Forceps are a tool crucial in body piercing. Forceps are designed in various configurations and act to basically grab and hold skin so that the needle can accurately pierce the desired point. If a body piercer performs a piercing without the use of forceps, the technique is called ‘free hand piercing’. However, for most piercings, it is advisable to use forceps to insure a successful piercing.
Forceps come in two basic configurations for piercing; the scissor variety that lock in place, and the clamp variety (which resemble a clothes pin and are much smaller in size). What differentiates forceps is the end that makes contact with the skin, taking the shape of either an oval, triangle, or in the case of septum forceps (shown in photo), resembles two aligned receiving tubes. Hemostats are tapered and do not feature either configuration at the end, resembling needle-nose pliers. Lastly, forceps are either made of steel or hardened plastic. Usually, disposable forceps are made of plastic and are disposed of after use, while steel forceps are designed to be able to withstand an autoclave so they can be reused. Make sure when it’s time to purchase your piercing supplies that you buy them from a respected seller of body piercing supplies who stands behind their products.