Watchmakers use a variety of styles of tweezers for different applications. Watchmaker’s tweezers are usually very small and have a extremely sharp points for picking up watch components and moving watch parts around – the smallest pointed tweezers are designed to position watch parts, not bend and shape them. Here is a guide to tweezers styles and what they’re made of and the best use for them.
Standard tips are used in high precision work including assembling under a microscope. These tweezers are often used in watch and jewelry making.
Electronic or industrial tips are designed for work that does not require high precision. All tips are hand finished and this may result in some slight variation in size.
Tweezers tip styles
Thin tips with beveled edges. Used for very fine work on anti-shock springs, some balance spring work and other very fine parts.
Thin hooked tips. Used for wire-wrapping, forming, and bending. Provide a lot of power and are extremely sturdy.
Curved and thin tips. Similar to #1. The curve allows the hand to rest on the bench while working.
Metal types used in tweezers
Carbon steel is an extremely hard alloy. Ensures strong tips but it will easily rust. This alloy is magnetic and cannot be sterilized
Inox 02 is a standard magnetic stainless steel. It is not as hard as carbon steel because it contains chromium. Inox 02 will resist temperatures of around 400°C but cannot be sterilized.
Titanium is totally resistant to corrosion from nitric acid, chloride, salt water, and the like. This alloy is not as hard as Inox 08 but is 40% lighter and more flexible. Titanium is I00% antimagnetic and resistant up to temperatures of around 430°C.
Antimagnetic offers a good resistance to corrosion thanks to its high concentration of molybdenum and is 80% antimagnetic but is not as hard as Inox. Antimagnetic is resistant up to temperatures of around 400°C and is suitable for autoclave sterilization at 270°C.
This alloy is 100% antimagnetic and is widely used for handling delicate components, especially in watch-making.