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.
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.
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.
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.
Wiha Werkzeuge GmbH
Phone +49 7722/959 0
Fax +49 7722/959 160