Ever come across these circlips (also known as snap rings) when wrenching? Circlips are flexible, open-ended metal rings typically used to allow a part to rotate but not move laterally. They are used in everything from retaining bearings inside a wheel, on a power tool, or even to keep the wrist pin inside a piston and typically require removal during servicing.

There are both internal and external circlips and you would need a dedicated tool such as a circlip plier that that can either compress or expand the circlips momentarily in order to move them out of the groove.

The only surefire way to remove a circlip is with a circlip pliers. While not as exact as matching a socket to a bolt, a circlip plier needs to closely match either the shaft diameter or the the circlip grip holes for it to work. Fortunately, the Rewin circlip pliers aren't that expensive to start with and would save you a lot of time and aggrivation locating it - particularly if the circlip decides to do a Superman on you.