Safe Wire-Cutting Procedures with Needle Nose Pliers
Needle nose pliers, also known as pinch nose and long nose pliers, are very popular tools used in wiring projects. Usually, this tool is used by electricians or do-it-yourselfers engaged in electrical projects that require wiring. Although needle nose pliers are usually used to grab hold of small wires, they are also used to cut the wires as well. When using this tool to cut wires, there are safety precautions and procedures that you must keep in mind.
Selecting the Best Pliers for the Job
Needle nose pliers come with different cutting edge angles to suit different types of cut. There are usually 3 to choose from (standard, semi-flush and flush), and it is best to take note of these three before purchasing pliers for electrical projects. The names are actually used to refer to the amount of pinch that is left on the wire tips after cutting.
Standard cutting edge angles are perfect for wire-cutting applications that are not very sensitive to the shock that is being transmitted to the wire as well as the pinch left on the tip of the wire after cutting. Semi-flush cutting edges are used to reduce the shock being transmitted. Flush edges are typically used for applications that require minimum amount of shock being transmitted.
When cutting wires, it is safe to consider the above information because not all wire-cutting applications can be done safely with any needle nose pliers. Flush cutters are often the best to use because they produce a clean cut and offer a more cost-effective cut than other types. In addition, these cutting edges minimize the shock that runs through the wires, thus reducing many incidences of flying debris. However, semi-flush edges are safer and much more cost effective when used in electronic assembly operations.
Safety Preparations before Cutting Wires
Before cutting metal wires, make sure to wear eye protection. Even though the needle nose pliers have a flush cutting edge, it is not a guarantee that the cutting process will not cause the cut wires to fly off. Always protect the eyes from such incidents. Before the cutting operation, always make it a point to inspect the cutting blades. If they are sharp enough, this will definitely reduce accidents.
Cushioned handles on the needle nose pliers are not a guarantee that it will protect the user from electric shock. Never ever cut wires that are running current, whether low or high. Shut down the power source first before working with the wire-cutting operation.
During the Cutting Operation
Transmission of force plays a part in wire-cutting safety. It is important to grip the handles of the pliers properly and tightly when cutting wires. Be sure not to cut too fast. Gently apply force on the handles just enough to cut the wires. Do not put too much force on the handles as well because this may cause the cut portion to fly off in a random direction. If not, at least hold the short end to prevent any accidents.