Updated December 22, 2020 by Taber Koeghan

The 10 Best Snap Ring Pliers

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This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in October of 2017. Whether you're working on your car, lawnmower, or a large diesel truck engine, the snap ring pliers featured here make removing stubborn circlips an effortless process. We've included selections designed to stand up to the demands of busy professional auto shops, as well as lower-cost options ideal for all the amateur mechanics out there. You'll find both single models and kits in this list. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Knipex 8-Piece

2. Lang Tools 3495

3. Channellock 927

Editor's Notes

December 17, 2020:

With regard to updates, the Astro Tools 94221 has been replaced with the newest version of the set, the Astro Pneumatic Tools 94222. The Tekton 3571 was removed from the list due to availability issues, and the Irwin Vise-Grip was added, chosen for its popularity with hobbyists and amateur mechanics, and also for its comparatively affordable price. The list has been shuffled a bit, too. The Knipex 8-Piece now occupies the top slot; it's one of the most well-rounded and durable sets on the market. The similarly dependable Lang Tools 3495 is closer to the top now at number two, and the intuitive and versatile Channellock 927 has been bumped to third place.

If you prefer fixing your own vehicle over taking it in to a professional mechanic, a more comprehensive set of tools might be up your alley. After all, doing it yourself can save you money in the long run. This list of master mechanic tool sets includes everything you need to complete all kinds of fixes, from the simple to the complex. Even beginners can benefit from owning one of these collections. For more specific, but commonly used automotive tools, check out our lists of lug wrenches and spanner wrenches.

April 24, 2019:

When shopping for snap ring pliers, you'll want to consider the following factors: the nose shape, the size of the points, and the grip. If you're a professional mechanic, it's important to choose a product with padded handles that will curb wrist fatigue. Depending on the project you're working on, you'll want to also assess the angle of the nose; there are all kinds of nose shapes on the market, including elongated and bent options. If you tend to work on different components or vehicles on a regular basis, a set with interchangeable tips would be a wise investment.

We’ve removed the OTC Tools Stinger due to concerns about its size: many users have found that it is too bulky to be effective on smaller vehicle components. The Apex Tool Group GearWrench 82110 was taken off the list after investigating complaints about durability. The Neiko 02130A was not only added to the collection but promoted to the top spot, thanks to its versatility and high reviews. The Beley 90-Degree is another new addition, chosen to provide shoppers with an option designed for extracting particularly hard-to-reach circlips.

Special Honors

Home Plus HH1500619 It's unlikely you'll find a pair more affordable than this one. These six-inch pliers come with four interchangeable tips that make removing snap rings quick and easy, though they're not the sturdiest option out there. They feature a steel alloy construction. acehardware.com

Grand Rapids Industrial Products 11-Piece This kit comes with four sizes each of offset and straight pliers. There's also a hook tool, a pick tool, and a sturdy blow mold case. Made with heat-treated steel, these are durable enough to endure plenty of regular use. The black oxide finished tips are resistant to corrosion, too. homedepot.com

AutoCraft AC3150 These are a versatile choice, capable of removing both internal and external snap rings. The design makes them a little bit uncomfortable to hold over long periods of time, however, which means they're not ideal for professional settings. They come with a 30-day replacement guarantee. advanceautoparts.com

4. Astro Tools 94222

5. Neiko 02130A

6. Beley 90-Degree

7. Irwin Vise-Grip

8. Channellock RT-3

9. Craftsman Professional 47412

10. Bastex Heavy Duty


Taber Koeghan
Last updated on December 22, 2020 by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer from Santa Monica, CA, with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, San Diego. After completing her degree, she began writing and editing copy for a host of high-traffic e-commerce websites. Her areas of expertise include the beauty, style, pet, and home products categories, and she has plenty of experience covering literature and art, too. Her personal interests in crafting and decorating inform her writing and -- she hopes -- add a good bit of insight to her work. Outside of copywriting, she is a reporter and columnist at a Los Angeles community newspaper and is currently pursuing a master of fine arts in creative writing.


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