Is it just me or what??? Here lately every knock out that is supposed to knock out stays and the wrong size pops lose or the darn thing won`t comeout with out killing the box.And also the darn switch ears don`t break off as designed Boy feel better now I vented.Yea operator error I`ve been told already.Last night 4' troff lights the knock outs would not push out with out laying the piece on the ladder and beating the hell out of it then you have to straighten the part back.
It seems to come in cycles. It is either they won't come out, or they fall out. Ever try to KO the 2 inch KO and have the 3 inch volunteer to come out first? Arrrrrggghh! Then, of course, you don't have a 3 x 2 reducing washer set in the truck. Almost enough to make you order all your cans with smooth ends and punch them all. But, I digress.... Troffers are a problem. You could contact the manufacturer for a supply of extra "sliders" for this inevitable occurance. They gotta be really inexpensive.
For the ko problem I have had good sucess with the following. I use a short length (6-8") of next size up pvc sch 40 conduit as a support for the outer ring. If I need to remove the 2" ko I use a 3" support pvc to hold the 3" ring into place on the opposit side my screwdriver will be hitting. Laying the box on the ground I can usually support the pvc with one of my knees. The old Challenger load centers used to have this problem. I made so many calls to the local rep for them that he must have spoke to someone. One day the guy called me and said the cutting die's at the factory got replaced. About 6 months later they closed up shop.
Here I thought it was just lack of experience that always sent me back for 3/4-to-1/2 washers! Glad I'm not the only one!
For the switch ears (and most other cutting tasks that don't deserve getting the compound snips off the truck) look up the "2000 series" dikes by Klien. They make 2000 series linesmans and needlenoses too.
(for those that don't know, the "2000's" are induction hardened, and cut like you wouldn't believe. BTW, I have no freakin' clue what induction hardening is, but it works!)
They cut 8p nails without even flinching. I used 'em quite a bit when shortening the slide tracks for a bunch of can lights in tight spaces one job. Cutting FMC/MC/AC is a snap.
I don't have much trouble with switch ears, but for knock-outs I do a couple things. One is using an old screw-driver, which I set on the knock-out & give it a whack with a hammer (this works so much better than free-swinging needle-nose, or lineman pliers...I also use this screw-driver for tightening nuts). That keeps the 3/4" in while taking out the 1/2". On larger holes, I take out the 1/2", then use my Slug-Buster (hole punch)to take the rest out.