Pliers are one of the most essential hand tools for every tool box, along with screwdrivers and wrenches. There are several types of Pliers available in the commercial market, a good set of pliers can last you a lifetime and serve you well, whether you’re working on a project at home or on the job. There are many types of pliers available, all designed to handle specific jobs. When you’re buying a set of pliers, you’ll need to consider which type is right for your task at hand. Some types of pliers are very versatile, while others are incredibly specialized tools.
Here’s a look at the Types of Pliers out there and what you should look for in a good set:
Fixed Versus Adjustable Pliers
These hand tools under two broad categories as they may have a fixed or adjustable design. Fixed pliers will only open to a set width, while adjustable pliers allow you to accommodate a wide variety of widths. Some adjustable tools can have up to 8 settings and include pipe-gripping pliers, self-adjusting and tongue-and-groove. Fixed pliers often have a spring that’s used to open the jaws and include needle-nose and electrician’s pliers.
Cutting pliers are designed to remove nails or cut through everything from bolts to wires, rather than gripping or turning an object. Cutting plier may also be known as wire cutter pliers or diagonal pliers and feature sharp blades. Side cutters could have a curved, short or long nose. End cutters are designed for use on rivets, bolts and all types of wire.
Insulated pliers are designed for working in an environment that exposes you to the risk of electric shock. The handles of these pliers feature an insulated material. Look for insulated hand tools rated to withstand 1,000 volts. These tools require extra care, as they must be inspected before each use to ensure the integrity of the insulation will truly protect you. They should also be kept dry and clean. Most insulated hand tools are sold in tool sets, including pliers. Look for a set that includes a good range of sizes and types to get the job done.
Channel lock pliers are designed to work like a wrench and may be used to twist or pull objects without losing the grip. Also referred to as vise grips, lock ring pliers or a lockwire pliers have a knurl screw so you can lock the pliers into position as well as a release to disengage the lock. They offer improved torque and leverage and usually have serrated jaws for improved grip on the object. They can also be used as wire cutters, pipe wrenches, clamps or just for holding tiny objects.
Other Types of Pliers:
There are dozens of types of pliers in addition to those listed above. Water pump pliers, for example, can accommodate 1-1/2″ slip nuts with a maximum 2″ capacity. They feature parallel handles, even when the jaws are extended. Channel pliers are designed to work on pipes and removing P-traps and may also be called groove-joint pliers. Crimper or stripper pliers are designed for electrical use, while fence pliers are intended to remove staples from wooden fencing. Needle-nose pliers work in confined spaces and have long jaws with a pointed tip that makes them common in jewelry crafting. Combination pliers, or Lineman’s pliers, are usually used by electricians and tradesmen to cut and manipulate cable or wire. These pliers are designed to multiply the amount of force through the use of leverage.
Important Features to Look for in Pliers Tool Sets:
Two factors are most important in a good set of pliers: the quality of the material and the design of the grips. The grips or cutting edges perform all of the work and should have some type of coating or reinforcement such as nickel plating. A high-quality set of pliers will also be made from heat-treated steel or chrome-vanadium and chrome-molybdenum steel for ultimate durability. Remember, if you invest in a good set of hand tools and take care of them, they will last a lifetime.