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 Knipex pliers, Squirrel Daddy punches & PSA pistol AR Kit 
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Guns4Liberty wrote:
Yondering wrote:
Serious question - why are you guys using pliers for installing any of the pins in an AR? I've assembled AR lowers and uppers more times than I can remember, and can't think of a reason to use pliers for any of the pins on them. What specifically are you doing with them?

Because once you do it by pressing the pins in with a Knipex pliers wrench, you'll never want to do it any other way ever again.


Maybe I'm not picturing what you guys are doing very well, but holding pins with pliers to install them, or squeezing them in with pliers? That's hardly the right tool for the job, regardless how nice the pliers are, and sounds like a good way to scratch a receiver. I'm not saying you're wrong if it works for you, but it doesn't sound easier than using the right tools.

Most of the pins go in with hand pressure only or a gentle tap with a soft mallet; if it takes more force, you probably don't have things lined up right. The bolt catch pin goes in with a pin starter punch. THAT is the "right tool for the job". If you don't have one - it's basically a length of rod with a hole in the end sized to be a slip fit for the pin you're installing. That bolt catch pin is easiest to install with a long starter punch that extends past the back of the receiver.


Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:44 pm
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As with many things in life, getting it in isn't any problem for me. Getting them out is where I have run into trouble.

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Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:12 pm
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I think I bought my first Knipex pliers in 2002, in Kiel Germany. I had never seen them in the USA back then, so while I was in Germany, I shopped for tools I couldn't get in the USA. Now, they are readily available. I even gave a set, along with a bunch of other tools, to my oldest daughter when she turned 18. Definitely a "dad gift", but now that she has moved out, appreciates a good tool bag.

Oh, and I have never used them on a firearm. LOL

I use the Knipex pliers a lot, but my favorite use for them, is pulling out small nails, or staples when doing flooring or trim work.


Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:45 pm
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Yondering wrote:
Guns4Liberty wrote:
Yondering wrote:
Serious question - why are you guys using pliers for installing any of the pins in an AR? I've assembled AR lowers and uppers more times than I can remember, and can't think of a reason to use pliers for any of the pins on them. What specifically are you doing with them?

Because once you do it by pressing the pins in with a Knipex pliers wrench, you'll never want to do it any other way ever again.


Maybe I'm not picturing what you guys are doing very well, but holding pins with pliers to install them, or squeezing them in with pliers? That's hardly the right tool for the job, regardless how nice the pliers are, and sounds like a good way to scratch a receiver. I'm not saying you're wrong if it works for you, but it doesn't sound easier than using the right tools.

Most of the pins go in with hand pressure only or a gentle tap with a soft mallet; if it takes more force, you probably don't have things lined up right. The bolt catch pin goes in with a pin starter punch. THAT is the "right tool for the job". If you don't have one - it's basically a length of rod with a hole in the end sized to be a slip fit for the pin you're installing. That bolt catch pin is easiest to install with a long starter punch that extends past the back of the receiver.

I used to do the hammer-and-punch route, but not anymore. If you watch a video of what we're talking about, you'll see that pressing in the pins with this tool is indeed easier and affords better control than a punch. Virtually no risk of scratching the receiver. Seeing (and doing) is believing!


Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:20 am
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Yondering wrote:

Maybe I'm not picturing what you guys are doing very well, but holding pins with pliers to install them, or squeezing them in with pliers? That's hardly the right tool for the job, regardless how nice the pliers are, and sounds like a good way to scratch a receiver. I'm not saying you're wrong if it works for you, but it doesn't sound easier than using the right tools.

Most of the pins go in with hand pressure only or a gentle tap with a soft mallet; if it takes more force, you probably don't have things lined up right. The bolt catch pin goes in with a pin starter punch. THAT is the "right tool for the job". If you don't have one - it's basically a length of rod with a hole in the end sized to be a slip fit for the pin you're installing. That bolt catch pin is easiest to install with a long starter punch that extends past the back of the receiver.


Think of it as a press. If you don't have a press, wailing with a hammer is a poor substitute. Now I know this is an extreme example, but controlled even pressure verses varying kinetic pops.

I do start with a proper roll pin starter punch (not Squirrel Daddy!) - that is the proper tool, plus I lightly lube the pins. Then I press them home with Knipex. All perfectly aligned and no scratches.

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Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:53 am
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I too got the long handle squirrel daddy pin punches and they rock! Makes a unfun job more fun. Worth every penny if you build more than one AR ever. As far as knipex, great tools but in my experience a 2” c clamp with grease slides the trigger guard roll pin in like butter.

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Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:18 pm
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