Book rings, binder rings, snap rings; no matter what you call them, they’re a handy bit of hardware. As the names imply, the rings are most often used for affixing booklets together. This means, among other things, that hand-assembly is likely part of a project’s fulfillment. Since our rings our sold in the industry standard, closed position, one step in the assembly process will be opening them.
Having offered snap rings for many years, we can tell you this, the smaller the ring, the harder it will be to open. This isn’t an issue when working with reasonable numbers of rings. But, if your project’s quantity is in the thousands, or tens of thousands, assembly difficulty becomes a factor to be considered.
So consider this, in the pursuit of an open snap ring, making things easier for your assembly crew is the right thing to do and the most efficient thing to do.
To open the most difficult small rings, we suggest a common automotive tool know as a seal-ring pliers or a retaining-ring pliers. 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.
In any given batch, most rings will open without using a tool. But, when spoilage and assembly frustration can be avoided, why not have the tool ready? You’ll find seal-ring pliers at any automotive-parts store.