Pliers are an essential tool for DIY-ers and professional tradesmen alike, offering a secure grip on various materials and allowing for precise maneuvering in tight spaces.
When selecting the best pliers, factors like grip strength, cutting edge, and the quality of materials used are crucial. Some popular types of pliers include groove-joint pliers, slip-joint pliers, tongue-and-groove pliers, and needle-nose pliers. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, there are different plier sets for both general and specialized use to choose from.
Our top recommendations include pliers and plier sets that have received excellent customer feedback and offer exceptional performance. These pliers are made from high-quality tool steel, feature ergonomic designs with comfortable grips, and have cutting edges that can effortlessly tackle heavy-gauge wires or strips of wire coating. The sets also offer a variety of pliers to handle different tasks, ensuring that you always have the right tool for the job.
To make your tool selection easier, we have thoroughly researched and reviewed these pliers and plier sets. Our comprehensive analysis takes into account the durability, functionality, and overall value of each product.
Choose from our recommended best pliers and plier sets to enhance your tool belt or tool wrap with the best tools available in 2023.
Best Pliers Set
One of the best pliers sets available is the IRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set. This set includes three versatile pliers: a 10-inch straight jaw, a 10-inch v-jaw, and an 8-inch long nose plier. These pliers feature the GrooveLock design, which allows for quick and easy adjustment to various sizes of materials. The press-n-slide button ensures a secure grip, while the anti-pinch, non-slip ProTouch grips provide added comfort during prolonged use. Made of durable tool steel, these pliers are built to last and can withstand heavy-duty tasks.
For those in the automotive industry, the Knipex Tools Pliers Wrench Set is a top choice. This set includes 7-inch and 10-inch pliers wrenches, which combine the functions of both pliers and wrenches. The smooth parallel jaws provide even pressure distribution, preventing damage to delicate finishes. With their slim profile, these pliers wrenches are perfect for accessing tight spaces. Made in Germany and constructed from high-grade chrome vanadium electric steel, these pliers wrenches are known for their durability and superior performance.
If you’re on a budget, the Craftsman Evolve 3-Piece Pliers Set is an excellent option. This set includes 6-inch slip joint pliers, 8-inch groove joint pliers, and 8-inch long nose pliers. Despite its affordable price, this set doesn’t compromise on quality. The pliers are made of durable nickel-chromium steel, ensuring they can handle a variety of tasks. The ergonomic grips provide a comfortable hold, and the machined jaws provide a secure grip. This budget-friendly set is perfect for beginners or occasional DIY-ers who need effective tools without breaking the bank.
Best Combination Pliers
- XLT Xtreme Leverage Technology
- Knife and anvil style cutting edge
- Code Blue grips designed for durability and comfort
- Made in the USA
Combination pliers are a versatile tool that every toolbox should have, and the Channellock E348CB E Series 8-Inch Combination Plier with XLT Joint and Code Blue Grips is one of the best options on the market. These combination pliers are designed for maximum durability and comfort, making them perfect for everyday use.
The key features of the Channellock E348CB include its XLT Joint, which creates a sturdy and smooth jaw movement for precise control. The Code Blue Grips provide a secure and comfortable hold, reducing hand fatigue during long hours of work. These pliers also have a high leverage design, allowing for maximum cutting and gripping power.
With the ability to both cut and grip various materials, combination pliers are incredibly versatile. They can be used for tasks such as cutting wires, gripping small objects, and bending metal. Whether you’re a DIY-er or a professional tradesman, having a pair of combination pliers in your toolbox will make your work easier and more efficient.
As an alternative pick, the KNIPEX 02 01 200 High Leverage Combination Pliers are also worth considering. These pliers feature a high leverage design and precision cutting edges, making them perfect for heavy-duty cutting and gripping tasks.
Best Linesman’s Pliers
Linesman’s pliers, also known as electrician’s pliers, are a must-have tool for any electrician. These pliers are specifically designed to handle the demands of electrical work, making them an essential part of any toolbox.
One of the standout features of linesman’s pliers is their heavy-duty jaws. These jaws are built to withstand tough, daily use and can grip and twist wires with ease. In addition, linesman’s pliers often have cutting edges that can cleanly cut through various gauges of wire, saving time and effort during installations.
Another important feature of linesman’s pliers is their serrated teeth. These teeth provide a secure grip on wires, preventing slippage and increasing safety during electrical work.
Moreover, many linesman’s pliers come with additional features that further enhance their usability for electricians. Some models have built-in wire strippers, eliminating the need for an extra tool. Electricians often use these pliers for tasks such as hammering and punching through knockout on electrical boxes, making them a versatile tool for various applications.
