Top 8 Best Snap (Circlip or Retaining) Ring Pliers of 2024

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you and be incredibly grateful.

Best Snap Ring PlierFinding a great set of snap ring pliers also know as retaining ring pliers or C-clip pliers is no longer a simple task nowadays, especially when you go shopping online. However, there are high quality models that come at a very reasonable price and last for a long time. The key is that you need to know where to find these products.

With our reviews of top out of the best snap ring pliers today, you are going to learn a comprehensive buying guide!

Best Snap Ring Pliers Set Reviews

Channellock 8-Inch Snap Ring Plier

One of the most innovative snap ring pliers nowadays is the Channellock 927 8-inch. You can easily change between two modes by flipping a simple switch. This set provides five different tips, which means that it is very versatile and finishes the tasks of multiple tools.

Thanks to heavy-duty spring, the pliers are powerful enough to help you achieve even the toughest jobs. Besides, its sturdy construction and materials guarantee the ultimate durability. In other words, you can enjoy using the pliers for a long period of time without facing numerous problems.

What are its disadvantages? There is only one thing we find not really satisfied about this product. It is not really helpful when it comes to automotive work – one of the most fundamental uses of snap ring pliers.

The Channellock pliers are quite wide and bulky, which means that they are suitable for spacious working environment. On the other hand, when clearance is missing, the task becomes more challenging.


  • Simple switch between external and internal modes
  • Great durability
  • Heavy-duty spring and powerful materials


  • Not suitable for automotive uses
  • Bulky

 Lang Tools Snap Ring Pliers Set, 12-Piece

When you prefer more conventional sets of pliers, the Lang Tools Snap Ring Pliers set with 12 pieces may be the best option for you. There are up to 12 pliers, and they all have high quality to compete with any other products on the market.

Two variants are available in every four sizes with 45-degree and 90-degree models, so you have a wide range of options to work in any conditions.

Besides, you will find a case in this set. Even though it does not have excellent quality, it can still meet the needs in most cases. All tools are very sturdy, despite their reasonable price. And it is certain that they can last for a long time.

Nevertheless, some problems may happen when you switch from internal to external modes. The mechanism possibly fails, which forces you to take apart the tool to change the direction. It is a challenging task which reduces your working efficiency.


  • Including case
  • Sturdy tools
  • Up to 12 pliers with various degree angles


  • Difficulty changing internal/external

Neiko Snap Ring Plier Set, 2-Piece

If you are looking for high-quality pliers for both internal and external uses, the Neiko 02130A Snap Ring Plier Set is a wise choice. The manufacturer also includes interchangeable tips that allow you to work with various tips, no matter whether they are straight, 45- or 90-degree. In other words, this is a very versatile set to deal with many problems.

In addition, you also find a spring-ratchet system helping you to hold it securely when using. It is particularly useful when you work with non-standard circlips. With its large size, it is certain that these pliers can deliver powerful force.

The disadvantage we find about this product is that they possibly break in several circumstances with stuck circlips. This is a common problem for any snap-ring pliers in general.

Furthermore, the cost of this plier set is not low. Many people complain that in spite of its high price, it is still breakable in many cases. As a result, there is a large mismatch between its value and price.


  • Very powerful
  • Interchangeable tips are available
  • Coming with spring-ratchet system


  • High price
  • Possibly break in some conditions

IRWIN Convertible 6-1/2” Snap Ring Pliers

This model of pliers is useful for you in many cases, although it is not always so. It is convertible, so you are free to use the pliers from internal to external. The quality of the IRWIN is not inferior to any other products on our list. Nevertheless, the switchover can be a little more challenging.

Besides, you also get two pairs of interchangeable tips. Even though the quantity is not impressive, they are still sufficient to help you finish the work with versatility.

The handle is possibly the best feature of all. Therefore, if you are much concerned about the handle, it is undeniable that the IRWIN is the best snap ring plier for you.

The drawback of this model is that it is not always the most powerful pliers. As a result, when it comes to heavy-duty tasks, it is hard to utilize the maximum power. The overall range is also poor, which makes it unsuitable for large jobs. On the other hand, it fails to close enough to perform narrow jobs.

So, it is only helpful in several circumstances. Considering its price, we can see it as a bargain, but it is not a universal cup of tea.


  • Convenient handle
  • Convertible
  • Having interchangeable tips


  • Lack of power
  • Not suitable for large jobs

Cal Hawk Tools Pliers Set, 11-Piece

One of the best snap ring pliers for ordinary jobs is the Cal Hawk Tools pliers set. It has four straight snap ring pliers, along with four 90-degree pliers, to give you the ultimate versatility. The price is relatively low, so it is suitable for those who only need to fulfill one or two simple jobs.

