Some mini pliers have spring-action handles, others don’t. The same goes with electrical tools. Many wire strippers, for example, have springs that help reduce the effort to open the jaws after an operation. Others, like the Klein wire stripper and crimper multi-tool we posted about yesterday, do not have springs.
A lot of the time, springs are also removable or bypassable, for users who don’t want spring-assisted spreading of the handles.
Generally, I do like spring-action handles, at least on smaller tools, and definitely on wire strippers. I had a 2-piece set of Craftsman spring-action pliers once, and I just didn’t like them. There was no lock, and the spring spread the handles too wide for my liking.
The downside to spring-action pliers is that they need locks, otherwise they spread open in a tool pouch, bag, or drawer. Without a lock, the tools would take up more space, and could be a little harder to retrieve quickly. Locks must be opened and closed before and after using a tool, but it’s not usually a hassle.
Smaller tools seem to be exempt from this. Because of the small handle size and opening width, smaller tools don’t usually need or feature spring locks.
Except for the one Craftsman example I shared, I’ve never had a problem with springs getting in the way. All other times, I either appreciate the feature, or it blends into the background and I don’t even think about.
There’s only one tool that I take the spring out for, and that’s my Stanley pop rivet tool, and only when putting it away. Since there’s no lock on that particular tool, I take the spring out so that it takes up less space in a drawer.
How do you feel about spring-action pliers, cutters, strippers, and other such tools?