This image from Knipex shows you exactly what these pliers do—and why it’s critical to use the right tool. (Image/Summit Racing)

Whether it’s for a holiday or birthday, this Tools Under 30 Dollars Gift Guide Series shows you important, yet somewhat uncommon, tools that any gearhead would want.

Today, let’s talk about Snap Ring Pliers.


Snap rings can go by many other names: locking rings, retaining rings, circlips, C-clips, and more.

But ask anyone who’s had to remove one without the right tool and the names get a lot more…ahem…colorful.

That’s because even though you may be able to remove one with a well-placed screwdriver, it’s risky. Being spring loaded, we’ve seen these clips fly off and land three counties over.

So using the right Snap Ring Pliers is a must. In fact, it makes removing/replacing snap rings a breeze.

Snap rings are found everywhere, from tiny electric motors to wheel hubs, so these pliers come in a range of sizes. Many pliers come with interchangeable “heads” with different sizes and angles.

A lot of folks don’t know about these tools, so they’re often a smart gift to give and receive. Better still, there’s a good chance you can find a set for under 30 bucks.

Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or watching a 1972 Corvette overheat. An avid motorcyclist, he spends the rest of his time synchronizing carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.