Opening Popco's steel snap-rings
Popco’s steel snap-rings are shipped in a closed position. This keeps the rings from tangling in shipment and, in one sense, makes the rings easy to handle. However, on large kitting projects, opening the rings prior to use can be time consuming and, in the case of the small-sized rings, somewhat difficult.
To speed up this process, a common automotive tool know as a seal-ring pliers or a retaining-ring pliers works well. At Popco, we use a seal-ring pliers with a 90 degree angled tip. We rest the tool on a work bench, lay the snap-ring over the tool tips (making sure that the ring’s hinge pin is at the 6:00 o’clock position). Then, closing the tool’s handle will pop open the ring.
Like any tool, snap ring pliers are available in higher or lower quality. We recommend choosing a stout, high-quality tool that will last and spare you the frustration of working with a cheap tool.