10 Common Types Of Pliers & Their Uses

10 Common Types Of Pliers & Their Uses
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In the world of tools, pliers are the unsung heroes, and understanding them is like unlocking a secret language. When you’re staring at the toolbox, be it for a DIY project or professional work, knowing which pliers to reach for can be a game-changer.

You might think they’re all the same, but you’d be surprised by the range and specificity of these handy tools. Each type has a unique purpose, from bending wires with needle nose pliers to gripping pipes with water-pump pliers.

This guide will illuminate the 10 common types of pliers and their uses, ensuring you’re equipped for any task at hand. So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of pliers and get you fluent in this indispensable tool language.

Needle Nose Pliers

Close-up of a mechanic using needle-nose pliers to fit a circlip inside a piston from a compressor engine

Do you often find yourself dealing with small, intricate tasks that require a good grip and precision? If so, then you’ll appreciate the usefulness of needle nose pliers.

They’re a popular type of pliers that can help you reach into tight spaces, bend wires with precision, and grip small objects that other tools can’t handle.

Uses for Needle Nose Pliers

Needle nose pliers are invaluable when precision is paramount. They are essential for tasks such as bending, cutting, and handling small wires. These handy tools have a long, slender, and pointed design that allows you to reach into tight spaces that other gripping tools can’t. They are a godsend for delicate tasks that require a gentle touch and precision. For example, in jewelry-making, they are essential for manipulating tiny metal pieces and wires. In electrical work, they are crucial for bending, cutting, and shaping electrical wires. So, whatever your project, make sure you have the right tool for the job.

Slip Joint Pliers

Next up on our list is the versatile slip joint pliers.

You’ll find these handy for a variety of tasks, from holding and bending to general manipulation of objects.

They’re perfect for jobs that need a little more grip and leverage, making them an essential addition to your toolkit.

Uses for Slip Joint Pliers

This versatile tool is commonly used for gripping and bending hardware. These essential tools have a range of applications that extend beyond the basics.

You can easily twist, turn, hold, or remove different types of wires and small pipes with them. The beauty of slip joint pliers lies in their adjustable design. This feature expands their uses and makes them a go-to tool for various tasks.

Whether you’re a professional mechanic, a homeowner doing DIY projects, or someone who loves tinkering, uses for slip joint pliers are numerous.

Remember, using the right tool for the job not only makes the work easier but also ensures the task is done efficiently and safely. Don’t underestimate these handy tools.

Water-Pump Pliers

Close-up of plumber repairing sink with water-pump pliers

Next on our list, we’re diving into the functionality of water-pump pliers.

You might be wondering why they’re essential in your toolbox. Well, these uniquely designed tools are perfect for gripping and turning nuts or bolts, handling irregularly shaped objects, and even clamping materials together.

Uses for Water-Pump Pliers

Any handyman finds water-pump pliers indispensable when tackling tasks involving nuts, bolts, and pipes of varying sizes.

The unique design of water-pump pliers allows you to adjust the size of the jaws, making it possible to grip and turn objects of different diameters. This adaptability makes them particularly useful when working with pipes.

Whether you’re tightening a loose fixture or loosening a stubborn bolt, this tool can handle the job.

So, when you’re faced with a plumbing challenge that requires versatility and strength, the many uses of water-pump pliers make them a tool worth reaching for.

Linesman’s Pliers

You might be wondering why you need a different pair of pliers for different tasks. Well, let’s talk about Linesman’s Pliers.

These versatile tools aren’t just for electricians; they’re a must-have for anyone who needs to cut, bend, grip, or twist wires and cables.

Uses for Linesman Pliers

Have you ever wondered why a professional electrician always has a pair of linesman pliers in their toolbox? It’s because these pliers are multi-purpose tools perfect for a variety of tasks.

One of their main uses is to cut, bend, and grip wires. They’re also commonly used to twist wires together for a secure connection. Their serrated jaws make it easy to grip and twist without slipping. Moreover, the cutting edges allow you to snip wire with minimal effort.

Locking Pliers

professional repairman placing locking pliers under the car

You’ve probably encountered a stubborn nut or bolt that just won’t budge, right? That’s where locking pliers come into play. They offer an invaluable hand in such scenarios.

Now, let’s delve into the versatility of these gripping tools and understand why they’re an essential piece in any toolkit.

Uses for Locking Pliers

Locking pliers are a godsend when you’re in a tight spot and need a third hand. They’re a prime example of why ‘the right tool for the right job’ is such an age-old saying.

Their uses are vast and varied, making them an essential tool for any toolbox. One of their main uses is to grip and hold flat objects or screws securely.

They’re fantastic for tightening and loosening screws, where using just a regular screwdriver may not provide enough grip or torque.

