You Need This Tool – Episode 69 | Stainless Safety Wire Pliers

August 16, 2019 posted by

Its Friday fool and you need this tool welcome back to another glorious episode of it’s Friday fool you need this tool my name is Kyle Voss and every Friday I bring you a tool a tool that I use here in this shop or that I have featured on this channel welcome back to argue today see this week’s tool this week’s tool is the safety wire pliers so they’re cold yes the safety wire pliers so I call it speed wire guess it’s safety wire is probably a more appropriate term so just a little bit of background if you’re not familiar with the safety wire pliers or safety wire itself safety wire I believe kind of came from the aviation industry and made its way into you like high speed racing some drag racing a lot of motorcycle stuff uses safety wire along with a lot of other things too that I’m probably pretty sure I’m not including there may be a few of you out there that are probably like safety wire or speed wire what do you what are you talking about I’ve never seen that tool never heard of that term let me give you a little example I’ve been working on the turbo Mustang to work on the brakes so this is an aluminum solid aluminum brake hub and a steel rotor and basically it just bolts to the aluminum on the backside with the bolts I wanted to make sure these bolts were not going to come out I mean that would be something you wouldn’t want to happen is your brake rotor to come loose right especially if it’s working its way loose and they need to find out until you are like making a pass 200 mile an hour or something this is basically what safety wire does okay so the head of the bolt has a hole through it and you basically run this stainless wire through these bolts in a fashion that will not allow thee to come out won’t allow them to unscrew if you see the way that they’re kind of lined up they go in this side and out that side on all of them so this thing could not move counterclockwise it could probably get tighter but it could not get looser makes sense kind of understand it now and these pliers I’m going to show you these pliers will help you achieve this kind of twist twist and run pattern how it does that you ask well so you got stainless wire alright these pliers here have a cutter on them also like I said this came from aviation I believe I’m not 100% sure of that I’m pretty sure that it came from aviation and the reason is is this you don’t want stuff coming loose when you’re flying obviously so whether it’s works put a hole through the head of the bolt or whatever it is that you want to basically fasten and there’s a lot of ways that you can do this the way that I’ve done it may not be the exact precise way that it’s done for aviation or anything else I’ve seen where two of them might be basically tied together so so people would just tie these two together then total tie these two together and someone tie these two together instead of doing all six at one or tie three of them together and then tie these three together a lot of ways that you can do it there may be only one official way to do this for what I’m using it for this will work perfect you also might say well why don’t you just use Loctite or a lot you know lock washer well these actually have lock washers on them but I don’t really trust a lock washer to save my life right Loctite would probably work the problem with Loctite is that I guess I could still potentially come loose and this hub is aluminum so I wouldn’t want to have any issues with threads if I ever need to take these bolts out lock tight could cause those problems and so I didn’t want to go that route either speed wire safety wire was the route that I chose and for this application I feel like it’s going we’re great all right back to me showing you how these pliers work so you got your stainless wire and if I had a bolt that had a hole in the head of it and show you your dealt with let’s just do this I got a sake right here let’s act like this is the head of a bolt okay if you basically run the stainless through there then you clamp it with these pliers alright and then these pliers will lock let’s cut a little hook right here and this little piece of slides just press this down alright see if I can show you this time so you just press this down and then this little piece does slide and I’ll lock it so these pliers are locked on this stainless wire now all right once you get that way then it has this little knob at the end and on the inside of this had the shaft that is for a lack of better words spiral-wound I guess and you’ll see as I pull this out when I pull this it’s going to spin these pliers and it will wind this stainless just like that the pull you can see maybe maybe you can’t see it’s just winding that stainless up let’s get the nice and tight and I think within the aviation industry or maybe some the other stuff too there are there needs to be a certain amount of wines per an inch so this wind it’s nice and tight what you would do is if this was going to another boat obviously that’s where the pliers would be holding on to the wire that way you only twist the distance between the bolts and then once you’re done the two pieces of stainless will still be a part you can then run one of those through the next bolt head then you measure it out clamp your pliers again twist that section and so on and so forth until you’re all the way around everything is nice and tidy and it’s not going anywhere and if you ever do need to remove these you just take some snips cut the stainless loose discard the wire and once you put everything back together then you just put your safety wire back on think I have some footage of me doing this one so I’ll show you that obviously safety wire speed wire it’s not for everybody I mean you not putting this on just normal stuff will tell you though if there’s anything if you want to make sure does not come loose this is a good trick to use and it looks pretty dang cool too so if you’ve got maybe something that you want to have that salt-flat high-speed look drag racing look or aviation style look to it which is some speed wire on there so give you the look that you need even if you don’t necessarily need the safety aspect of this these kids are relatively cheap I think 25 foot of stainless wire and the pliers were like 22 bucks shipped on Amazon as I always do I’ll drop some links in the description so you can go check them out just a cool little tool to have I suppose you could probably use these too you like twist just regular power wire you know if you’re trying to like run something nice to meet with in your car you can get a set of these I don’t know if you have a use for these that I’ve not mentioned be sure to comment in the comments and let us know what you use them for get that fit this week’s tool the safety wire pliers as always thank you for joining me I’ll see you a lot more this week I’ve already got two videos lined up for you probably Saturday and Sunday I don’t know anyway it’s Friday fool it’s Friday fool


