Even if you have the best pliers in the world, you need to consider your safety and that of others when you use this tool. It might not seem that pliers could be dangerous, especially when compared with electrical tools or even hammers or saws, but if not used with care pliers can cause harm, like any tool in your toolbox.
When you are working with pliers, either as a tool to help in craft, to cut wire, or as a damaged screw extractor tool, there are some basic safety points to be aware of and follow…
- Only use pliers to do a plier’s job – don’t be tempted to use pliers as a hammer, pair of scissors, or any other tool. Only use them for their purpose – this will help prevent unnecessary accidents.
- Match pliers to their application – use only wire cutting pliers for cutting wire; use only screw extraction pliers for removing damaged or stripped screws.
- Don’t expose your pliers to excessive heat – pliers are sensitive to very high levels of heat – they may be damaged beyond repair if exposed to an open or direct flame.
- Never force pliers beyond their capability – pliers come in varying levels of capability. Some are for light tasks only, while others suit heavy duty use. Don’t try to force your pliers to perform beyond their capability – they may break or spring. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to attempt to extend the length of the handles of your pliers.
- Only cut at right angles – if your pliers are built for cutting, only ever cut at right angles to the wire. If you are tempted to rock the pliers from side to side – don’t! This can either nick or blunt the cutting edge of the pliers.
- Never use pliers on live wires – even the most comfortable grips or plastic handles do not make pliers safe to use on live wires and circuits. Any pliers that are to be used for electrical work must be designated as lineman pliers and insulated as such.
- Protect your eyes! Bits can fly off when you are cutting wire, so wear protective goggles.
- Oil your pliers – this will keep them in prime condition for longer. Just a drop of oil applied at the joint of the pliers will be enough to maintain their condition.