But the beauty of locking pliers lies in their versatility; they’re not confined to a single use. With a wide range of sizes and designs available, you’ll find one that can handle anything from delicate tasks to heavy-duty work.

Cutting Pliers

From slicing through wires to trimming metal pieces, cutting pliers are a must-have for your toolbox.

As its name suggests, this type of tool is designed with one task in mind: cutting metal. Considering the wide variety of cutting tasks, there are more than a couple of types of cutting pliers. With that in mind, electricians and other professional tradesmen usually have the entire set, while the average DIY-er can probably get away with having only one.

Uses for Cutting Pliers

When it comes to precise and clean cuts on wires or thin metal sheets, there’s nothing quite like a good set of cutting pliers to get the job done. The variety in types, like combination pliers or diagonal cutting pliers, gives you a wide range to choose from for specific uses.

Combination pliers are versatile, perfect for gripping, bending, and cutting, while diagonal pliers, also known as side cutters, are a go-to for cutting through thick wire.

Now, you might wonder why there are so many types. Well, it’s simple. Each cutter is designed for a specific task, ensuring precision and efficiency.

Remember, using the right tool for the job makes your work easier and prolongs the tool’s life.

Wire Strippers

Closeup of Caucasian electrician in protective gloves and glasses doing installation work with wire strippers

Next, let’s dive into a tool that’s indispensable when it comes to electrical wiring tasks: the wire stripper.

You’ll find wire strippers invaluable for removing insulation from wires without damaging the wire itself, prepping wires for connections, or even cutting wires.

Choosing the right wire stripper not only makes your work easier but also ensures the longevity and safety of your electrical connections.

Uses for Wire Strippers

Wire strippers, as their name suggests, are indispensable for tasks requiring the removal of insulation from electric wires. It’s true what they say – a craftsman is only as good as his tools. These pliers serve multiple functions, demonstrating their versatility in various applications.

Wire strippers are used to expose the metal within a wire, allowing for tasks such as splicing, soldering, or connecting wires to terminals. This plier is an object of precision; it can strip off the insulation without damaging the wire underneath.

Whether you’re an electrician, a handyman, or just a DIY enthusiast, using the right tool for the job not only ensures efficiency but also guarantees safety. Remember, using wire strippers properly can make a world of difference in your work.

Bent Nose Pliers

Bent nose pliers are an invaluable tool for anyone engaged in electrical work or jewelry making. Their curved design and pointed tips provide the user with excellent accessibility and precision, which makes them perfect for intricate tasks.

These tools come in handy when gripping small objects, bending wires into shapes, and reaching into tight spaces. Furthermore, their long handles allow you to access hard-to-reach

Uses for Bent Nose Pliers

You’ll notice they’re an essential tool in any toolkit due to their unique shape and functionality. These pliers, aptly named for their distinctive bent nose, have numerous uses that make them indispensable.

The action of the bent nose pliers allows you to work on edges and corners with incredible precision. This attribute is particularly useful in tasks involving intricate details, such as jewelry making or electronics repair.

The tooth of the plier also plays a crucial role. It provides a firm grip, enabling you to hold and manipulate small, delicate objects securely.

Round Nose Pliers

Round nose pliers are another must-have tool for any serious craftsperson or handyman. They are ideal for making loops, bends, and curves in wire. Their round, tapered jaws make them perfect for detailed and precise work.

Uses for Round Nose Pliers

Like bent-nose and needle-nose pliers, they are particularly valuable in handling jewelry, where their delicate touch is required to shape perfect loops in wire. In larger projects, such as electrical work, round nose pliers excel at shaping wires with a finesse that slip joint pliers cannot match.

Combination Pliers

combination pliers inside elegant contractor leather tools belt

When you’re tackling a diverse set of tasks, combination pliers can be your best friend. These versatile tools are a jack-of-all-trades, capable of gripping, bending, and cutting wires with ease.

Let’s delve into the many uses and advantages of having this tool in your toolbox.

Uses for Combination Pliers

Combination pliers, an indispensable tool in any toolkit, aren’t limited to just one function. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used for gripping, bending, and cutting wires or cables.

With their long gripping nose, you can use them to reach into narrow spaces and hold tiny objects. The serrated jaws provide a firm grip on nuts and bolts, while the cutting edge is perfect for slicing through electrical wires. You can even use them to twist wires together for electrical connections.

They’re also your go-to tool for bending and shaping metal sheets or wires. Understanding these uses can help you to maximize the tool’s potential. Always remember, using the right tool for the job isn’t just about efficiency; it’s also about safety.


So, you’ve got the lowdown on the ten common types of pliers and their uses. Remember, using the right tool can make all the difference in your work.

It’s not just about getting the job done, but doing it efficiently, safely, and without causing any damage.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to tackle your next project like a pro. Pliers, once just a tool, now become an extension of your skillful hands.


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