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Snap Ring Pliers for Brushless Motors?

Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#1
I'm guessing there are a few of you on this forum that do your own brushless motor maintenance, which means you have experience and the tools to deal with those small snap rings on brushless motor shafts.

My question is: what snap ring pliers do you use?

I've been trying to find a decent set of small snap ring pliers for about a week now. I had ordered a set that I thought would work from Amazon and they ended up being way too large for the snap rings on my brushless motors.

So, what do the good folks here use?
 

sundown57

Well-known member
#3
i find it pretty easy to just use a pick to get one end started then just walk it around the shaft. To put them back on i use the pick to hold one end still then my thumbnail to walk it around the shaft again.
 

Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#5
Here are some pictures of a couple motors from my collection and the shaft retainer/snap ring. These motors do not use a C (or 'E') clip for retaining, hence why I'm on the hunt for snap ring pliers small enough to remove these retainers.

That all being said, I suppose one option would be to just totally destroy these retaining rings and replace them with C/E clips, but that is dependent on being able to find suitable C/E clips that are the right thickness and for the correct shaft dimensions.

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buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#6
I'm following this thread closely. I end up teasing them off with screwdrivers and needle nose pliers and then squeezing them back into shape with the pliers. It seems to work so far, but it's pretty shoddy and the long term life of the bent ring is questionable. Also, I've lost one and nearly lost two when they popped off.

Proper sized snap ring pliers would be ideal.
 

Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#7
I'm following this thread closely. I end up teasing them off with screwdrivers and needle nose pliers and then squeezing them back into shape with the pliers. It seems to work so far, but it's pretty shoddy and the long term life of the bent ring is questionable. Also, I've lost one and nearly lost two when they popped off.

Proper sized snap ring pliers would be ideal.
I have been researching "Precision" snap ring pliers and I found a couple models from a brand called Knipex (who I know of and like their hand tools). I'm going to buy one of their sets and see if they fit. If they work I'll let you know.

I will warn you now though, Knipex is stuff made in Germany and has a price to match. Just 1 set of their snap ring pliers is $22 on Amazon.

However, if they work, and they save a lot of frustration, I see it as an investment tool.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#9
I have been researching "Precision" snap ring pliers and I found a couple models from a brand called Knipex (who I know of and like their hand tools). I'm going to buy one of their sets and see if they fit. If they work I'll let you know.

I will warn you now though, Knipex is stuff made in Germany and has a price to match. Just 1 set of their snap ring pliers is $22 on Amazon.

However, if they work, and they save a lot of frustration, I see it as an investment tool.
I appreciate you taking this on. I agree. That's an investment tool. I'd be willing to drop twenty bucks if it works. I'm looking forward toward your verdict! :)
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#10
I know not the answer to your problem.

One of the things I do dealing with some of these small snap rings is get a clear baggy and put it over the motor and basically work inside the baggy incase the snap ring flies off into never never land. I do this when working on baitcaster fishing reels as there are a bunch of small snap rings holding it together.
 

Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#11
I appreciate you taking this on. I agree. That's an investment tool. I'd be willing to drop twenty bucks if it works. I'm looking forward toward your verdict! :)
I just ordered the pliers this morning on Amazon, with predicted delivery being tomorrow. I should have a review sometime over the weekend. If I'm feeling very ambitious, perhaps I can take a video of the pliers in use and post that up as well.

One of the things I do dealing with some of these small snap rings is get a clear baggy and put it over the motor and basically work inside the baggy incase the snap ring flies off into never never land.
I've seen this suggested somewhere before (probably here on this forum) and I think it's an excellent idea regardless of what tools one uses to work with snap rings. Snap rings do have that unfortunate tendency to fly off to the deep dark corners of your work room and never be found again.
 

Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#12
Alright, I had hoped to get this post up over the weekend, but here we go.

First the pliers themselves. These are Knipex brand made in Germany. Model number is 49 11 A0. These are for external snap rings for shaft sizes of 3-10mm. They have a spring-assisted return. The jaw tips come together very finely. This is certainly a quality tool.

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Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#13
The first motor I tried working on was my COBRA C-2213/22. This motor has a 3.17mm shaft and the shaft protrudes out on the same end as the retainer snap ring.

DSC06920.jpg

Because of the shaft, I had a little trouble getting purchase with the pliers on the snap ring. When I did get the snap ring off it was very clearly distorted. I might have been a bit heavy handed with the pliers and/or the snap ring might be made of a poor material.

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Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#14
The second motor I tried working on was a HobbyKing PropDrive V2 model 28-26S (1000 Kv). Here is the snap ring location.

DSC06918.jpg

Now, again I might have been a bit heavy handed here with the pliers but I also think the snap ring was made of a very, very poor material and when I got it wide enough to get off the shaft, the ring literally snapped in half.

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Mad_Mechanic

Well-known member
#15
These are the only two motors I worked with using this tool, so I have mixed feelings.

I think the tool is a good investment and they also have a version with 90-deg jaws but keep this in mind: The straight jaw version I purchased cost me $22 on Amazon. The 90-deg jaw version on Amazon is about ~$25.

I wish I could give you a raving review of "Yes! Buy this tool it will save your sanity!" but I can't do that based on the limited testing I am able to do with the motors I have on hand.

EDIT: Corrected price on 90-deg jaw version
 
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buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#16
These are the only two motors I worked with using this tool, so I have mixed feelings.

I think the tool is a good investment and they also have a version with 90-deg jaws but keep this in mind: The straight jaw version I purchased cost me $22 on Amazon. The 90-deg jaw version on Amazon is about $33.

I wish I could give you a raving review of "Yes! Buy this tool it will save your sanity!" but I can't do that based on the limited testing I am able to do with the motors I have on hand.
Yeah, it looks like it may be easier to get the rings off with them, but the end result is no better. I agree though, that it's probably cheap snap rings and not the plier's fault. Thank you for the review. I guess the solution is going to be to try to figure out the snap ring size and have replacements on hand. It seems like they're one time use.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#18
I have a good set of Snap On snap ring pliers but none are small enough for this type of work. After looking at your picks I may take a pair of fine needle nose pliers and get the Dremel out and do a little grinding, granted it will feel awkward opening instead of closing the handles but these snap rings are so small it does not take much .And as mentioned pick up a variety pack of Metric C clips.