Best Snap Ring Pliers for 2022 | Reviews and Buying Guide

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I know what you’re thinking… “Why do I need this? Can’t I just use a pair of pliers?” Snap rings are used for connecting parts together but they can be a real pain to install. You need some real muscle and the right snap ring pliers or it is going to drive you insane, literally.

snap ring pliers


Snap ring pliers are an essential tool for any automotive technician. They allow you to remove and install snap rings quickly, which is perfect if you’re working on a tight schedule. Snap ring pliers come in handy when taking care of engine mounts, transmissions, suspension components, differential cases, and more.

There are many different types of snap ring pliers available on the market today; high-quality models made with durable materials will last much longer than cheaper ones that break easily. This buying guide includes reviews for some of the best snap ring pliers available in 2022, so you can find one that suits your needs!

Here’s a flavor of what we provide in this best snap ring pliers review article:

  • First, we compare each model side-by-side in a comparison table
  • Next, we’ll share the main features and benefits that you’ll find handy
  • Then, we’ll let you know about the weaknesses you might need to know about
  • And finally, we’ve written a detailed buying guide so you can get a better insight into the products

How’s that sounding?  Great, let’s move on to the main event!


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Snap Ring Pliers Comparison Table:

CLICK on any image below to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon


Also, see our article on the Best Needle Nose Pliers – Reviews & Buyers Guide

5 Best Snap Ring Pliers | Reviews


1. KNIPEX Tools Circlip Snap-Ring Pliers 8-Piece Set (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

  • Complete set
  • Durable handles
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sturdy storage and carry case
  • Expensive


2. Lang Tools 12-Piece Fixed Tip Combination (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

  • Less prone to bending
  • Storage case
  • 12-piece set
  • Switching tips is tricky


3. IRWIN VISE-GRIPConvertible Snap Pliers

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile
  • Reduced hand fatigue
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Some play in the jaws
  • Unsuitable for heavy-duty work


4. CRAFTSMAN Snap Ring Pliers

Pros & Cons

  • Can work at different angles
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easily bend with prolonged use


5. Channellock 927 8-Inch Circlip Snap Ring Plier 

Pros & Cons

  • Easy change between internal and external
  • Durable spring
  • Quick-change tips
  • Built to last
  • Bulky

Video: Everything you Need to Know About Snap Ring Pliers

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What are snap ring pliers?

Snap ring pliers are tools designed to help you install and remove snap rings used for retaining metal components in place. They look a bit like long nose pliers, but the tips of the tool have unique grooves that allow them to grab onto a snap ring securely so it can easily be removed or installed without slipping out of position.

Unfortunately, these pliers only work with circlips that have holes or hooks on the ends. You may need to use a different set of pliers if installing any other type of circlips.

Snap ring pliers are available in different shapes and sizes. They are sold either as an individual tool or as a set of tools with interchangeable heads or tips.

What are snap ring pliers used for?

Snap ring pliers can be helpful when working on your car, truck, boat, or machinery. Although circlips look small and harmless by themselves, they have a lot of strength exerted against them when installed in an engine block or chassis. Because of this pressure, it is essential to use the right tools for the job.

If you plan to work on your vehicle, snap ring pliers can help you remove and install various components, including brake discs, pulleys, gaskets, gear shafts, and more! By using these tools around the house or garage for small projects instead of renting them at an auto parts store will save you time and money in the long run.

Further reading9 Different Types of Pliers – Which One is Right For You?

Snap Ring Pliers Buyers Guide

When it comes down to buying a tool, you want to ensure that you are getting the best quality possible. Snap ring pliers are no exception! There are many different types and brands of these tools out there, but only a few will do what they promise without breaking or wearing out after just one use.

When looking for the best snap ring pliers, the first thing to consider is what type of work you will be doing most often. Are you installing new wheel bearings on your car or replacing an old water pump seal in your home’s plumbing system? Perhaps you need a tool that can do both. No matter what your needs are, snap ring pliers set out there will fit the bill.

What size rings do you need to work with? Do they need any special features such as a quick-release or ratcheting mechanism? Are you looking for something with an adjustable jaw-opening width so that you can use it on different types of snap rings and bolts? You’ll also want to think about whether or not the tool is easy-to-use since this will make your job much easier in the long run.

The last thing you will want to look at is price because, after all, isn’t that what everyone does? While it’s true that most people tend to go for cheaper models due to their budget constraints, there are some high-quality snap ring pliers out there, and they’re not too expensive either! Some of the best ones are priced quite reasonably.

Once you have determined the work you will be doing most often, it’s time to start looking at specific features.

What size snap ring do you need to remove?

The first thing to consider when buying snap ring pliers is the size of the rings you’ll use for them. Snap rings come in many different sizes, so your pliers must have a jaw opening large enough for them. Some manufacturers even offer multiple sets with varying jaws sizes so you can choose the right one for the job.