100 Replies to “You Need This Tool – Episode 69 | Stainless Safety Wire Pliers”

  1. Eduardo Tejeda says:


  2. AveRage Joe says:

    Yes Sir, Got a few pair myself! I work for the U.S.A.F (was in the A.F.) working on aircraft and use them everyday. The "book" says no more than 3 bolts in a row or no more than 6" run. Turn one direction to the first bolt and then turn the opposite way to the next :). Use them on exhaust bolts, those f&^kers always back out lol. Love the vids, thumbs up!!!

  3. Andrew Witcher says:

    when you get bact to the spot you started at how do you tie it back in so the end is not flapping in the way

  4. Motodents says:

    K&n oil filters have a hole in the end for safety wire, FYI

  5. Derek S. Richardson says:

    I have a good Memorial Day weekend 👍👍

  6. Agent West says:

    At work we use those pliers for temporary tying of small wire bundles, only instead of stainless we use twist ties like ones that you see in a grocery store.

  7. Brian Ward says:

    YO! Get some more of those black hats in stock – I went to buy one – they're all gone!

    (Sweet tool btw)

  8. TheMeta6 says:

    it's known as lock wire I the uk. It's so useful, perfect for places you can't use cable ties in as well

  9. Devon 76 says:

    Lockwire pliers.

  10. upenya2 says:

    it's friday fool i have my dads pair of those 1975 set from the air force…ah maze ing

  11. abdou td0k says:

    I needed to see how you linked the 6th wire to the first,
    well in an athoer vid I guess 😉

  12. Doug Ward says:

    in endurance racing, we safety wired everything. Valve covers, timing cover, ring gear.even the oil pan bolts

  13. Ali aldoseri says:

    in my first job we used call it twister , in turbine business we use it a lot

  14. Cyrus 4strings says:

    Don't know much about the history either, but I do know a very similar technique was used to hold the magneto to the fly wheel in Ford Model T transmissions.

  15. chris lessner says:

    Your safety wire is not to aerospace standards haha. The wire over the middle of the bolt isnt allowed ^_^. Also the safety wire is too long you should ave just done 2 together. Thanks for explaining it though more people need to learn this skill.

  16. sly5.0gt says:

    i tend to use mine for my header wrap. holds just fine, holds upto head and looks alot nicer than the big bulky clamps in my opinion. there's also alot of times when wrapping between the pipes that its hard to get a clamp to fit where the wire comes in very handy.

  17. Craig Voisin says:

    I've seen safety wire used on the bolts on old American and European diesel engines that were factory assembled way back in the 1920's.  I think safety wire was pretty much the standard in all industries until the invention of Loctite .

