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Question We sell hand tools. We are thinking in buying and selling electronic pliers with ESD dissipative handles. Does this have any disadvantages in comparison to non-dissipative handle pliers? –Anonymous, Irun, Spain
Answer For ESD Control, ESD safe hand tools are a plus. The problem with some so-called ESD safe hand tools is that they tend to neglect the Charge Device Model (CDM) in their design. If the tools main contact surface is conductive (metal) then if it touches a charged device, a discharge will result. If the tools main contact surface is dissipative, then if it were to touch a charged device, the discharge would be controlled and not necessarily result in an ESD. If only the handles are dissipative, there is still a concern with the working surface if it is very conductive, but by allowing the tool to be grounded via the dissipative handles and operator worn wrist strap, then there would be no concerns about the tool charging up as it would be at the same potential (ground) as the operator using it.
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