From the Toolbox

It performs a function that is seldom necessary today. This week’s stumper is a pair of specialty pliers designed for a specific purpose.

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Initially looking like 6-1/2 inch snap ring pliers, this tool has slotted jaws instead of the normal clamps that would hold interchangeable points for snap rings. The slotted jaws are intentionally skewed at 90 degrees to each other in order to hold or pinch something very thin in diameter when pinched together.

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Behind the jaws is a stud with a ball on the end that retains the removable t-handle that comes with the tool. The t-handle is key here: It pivots 360 degrees on the shaft and the bottom of the t-handle near the pliers has a raised step about ¼ of the way around its base. The t-handle, when installed on the shaft, leaves ¼ of an inch at its base, which lines up correctly with the opening on the jaws when the tool is compressed.

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The pliers’ action is very compact; the handles only move ¾-inch from fully closed to open. I have used this tool several times before and it works well, but it is one of those tools you absolutely need for certain jobs that later collects dust waiting for another classic car or motorcycle or lawn mower project to come along again. It was manufactured by the KD Tool Company in the USA and has a patent number on it as well.

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