  18. Brian Parsons says:

    might be a dumb question but if you tighten a nut on a bolt to a certain torque and you didn't want the nut to back off the bolt would you drill the nut and bolt and speed wire them?

  19. Vladek Ro says:

    brilliant! guess what? I need this tool and just ordered one

  20. robert ford says:

    Great video, I am going to have quite a bit of this to do at some point so this fool learned something on Friday…. One thing I have seen is that the wire should get wrapped around the bolt head and under the wire that was already twisted before heading to the next bolt, but almost no matter how you do it,  it is %100 better then no "speed wire"

  21. Smokin07ram says:

    Not nitpicking, just adding to the conversation.

    FWIW if you are road racing or running track day events.
    Road racers tie them 2 by 2 bolts. You can get a super tight wire this way.

    You put the wire through the bolt AWAY from the bolt you want to attach to. As you tighten the wire you make sure the little loop stays on the TIGHTENING side of the bolt. When you bring the wire toward the next bolt there should be a loop of fixed wire pulling the two bolts together. Once you start doing this you will see how a reversible safety wire tool becomes the cast's ass as it allows you to push the loop down on to the washer. When you pull it through the next bolt you can reverse direction and cinch down the little left over loop on to the washer the other way and it actually tightens the first bolt….Or at least pulls on it hard….You can make it tight enough that you can actually snap the wire.
    The idea is the most that can come loose are two bolts.

    Here is a picture of a reversing set of pliers forcing the little loop I am talking about on to the washer.

    Tings I safety wire:
    Brakes rotors (of course)
    Brake brackets
    Turbo exhaust header flange bolts.
    Turbo flange bolts
    Turbo Compressor housing retaining bolts
    Pretty much anything turbo hotside
    Anything else that gets the stink eye 🙂

    Hope that helps!

    I am sure your way will work fine for drag racing Kyle
    your brakes don't see the 1500+ degree heat cycles of a road race car.
    Keep an eye on it though!
    Great video as always Kyle!

  22. ewen milne says:

    y'know that couple feet of mig wire you're left with at the end of a reel? the pliers would be great for twisting it up into some tig filler!

  23. Alex B says:

    thank you i am going to put safety wire on the bolt who hold my stearing colom of my off road go kart

  24. alex benoit says:

    Im in college for aircraft maintenance technician. We have a full class just related to doing lock wire. If your going to do more of it I recommend the blue point pliers. Love your Chanel 👍🏻

  25. TheMick26 says:

    Nice video and tutorial, Kyle. I've seen these pliers and understand the concept, but have never used them before. Very cool though.😎 Whoa, you drilled those bolt heads free hand, right? I believe you can buy (or you can make) a drill jig for drilling holes through the bolt heads. If you had a lot of that type work to do, that would be a good tool to have handy as well. I hope you and the Voss family have a great weekend, brother!👊

  26. Doug Beckwith says:

    Heads up, licensed Electrician here and Instrumentation supervisor , only time you want to twist electrical wire is low voltage (1-5 volts DC) and to speed up signal wire in high speed sensors. Don't twist up your head light wires you will regret it….but if you want a faster signal from your analog transmitter to your PLC then by all means twist away…..Love be called a fool on Fridays now cause of you!!!!

  27. Logan Jansen says:

    I use them to secure safety wire on my dirt bike grips

  28. 105Percent_American says:

    Just ordered a shirt from KillFab clothing

  29. Mike Armstrong says:

    how did you end the two end when they met back up?

  30. harry balsaq says:

    i use them on my nipples

  31. First Class Fabrication says:

    I've had a set for a while now, I used them on the farm the other day to repair a fence. They worked great on bailing wire!

  32. jwright650 says:

    Another consideration, steel and aluminium have different coefficients of expansion

  33. RCbasheracer says:

    good Shit:)

  34. Sebastian Wiers says:

    Loctite actually prevents thread damage quite well (not as well as anti-seize, but well enough) but would be a bad idea in this case for another reason. How do you get bolts held with Loctite loose? Heat. What does a brake produce lots of when under load? Heat.

