If you work on machinery there is a good chance that you’ll eventually need to pull something off of a shaft, such as a pulley, or remove something from a hole, such as a bearing. The best ways of accomplishing this is with a puller or a press. Sometimes using a press is out of the question and a puller is the only way to go. In this post I’m going to discuss the OTC 464 2-Ton Griplock 2 or 3 Jaw Puller. A puller consists of jaws that hold on what you want to remove and a screw that presses on something other than the part you want to remove. The picture below shows the puller in use pulling a bearing off of the motor in my Clausing drill press. The jaws are hooked on the bearing and the screw is pressing on the shaft. The screw is then rotated using a 17mm socket or wrench which moves the end of the screw closer to the jaws. In the example below, this results in the bearing being pulled up off the shaft.
This puller has a rating of 2 tons meaning it should be able to pull with 4,000 lbs of force. It has a 4″ reach which is the maximum distance possible between the jaws and the end of the screw. The spread, or diameter of the objects it can grip, is listed at 3″ to 4″ officially but as you can see in the picture above it will work on things smaller than that. “Griplock” appears to be the term given to this puller’s ability to have the jaws press inward when the knurled nut on top is tightened down on the spring forcing the plate on top to contact the top of the jaws. This is a useful feature because you can imagine the frustration that is involved in trying to hold 2 or 3 jaws on an object and somehow tighten the screw down. This is even worse if you’re using the puller horizontally. With the “Griplock” feature the puller will hold the jaws for you. This puller can also be used in a two or three jaw configuration. I’m sure there are useful applications for the two jaw configuration but I always try to use the three jaws when possible. With only two jaws a puller may want to lean to one side or the other and if tightened enough it may come off. With three jaws the puller stays centered. Below is a picture that shows the “Griplock” parts and the slots for holding two or three jaws. There are two slots on each arm allowing you to adjust the spread range of the jaws.
Here is the puller in the two jaw configuration.
Here it is with the three jaws attached.
With the jaws facing in the puller is set for pulling on the outside of something. If you want to pull on the inside the jaws can be quickly turned around.
One last feature on this puller is that the tip of the screw has as “live center”. It’s the silver bit on the tip. The tip of the screw contacts a stationary object and the screw turns against this object. If the tip of the screw is fixed to the rest of the screw then it will make turning the screw harder when it is pressing on something. A “live center” fixes this by allowing the tip to rotate independently from the rest of the screw.
Unlike a lot of my tools, this one is not made in the US. Instead it is made in Taiwan but is a high quality item. OTC is a good brand and I’d expect nothing less from them. While it is a simple device, the jaws and screw need to be heat treated properly or failure could occur. Given the forces involved in a puller and the horrible quality of the really cheap pullers there is no reason not to use or buy good puller. Based on the OTC 464, its bigger brother, the 465, should be a good choice if you need a larger puller. I know I plan to pick one up someday. They sure beat tearing things up by prying or hammering on them.
If you’d like to know more about OTC pullers or puller usage check out this pdf from OTC’s catalog.