How to Remove or Install Snap Ring Without Pliers

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How to remove or install snap ring without pliersA snap ring is a loop that is incomplete with a semi-fastener that will snap into place over a groove that will ease rotation movement will preventing lateral movement. The snap ring is also known as a C-clip or circlip. These are normally found in the wheels of vehicles or bicycles.

The snap rings are usually made from metals or stainless steel that make them durable in their operation. The snap rings also have alternative names such as E-type, Jesus clips. Retaining clips and C-type. One of the main uses is to act as a movable shoulder that can be used to hold components to a shaft. There is a flat spring ring that is external at particular points. This makes it that it can be sprung open and fitted around a bore or housing. As a final operation, it will close into a recess that will go around the shaft. As an alternative, the internal snap ring can be closed to fit into a shaft before it is sprung back into the shaft and it will form a shoulder in the housing.

It is important to note that how a snap ring is configured, the metal contained can wear thin after some amount of repeated use. For the snap ring to be replaced, the old one has to be removed and the new ring installed. This can be a quick process to remove and replace this unit.

As a vehicle or a cycle owner, it is wise for you to know how to maintain your cycle during operation. These do involve some minor maintenance procedures. One of these procedures is the removal of snap rings and usually, you should have the right tools to do this.

Usually, snap ring pliers can be used and it is a simple process to hold the ring with the tiny openings at the end of the clip. However, there may be times when you may not have one of the recommended snap ring pliers handy. That means you may need to do it without one.



This is one method that may require some practice but it can work once you get the hang of it. This is how it works:

  • Using a pair of punches, you need to ensure that they align with the holes that are located in the holes of the bike’s snap ring.
  • The punches should be placed into the holes of the snap rings.
  • A dowel rod can be placed in between the punches and this can be used as a fulcrum point.
  • The top parts of the punches should be pushed together which will operate similarly to when you are using chopsticks.
  • The snap ring can then be opened.


Needle Nose Pliers

There is another way to do this and it will be easier for you. Now, the needle nose pliers may not look like snap ring pliers but they can still assist you. This may be dependent on the size of your snap ring for this to work.

If you have needle nose pliers handy and do not mind adjusting to it, this is how you proceed. The plier’s tips should be ground down to make a “finger” like appearance so that these can be inserted into the holes of the snap ring of your bike.

This may require some effort on your part but it may not be as effective as using regular snap ring pliers but it can still work for you.


Use of the Needle Nose Pliers


The design of the needle nose pliers is optimal for helping with small items such as snap rings. This is also a great choice for working in a small space. Once you have gotten the hang of using this type of device, this can make the removal of the rings an easy task.

Once this is being used, always remember to place a rag below the piston to guarantee that when you go into the snap ring, you will not go into the crankcase. When using the needle nose pliers, the clip can be twisted until one of the ends will get into the groove.

Your fingers can also be used along with a small screwdriver to help you to complete the task. The rag should then be positioned on the top of the bore. Ensure that all of this is done in a clean area just in case the clop doesn’t work together. Sometimes it may fly across the workspace.

Snap Ring Sizes

Snap rings can be found in many different shapes and sizes and they have various applications. The most common snap rings are the smaller types that are around 50mm or approximately 2 inches in diameter. Alternately, you can also get larger snap rings between 400mm to 5oomm in diameter. Once the correct snap rings are in place, they will fit snugly in place so they will be correctly fitted as needed.


Installing Snap Rings

Snap Ring

You can install a snap ring without snap ring pliers as well. The steps may depend on what type you are working with. The main types are either internal or external and it must first be determined which one you have before knowing how to proceed.

External Clips

  • The first thing to do is to get your needle nose pliers and fit them into the holes
  • Once the tips have been formed from the needle nose structure, you can insert the tips and fit them into the grips of the snap ring.
  • The handles can then be squeezed and this will open the tips and the snap ring will expand.
  • Fit the snap ring into the grooves and this will complete the process of installation.

Internal Clips

  • Again, the alternative to the pliers can be used to be placed in the snap ring holes.
  • The plier tips can be fitted into the holes of the ends of the retaining rain that is being placed on the vehicle.
  • The handles are squeezed to close handles and the snap ring can be adjusted as needed.
  • The ring can then be placed into the groove and the tool being used can be released.

One tip to note is that you must review the smooth and rough sides of the snap ring when the installation is being completed. When you are looking at an internal snap ring, then the smooth side facing the part and the rough side facing the outwards part. This is also made to prevent any possibility of damage to the vehicles.


General warning

As expected, it is best to remove and install these snap rings with the recommended pliers. Without the standard snap ring pliers, the process can be tricky. Any careless removal of the improper use of alternative tools can lead to damage to the snap ring or the vehicle or bike. As outlined in the writing, if there is no access to standard snap ring pliers, then the next best option will be the needle nose pliers as the next safe option for the safe removal of rings.


Why is it good to know alternatives?

It is always advised as a person who owns a bicycle or a vehicle. This is one of the upkeep methods that an owner should know. This can be a good thing to know if you have a breakdown and there is no roadway nearby.

It is not sufficient to know how to just operate the vehicle but it is good to know these upkeep activities to perform repair services. This can be used in important situations or simple things such as maintenance. A few things you should consider when doing your own maintenance and why this is all-important for you to know.

  • Performing your own tasks can save you money in the long run. You will not have to engage the services of anyone as you will be completely equipped to perform your own tasks.
  • Once you learn certain activities, it provides you with the skillset you need to service your bike or vehicle. This can boost your confidence so you are certain in your abilities to service and take care of your mode of transport.

This illustrates that if you have a snap ring pliers or not, you still have options to install or remove your snap ring. These alternate methods allow you to remove the ring with minor effort. The main alternative is needle nose pliers and there are other options. The other alternatives can also work and will complete the job but it may not be as effective. If you become creative, alternative tools can be useful as well.