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What Are Plastic Tweezers?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Plastic tweezers are simple tools made all or partly of plastic that are designed to help pick up or remove small objects. Tweezers are usually made up of two connected “arms” that form an elongated v-shape. The arms stand in tension to each other, and squeezing them together creates a grip on a whole range of things, from hairs and splinters to blood vessels, mechanical parts, or small electronic objects in medicine and manufacturing. Plastic tweezers are often popular in highly technical settings as plastic, unlike metal, will not conduct a charge. The material also tends to be non-corrosive.

Sets of plastic tweezers can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They are often optimized for certain uses or disciplines. Some have refined sharp tips, while others have more rounded, pincer-like grasps. Much depends on the intended use.

The majority of cosmetic tweezers on the market are made of metal, in part because metal is easy to grip, but also because it is inexpensive to mine and produce. In cosmetics, the nature of the material is not really at issue except in the case of individual allergies. For many industrial settings, however, material matters immensely. Tweezers are indispensable for tasks where metal implements are not always safe, which is where plastic models come into play.

Plastic tweezers are generally made of wholly stable composites that never present risks in terms of conducting energy or posing risks to users. Most metals conduct electricity, which makes standard metal tweezers an unsafe option for electronics repair and many of the more technical aspects of mechanical engineering. Tweezers are often very useful for removing tiny batteries, arranging cords and wires, and interlaying circuitry. As such, nonconductive tweezers are in high demand in many aspects of industry and engineering.

Tweezers made of plastic are also very useful in scientific and pharmaceutical settings, where the tools may add or remove objects from corrosive solutions. Many metal compounds will react to different chemicals, which can taint experiments, not to mention damage the tweezers. Plastic iterations are usually completely stable and typically will not pick up residues. They can also be sterilized easily, often in as little as hot water. Wholly disposable tweezers are popular with very toxic substances and are much more economical when made of plastic.

The term “plastic tweezers” can also apply to metal tweezers that have plastic grips or plastic tips. These are more common in settings where accuracy is important, but conductivity or corrosiveness is not as much of an issue. Many of the tweezers used in surgery fit this model, for instance. Incorporating plastic often gives the user a better grip and can sometimes promote a longer reach, too.

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Discussion Comments
By ysmina — On Dec 20, 2014

An alternative use for plastic tweezers is to teach children fine motor skills. It's excellent for that. Just hand it to them and let them use it to pick up and place objects.

It's also handy for people with some loss of hand mobility due to health conditions like arthritis or diabetes. My grandmother uses plastic tweezers. She cannot hold and squeeze regular tweezers. They're too stiff for her.

By literally45 — On Dec 20, 2014

I don't work with electronics but I do crafts and plastic tweezers come in very handy. I often have to glue and place very small pieces for my craft projects. Often times, my hands are way too big to hold them and it's nearly impossible to place in the right spot without getting it to stick on me. So I started using a plastic tweezers for these small pieces and it has been working out great. I guess I could have bought a metal one too, but plastic is lighter and cheaper. So it's the best option for crafts in my opinion.

By fify — On Dec 19, 2014

My roommate fixes computers for a living and he couldn't do without his plastic tweezers. He uses them every day and carries them around everywhere. He says they allow him to get into small parts that he couldn't reach otherwise.

Aside from the very important factor that plastic tweezers can't give someone an electric shock, they also seem to be easier to use and carry around.

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