How to Replace The Wire Twisters on Your Safety Wire Pliers

What You'll Need
Safety Wire Pliers
Safety Wire

Safety wire pliers are one of the handiest tools around for any project that involves a lot of stress tension and vibration such as tightening fasteners or making decorative filigree wire. Essentially, it allows a person to twist wires without twisting their hand totally around. It eliminates the hassles of rotating your hand 360 degrees to twist wires and the problem of loosening wires that you were trying to twist.

Safety Wire Pliers

Safety wire pliers come in 3 different sizes—6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch. However, some manufacturers call them a 7-inch, 10-inch, and a 13-inch because they choose to design and manufacture their pliers with a knob at the end of it to assist in the twisting of the pliers. They also come in different formats, and are named according to the way they rotate when you pull the twisting knob. There are safety pliers that rotate clockwise, counter-clockwise, or have a function that allows you to twist the wire clockwise or counter-clockwise (also known as a reversing twist) without having to switch tools. Safety wire pliers with a twisting knob that can automatically or manually return the knob to its original position can also be bought.

Step 1 – Removing the Existing Safety Wire

The first step to replacing the wire twisters on your safety wire pliers is to remove the one that already has been used. To do this, push back the knob and then pull it back out again until the wire is completely twisted. Remove the wire from the ends of the jaw by pressing the handles of the pliers.

Step 2 – Preparing the New Safety Wire

Cut a length of new safety wire by using the safety pliers’ cutting edge. The safety pliers’ cutting edge is found behind the head's flat grips. This area will cut the wire when you put the wire between the edge of the head and you press the handle so that it is closed. Make sure that the length of the new safety wire is long enough to loop around and slightly overlap both bolt heads.

Step 3 – Wrapping the New Safety Wire

With the safety wire that you have just cut, wrap it around the bolt heads so that the wire meets in the middle. If you are having trouble doing this, imagine wrapping it around like a belt-and-pulley, where the wire is the belt, and the bolt heads are the pulleys where you want the wire to connect the two heads by forming a loop.

Step 4 – Locking it In

After creating the belt-and-pulley with the wire, you need to lock in the wire. Do this by opening the safety wire pliers' handles just a bit and then arrange the wire so that it is between the head's grips before closing the handles. Press the handles firmly to lock the handles—you should hear and feel the handles locking.