There are two types of retaining rings, or circlips, internal and external. The best way to identify which is which is to look at the tabs where the tool pins go. If they’re on the inside of the circlip, then it’s an internal circlip or snap ring. If they’re on the outside, they’re external. Pretty simple, right?
The two types require different tools. Internal circlips are squeezed to free them (or install them) from their slot while external retaining rings are spread open.
A key feature of our retaining ring pliers is the angled tips. Cheaper pliers have straight tips which do nothing to secure the circlip as you’re trying to open/compress it. The 9 degree taper to our tips help hold the snap ring in place on the pliers so you can install or remove them easily every time. A robust pivot works to keep the ring on the pliers.
We offer internal and external snap ring pliers with both straight and angled jaws for those harder-to-access circlips.