    That's why they use safety wire on brake caliper mount bolts, not Loctite. I can imagine that the rotor bolts themselves, get even hotter. They also use it a lot in aerospace for the same reason.

  35. Ed Asbury says:

    Great you stopped the bolts from turning,,, what is stopping the nuts from turning? You don't trust your life to lock nuts do you? 🙂

  36. Soundman Car Audio says:


  37. James Holbrook says:

    i had seen them before but had no clue probably good for like Harley

  38. Shane Schofield says:

    Great vid. It's a great tool if you're doing a lot of lockwiring – Aerospace and Defence work for example – If not, a set of pliers will do the same job only a lot slower.

    I was taught:
    7-10twists/inch for 0.032" (0.8mm) wire
    9-12twists/inch for 0.020" (0.5mm) wire
    [Always seemed ok to me, not too tight or too loose.]

    Might be worth adding a follow-up video so people don't lockwire back-to-front by accident.

  39. Adam Lenehan says:

    7-10 twists per inch for 0.032" lockwire

  40. Mr. Ed says:

    Whoops, the wire should go around the flats of the bolt head not over the top. Don't you think?

    But that's only half of the equation … you may need to drill holes for the wire to pass-thru bolts and nuts, and may need to "clock" the run of safety wire with multiple holes being drilled.

    And are there nuts on the end of the bolts on those hubs / rotors? It's been almost 50 years since I worked on aircraft in the USNR, but it seems to me that the nuts should be safety wired, too.

    Here's a suggestion for next weeks episode of "You Need This Tool".

    Safety Wire Drill Fixture

  41. analgins says:

    hah nice man!
    I got thouse my self like 2 months ago.. works like a charm..

    This tehnique is widely used allso in militarys, and was super widely used in ussr, because at that time we did not had locknuts and every nut/bolt that needed to be secured used this style of safety wire..
    I would suggest to check out agentjayz on youtube, he has some nice videos explaining how to use it correctly in aviation..

  42. kane Graham says:

    I all so use it to hold header wrap on and a few other things on my offloaded (dune buggy) hear in New Zealand

  43. Even Larsen says:

    Thats cool! Threads in aluminum is not so strong, but if you use stainless steel helicoil thread inserts its
    a much stronger thread. Thumbs up Fab 🙂

  44. Ronnie Godfrey says:

    Wouldn't you need to pull both ends through the bolt holes instead of just one ? Seems that it would be a lot stronger that way…

  45. Gasosphere says:

    For quick safety wire jobs they are nice. But as an aircraft maintainer some safety wiring can get pretty complex, so its just easier to do it by hand.

  46. Gasosphere says:

    P.S. your safety wire looks loose as fu*k. tighten it up.

  47. Aaron Jones says:

    twisted coils lol

  48. Blast357 says:

    80$+ here on amazon.CA outch!

  49. Jason Lee says:

    Nipple clamps.

  50. Martin Gosvig says:

    For reference the FAA AC43-13 have a section on how to safety nuts and bolts with different means, and how to do safetywire to specs and approved methode.

  51. Matthew Turnbloom says:

    6-8 turns per inch is the standard twist rate. also remember when you cut off the twisted end to cut through the twist and not after it so it wont come undone. then pigtail it back so it wont stab you in the finger the next time you go to take it off.

  52. samuel burton says:

    Somebody didn't read the TO

  53. 2212r says:

    As soon as I saw the thumbnail I knew that 80% of these comments would be from the jaded maintainer nation.

    Just waiting for the nonner abuse that's sure to follow.

  54. 2212r says:

    As soon as I saw the thumbnail I knew that 80% of these comments would be from the jaded maintainer nation.

    Just waiting for the nonner abuse that's sure to follow.

  55. joshua carl says:

    Link to Naval Ships' Technical Manual (NSTM) 075 – Fasteners, Page 75-101 Para 075-5.5, and Fig 075-5-10 give examples of proper lockwiring techniques. 6-10 turns/inch is the standard, and the wire goes around the bolt head, not over it.

