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I purchased a set of tweezers #1, 3 and 5). I pretty much just use the #1 all the time. Just wondering if there is a guide any guidance on when to use different tweezers. I suspect that many people have their own preferences, but given the many different shapes and sizes, there must be some method to the madness, as they say. 

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It's a matter of preference really. You should keep the #5 aside and just use them for fine hairspring work though; otherwise they will end up damaged and be useless for that. Some like #1, some #2, some #3 for general work. Some use brass or nickel tweezers for general work- this is good as they are less likely to scratch delicate parts, and are much "grippier". On that note, the finer the tweezer, the more likely it will be to want to launch parts.

 

I have a bunch of nickel tweezers that have been retouched so many times they are like 30% shorter than new. Those become handy for when you need very strong tweezers- just used a pair to unscrew the bond from inside a floating barrel. My general use tweezers the last few years are a couple of pair of #5 that have been sharpened enough times that the ends are now very strong; useless for hairspring work, great for general work. These are Dumont Dumostar, which is a much more tough alloy than the Dumoxel, and less brittle than their carbon steel ones.

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1 hour ago, MarkF said:

I purchased a set of tweezers #1, 3 and 5). I pretty much just use the #1 all the time. Just wondering if there is a guide any guidance on when to use different tweezers. I suspect that many people have their own preferences, but given the many different shapes and sizes, there must be some method to the madness, as they say. 

Have you noticed any problems with using no.1 all of the time ?  Could it be like using a pair of needle nose pliers to take all the parts of a car engine ?

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7 hours ago, MarkF said:

given the many different shapes and sizes, there must be some method to the madness, as they say.

I wouldn't call it madness, using the right tool for the job applies to watch repair just as much as any other trade. In saying that you dont want to be swapping your tweezers every 30 seconds either so finding a pair that feels right and has a few applications can save you a lot of time. A lot is based upon the size of what you are picking up. The bigger and heavier the part the more of it's surface area you want to be holding , without the surface area coverage more pressure is needed. You should have noticed by now picking up a big bridge or a mainplate with fine tweezers, parts can spin and slip on you, risking a drop. Tweezer material has an effect, brass grips better and scratches less than steel but also wears much quicker. I find titanium a good compromise, its doesn't scratch like brass doesn't but is quite a bit tougher than brass. A lot of folk like bronze tweezers which are much tougher than brass. No matter what you choose to use now you will change later, it could take a year or so chopping and changing until you develop a feel of what you like and can work best with. 

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5 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Have you noticed any problems with using no.1 all of the time ?  Could it be like using a pair of needle nose pliers to take all the parts of a car engine ?

I have in fact been fine with using the no. 1’s all the time, though I sometimes wonder if I should be using the 3’s for certain tasks and if so, which ones?  

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6 minutes ago, MarkF said:

I have in fact been fine with using the no. 1’s all the time, though I sometimes wonder if I should be using the 3’s for certain tasks and if so, which ones?  

If that is what is working for you at the moment then stick with that,  you will know when to change and when to play around with making another choice. Mistakes will teach you that, losing a particularly highly tensioned heavy setting lever spring for 20 minutes will have you considering using something more suited to the job of releasing it. Honestly you will find what works for you, even now after nearly 3 years I've just found something i really like using for holding big pieces and wheels thats very different in shape.  Another is curved tipped, these have me using a different hand and wrist position altogether, in a bit more of a relaxed state.

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21 hours ago, MarkF said:

#1, 3 and 5)

21 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Some like #1, some #2, some #3

one of the minor problems with this conversation is I had no idea what a #1 look like so I'm attaching image with amusing descriptions.

21 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

On that note, the finer the tweezer, the more likely it will be to want to launch parts.

notice up above I use the definition of amusing descriptions? For instance the number five tweezers my favorite for hairsprings. Anything other than hairsprings then yes they have a habit of making parts fly a way possibly never be seen again.

one of my amusements with tweezers is when I started school we had to run out the local material houses to purchase our tools and I was running late which meant they were out of the choice for Americans 3c's. so I had to settle for something else which worked out rather nice when I went to my second school in Switzerland. All the rest of the students at least the Americans were freaking out as there were no 3C tweezers in the benches. But much to my delight tweeted that was recommended that I was in the material house for me was the #2 which at the time was basically the choice of the Swiss which is probably what they told me at the time when I was in the material house. To be honest I've never looked back that is my main tweezer that a use for all my work. This is why the remark of the amusing description up above fine tweezers are not necessarily for general purpose work.

as mentioned above tweezers come in different materials and unfortunately they also common differing qualities. Plus differing characteristics of how the tips themselves come together. Often times people think tweezers coming together as a point is what they should be doing and they really should come together in a parallel fashion to hold things. So there is a quality factor that's not actually explained at the specifications.

 

image.thumb.png.dd3c20746011755600dcfdee52aa32e8.png

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3 minutes ago, CYCLOPS said:

Hi, a lot of watch guys use 3C's for general work, the chart above is a great guide, use what is comfortable for you.....you might want some H tweezers too

What are H tweezers?

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