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Pliers and Cutters.

Understanding VDE

Before we get into the details of the different pliers and cutters available, we need to be aware that there are two basic categories of tool; one being tools for general engineering, construction work and repair and maintenance, the second being tools for electricians.

If you've already completed the Screwdrivers module on Productwise you'll recognise quite a lot of the following, but since it's a very important issue, it bears a second read.

The simple difference between the two categories is that tools for electricians are insulated to protect the electrician when working on potentially live electrical circuits. We refer to these tools as VDE pliers and cutters.

VDE (which stands for Verband Der Elektrotechnik) means that the product is approved for use by electricians by the world renowned German institute for safety for electricians.

Two types of certification

IEC 60900:2012

When working in potentially life threatening environments, safety is paramount and something we take very seriously indeed. All C.K VDE pliers conform to the requirements of the international standard IEC 60900:2012, which sets out the insulation tests that every single tool has to have to prove their safety.

The most important test is one where each and every pair of pliers are put under water and given a 10,000 volt charge . This tests that the handles are 100% insulated and will protect the user even if they touch live wires carrying up to 1000 volts (the maximum voltage found in a house is 240v, but even this can be lethal).

Here is a pair of sidecutters that have been used to cut through live wire. You can clearly see the hole that has been blown in the blades.

Happily, the electrician is fine thanks to the high level of insulation provided on C.K VDE products.

So why use VDE certification as well?

The problem with the IEC 60900:2012 standard is that it's self-certified - anyone could claim conformance with it and there is no independent check.

With C.K electricians' pliers we go the extra mile and have them independently certified and regularly audited by the VDE Institute.

ONLY those tools that carry the VDE mark offer the security of independent testing and certification of the product, production methods, test equipment and test process.

In addition, our screwdrivers are GS (Gepruefte Sicherheit - tested safety) approved. This is another German standard that means that the tools are of high quality and are suitable for their intended use.

Obviously, electricians depend on the insulated handles to protect their lives, so it is vital that the insulation is not damaged.

We recommend that all electricians regularly inspect their VDE tools and replace them immediately if they are damaged in any way.

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