Snap Ring Pliers Internal vs External

Snap ring or circlip, whatever you might refer to, the thing is the same. Both of them aim to work as a retaining ring. And we know that you are not here to learn about the ring. What you are basically here for is to know more about the topic snap ring pliers internal vs external.

Well, it must be your lucky day because you just stumbled upon the right source. We have handled both of the pilers for a long time. And we have gained enough knowledge to describe the differences that lie between them, which we are going to spill into this article. So, continue reading.

What Exactly Is a Snap Ring or Circlip Piler?

Before we discuss the two types of pilers, we would like to ensure that you do know what these pilers are. Well, basically, these are a type of tool that can remove and install C-clips. And the main thing that makes these different from the regular piler is the tip.

The tip will have a special design, which makes these capable of working with C-clips. In comparison, the standard models are going to have sharpened or flattened tips. However, in this case, the tips will have a particular shape, which will allow them to fit in between the holes of the circlips.

Because of being able to easily fit into the grip holes, it will get easier to work with the c-clips or snap rings. These tools will have different compatible diameter numbers. Though the rings have a different size range, we can usually put them in a certain standard gauge range.

And even though it is possible to put the rings in a standard range, it is pretty much essential to get the right pair of the plier. Also, you need to consider whether you need an internal one or an external one. Without choosing the right one, it can get difficult to work with these rings.

Internal Vs External Snap Ring Pliers

Now that the general discussion about the pliers is out of the way, let us describe what you are primarily here for. There are generally four types of snap ring pliers. And among all of them, the two that most people opt for are the internal and the external plier. But what makes them different? Well, we will discuss that here.

External Snap Ring Plier

As you already know by now, these pliers have a different design when compared to the regular ones. And the thing that makes the external model different is the design of the tip. The tip has a specific design, which can fit tightly around the shaft.

After having a tight grab, the plier will exert spring pressure on the inward region of the clip. That will increase the overall grip. Also, external clips need to be opened up during installation, which these ones can do without any issues. And as the plier allows the ring to expand slightly, working with it will be fairly easy.

But what are these usually used for? Well, apart from just working with the c-clips, you can replace nuts, cotter pins, set collars, rivets, threaded sleeves, and other types of fasteners.

On that note, the circlips you will be working on with these will generally have pre-cut grooves. And pre-cut grooves can work exceptionally well with the fastening process without requiring any tapping, drilling, threading, and other sorts of expensive machinery.

Advantages of Using External Circlips

  • Reduces assembly weight to a substantial amount
  • Does not cost that much
  • Can increase the speed of the assembly and disassembly process
  • Overall construction of the clips is reasonably durable
  • These are generally cross-examined for internal diameter and thickness, which means they will work perfectly on different projects

Internal Snap Ring Plier

Like the external snap ring plier, these are also pretty much different. The tip is designed to properly grab into the internal hollow of the circlips. These are also going to work exceptionally well in working with the cylindrical bore or housings.

In addition to that, there is a spring-action mechanism, which will push the outward edge toward the sides. For that reason, the radiation pressure will be able to keep the ring in place without you having to worry about keeping the ring in place while working with something.

The internal pliers also work differently. Basically, these work in the opposite direction when compared to the external version — the tips of these need to be inserted into the holes of the snap ring. And you would need to squeeze the handle to keep the tips of the plier in a closed position.

Once you have the c-clips in the proper position, it will be completely safe to release the handle. After that, the ring will return to its maximum diameter stage.

Advantages of Using Internal Circlips

  • Compatible with heavy types of machinery
  • Usually constructed of high-quality steel
  • Thickness level is comparatively high
  • Ideal for repairing heavy vehicles
  • Diameter can be customized

How to Use a Circlip or Snap Ring Plier?

Knowing about the pliers will not get you any further if you do not know how to actually use them. That is why it is important to know how to operate them. And a simple and easy to follow guide is as follows:

For Installing Internal Snap Rings

  • First and foremost, make sure that you have the right plier for the task. Match the diameter of the clip with the size that the plier is compatible with. If you have an internal plier for small rings but want to work with a reasonably large ring, you will not make any progress.
  • Insert the tips of the pliers into the lug holes of the C-clip.
  • Squeeze the handles of the pliers and make sure that the tips are coming together during the squeeze. This action will reduce the overall diameter of the snap ring.
  • Make sure that you are only exerting the right amount of pressure on the clip, or you might risk breaking or damaging the ring. Also, the right amount of pressure will only keep the ring in place.
  • Hold the plier firmly and slot the circlip right into the grooves.
  • Release the pliers only when the ring is seated.

To remove internal rings, just follow the steps in reverse order. That will get them out.

For Instaling External Snap Rings

  • Insert the right plier into the lug holes.
  • Squeeze the handle and force the tips to be apart.
  • Make sure that you are only exerting the right amount of pressure, or else the ring might slip.
  • Ensure that you are maintaining a firm and even grip on the handles. And before releasing the handle, make sure that the ring is seated on the outside part of the dowel.
  • Only release the handle when the ring is in the proper position.

Like the internal ring process, to remove one of these, simply follow the steps but in reverse order.

Final Words

Basically, the main takeaway from the topic of snap ring pliers internal vs external is that each of them has a different operating procedure. Also, each of them works for a different type of c-clip or ring. So, before choosing one of them, consider which type of c-clip you are basically planning to work with.