Howerver, I suggest you find a pair of 'flat-faced' pliers and use them. These pliers have not got grooves cut into their gripping faces and are smooth.
I bought my pair in a hardware shop in London around 30 years ago. I have no idea where you might source some now - try eBay or Amazon maybe?
It's important to use them with a dead flat piece of (ideally) steel, such as a 6" rule or cut down hacksaw blade. In the past I have used these pliers to straighten both masts and gun barrels by holding the rule against one side and closing the pliers against this as you try to straighten the fitting in question.
If you can't get a flat-faced pair of pliers you could use a small pair of ordinary pliers and 'sandwich' the mast in between these to straighten it. That could be very fiddly though!
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