Types of Pliers

Pliers are two-handled, two-jawed hand tools used mainly for gripping, twisting, and turning. Because the jaws meet at the tip, they can grip with some precision. Some types are made for cutting as well. Here are some of the main types of pliers.

Adjustable Pliers or Slip-joint Pliers

Adjustable pliers are adjustable on account of their slip-joint, which allows two or more preset positions for work at different sizes. The straight edge where the pliers close and the curved edge farther back allow for gripping flat or curved objects. They may include a crimper. Adjustable pliers are often are a good choice to tighten a loosened nut/bolt. But if you’re trying to do a loosening job with pliers and it’s just not working, try using a pair of locking pliers (see below) or a wrench.

Long-nose Pliers or Needle-nose Pliers

Long-nose (or needle-nose) pliers are useful both for gripping small items and for reaching into small, somewhat deep, spaces. They are used to manipulate small objects and bend wire, and because of the second, they often include a wire cutter. You can use them to hold a nail that you’re starting, if you don’t want to put (or can’t fit) your fingers into the space.

construction worker Bent Long-nose pliers are used in small deep spaces that are too curved or bent for regular long-nose pliers to fit into.

Diagonal-cutting Pliers

With the ability to cut wire and remove small nails, these pliers are noteworthy because their jaws are not made to grip. It would seem that only the use on nails would give them a claim to the name pliers: other than that, they could just be cutters, and in fact, they are sometimes referred to as wire cutters.

Channel-type Pliers or Groove-joint Pliers or Tongue and Groove Pliers

Similar in mechanism to a slip-joint pliers, but with a different shaped jaw, channel-type pliers are made for larger objects and a variety of shapes.

Lineman’s Pliers

With the ability to both twist and cut wire, lineman’s pliers are handy tools for electricians. Insulated handles are common.

Locking Pliers or Vise Grips

Locking pliers have jaws that can be set in place and locked, and can be used as a clamp, a vise, or a wrench. Different jaw shapes are available, including straight, curved, and C-clamp configurations. It is also called a plier-wrench.

Other Pliers

Some other pliers that are less commonly used for household tasks include the following, which are sold individually and in sets:

    Round-nose Pliers-These pliers are used for making jewelry and fishing lures. A round-nose pliers with a side cutter is called a Rosary pliers. They are used to make bends, loops, circles, and coils.

    Chain-nose Pliers Chain-nose pliers, also used for jewelry, may be regular, long chain-nose or bent chain-nose. They are used to make bends and loops in wire.

    Flat-nose Pliers- These are another type of jewelry pliers, and used for repairing musical instruments as well. They are useful for gripping and for making angular bends.

Written by Mary Elizabeth

Related Home Institute Articles

  • How to Create a Basic Tool Set