  56. Kyle Moe says:

    thanks Kyle I use safety wire building Rockwell axles for my rock crawler this will be a great tool for the shop!

  57. John Berg Hvalbye says:

    Hey you can also use these pliers to twist mig wire to make tig rods in a pinch. 🙂

  58. Dmytro S says:

    SWIPs safety wire installation pliers

  59. J.W. Hunt says:

    I use it to secure header wrap. the band they suppy are crap and it looks much cleaner .

  60. Diego AG says:

    So many airplane technicians commenting and no one noted that "Safety wire" is not to keep the bolts tight, Torqueing down to the proper spec is what makes a bolt to stay on, safety wire prevents the bolt to "fly around" in case it looses itself. And that´s the exact reason why it´s a requirement in many motorcycle racing categories, you certainly don´t want a screw, bolt or nut loose on a motorcycle racetrack for so many reasons.

  61. jake says:

    Having never done this I'm your target audience. Whether yours is by code or not as important to me as the discussion it begins so we can learn the correct way from the great comments. Another reason so many of us look forward to Fridays. Thanks for the time and effort you put in.

  62. Tom Halloran says:

    If you'll be running a lot of safety wire and need to drill all the bolts yourself, you may want to look into a drilling jig. Use it with a drill press and minimize broken drill bits.

  63. John Stephens says:

    Kyle; thanks for taking the time to make this show. As a High School Teacher I show your Friday Fool Tool to my students and they enjoy the information you share. I also learn from the show. How will you top this next year? Nice Job!

  64. John Stephens says:

    We just started a aerospace manufacturing class and the speed wire is part of the training. However, I know less than you but think it's cool.

  65. NLDHGRockStaR says:

    for airplane propellors its 7 turns per inch

  66. Chett Udy says:

    We use it a lot on diesel injection pumps to tamper-proof them. I have a pair so I can make it look like it wasn't messed with haha

  67. Bergen Cable says:

    Cool video!!!

    Check out our safety cable tool…faster to apply than lock wire, easier to use and cleaner.


  68. AircraftMechanic .Arts says:

    Yes it came from aviation industry

    And some recondition for the correct way to do this and the aviation rules for safety wiring any screw,
    The max number of joint safety wire is 3 as max so 3 screws as I study in aircraft engineering college and the AMM ( Aircraft Maintenance Manual ).
    And the max twists per inch is determined on the size of wire you are using for an example stainless 0.32 have a 8 twist per inch.

    For more info of any aviation information let me know to carry through the correct information.
    Thanks for the great videos and keep up the good work.

  69. Tyler Phelps says:

    7-10 twists per inch is perfect

  70. Tyler Phelps says:

    As a USAF aircraft mechanic, it becomes an artform.

    As a car guy on the outside…. it's like ziptie's older brother. You know that badass when you were in middle school who was a high-schooler, prob had a camaro or mustang or giant truck or something…. yeah that's who this is

  71. Walt Lars says:

    I build rustic fences for Renfaire venders useing willow and mulberry branchs by weaving them in and put of larger vertical branches I wire the small twigs in with the lock wire pliers I built one 13 years ago and its still standing and working

    I can go to a grove of Willows with a pruning clippers and these lock pliers and wire in about a hour I have something I can sell for $50.00 to $100.00 each
    Set them aside to dry and season for a few weeks

  72. James Thomas says:


    Nice shirt.

