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Ergonomically clever pliers

Pliers belong in every toolbox, for home improvements and equally for skilled crafts. When fitted with ergonomic handles, they can help avoid tensions and pain at work.

Clever handle concepts for pliers

Pliers are one of the most used tools of all. No matter whether they are used regularly or just now and then, if they don't lie in the hand properly with optimum force transmission, the user will quickly feel tension and pain. This can even become an occupational illness if the shoulders and back can't take the strain any more.

Pliers handles should therefore be designed to permit effective, ergonomic use.

A huge choice of pliers is available in the shops. Most pliers have straight handles with the arms opening and closing similar to a pair of scissors. But this is not appropriate in ergonomic terms. Anyone who has worked with conventional pliers knows that the bent wrist is not ideal for force transmission. The shoulders tend to get hunched up so that more muscle fibres are used. But there is a major drawback: this not very ergonomic movement causes tension in the shoulder and neck.

So what do ergonomic handle concepts for pliers look like?

Pliers must always have an angled handle. This gives the tool a kind of pistol shape. A brief look at the human anatomy shows why this shape of handle is much better than the usual straight models. When working with a pistol-grip handle, the wrist remains straight (neutral position) with clearly noticeable and measurable strain relief. The hand can grasp the pliers quite naturally, using all four fingers at the same time. Almost parallel movement of the arms clearly improves force transmission. Pliers with pistol-grip handles can therefore prevent tension in the shoulders and neck and protect the joints, tendons and muscles. Ergonomic handle concepts also reduce strains on the hands, arms, shoulder girdle and spinal column. They permit optimum force transmission. Working with such tools is more comfortable and can be continued for longer; above all, it is free of pain.

Different types and materials

The size and shape of the handles should correspond to the functional and anatomic conditions of the hand. The use of different materials makes work safer. The sliding zone at the moving arms of the pliers should consist of a hard and, as the name says, sliding material. In the pressure zone at the ball of the thumb, a soft zone ensures that the pliers are comfortable to use. Comfort is further increased if the arms of the pliers open automatically and the tool has a reset mechanism.

Pliers are needed for a wide range of different tasks. They should therefore be offered in different versions: as long-flat nose pliers, combination pliers, diagonal cutters and other models. As a general rule, top quality materials, also in the pliers head, guarantee high functionality.

Safety aspects must always be given top priority when using tools, so that ergonomic pliers have a slip guard and a locking mechanism for transport or storage. The tool body should be made of a lightweight, impact-resistant material such as glass fibre reinforced plastic.

Checklist

  • One basic prerequisite for ergonomic pliers is an angled handle (pistol-grip handle). The wrist can remain in a neutral position with less continuous strain on the wrists and shoulders.
  • Pliers are needed for many different tasks. Ergonomic pliers are therefore also available in different versions (long-flat nose pliers, combination pliers, diagonal cutters etc.)
  • Conventional pliers can only be opened by opening the handle in an unnatural way which often entails wrapping the fingers around the tool. This is not the case when the pliers have a reset mechanism for comfortable working.
  • At the point of contact with the pliers (pressure zone), the pliers must have a soft zone; it must be possible on the one hand for the moving arms to slide, while at the same time allowing for the tool to be held securely.
  • Pliers should be as light as possible, so that the tool body should be made of lightweight, impact-resistant material, such as glass fibre reinforced plastic.
  • Top quality materials, also in the pliers head, guarantee high functionality.
  • It is important for the pliers to have a locking mechanism for transport and storage to prevent injuries on reaching inadvertently into the toolbox.

Minimum requirements

  • Ergonomically angled pliers handle (pistol-grip handle)
  • Force transmission with optimum support
  • Reset mechanism
  • Material selected according to the task
  • Different versions
  • Lightweight
  • Top quality materials
  • Locking mechanism

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH
Obertalstraße 3-7
78136 Schonach
GERMANY
Phone +49 7722/959 0
Fax +49 7722/959 160
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.wiha.com