Hilco offers an ErgoPro Compression Sleeve Trimming Pliers so an ECP can trim a compression sleeve cleanly with razor sharp edges.
At one time or another, every eyecare professional (ECP) has been caught in the difficult position of not having exactly the right tool for the job or feeling like they needed another set of hands to fix a pair of eyeglasses. Those are the moments when unique and innovative hand tools can save the day. Here’s a look at some of the more useful and clever hand tools available today.
Western Optical's Nose Pad Inserting Plier gently grips the pad on one side of the tool while bracing the pad arm on the other.
SPRING HINGES Replacing screws in spring hinges can often be difficult. Trying to keep enough tension on a spring hinge’s shaft while placing a screw through its barrels can be frustrating and time consuming. Vigor Optical, A division of Grobet USA, has a self-aligning spring hinge screw insertion tool that makes reinserting spring hinge screws both quick and easy. The cleverly notched and curved tip pliers use a special screw that’s helpful for all spring hinge types, even pesky ones. The pliers’ screw tip is pushed under the top barrel of the hinge with the screw at a 45° angle. In this position, a standard screwdriver is used to tighten the screw.
Amcon’s Spring Hinge Assem-bly Tool is another solution for replacing spring hinge screws. This tool features a vise that holds the frame in place with the hinge open. An extended blade screw driver reaches down from the top of the vise to the slot on the screwhead enabling the optician to replace the screw with ease. The Spring Hinge Assembly Tool unit includes the base with vise, the extended screwdriver handle, a 1.8mm Phillips screwdriver blade, a 1.8mm flat blade, and five spacers.
NOSEPADS Every dispenser has probably experienced the nosepad from Hades. You know the one I mean— the one that is either difficult to remove from a pad arm or install onto it. You may try removing it by placing pliers in between the pad and pad arm only to twist or bend the arm instead of removing the pad. You may also try installing a new nosepad with your fingers and applying too much pressure to the pad arm, pushing it too far out of alignment, thereby creating another step in the process and getting it back on the patient’s face.
The line of Hand Friendly Pliers from OptiSource are so comfortable they can be manipulated easily.
Western Optical Supply has designed two tools that make nosepad replacements easier on you and the frame. The Nose Pad Inserting Plier holds a nosepad in its specially designed jaws that you can then line up with the nosepad box. Simply press the pad into the box and remove the plier. This toll means you don’t have to hurt your fingers by forcing nosepads into the box or run the risk of moving the nosepad arm. The Nose Pad Popping Plier is designed to help you remove a pad without moving the nosepad arms. Simply insert the prong of the plier under the nosepad box and with a gentle squeeze the nosepad pops out. Stormin’ Norman’s also offers its Nose Pad Popper to easily remove nosepads. Take a look at their Nose Pad Extractor Tweezer too—it’s specifically made to extract push-on pads from the pad arm.
A Compression Sleeve Trimming Pliers from Stormin' Norman's assists in the assembly or repair of compression mounted frames.
TEMPLE ALIGNMENT Wider, thicker temples and wider hinges have become prominent in some of today’s eyewear designs. When using traditional pliers with cissor-closing action, it can pinch thicker material, potentially marring the frame and even making it more difficult to accurately perform adjustments. When Western Optical saw that frame designs were changing this way, they redesigned their Parallel Jaw Pliers to accommodate the new trend. The jaws of these pliers are designed to close in a parallel motion (not in the traditional scissor motion) allowing them to grip more securely on thicker materials without marring them. The pliers feature long, comfortable foam-covered grips and narrow 8mm wide jaws that fit comfortably in tight areas. You’ll find these parallel jaw pliers available in five styles including temple angling pliers, endpiece adjusting pliers, double delrin jaw pliers, long chain nose pliers, and pantoscopic tilt pliers.
INVEST IN NEW TOOLS Take a look at your workstation and the tools there. When was the last time you updated them? Investing in new tools can not only save you from injury; it can also make your job easier. New frame designs often require new tools to appropriately adjust and repair them, and with the right tool, you can do it more quickly.
Still a popular consumer eyewear choice, compression-mounted rim-less frames require special tools when mounting the lenses or when breakage occurs and a broken part needs to be replaced. Sometimes ECPs will grab the closest cutters available and use them to cut the bushing sleeves away from the frame or to yank or cut away the sleeve from the post. This can not only damage and/or mar the post, but can also damage the cutter’s blade. Using the right tools for the job can make compression mounting easier, quicker, and more successful.
Amcon's Spring Hinge Assembly Tool replaces spring hinge screws and features a vise that holds the frame in place with the hinge open.
Stormin’ Norman’s offers a trio of solutions for this task. The Rimless Mounting Pliers with Grips has special grooves and a swivel jaw so the pliers easily secure and interlock the sleeve and frame posts at both the temple and the bridge. They also offer Compression Mount Hardware Removal Pliers and Compression Sleeve Trimming Pliers to assist in the assembly or repair of compression-mounted frames with more accuracy and ease. These tools remove sleeves from posts or trim the sleeves with less risk of damaging the frames or lenses.
Hilco has its ErgoPro Compression Sleeve Trimming Pliers so an ECP can trim a compression sleeve cleanly with razor sharp edges. The tool features a convex shape to follow the curve of the lens being worked on and the finish is highly polished, which helps reduce the risk of scratching or damaging the lens.
TITANIUM TOOLS OptiSource International has a line of 10 optical hand tools it calls its Titanium line. The tools feature stainless steel construction on the handles and jaws, an internal titanium spring, and a blue titanium coating, and a very durable and lightweight construction. What’s so clever about these tools? Because of their materials and construction, these are tools you will have in your dispensary for years to come. They consist of adjusting, cutting, and specialty pliers, and these hand tools are so comfortable they can be manipulated easily, making every repair easier.
The adage of “use the right tool for the right job” is especially true in the optical industry when it comes to making repairs and adjustments. Sometimes it takes some pretty clever ones to get the job done, but fortunately, just about any kind of innovative tool you need is available today so you can get the job done quickly and confidently.
Joy L. Gibb is the owner of Eyes of Joy Mobile Optical Service in Woods Cross, UT.