Kingkong Reader
3/24/20 5:42 p.m.

Been using the cheap snap ring pliers from the auto parts store or HF, can't remember. Anyway finally getting sick of how flimsy they are.  Was looking on Amazon and there are tons of options of all price ranges.  Was looking at the Channellocks on there.  They come in 6, 8 and 10 inch. No idea what size I really need. Typically see the snap rings on axles. Was trying to remove the front wheel on my old John Deere and my cheap ones wouldn't budge the old snap rings.  Any recommendations I am missing that isn't crazy money?

matthewmcl Reader
3/24/20 5:54 p.m.
kb58 SuperDork
3/24/20 8:13 p.m.

Yeah you get what you pay for in that department. I cannot recommend the ones with tip inserts... snapped one right off, I did. The right way is to have separate pliers for whatever sizes you need. I had to buy a big-ass one for the giant snap-ring on a turbocharger, and it worked great... who'd a thunk

pirate HalfDork
3/24/20 10:34 p.m.

I have a couple different sizes of the Blue Points and they have met my needs and held up well. Will admit it is not a tool I use often. 

CAinCA New Reader
3/25/20 12:55 a.m.
ChrisLS8 Reader
3/25/20 1:27 a.m.

The Icons from HF are solid and they have a 20% off coupon

ultraclyde PowerDork
3/25/20 5:57 a.m.

I bought an 8" Channellock set with changeable tips several years ago when the cheapies let me down. They've been great but I dont use them much.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/25/20 6:15 a.m.

I have a couple sets of cheap ones at home and Knipex ones at work. The Knipex ones are a million times better. Any of the dedicated pliers type ones will have the same advantages. 

Professor_Brap SuperDork
3/25/20 6:30 a.m.

I use a super nice set of matcos ($$$) and a set of icons from harbor freight, they are super solid and a direct knock off of the snapon/matco. They do big clips in auto transmissions just fine. 

Kingkong Reader
3/25/20 10:52 a.m.

The blue points look nice and I didn't think about used tools on Ebay. Will have to check there some more.

I have HF's "snap-on" jack and it works pretty well. Their direct knock-off ability is pretty good.  Might have to check out those Icons.  Lifetime warranty and a HF 10 minutes away has led me to buying a lot more of their stuff.

My current ones that are garbage: 

Kingkong Reader
3/25/20 10:54 a.m.

Ooh these looks nice!

Not a pro though so tough to justify $175 for the set

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/25/20 12:10 p.m.

In reply to Kingkong :

Knipex used to be The E36 M3 in Germany when it came to pliers back in the day when I still lived there, and I haven't seen anything that would indicate this has changed.

Yes, their stuff is expensive, but worth it IMHO. I have a set of their water pump pliers (aka channel locks) and assuming that I can find the small one that somehow got misplaced a bit during the house move, I don't see a reason to ever have to buy a replacement again.

02Pilot UltraDork
3/25/20 12:15 p.m.

I've had the Knipex set on my wishlist for a long time, along with several other things from them. Every tool I've gotten with their name on it has been excellent.

CAinCA New Reader
3/25/20 1:49 p.m.

In reply to Kingkong :

In the HP Rocket world we use snap rings up to 4" to keep the internals inside the motor case. The Knipex pliers were recommended to me by one of our motor manufacturers. He probably installs and removes more snap rings than 99% of mechanics ever do.

pinchvalve MegaDork
3/25/20 1:57 p.m.

I tried the HF pliers and they were useless. The jaws were so loose that I couldn't open the ring more than .05mm. Took them back and went with the ChannelLock 927 set and am happy with them.


ChrisLS8 Reader
3/25/20 1:57 p.m.

Also look into Lang/Kastar sets. These are rebranded by some of the truck brands


Trent PowerDork
3/25/20 2:22 p.m.

I paid too much for this snapon set because the Tekton ones kept breaking 

It is ok.  I wouldn't buy it again though. They don't go small enough to get into the bores of master cylinders or carb linkage bits. They are super strong. 

I also dislike the disassemble to change direction part. Pieces of expensive tools to lose bugs me and the loss of tool drawer space doesn't. 


I am also a total Knipex fanboy and am slowly replacing all my pliers with their products so they will likely be my next purchase


newold_m New Reader
3/26/20 1:41 a.m.

Thanks to this thread I now have a set of Bluepoint pliers:) It's actually the second EBay link posted above. 

Kingkong Reader
4/8/20 3:19 p.m.

So I ended up with the HF ICON set. Not as nice as the Knipex but I think will work well for the rare times I need them.  Finished my project requiring snap ring pliers the day before these arrived so have not had a chance to try them out.



Kingkong Reader
4/8/20 3:22 p.m.

Also I sent HF a recommendation to my local hospital for donation when I bought these. Hope it worked out because they are shipping a ton of supplies out.

Our Preferred Partners