Tweezers Valuable Ship Model Building Tool

Tweezers Hold Interest of Model Shipwrights

Myriad Options Available for Varied Tasks

Valuable Tool for Model Ship Building

tweezers ship model building tools
Figure 1: Tweezers come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, and options useful to a model ship builder.

Next to cutting tools such as knives and saws, tweezers are probably the most important tool for the model ship builder. When you’re a fumble-fingered oaf like me, and you need to hold something small (which describes many ship model parts), nothing beats a pair of tweezers. Figure 1 shows a variety ranging from (starting at lower left and moving clockwise): Normal bent-nose tweezers, spring-open side cutters, spring-open needle-nose pliers, magnifying tweezers, and locking tweezers.

Available in countless varieties, most boil down to the three types in Figure 1: normal, spring-open, and locking.

Normal tweezers require finger pressure to close, and usually have enough spring effect to open them if the pressure is released. In my shop, this usually happens when you are holding a very small piece off the edge of the table, when a slight release of finger pressure allows it to drop to the floor never to be seen again.

spring-opening tweezers model ship building tool
Figure 2: Spring-opening tweezers make one-handed use easier.

Larger tweezers and needle-nose pliers (really just big, hinged tweezers) sometimes are fitted with a spring as in Figure 2. This comes in handy when both hands are occupied, as as soon as you release the pressure the item you are holding is released. Otherwise, large tweezers or needle-nose pliers can be hard to operate one-handed.

locking tweezers model ship building tool
Figure 3a: Locking tweezers with a thumb-operated lock.
locking tweezers model ship building tool
Figure 3b: With the locking mechanism engaged, the tips of the locking tweezers are squeezed closed
locking tweezers model shipbuilding tool
Figure 3c: The thumb-operated locking mechanism open.

Locking tweezers are handy in situations where it’s difficult to keep constant finger pressure to hold the item in the tweezers, such as in difficult-to-reach areas. The locking tweezers in figure 3a have a locking mechanism located where the user’s thumb rests. With the lock engaged as in figure 3b, the tips are kept closed. A little forward pressure from the thumb, and the lock disengages and the tweezers spring open as in figure 3c.


A specialty form of tweezers such as in Figure 4a include a built-in magnifying glass. In Figure 4b you can see how the tweezers are below the magnifying glass, in Figure 4c you can see the magnified image of the item held in the tweezers.

magnifying tweezers ship model building tool
Figure 4a: Magnifying tweezers are handy for fitting small parts into small openings.
magnifying tweezers ship model building tool
Figure 4b: These tweezers are attached to a magnifying glass at a hinge so the distance from the magnifier to the tweezer tips can be varied.
Magnifying tweezers model ship building tool
Figure 4c: Magnifying tweezers offer a close-up view of tiny parts.

A ship model builder can get away without all these specialty tweezers, and just use a regular pair, but where’s the fun in that?

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