Someone recently wrote in, asking about the utility of precision pliers. Well, they asked specifically about small tools, referring to new mini pliers that are coming out, but I typically take mini pliers to mean precision pliers.
Precision pliers and cutters are useful for when you need to cut, manipulate, or work with smaller or more delicate materials. They also come in handy when working in tight spaces.
I’ve used precision cutters to trim electronic components, and mini pliers for holding things like small wires and fasteners.
Back when I worked in a research lab, I worked out a method of fracturing small samples for microstructural analysis using mini smooth-jawed duckbill pliers inside a 1-gallon zippable baggie. The pliers worked great, and the baggie ensured that small fragments or fracture halves didn’t go flying. Larger pliers would have obliterated the work.
Smaller pliers allow for more precise control, useful for when small parts are to be bent, cut, or placed in an exact way.
I’ve used a couple of different brands of precision pliers. Xuron is one of my favorite brands to recommend. As mentioned in my review of Xuron Micro-Shear flush cutters, they’re inexpensive, well-made, and made in the USA. They offer great bang for the buck.
I’ll save a rundown of other precision pliers brands for another time. In the meantime, I’m curious to hear about how you might use precision pliers, mini pliers, small cutters, and so forth. This generally applies to pliers 4″ to 6″ in length.
So, here goes: What do you use precision pliers for?
If you don’t own any precision pliers but have been meaning to pick some up, here are 2 good starting points:
I own a selection of Xuron pliers, and still use them often. I also own a set of the Tekton pliers, and they’re okay for basic beginner’s needs. If you don’t know what you’ll need, it’s often a good idea to buy an inexpensive set and replace the ones you find yourself using most often.