat out of the groove, which will cause it to fly off afterwards. Consequently, this action is important to ensure that everything performs accurately.

tool divider

How Do You Remove a Snap Ring Without Holes?

You can only use pliers when the snap ring has holes. If it doesn’t have holes, factors can get a bit much more challenging. As an alternative of snap ring pliers, you’ll most likely need a pair of slender idea pliers. Basically grip the ring and remove it carefully from the groove.

You really do not want to use also a lot power, as the ring will probably snap off by by itself, anyway. If you incorporate as well significantly power, this can make the ring go traveling, probably injuring you or a person else. As a result, go gradual and regular.

You can also use a screwdriver. Even so, this doesn’t give you any management of the snap ring, which increases the possibility of harm. Whilst this does work in a pinch, we notably suggest using a pair of pliers, alternatively.

How Do You Fit a Snap Ring?

Fitting a snap ring is considerably less difficult with a pair of snap ring pliers. You can suit the ring employing your hands or other equipment, but this is significantly more difficult and annoying. Plus, it can lead to harm afterwards on, which is the previous thing you want.

Therefore, we highly recommend selecting up a pair of snap ring pliers. They are not very high-priced, but they can make this work considerably less complicated.

tool divider


We extremely suggest employing a pair of snap ring pliers when placing snap rings on or using them off. Although you can complete this job without this resource, it is considerably more challenging and much more frustrating to do so. Therefore, your ideal bet is to use this resource, as it was virtually made for this task.

With that mentioned, these pliers only work if there is some thing on the end of the ring for them to grip on to. Otherwise, they simply don’t work.

Nonetheless, if you have the pliers and rings that work with them, then the process is quite basic. Our phase-by-stage guidebook ought to support you install the snap rings safely and securely without having injuring oneself.



Showcased Impression Credit score: Setta Sornnoi, Shutterstock