Friday, December 26, 2014

Centaur Forge Bolt Tong Review

On my birthday, I was kindly gifted a beautiful pair of Centaur Forge Bolt Tongs from my parents. I had been yearning for a pair of bolt tongs, and since I have been working a lot of heavier steel lately (1/2" and 5/8" - I know, not truly 'heavy steel'. But, for a weakling like me, its what I call heavy steel!), I knew that this would work perfectly!

I want to  give my honest and unabashed opinion of this piece of merchandise.
First of all, the bolt tongs are made from 8560 steel, a steel which I have found only one reference to in my search on google. It appears to be a pretty standard oil quench medium carbon steel, as far as I can tell. It makes me a little leary that the company wouldn't at least put out a specification sheet for the steel. But, that is how the cookie crumbles, I suppose. My other pair of Centaur Wolf Jaw Tongs have gotten sizzling hot (never showing color) and quenched in water with no ill effects.

They were well forged when I received them, although the machining was rather rough. The forging was cleanly done, and it was nicely painted a matte black.
Here is a photo of it prior to use, as well as a photo of the inside of the jaws.

I found that the jaws comfortably hold 1/8" plate, 3/8" round, 1/2" square and round and 5/8" square. They hold Railroad Spikes with no problems in the clearance, since the area between the jaw and the boss area are bowed out so much. This, however, does not affect the gripping abilities. 

Overall, these tongs are approximately 15 1/2" long. They have the customary Centaur ball-end reins, which do make holding the steel securing much easier. The rivet is smooth and tight, and there is almost no play in the two sides. 

These tongs are well made. They are versatile, durable, comfortable and strong. They have great gripping strength, yet are lightweight enough to not tire out the worker. I would wholeheartedly recommend these tongs to anyone I meet, and I will hopefully be purchasing more tongs from Centaur Forge in the future. These are now my go-to tongs for most applications. 

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