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Word count/read time: 444 words; 2 minutes

One challenging task when outfitting a workspace is getting the right tools. Let me restate that: getting the proper tools. What's the difference? Well, every proper tool is a right tool but not every right tool is a proper tool. A right tool does the job but leaves much to be desired.

Regarding precision pliers (or cutters), if the pliers close and open perfectly and have a tight joint with no misalignment, can something like spring location be a dealbreaker? Absolutely. Nonetheless, precision tools should always be the right tool but they might not be the proper tool simply because they are well-made or expensive.

What about handles - the small, regular, or jumbo? Head size? Grip size, because it is distinctly different than handle length? Jaw length, shape, and profile? The cutters are more involved with oodles of angles, offsets, cut profiles, reliefs, grinds, materials, intended uses, etc. A lot can be done with pliers and cutters but they're only the beginning.

Is it best to buy cheapos and see what works or feels best, then find an expensive pair to match? For me, the cheapo needlenoses are most used and they get roasted holding the jump rings in the intense flame. Thanks to the manufacturer's no-questions-asked lifetime warranty, many new pairs perpetually await me.

Their customer service is like pulling teeth.
Craft-level hand tools might work for hobbyists and certain circumstances. Decide early whether it's craft or professional tools since repeatedly replacing cheapos can quickly exceed the cost of a good pair...and you're still left with a low-quality tool!

Finding a decent selection of (quality) hand tools to inspect in person is difficult. A high-end craft center or vocational school might have some for students to use. Big box stores have a small selection of mass-produced junk.

How do you try tools if they're nowhere to be found except online? Some companies have generous return policies but playing musical pliers with an ever-changing inventory of try-until-you-buy isn't logical. Shipping isn't free so one way or another someone will pay for it.

Which brings us to now. The manufacturer of the expensive broken cutters previously blogged about has been uncooperative thus far. Their customer service is like pulling teeth.

On the first call to a competitor who makes similar pliers, the universe righted itself. It took seconds to get in touch with their head field guy who'd send me any pliers or cutters for a free 30-day trial.

Covet you might but keep you won't; the demo fleet isn't for sale so there is no take-the-puppy-overnight pressure. Further, they would assist in any part of the design or evaluation for custom tools. This sales approach is devilishly difficult to refuse.

Posted by M: May 31, 2018

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