Rio Grande 2014 Tools and Equipment Catalog - page 18

This rating refers to nonferrous materials (those
containing no iron) and applies from the center
of the blade edge to the joint (the recommended
cutting surface). Cutting capacity diminishes
significantly beyond this area. Soft metals
include yellow gold, silver, brass and copper;
hard metals include white gold, nickel, platinum
and steel. Use cutters only at or below their
maximum cutting capacity to prevent damage.
visible). This fine control
is especially useful for
production work.
ideal cutting surface
Both jaws are round, tapering
from the pivot to the tip. Used to make loops,
jump rings, clasps, coils and curved bends.
Both jaws are semi-round with
flat interior surfaces, tapering to a point from
the pivot to the tip. Use to open and close
jump rings, for flat crimping and to make
angled bends.
Both jaws are flat. Use for wider,
broader bends in wire, metal-forming,
straightening and flattening out metal,
making angled bends in metal and holding
Jaws are specially shaped—
often grooved, angled or notched—to access
prongs. Use to move prongs securely into place
against the stone or away from the stone for
Jaws have a variety of configurations.
Use to bend, shape or form wire or strip, and
to create ring shanks, opposing curves (waves
or corrugation), angles and patterns.
—type & function
Side cutters:
Jaws are pointed and angled almost
parallel to the handles. Use to cut sheet or wire in
restricted areas. Types include:
Require the least pressure to create
a cut (for finer edges, less finishing) and leave very
little pinch visible on the cut ends.
Require somewhat more pressure to make a
cut than super-flush cutters. Though the pinch is more
noticeable, it is still minimal.
The most durable of the flush cutters; require
more pressure than flush cutters and leave a
pronounced pinch on the wire ends.
Compound cutters:
Designed with two joints to maximize
hand power at the cutting edge. Use for maximum power
on heavy material such as thick-gauge wires and sprues.
End cutters:
Blades are perpendicular to the handles and
provide more cutting leverage. Use to make sharp, clean
cuts close to the surface on wire and sprues.
Oblique cutters:
These end cutters feature a head angled
to allow better reach and visibility in hard-to-reach areas.
These cutters must be used on softer metals.
Jaws are pointed with offset blades that
pass one another rather than meet directly as the cut is
made. Use for sheet, soft wire and beading cord or string.
High-carbon, high-chrome alloy steel:
Ball-bearing quality steel is the highest
quality tool steel and produces the
longest-lasting pliers and cutters. Can be
hardened up to 65 HRC; the jaws will
not be nicked with normal use and will
keep their shape and finish.
Hardened tool steel:
A very hard, strong
material for pliers and cutters; jaws
will not be nicked with normal use and
tend to keep their shape. Clean with
Cosmoline®; avoid contact with moisture.
Stainless steel (pliers):
Tough metal
gives a reasonable life and is a good
value; rust-resistant; jaws may require
maintenance with use.
Jaw Length
Pliers and cutters produce less force as the
distance from the pivot point increases. Short
jaws offer more strength at the tips but have
a limited reach. Long jaws have a longer reach
but less strength at the tips and are more easily
When pliers are gripped in your hand,
42 muscles are at work as you move and
operate the tool. The better the tool
conforms to the shape of your hand
(ergonomics), the more comfortable and
effective the tool, and the less risk of
repetitive motion injuries such as carpal
tunnel syndrome. Handle coverings enhance
your grip and increase comfort. Foam
handles are heated and positioned, then
shrink to fit as they cool. Coated handles
are dipped into liquid plastic and cured.
A dark, matte finish prevents eye strain
caused by reflective glare and increases visibility of
the workpiece.
A smooth finish helps reduce the risk of marring
delicate pieces but can present a somewhat insecure grip.
A textured finish offers an improved grip on
workpieces but can mar soft or delicate metals.
Adjustable Jaw-Stop
A jaw-stop prevents over-extension of the tool,
which can distort the jaw shape or damage the
cutting edge and stress the pivot joint. On pliers,
the jaw-stop allows you to achieve the same
pressure repeatedly; on cutters, the stop prevents
jaws from colliding (a thread of light will be
Cutting Capacity—
Maximum Ratings
Forged from a rod of tool
steel, pliers are work-hardened as
the metal is compressed and shaped.
Pliers are then tempered to prevent
brittleness; the best combination of
strength and durability.
Formed in a mold from
molten metal, pliers are not subject
to work-hardening; the finished tool
is not tempered.
Cut from a sheet of metal,
pliers are serviceable but provide
the least strength, durability and
ergonomic comfort.
One half of the pliers joint
surrounds the other half, and the
pivot is hidden within. This joint holds
alignment far longer than a lap joint
but limits the pliers to open only as
far as the box size.
One half of the pliers joint
overlaps the other, and a pivot (or
screw) is set through both halves.
Parallel (pliers):
Compound pivots
keep the pliers tips parallel to each
other as they open and close, creating
even pressure along the entire jaw.
18 800.545.6566
pl iers & cut ters
pl iers & cut ters
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