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Types of Pliers

At some point in time, we all have used some kind of plier, no matter what. Everyone usually keeps some sort of toolkit in their homes, and obviously, pliers are surely there at all times. It’s so great that this one single tool can come in handy in so many ways.

However, do you know that there are dozens of different pliers, every one of them meant for different purposes and varies and shapes and sizes also. That said, if you are not aware of different types of pliers and their primary uses, we recommend you read this article until the end. We will be going through a list of all the most commonly used pliers, and also the one which comes in use quite frequently. Let’s begin!

Common Pliers

Since we are mentioning some of the most commonly used pliers in this section, chances are you must have already seen them, at least once, at some point in time. Maybe in a garage or your personal house toolkit, you could easily spot these ones. Although you might have seen or used one of them, do you know their primary use? Don’t worry; we will explain it all as well.

Diagonal Pliers

Diagonal PliersAs per its name, this plier usually has its jaws angled, like crossing diagonals, and has a cutting edge at the end of the jaws. Diagonal pliers are usually used for cutting through thick wires or even cutting through nails. That said, you will most likely find this kind of plier in a carpenter’s or electrician’s toolkit.

Hose Clamp Pliers

Hose Clamp PliersHose Clamp Pliers are generally also known as Spring Clamp Pliers or Radiator Hose pliers. Due to the peg-shaped jaw design, this kind of pliers provides a good pinching force. Actually, the name of the plier explains it all since these pliers are widely used for compressing, bend hoses, and spring clamps to make tight connections.

Combination Pliers

Combination PliersCombination pliers are the ones that you might easily find in your home as well. This type of plier actually comes with a combination of grooves made or designed in its jaws that make this plier fit for various jobs. In this plier, you get a round-shaped gripping section that can help you grip around round pipes or similar things very easily. The next section that’s located near the fulcrum is actually used for cutting.

Needle Nose Pliers

Needle Nose PliersYou will identify this one by just looking at the design of the plier. The needle-shaped jaws with a long nose come with a cutting edge as well. It is basically a multi-purpose plier that can be used for bending, cutting through wires, and even shaping. That said, these long-nosed pliers are highly efficient and come in handy for armoring, jewelry making, etc.

Slip Joint Pliers

Slip Joint PliersIf you have used or seen an adjustable wrench before, the slip joint plier has quite a similar design. The fulcrum part of the plier, which keeps both the jaws attached is actually adjustable in slip joint pliers. Hence it’s possible to adjust the jaw width very easily. Being quite similar to a wrench, it’s widely used in plumbing applications and can be a decent replacement for the wrench in some cases.

Bent Nose Pliers

Bent Nose PliersLike the needle nose pliers, the bent nose plier also has quite a similar design. The only difference that you will notice is that its nose is slightly bent at an angle between 45-90 degrees. Similar to the latter, these pliers are also often used by electricians and in jewelry making as well since the primary function of this plier is bending and shaping.

Chain Nose Pliers

Chain Nose PliersChain Nose Pliers usually boast triangular jaws that make it quite a versatile tool. Primarily, it is designed to deal with smaller objects. Hence, jewelry makers love to keep it with them always. The triangular jaws of this plier are fit for bending, shaping, or crimping wires as well.

Linesman Pliers

Linesman PliersA Linesman Plier is an electrician’s first choice to pick, always. The design of this plier might seem very similar to the combination plier. However, the round gripping section is actually very small but good enough for a decent grip. The cutting edge of this type of pliers is sharp and can easily cut through thick electrical wires as well. Since it’s designed for electrical work, it usually comes with a thick rubber coating on the handles.

Tongue and Groove Pliers

Tongue and Groove PliersSimilar to the Slip joint pliers, the tongue and groove pliers also come with an adjustable fulcrum. It comes with channel locks that allow you to extensively adjust the gap between the jaws. It’s highly useful in plumbing applications, moving stiff nuts and bolts, etc.

Flat Nose Pliers

Flat Nose PliersDon’t confuse it with needle-nose pliers as they look quite similar from the sides. However, if you compare the noses of both pliers, the jaws on needle pliers are pointy. In flat nose pliers, the nose is fairly long, flat, and tapered. Generally, this type of pliers is used for gripping and twisting metal sheets, wires, etc. That said, these are most often seen in mechanical workshops or in an electrician’s toolkit.

Some Frequently used Pliers

If you have already checked out the list of all the commonly used pliers, there are a few more frequently-used pliers that you should know about. Let’s check them out one by one as well.

Fencing Pliers

Fencing PliersAlthough it’s a plier, most people usually make the mistake of calling it a hammer. No doubt, you can use it as one since the design is pretty similar. Basically, it’s a multi-purpose tool that can help you fix any fence. While the cutting edge can be used to cut through wires, its heavy nose can be used to hammer the staples or nails. You can even use this plier for removing the staples, thanks to the claw design on its nose.

Locking Pliers

Locking PliersLocking pliers, as per their name, are widely used in cases where excellent gripping is required. The jaws of this type of pliers can be locked at a certain position, making this a perfect tool to use for gripping, bending, etc.

Oil Filter Pliers

Oil Filter PliersAs the name implies, this type of pliers is widely used in the automotive industry, and for one specific reason only. If you look at its design, it has two C-shaped jaws where one is usually larger than the other one. This design allows mechanics to easily pull out the oil filter casing without any hassle.

Snap Ring Pliers

Snap Ring PliersWith a pretty unique design, the snap ring pliers usually have a small round jaw. This tool is primarily designed to be used for closing snap rings. Moreover, these types of pliers come in handy in fixing bicycle gears as well.

Crimping Pliers

Snap Ring PliersLast but not least, you should know about the Crimping Pliers as they can help you cut through any sort of wiring. The design is quite similar to a nutcracker but is actually engineered in a fine way. The plier allows you to cut through the plastic coating of any electrical wire without hurting or damaging the cable inside. Such types of pliers are widely used by professionals dealing with networks and telecommunications.

Types of Pliers – FAQs

1. Which three pliers are most commonly carried?

Ans: The three most commonly carried pliers are combination pliers, needle nose pliers, and diagonal cutting pliers.

2. Which pliers are known for their versatility?

Ans: Groove joint pliers are known for their versatility, making them suitable for a variety of holding, gripping, and twisting tasks.

3. What are curved pliers called?

Ans: Bent nose pliers, also known as curved needle-nose pliers, have a distinctive curved beak.

4. Which pliers are most suitable for grasping small pins or parts?

Ans: Long-nose pliers are ideal for gripping small items like staples, pins, and broken screws in hard-to-reach places, showcasing their versatility.

5. Which type of pliers is equipped with jaws?

Ans: Diagonal cutting pliers, with compact bladed jaws and longer handles, are designed to cut through various wires, including copper, steel, and VA/VFF wires. Some models can even handle piano wires, thin nails, or screws.


If you have read this article until here, we are sure you are now aware of some of the most commonly and frequently used pliers. As you can see, there are dozens of different kinds of pliers available out there. Hence, if you are looking for a plier for any specific job, it’s pretty hard to find a suitable plier for that. On top of that, we would like to recommend only using the right pliers, as using some other kind of plier which is not primarily designed for the job can make things even worse for you. So, be safe and always handle these types of tools carefully.

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