There are no products in your shopping cart.
How do they make Pliers?
Have you ever looked closely at a pair of pliers? They look simple, don't they? But if we gave you two rods of steel and told you to construct something pliers-like, we’re betting a lot of you would end up with two slightly wonky rods of steel. Don't get us wrong: wonky rods of steel have their uses, but electricians, plumbers, mechanics and even the Greek god of metallurgy Hephaestus all prefer pliers.
So how are they made? Once, they would have been hand-crafted in the forge, and that's how the god Hephaestus has always done it (and no, we’re not just sneezing; we promise it's a Greek name). But these days, much of the process is automated. Technology has made it possible for pliers to be mass-produced by an ingenious combination of materials, machines and of course lubricants.
As we've already hinted, the process begins with steel rods. These are heated until they turn red and then bashed into shape by a machine called a dye forger, which exerts tons of pressure to mould the rods into their required form. Excess steel is trimmed from the end of the rods, and now they look a lot more like two halves of a pair of pliers. Machine oils within the dye forger help to keep it running smoothly, efficiently and at the correct temperature.
The next step is the jaws, which can either be made to grip or cut. If they are intended to grip, the pliers' halves are set in broaching machine, which wields many tiny cutters. Under a shower of the all-important metalworking lubricant, the cutters shave away metal to form a set of teeth on each jaw.
Now, to harden the steel, the pliers' halves go into a gas-fire furnace for 2 hours, at over 800 degrees Celsius. After a quick dip in salt water to cool off, a machine rivets the two halves together. Then the assembled pliers are set between grinding wheels to wear the rivets flush with the pliers' surface, and further lubricant is necessary to prevent the steel overheating while this is done
By this point, the pliers are nearly ready. They still need some more heat treatment, a good soak in some rust inhibitor, and then the cosmetics of polishing and logo engraving. After that, they are dipped in liquid vinyl to cover the handles in a cushioned material. And then, Hey Presto! Two rods have been transformed into a useful tool. Still think pliers are simple?