  73. Daniel Dominguez says:

    Too long… talks too much

  74. Lazaro Gomez says:

    Awesome video

  75. R. PosadasTM says:

    A drill will do the same thing just a little faster

  76. Lisa Wicklein says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I got mine at Harbor Freight for $8 or $9 for a 6" size, and I am using them for restringing my 12-bar Wire Soap Cutter, which cuts my 5-6 lb soap loaves into 13-15 individual slices of soap. Due to several pounds of tension that these wires endure, they were coming loose all the time at the eyelet bolts (which I have wingnuts on the ends of). Bar soap is usually cut while it is still soft enough to do so, but I still have to use some upper body weight to cut through. Tightening the bolts only went so far when they became loose, and many times after hand-twisting a new wire on (pain), the wire would still not stay tight and then it would break within a day or so of using the wire soap cutter several times. While I could engineer another solution using banjo tuning pegs and stainless steel music wire (cold process soap reacts with any metal that is not stainless steel), this was a quick solution for me to integrate that makes changing my wires easier and faster. I just switched from using 20 gauge smooth steel picture wire to 15 lb, 20 gauge galvanized steel wire. While stainless is still preferred, I go through enough wire to make this tool really pay off in a short amount of time.

  77. Selective PC says:

    Use these daily as a powder coated to hang items. It's a life/finger tip saver to say the least.

  78. Jason says:

    I could see safety wire as a zen experience, both watching and doing. I would like to retire, somewhere warm and sunny…safetywire my dream [race]bike every week.

  79. Paul Vienneau says:

    U.S. Navy and aircraft mechs been using forever.

  80. Robert Swezey says:

    Nice video. I use speed wire on exhaust bolts on my Powered Paraglider.

  81. John Mc says:


  82. IGATECK says:

    I need to safety wire my ex's pussy

  83. Mary Flock says:

    I Love this tool! I use it for beading. Pretty Cool 🙂

  84. Darren Cole Gold says:

    Aircraft Engineer – Absolutely do not need this tool, I carry a pair in my toolbox and they have their place, but 9 times out of 10 i'll do it by hand, you can do a better job twisting by hand once you have the technique right and all you'll need is a set of diags or combo pliers for snipping off, which you should already have in your toolbox, no point buying a specialist tool for this one job, even if lockwire pliers are bloody cheap these days.

  85. RustyRich Gaming , Gambling and MORE says:

    this is RiPtrippers?

  86. Sam Clyne says:

    Lockwire pliers. You don' t use pliers for safety wire. Safety wire is made from copper and is intended to be able to be broken in an emergency

  87. Mr Wolf says:

    Malin Aircraft stainless lock wire by the pound on amazon very cheap. A pound is 800 to 1000 feet roughly. .020 inch more than .032 inch due to less mass per inch.

  88. jewcify says:

    3 bolts at a time max

  89. chris18228 says:

    So buy this tool or just use a drill

  90. John Keith says:

    What camera did you use to capture this?

  91. tylers creator says:

    in aviation they teach us that on a closed geometric pattern like that brake it's unnecessary to twist at all. you can just run the wire through all of them and finish off with a pig tail.

  92. Joe Kasson says:

    The first 5 minutes of your video is you babbling on and on so you can see yourself talk, after what seems like a visit from a loud mouth friend you show the tool

  93. Kevin Mott says:

    Only one issue I have is when you wrap the wire around the bolt you don’t go over top of it as you did in your video. You have to wrap clockwise around the side of it to keep the integrity or else why would you even lockwire. Cheers

  94. Ron Easley says:

    I found a pair of these in my late father-in-laws toolbox (He passed long before I met my wife), he was a mechanic in the 1960's – 1980's.
    I used this trick to stake saplings in the yard, a small piece of rubber tubing against the tree keeps it from cutting into the bark.
    After a couple of seasons and the roots have taken hold easy to remove.

  95. john nesci says:

    You can use them for twisting mig wire for tig filler rod

  96. Andy Earl says:

    Hey fool with your flash new tool avation guild lines recommend 7 turns per inch,fool

  97. Andy Earl says:

    In new Zealand we use these to remove the balls off unwanted rams,it gets them singing

  98. david northrop says:

    Found a set of two, one 6" and the other is 9" found at local pawnshop for $19.00. I found the set I bought online for $115.00. I use to be a military contractor, I worked on ships and we used these a lot. Now I use these to tie down my crab bait cages to the bottom of my crab pots and crab cages.

  99. WeThePeople says:

    Thumbs up for MagPul shirt

  100. Moralez Family says:

    We use this in the oilfield on drilling rigs all the damn time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *