By Shaun Notley, March 2020
I was first introduced to Jesus components when I was a teenager in the dive shop equipment workshop. The early Scubapro S600 second stages had an incredibly small washer inside that if (when) you dropped it, would have you exclaim a polite version of ‘Jesus, where did that go!?’.
I was quick to learn that not only miniscule parts can be Jesus parts but also snap rings a.k.a circlips. These would fly off if not secured properly and threaten to take out the eye of anyone not wearing safety glasses.
I have worked through quite a few snap ring pliers. Some have been only for internal or external rings, others have had interchangeable points and some only for big or small snap rings. My current favourites are the Channellock interchangeable sets.
Channellock offers 3 different versions of the interchangeable pliers, available as 6, 8 and 10”. I can’t think of a single use in dive related applications for the 10” set but the 8” (#927) and 6” (#926) sets are both nicely suited. Each set comes with a pouch with 5 different sets of pins which are changed out by loosening a grub screw with a provided allen key.
They can be switched between internal and external use by the flick of a switch and have a heavy duty spring return. They certainly have some weight to them and come across as well made.
Channellock offers a lifetime warranty on their tools and they are made in the USA. Even with the most stubborn of snap rings they feel good in the hand and most importantly I seem to have avoided launching any rogue rings since using them.
My only criticism which is more user error is that you do need to pay attention to the insertion depth of the interchangeable tips. Easy to do if you set the pliers for external rings when changing tips as they will be parallel to each other, and simple to match length. I picked mine up at Lowes on special for USD 20, you can find them also on Amazon for around USD 20-25.