Business Recovery:

Products and solutions to help your business move forward.

Get Started


Picking the Right Type of Pliers

Revised: 8/29/19
Grainger Editorial Staff

Pliers: They’re more versatile than you think. In fact, people with various industry backgrounds use this tool on a daily basis. From cutting to holding to clipping to severing, pliers are a multi-use instrument. So how do you choose the right type of pliers for the job? Sifting through each kind to find the right one you need is both time-consuming and unnecessary. Instead, check out our guide that categorizes types of pliers by application to find the right tool for the task at hand.

For Basic Jobs...

Need to get those basic cutting jobs done? Whether it’s severing wires or punching holes, check out the right type of pliers for your everyday tasks.

  • Long Nose and Needle Nose: Use these pliers for cutting, holding, pulling and repositioning. These tools come in handy when working in cramped spaces as their thin and long length can compensate for areas most pliers cannot reach. If you’re working in electrical, be sure to note the size and gauge of the wires to make sure your instrument will comply.
  • Lineman’s Pliers: These instruments are used for gripping and contorting wires and cables. Typically found in electrical and lineman industries (hence the name), these types of pliers are advanced and heavy duty for professional use.
  • Diagonal Cutting Pliers: This tool is used solely for cutting wire. The design of diagonal cutting pliers allows for strong indenting and wedging.
  • Revolving Punch: Punch through tough materials like leather, rubber, plastic and more with these pliers. Typically used for crafts and hobbies, this tool comes in handy for just about everyone.

For Manipulating Wire...

Sometimes you need a tool that will do the tougher work, like twisting and reshaping wire. Here are the types of pliers that will help you get the job done safely and accurately:

  • Wire Twist Pliers: These instruments can mold and manipulate wire and metal. Wire twist pliers can be used for industrial jobs like iron or metalwork in a facility or hobbies at home like jewelry making.
  • Solid Joint Pliers: If you need to repair and install wire, solid joint pliers are for you. These tools can pull and twist wire while maintaining a firm grip for accurate results.

For Loosening, Tightening, Gripping, Clamping...

Say no more to slippage with the right type of pliers. Check out the best tools to keep things in place while working:

  • Slip Joint Pliers: Hold onto materials firmly and safely with this tool. Slip joint pliers are meant for gripping and loosening various applications like pipe, wire and more.
  • Tongue and Groove Pliers: Use this tool to turn and hold nuts and bolts while maintaining a firm and safe grip. Tongue and groove pliers are commonly used in various industries, from plumbing to electrical work.
  • Hog Ring Pliers: Make installation easy with hog ring pliers. Designed to tighten metal rings around cords, hog ring pliers are perfect for fencing and furniture work.
  • Locking Pliers: Hold things in place with a pair of locking pliers. These tools are designed to make clamping seamless and can hold anything from nuts to bolts to heavy-duty equipment.

For Various Applications

  • Specialty Pliers: Several different applications can be tackled with specialty pliers. Safely accomplish any job from mechanics to plumbing to fencing and more.
  • Multi-tool Pliers: Hence their name, these pliers have multiple features. These tools are essentially 10 tools in one.

The right type of pliers for you is out there. By picking your tool out by its applications and features, you’re sure to get the job done—the easy and safe way.




Primer Magazine

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.


Get more great content like this sent to your inbox.