However, professional users may find this model unsuitable to use because of many problems. Breaking is a common problem after a short time of use.

In addition, it is necessary to put much effort to use because there is no spring to bear load.


  • Reasonable price
  • Include both 90-degree and straight pliers


  • Quality issues
  • Easy to break
  • Hard to use

The Tekton 3578 8-in-1 Universal Snap Ring Pliers

When it comes to ease of use and price, many people choose the Tekton as the best snap ring pliers on the market. It has amazing plastic storage case and a reasonable price, even though the durability is not its strength.

This model has a black finish which is resistant to corrosion. Besides, there are precision-machined interchangeable tips you can use for both internal and external uses. The grips are non-slip and comfortable for users.

What are the drawbacks? Many users claimed that they may fall apart, which makes it not ideal for regular use. Moreover, the Tekton may not be the ideal option to do heavy-duty jobs.


  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Useful
  • Economical
  • Include spring-loaded handles


  • Not a good option for heavy-duty tasks
  • Tips may bend

The ABN Snap Ring Pliers

Comfortable handles and price are two of the most outstanding characteristics when we talk about the ABN snap ring pliers. It has four interchangeable jaws, a comfortable gripping area to reduce fatigue for your hand, as well as vinyl handles to help you grip more firmly.

There are two straight tips, one 90-degree and one 45-degree angle tip. So, you have a lot of choices at a reasonable price. The construction always got a lot of compliments.

Nevertheless, there are those who complain about falling apart easily when they use the pliers. The tips are reported not to fit tightly in many cases.


  • Reasonable price
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable handles


  • Possibly fall apart
  • Tips not fitting well
  • Cheap quality

The Craftsman Convertible Snap Ring Pliers

Even though the price is a little higher than some other products in the list, the Craftsman is still one of the most reliable snap ring pliers to deal with jobs around your home.

The tips are precisely machined and tapered. You also get 8 interchangeable tips with half straight and half 90-degree.

Many users gave compliments about its strength, stability and great construction. If you need to change from internal to external rings, all you need to do is to flip a switch. The functionality and ease of use are very impressive.

Though it is considered as one of the best necessities for repairmen, it seems that the Craftsman pliers are not useful in terms of heavy-duty work. The tips may bend easily and rusty rings can be troublesome.


  • Lightweight
  • 8 interchangeable tips
  • Good ease of use
  • Well-made


  • High price
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs
  • Bending tips

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Snap Ring Pliers

If you are concerned about how to choose the best snap ring pliers for you, the most essential factors you need to concentrate on are durability and ease of use. Taking these things into serious consideration, you are more likely to get a great pair of pliers that can last for many years after purchase.

The first factor is the ease of use, or how easy it is to use the snap ring pliers. You should start with understanding your needs before scrolling through thousands of products on the market.

It is important to have a model which can open or close enough to eliminate snap rings. Besides, the pliers should be comfortable to hold, because you do not want to get fatigued after a long time of holding them.

Regarding ease of use, we highly recommend models which can make quick switch between external and internal operation. As a result, you do not need to waste too much time preparing the tools and have more time for working.

The other essential factor is durability. Rust is the most common and worst enemy when it comes to pliers. You should get a model made from corrosion-resistant materials. Otherwise, invest in something which comes with a chemical treatment to prevent rust damage.

Durable tips are something that should be considered as well. Breaking tips usually cause frustration for many users, so it is better to avoid a model which has too many breaking tips.

Other factors you should take into account are tip angle, convertibility, and price. It is common to find a plier set with a cost of around $10, but the quality is usually poor. On the other hand, there are professional sets from reputable brands which can come up to more than $100.

How To Use Circlip Pliers

look for the size that best fits the hole or the diameter of the snap ring.
Step 1:
You put the two tips through the holes of the C-clips that you want to install or remove.
Step 2:
Squeeze the handles that will opens the ring up and you can lift it off the ball joint. Don’t over squeeze or it will break the snap ring.
Step 3:
Release the pliers only when the C-clip is correctly into place.

Final Verdict

Although you may not need snap ring pliers too often, they are still a necessary item to have in your house. Choosing a suitable pair of snap ring pliers can be a problematic issue when thousands of products are available on the current market.

With our reviews, we hope that you gain a better understanding of the best snap ring pliers nowadays, which allows you to make a wise decision of purchasing pliers.