Surgical tweezer, forceps, needle pullers – here's some information on selecting the proper forceps for your application.

Choosing Surgical Forceps

501244 Thumb ForcepsSurgical forceps may be broadly divided into two categories, thumb forceps (frequently called surgical tweezers or pinning forceps) and ring forceps (also called hemostats, hemostatic forceps and locking forceps).

Thumb forceps are spring forceps used by compression between your thumb and forefinger and are used for grasping, holding or manipulating body tissue. They are non-ratchet style. For example, you could use thumb forceps to hold or move tissue during surgery or to move dressings.

Hemostatic forceps are hinged forceps that look more like scissors. Hinged forceps may come with or without a "lock" for clamping.

Thumb forceps are available with a variety of tips. The tips may be flat, serrated, cupped, ringed, grooved, diamond dusted or have teeth. The tips may also be straight, curved or angled. See the images below. Serrated tweezers (thumb forceps) are designed for use with tissues. The serrations or teeth actually cause less damage than flat forceps, because it requires less pressure to maintain a firm grip. Use smooth or cross-hatched forceps for removing sutures, moving dressing or other drapes.

Commonly used thumb forceps include Adson forceps, Iris forceps and Foester forceps.


Locking forceps may be called clamps and are used to securely hold tissue. When they are used to control blood flow, they are called hemostats. When used to grasp and manipulate needles, they are called needle holders.

  1. Carbon Fiber Tipped Forceps
    Our carbon fiber tipped forceps are part of our line of Swiss surgical instruments. Carbon fiber tipped forceps offer several advantages over standard forceps. Ceramic contains no metal, leaves no trace metal residue on tissue Not electrically conductive Corrosion-resistant Low heat conductivity, high heat resistance
  2. Dressing Forceps
    Dressing forceps are used when dressing wounds. They hold gauze and other dressings. They may also be used during wound debridement to remove infected or necrotic tissue or debris from the wound. They may also be used for suturing.
  3. Dumont Tweezers
    Dumont is known for producing quality tweezers for a variety of applications, including surgery, watch making and jewelry repair. The tips of WPI's Dumont tweezers come in a variety of lengths and shapes, and they can be straight, curved or angled. Curved and angled tweezers are ideal for tight spaces, because you can grasp tissue or pieces at an angle more parallel to your work surface. Biology tweezers tend to be noticeably thinner than regular tweezers. This are idea for procedures performed under a microscope or other high precision actions. Jewelers forceps are also used in precision work and may be used under a microscope. The tips are a little wider. Jewelers forceps are designed for grasping and lifting tissue during surgery, and are frequenly used for assembly involving small components, like electronic circuity repair and watch making. Industrial tweezers are designed for work that does not requires fine precision. High quality Dumont tweezers are available in a variety of metals. Dumostar – Anti-magnetic, Dumostar is more elastic and more corrosion-resistant than the best stainless steel Dumoxel – Extremely flexible, Dumoxel is 95% antimagnetic and stain resistant Stainless Steel – Standard metal for most surgical instruments    
  4. Filter and Gel Handling Forceps
    Filter and gel forceps are designed for the handling delicate silicon wafers, scintillation discs, glass slides, coverslips and gels. These forceps have smooth, flat tips to avoid scratching or damaging what they grasp.
  5. Hemostatic Forceps
    Ring forceps (also called hemostatic forceps) are hinged and look like ring scissors. Frequently, hemostatic forceps have a locking mechanism called a ratchet, which is used for clamping. The jaws of the locking forceps gradually come together as each increment of the ratchet is employed. Ring forceps are used for grasping, holding firmly or exerting traction upon objects. For especially delicate operations, generally ring handles with a locking ratchet are preferred over thumb forceps. Locking hemostatic forceps may be called clamps and are used to securely hold tissue. When they are used to control blood flow, they are called hemostats. Hemostats are typically used to compress blood vessels or other tubular structures to obstruct the flow of blood or fluids. The jaws can be straight, curved or right angle. They come in a variety of sizes depending on your application. For example, Mosquito hemostats clamp small blood vessels, and Kelly hemostats can be used to clamp larger vessels or grasp tissue. Kelly hemostats and Rochester forceps look similar. However, Kelly hemostats have shorter serrations. Rochester hemostats can reach a little deeper.
  6. Ophthalmic Forceps
    Our micro forceps have small tips, with tips 0.25 mm thick and 2.5 mm long. These forceps are designed for maximum control in confined spaces or for delicate surgeries.
  7. Miscellaneous Forceps
    Here you can find a large variety of forceps from delrin or ceramic tipped forceps to intraoccular forceps. We have rubber tipped, reverse action and vessel clip applying forceps. There are mosquito, alligator and micro crocodile forceps, as well as Russian forceps and ring forceps.
  8. Round Hollow Handle Tweezers
    Hollowing out the handles of long, round-handled instruments decreases the overall weight. This makes them efficient and non-fatiguing when operating under a microscope. The round shape of the handle also makes these surgical instruments easier to manipulate during surgery. Made from high quality stainless steel, these instruments are an excellent addition to a microsurgical instrument kit.  
  9. Student Fine Tweezers
    Made of quality stainless steel, these tweezers are useful for general dissections where ultrafine tips are not necessary. These forceps are perfect for students. Economically priced, they are affordable enough for everyone to have their own instruments. 
  10. Swiss Tweezers
    Our line of Swiss surgical tweezers are manufactured from fine Swiss steel. When we listen to our customers, we build a bridge of understanding and rapport. In that understanding, we discover the true needs of the customer. We have had numerous requests from you for affordable and good quality instruments and we are listening. World Precision Instruments is proud to introduce our own line of Swiss-made forceps and scissors. We worked diligently with our manufacturer to make sure our products meet your expectations. With over 45 years experience, World Precision Instruments provides innovative instruments to the biomedical research community. We look forward to continuing to expand our product line to better serve your evolving needs. We offer a variety of tweezers and forceps. Let us help you select the correct set of forceps for your application. 
  11. Tissue Forceps
    Tissue forceps are used in surgical procedures for grasping tissue. Often, the tips have "teeth" to securely hold a tissue. Typically tissue forceps are designed to minimize damage to biological tissue.
  12. Tungsten Carbide Forceps
    Tungsten Carbide (TC) is harder than stainless steel. Surgical instruments with tungsten carbide inserts in the tip offer a stronger grip, and they last longer. Tungsten carbide instruments generally have golden handles.
  13. Titanium Forceps
    100% anti-magnetic, corrosion-resistant, lightweight and strong, titanium alloy is ideal for biological and medical applications. Titanium has the tensile strength of carbon steel and is completely resistant to corrosion from nitric acid, chloride, salt water, and industrial and organic chemicals. Titanium is more flexible and 40% lighter than Inox. When heated or cooled, the dimensions of titanium alloy change less than half of what stainless steel alloys will, making titanium surgical instruments much more durable. Titanium is stain-free and temperature resistant up to 430°C. Titanium tools are the premium choice for corrosive environments or MRI applications. 100% non-corrosive (great for sea water procedures) 40% lighter than stainless steel (reduces hand fatigue) 100% non-magnetic (MRI compatible) Anodized, non-glare blue finish
  14. Vessel Cannulation Forceps
    Vessel cannulation forceps are designed to insert small catheters into vessels. The small, hollow jaws of the forceps ensure a secure insertion without damaging the tine tubes.
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