One of my favorite stained glass tools that I purchased as my first “extra” tool is Ringstar running pliers. Take a look at this video, which explains the difference between regular running pliers and the Ringstar pliers.
Here are a few things to remember when using running pliers:
- Always wear saftey glasses when breaking glass.
- Always use them gently and sensitively: if you squeeze too hard with either type of pliers, you will shatter the glass!
- Make sure the jaws aren’t shoved in too far. With regular running pliers, put the jaws in about 1/2 an inch, lined up with the score line. With the Ringstar pliers, you are limited to using them on the inside of smaller curves only. You’ll only be able to use them on the edges of large curves.
- Double check that you are using them the right way up. Running pliers won’t work upside down. The line on the regular running pliers should be up, and the hole of the Ringstar running pliers should be up. In both cases, the pressure point is underneath the glass, on the non-scored side side of the glass.
- You can’t use regular running pliers to break curves. They will only work on straight lines. Ringstar pliers will work on both curved and straight lines.
- If the running pliers aren’t working to break your score, don’t over-squeeze the glass. You can try moving the pliers to the other end of the score line, or you can try “tapping out” the glass and then using the running pliers again. If it still doesn’t work, score a new line, using more pressure this time.
Ringstar pliers are available to purchase at most stained glass supply stores. The price can vary, but you can expect to spend $35-$40 for a pair. In my opinion, they are definitely worth the investment as they will make breaking those concave curves a breeze!