Bent nose, also occassionally known as angled tweezers are the tweezers of choice for working with miniatures and models. The angle of the tips allows easier manipulation of tiny items, especially where you are using the tweezers to aid assembly. There are a wide variety of bent nose tweezers available which are suitable for model and miniature work. You can also find similar tools as retrieving forceps or handling tools. I have several different types in my own toolbox.
Note: angled or bent nose tweezers are not the same as 'slant tip' tweezers, which have a slanted grip on a straight handle.
Choosing a Set of Bent Nose Tweezers
Bent nose tweezers are available with ordinary or reverse grips (see review of Tweezer Bee Reverse Grip Tweezers), pointed or blunt tips, insulated or metal handles, and with or without grips on the inner surface of the tweezer. When choosing tweezers for work with your miniatures here are some things to consider.
Will you be using the tweezers for holding parts for soldering? - Choose tweezers with an insulated handle and grips on the tweezer's inner surface. These are most often sold through electronics supply houses.
Inner grip serrated or plain? - If possible have two sets of tweezers, one with serrated grips inside the point for holding items, one with no grip marks for working with soft, easily pressed and painted materials and paper which will show any grip lines.
Size of tips, pointed or blunt - Make sure the points of the tweezers you choose are not so fine they will bend when used with the materials you generally work with. Very fine pointed tweezers available from many model suppliers are so fine they will bend even when working with paper. Very fine tips are stronger when they are slightly curved, but these are not ideal for all purposes. Very fine tips often will only grip a very small area. If possible check that the tweezers you choose are set to meet across a wide enough area when closed to make them useful for your purposes. You usually need two types of bent nose tweezers, one set with a very fine pointed tip, either curved tips or straight angled (bent nose) tips and one set with a heavier or blunt bent nose tip, which will not bend when used with small parts, and which is not sharp on the ends.
Reverse or Standard Grip? - Reverse grip tweezers are normally in a closed position, you press own on the grips to open the tweezers. If you work with lightweight materials, you can often use reverse grip tweezers to hold items, similar to the way haemostats work.Sliding Lock Tweezers - These are not available as a bent nose or angled tweezer, but are useful if you need a tweezer to hold something. Locking haemostats only hold one thickness, whereas a sliding lock tweezer can be set to hold materials of different thicknesses by virtue of a sliding lock on the side which holds the grip in place.
Where to Look for Quality Bent Nose Tweezers
- Sewing supply shops where they are used for removing thread
- Beading suppliers and jewellery supliers
- Craft Stores (generally sell lower quality tweezers which may have to be replaced more often.)
- Model boat building shops
- Electronic suppliers.
- Speciality Tool Suppliers - Grobet is a major manufacturer of tweezers, handling tools and retreiving forceps all suitable for use with miniatures and models. They also have a specially designed 'screw holding tweezer' with a slot in the bent nose tip to hold miniature screw heads.