Pliers are hand tools designed for a wide range of applications and can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including to grip, lock, twist, hold, bend or cut materials like wires. Pliers come in many sizes and styles depending on their application, including circlip, locking, long nose, and combination pliers. Some pliers feature a locking mechanism to securely hold the chosen material or object in place without the need to re-adjust, also eliminating the risk of cramp or injury in the user's hand from long-term use.
Pliers can be made from several different materials, but are generally made from chrome vanadium steel, carbon steel, or other hardened steel alloys to ensure optimum durability. This also allows for heavy-duty use without compromising the finish and prevents corrosion, keeping the blades strong. To ensure user comfort, there are many styles of pliers designed with soft-grip handles. These may be especially useful for frequent users as these handles will cushion the palm and fingers and prevent strain or cramping.
Please note: If you are working with live or energised currents, ensure your pliers are VDE-approved to ensure user safety.
What are the most common types of pliers?
- Longnose pliers - (needle-nose pliers or snipe-nosed pliers) These tools are suitable for multi-purpose tasks like bending and crimping and can be used in anything ranging from electrical work to jewellery making.
- Combination pliers - designed to be both a functional pair of either round-nose, long-nose or flat-nose pliers with a built-in cutter that works with multiple applications.
- End cutter pliers - are designed to cut through or twist materials, such as wires, springs, nails, rivets and bolts.
- Water Pump pliers - occasionally referred to as a pipe wrench, these are extendable and adjustable so that they can adapt to fit almost any irregular shape. Due to their wide jaw, they are an incredibly versatile tool to have in your collection.
- Circlip pliers - a unique type of pliers that are used to install and remove internal circlips from a range of appliances.
Who uses pliers?
Pliers are commonly used by professionals like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, gas engineers and car mechanics, but are also handy tools for anybody to have in their home. They are also popular with DIY enthusiasts and craftspeople, such as jewellery makers and miniaturists.