When shopping for a new set of ring pliers, make sure that the specifications are compatible with what you need. The size of the bore measures internal snap rings, and the size of the shaft measures external snap rings. The bore or shaft size tells us which sizes we should be looking at, and it’s essential to know this before making our purchase!

What type of material are the snap rings made out of?

Snap ring pliers are also available in different materials, each with advantages and disadvantages. For example, some models have a long-lasting finish that won’t chip or corrode over time, while others are made with rust-resistant materials.

What type of design do you need?

Snap ring pliers come in many different designs, each specific purpose and function depending on the application. For example, some models are designed to remove snap rings from small components such as oil filters, while others have a cutter built into them to make it easier to cut the ring off.

Do you need adjustable jaws?

Many snap ring pliers come with adjustable and interchangeable jaws, which can be helpful when working on different size rings. This feature allows you to adjust the pliers to the perfect width for the job, saving time and hassle. A good set of circlip pliers should come with external and internal ring plier heads. This makes them versatile enough to be used for a variety of tasks, from changing rings on your finger or an exhaust pipe in the engine bay up to installing belts around a pulley wheel!


Retaining rings are strong. They put a lot of pressure on the tips of pliers. It is best to have strong pliers with tips that do not bend or break when you use them. The pliers should also be easy to grip so that you can maintain a stronghold while removing the ring.

There is no doubt that a fixed tip plier is a better design. Not only will it last longer, but it is way less prone to bending, snapping, or losing grip. If your occupation means you are frequently using a snap ring plier, please ensure you buy a fixed tip set. It WILL save you a ton of time, grief, and cash in the long run.

In our testing, the interchangeable tips just don’t cut it and easily bend and break. They are also pretty useless at automotive work! The Channellock 927 8-Inch Snap Ring Plier is the best interchangeable option on the market today, but it is too bulky to do automotive work and jobs in confined spaces.

For a toolset that will last the distance, you can’t go wrong with the KNIPEX Tools SnapRing Pliers 8-Piece Set. Buying a tool made from corrosion-resistant material and has a lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind. Rust is the enemy of any hand tool, especially pliers!

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Ease of use

Think about the type of work you will be doing and its frequency. Hand fatigue can slow you down, so buy a snap ring plier with an ergonomically designed handle. Ensure the tool can do what you want it to do. Will it close or open enough to install or remove the snap rings? Will it fit into tight spaces? This is essential for automotive work.

Some hand tools are easier to use than others. If you plan on using your tool frequently, it’s a good idea to invest in one that won’t cause strain or discomfort while working. For example, some models have ergonomic handles designed for maximum comfort and leverage, whereas others require the user to apply more force which can be tiresome over time.

Some of the things to pay attention to when choosing a pair of pliers are:

  • How easily they open and close.
  • How the handles feel.
  • If it is easy to change operating modes.

If you choose, well-made pliers should be easy to use in any position.


Like most tools, snap ring pliers come in various price ranges. It’s important to consider what features you need and how durable the pliers will be before purchasing. If you only plan on using them occasionally, it might be wiser to invest in a less expensive model; but if you’ll be using them frequently, it’s worth spending the extra money on a high-quality pair.

There are a couple of options here. You can pay around $15 for one plier with interchangeable tips or buy a set with fixed tips. If you buy the straight tip set, your initial outlay will be higher, but in our opinion, that is the best option. Investing in quality tools will pay you back throughout your life.

The two sets we reviewed are made from high-quality materials, and their design is far better than the alternatives. Considering the likelihood of a tip bending and breaking with the $15 one, the set becomes more appealing. We strongly advise investing in a set if you need to frequently use a snap ring plier or work in the automotive industry.


A warranty is a good sign that the manufacturer stands behind its product. Warranties can be for parts, service, or both. Look at how long the coverage lasts and what type of work it covers to ensure you get good snap ring pliers.

Snap Ring Pliers Conclusion

The KNIPEX Tools Snap-Ring Pliers 8-Piece Set is made from super durable steel and is made to last up to 10 x longer. The lifetime warranty, versatility, and design mean this is our Best Overall pick. A close second is the Lang Tools 12-Piece Fixed Tip Combination. We awarded this the Best Value prize.

Best of the Rest

The best of the others is the Channellock 927 8-Inch Snap Ring Plier with its easy switching from internal to external, heavy-duty spring, and padded grip handle.

These tools are essential for so many people. Sadly there is a lot of cheap junk out there on the market. We hope our honest review and buyer’s guide have helped you to decide which snap ring plier is best for you, and you can find the right one for the jobs you have.

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Here are some other pliers to compare:

CLICK any image to see Ratings & Reviews on Amazon

Walts DIY is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Walter Snyder