If you’re in search of the best linesman’s pliers for your electrical work, the Klein Tools D213-9NE Pliers come highly recommended. These pliers feature heavy-duty jaws, cutting edges, and serrated teeth, making them an ideal choice for electricians. With their precision and durability, you can confidently handle any electrical task with these top-notch linesman’s pliers.
Best Slip-Joint Pliers
Slip-joint pliers are a must-have tool for both DIY enthusiasts and professional tradesmen due to their versatility and wide range of uses. These pliers are designed with movable pivots that allow for adjusting the jaw size and width. This feature makes them ideal for gripping and manipulating objects of different sizes.
The main advantage of slip-joint pliers is their ability to adjust to various widths, making them suitable for a wide range of tasks. These pliers are commonly used for gripping and turning nuts, bolts, and pipes. They can also be used for holding and bending wires, as well as crimping connectors.
There are two main types of slip-joint pliers: water pump pliers and straight slip-joint pliers. Water pump pliers, also known as groove-joint pliers, have an adjustable pivot that allows the jaws to open wider, making them perfect for gripping larger objects. Straight slip-joint pliers, on the other hand, have a fixed pivot and are more commonly used for general gripping and turning tasks.
Best Needle-Nose Pliers
Needle-nose pliers, also known as long-nose pliers or pointy-nose pliers, are an excellent tool for many applications. Their unique design, with long, thin jaws that taper to a point, allows them to reach tight spaces and grip small objects with precision. This makes needle-nose pliers the perfect tool for tasks that require delicate maneuvering and access to hard-to-reach areas.
One of the primary uses of needle-nose pliers is in electrical work. Their slim jaws and fine tips enable electricians to manipulate wires and components in cramped spaces, such as inside junction boxes or behind electrical panels. These pliers can grip, bend, and twist wires with ease, offering the dexterity needed for intricate tasks.
In addition to electrical work, needle-nose pliers are ideal for assembling small objects, such as jewelry or electronic devices. Their precise grip allows for careful handling of miniature components, ensuring proper alignment and secure connections.
When it comes to needle-nose pliers, one standout option is the Klein Tools J207-8CR Needle Nose Pliers. With their long, narrow jaws and comfortable grips, these pliers offer excellent control and precision. They feature a high-leverage design, enabling greater cutting power with less effort. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional tradesman, the Klein Tools J207-8CR is a reliable and versatile choice for all your needs.
Best Cutting Pliers
- Forged from oil-hardened chrome vanadium steel
- Induction-hardened cutting edges
- Fixed forged axle rivet for heavy duty use
Our top pick for cutting pliers is the Knipex High Leverage Diagonal Cut Pliers. These pliers are known for their exceptional quality and cutting performance. With sharp blades made from high-carbon steel, they provide clean and precise cuts every time. The handles are designed for comfort with ergonomic grips, allowing for extended use without discomfort or strain.
Cutting pliers are an essential tool for both DIY enthusiasts and professional tradesmen. They are designed to cut through a variety of materials, including wires, nails, and other hard substances. There are several different types of cutting pliers, each with its own specific function.
End-cutting pliers, also known as diagonal-cutting pliers, feature cutting edges that meet at an angle. This design allows for clean cuts close to surfaces, making them ideal for cutting wires and nails flush with a surface. They are commonly used in electrical work, as well as carpentry and general construction.
Another type of cutting pliers is the needle-nose pliers. These pliers have a long, thin nose that allows for precise cutting in tight spots. They are often used for intricate tasks such as working with electronics or crafting.
When choosing high-quality cutting pliers, there are certain features to look for. Sharp blades are essential for clean and efficient cuts, ensuring precision in your work. Comfortable handles with ergonomic grips are important for reducing fatigue during long periods of use. Durability is also key, as cutting pliers should withstand repeated use without losing their cutting edge.
Best Locking Pliers
- Curved jaw with hardened teeth designed to grip a variety of shapes
- Classic trigger release for maximum locking force
- High-grade heat-treated alloy steel
When it comes to locking pliers, the IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers take the top spot. These pliers feature a unique locking mechanism that snaps and locks onto an object, providing unparalleled convenience and versatility for a variety of projects.
The locking mechanism on these pliers allows for one-handed operation, freeing up your other hand to handle additional tools or materials. This feature is particularly useful when working in tight spaces or when you need to hold an object securely in place. The locking mechanism also ensures a secure grip, preventing slippage and minimizing the risk of injuries.
The IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers are praised for their durability and reliability. Made from high-quality materials, these pliers are built to withstand heavy-duty use and will undoubtedly become a long-lasting addition to your tool collection.
Things to Look for when Buying Pliers
When shopping for the best pliers, the process boils down to finding the ones that are best suited for your specific needs. There are various factors to consider that can help you make the right choice.
First and foremost, consider the type of pliers you need. Whether it’s groove-joint pliers, slip-joint pliers, or needle-nose pliers, make sure they are designed for the tasks you frequently encounter. Look for pliers made from tool steel, as this material offers exceptional strength and durability. Grip strength is another crucial consideration, as pliers with a comfortable and secure grip will increase your efficiency and reduce the risk of hand fatigue.
Additionally, pay attention to the cutting edge of the pliers, opting for those with induction-hardened cutting knives made from high-carbon or nickel-chromium steel. Tighter tolerances and a hot-riveted joint are also indicators of quality. Finally, be sure to choose pliers that come with over-molded or rubberized grips, as these provide comfort and enhance control during use. By considering these factors, you can confidently select the best pliers for your toolbox.
Materials and Durability
When it comes to selecting the best pliers, the materials used play a crucial role in determining their durability and resistance to rust. Pliers are commonly made from a variety of materials, with some alloys being popular options.
One such alloy is vanadium steel, known for its exceptional strength and durability. Pliers made from vanadium steel are designed to withstand heavy-duty use and are highly resistant to wear and tear. Similarly, pliers made from chromium steel offer excellent corrosion resistance, making them suitable for use in different environments. Nickel-chrome steel is another popular alloy used in pliers manufacturing for its durability and resistance to rust.
In addition to the alloys, the handle materials of pliers also contribute to their overall durability. Pliers with rubber handles provide a secure and comfortable grip, reducing fatigue during extended use. The rubber also enhances shock absorption, making them ideal for tasks that require precision and control. Vinyl and polyurethane handle materials offer similar benefits, with vinyl providing a good grip and polyurethane offering long-lasting durability.
By choosing pliers made from these high-quality materials and alloys, you can ensure that your tools will withstand regular use and resist rust, making them a reliable and long-lasting addition to your tool collection.
Handle Grip and Insulation
When it comes to the very best pliers, handle grip and insulation play a crucial role in ensuring a secure and comfortable grip. The right handle grip can make a significant difference, especially during prolonged use.
Pliers with molded comfort handles are designed to provide a cushioned grip, reducing hand fatigue and improving overall comfort. These handles are often ergonomically shaped, fitting perfectly in the hand and allowing for better control and precision. They are ideal for tasks that require a firm grip and prolonged use.
On the other hand, pliers with plastic-dipped handles offer a different advantage. The plastic coating provides insulation, protecting users from electric shocks when working with live wires or conducting electrical work. This makes them a popular choice for electricians and those working in electrical installations.
To further enhance grip and shock absorption, some pliers feature coated handles. These handles are coated with materials such as rubber or polyurethane, offering a secure grip and reducing fatigue during prolonged use. The coating also acts as a shock absorber, making them perfect for precision tasks that require control and comfort.
Overall, choosing pliers with the right handle grip and insulation is essential for both DIY-ers and professional tradesmen. It ensures a secure grip, reduces fatigue, and provides essential protection when working with electrical components or conducting tasks that require precision.
A versatile pair of pliers can save you time and effort by allowing you to tackle a wide range of tasks with just one tool.
One example of a versatile type of pliers is the pump pliers, also known as slip-joint or groove-joint pliers. These adjustable tools feature a pivot point that allows you to easily adjust the jaw width to accommodate different sizes of nuts and bolts. This means you can use them for various tasks, from plumbing work to automotive repairs.
Another versatile option is linesman’s pliers. They feature a cutting edge, as well as gripping jaws, making them ideal for both cutting and gripping tasks. With their long handles and strong jaws, linesman’s pliers can tackle everything from cutting wires to bending metal.
The versatility of pliers is also determined by factors such as adjustable vs. non-adjustable jaws. Adjustable jaws allow you to customize the grip size, while non-adjustable jaws offer a more secure grip for specific tasks. Comfort and ease of use are also important factors, as pliers with ergonomic handles and smooth-grip surfaces make them more comfortable to hold and maneuver.
Having multiple types of pliers in your toolbox ensures that you are prepared for any task that comes your way. Whether it’s a small household repair or a complex DIY project, having a versatile set of pliers will make your job easier and more efficient.