Tweezers Material 101
If you have ever shopped around for tweezers you know how confusing it can be. All of the different makes, models and styles. And all of the different materials they are made of. How can you choose?
I’ll admit, before we acquired the Viola Tweezers business I just used whatever tweezers I had available for whatever I was doing, not really giving it much thought about what style tweezers I was using, never mind what they are made of. Well, I am here today to sing a different tune about what tweezers are made of and the importance of choosing the correct material for the job.
In this piece we’re going to talk about Viola and Romaine metallic tweezers, because that is what we offer. However, this same marking method can be found on other good quality metal tweezers.
How can you tell the tweezers material?
Good quality tweezers are typically marked on one side with some information. There is a number and/or a letter followed by a space or hyphen, followed by a letter or two. The number and/or letter represents the style of tweezers, which would refer to the physical shape, length, tip type, etc. The letter or two following the space or hyphen represents the material by which the tweezers are made. So for example, if you see a marking of 1 SA or 1-SA on one side of your tweezers that would mean it is a style 1 tweezers made of SA material.
What is SA material? Read on to find out.
The most common material for metallic tweezers is steel, but it is a little more complicated than that considering steel can be a combination of alloys mixed together that can alter its composition and change its physical properties to be more efficient for various applications. For instance, stainless steel is a combination of several alloys, and depending on how much of which alloy will give it different properties.
Tweezers can also be made of brass, nickel or other metals for different applications. So without going into a metallurgy class, here are the symbols that represent what the Viola and Romaine tweezers are made of, and what properties you can expect our tweezers to have:
CS - Carbon Steel
Carbon Steel is a harder steel than other types, so tweezers made from this material will have a longer lasting tip. Carbon Steel is not rust or chemical resistant, so care must be taken to not use in a harsh, humid or moist environment as they will corrode and rust. They also can be magnetized, so that should be a consideration. Carbon Steel tweezers are shipped with a lite coating of oil and wrapped in wax paper to protect the material from rust or corrosion during shipment and storage.
HS - Hardened Steel
Tweezers made of Hardened Steel are rust resistant. The tips are not quite as hard as Carbon Steel, but still harder than most other stainless steels models. They are not corrosion resistant.
SA - Stainless Steel Anti-Magnetic
Most Popular - Tweezers made of SA Stainless Steel are rust resistant, anti-corrosive, resists hydrochloric and other acids, as well as anti-magnetic. The tips are bit softer than HS material.
SN – Stainless Steel Non- Magnetic
Tweezers made of SN Stainless Steel are rust resistant, anti-corrosive and non-magnetic, which means nothing is going to stick to this material. It is also heat resistant to 800 degrees C. The SN material is a bit softer than SA.
BR – Brass
Brass tweezers are anti-sparking and have soft tips so they can be used for delicate surfaces to keep from scratching. Brass tweezers are shipped with a lite coating of oil and wrapped in wax paper to protect the material from rust or corrosion during shipment and storage
NI – NICKEL
Much like Brass tweezers, Nickel is a softer material so it won’t damage delicate materials that are prone to scratching. Nickel tweezers are shipped with a lite coating of oil and wrapped in wax paper to protect the material from rust or corrosion during shipment and storage
About the Author Chris Perkins is the owner of Lightning Enterprises, and facilitates the Lightning Enterprises newsletter. He has worked in the hearing aid industry since 1991 in hearing aid manufacturing and product development, as well as equipment and process consulting.
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