Types of Pliers and Their Uses

Pliers are among the basic tools we seek and use regularly in our household or workplace. But we often fail to realize the full potential of the tools. And this is because most of us understand less about these tools, the various types available and their uses. To enlighten you, below you are provided with a comprehensive list of the various types and how to apply them:

Jewelry Pliers

  • Crimping pliers

Despite being functional in electrical uses, the crimping wires serves best as Jewelry pliers. Its teeth are used to crimp together the metal which holds the jewelry stones and also beads together. Thus it plays a major role during jewelry finishing.

  • Chain nose pliers

It’s featured with short and thick triangular jaws. These features enable it to have jaws with powerful grasping force. The grasping surface is smooth and has thick handle insulation. The smooth surface holds the small jewelry accessories well without creating scratches on the surface. And the heavily insulated handle absorbs the shock from snapping and also gives a good and balanced grip while handling the pieces of jewelry.

  • Flat nose pliers

From the name, it has a slender flat tip at the opening of the jaws. This provides a good gripping surface for holding small items such as stones, gems, and beads. Moreover, within the jaws, it’s very smooth with no serrations.

This ensures no scratches are made on the jewelry during handling. At the rear end, it has slightly curved handles that provide good grip at any angle using your hands. Also, they are coated with a plastic or rubber which is non-slip, thus providing extra support.

  • Round nose pliers

These types are featured with jaws which are rounded and tapering, they are applicable in both electrical and jewelry uses. In jewelry, they serve to create round loops among other patterns of wire shapes.

At the rear end, they have a slightly curved handle towards the pivot, this provides s good grip when handling the tool. Also, the handle is insulated to increase grip as well as insulation from shock when used for electric purposes.


Electrical pliers

These types are mostly applied in projects that involve electric current. But that doesn’t mean they are not involved in other services. This is because the features they have fit best under the electrical category.

  • Insulated pliers

They contain either rubber, plastic or any other material which fits the traits of an insulator. The coating which is poor electric conductor protects the user from getting electrocuted when handling live wires. Thus for electrical application, any pliers which are viable to be used must have the insulator as its coating on the handle. Electricity is fatal and this must be cared for well.

  • Electronic pliers

From the name, they are specifically crafted for electrical uses. As mentioned earlier, they also, contain an insulating coating on the handle surface. This particular tool is quite unique. When dealing with delicate circuits, it’s best for the job.

This is because: it has jaws which are small, pointed and narrow for precision cuttings as well as bends. They are handy on the manipulation of circuit boards elements including other projects or repairs that involves thin wires.



As the name indicates, it has a slip joint, which is basically its pivot. The pivot allows for jaw adjustments so that the tool can accommodate different sizes. At the opening of the mouth, it has a flat surface which has shallow serrations.

The fat surface functions to grip well flat surfaces. At the center of the jaws, it has curved jaws with deeper serrations than that of the flat surface. This part mainly serves to grip surfaces which have around shapes, like bolts, rods and even pipes.

  • Locking Pliers

With this type of pliers, they provide you with two in one service. The ordinary pliers’ and the clamp services, it’s also known as wrenches. These actions are made possible by the double lever which it’s made of.

These particular types are also available in differed sizes as well as configuration. The size ranges from 4 to 12 inches, with all having straight jaws which are serrated. How does it work? Well, the jaws of these tools work ordinarily like any other pliers, through squeezing of the handles to apply its gripping force.

What differs is the added screwdriver on one of the handle. After the tool has gripped well a surface, the lever is rotated to add an extra force which locks the jaws. To release its gripping force, it’s triggered through the lever.

  • Tongue and groove pliers

These tools are adjustable from the pivot. The adjustment lever allows for several levels in order to fit the nuts or bolts where it’s going to be used for. To ensure a proper grip during tightening or opening of the bolts, the upper jaw is serrated to increase friction.

  • Running pliers

For precise breakage of glass along the weak points, this tool serves the role best. It has a flat and relatively long mandible which grasps the glass surfaces. Behind the pivot region, it has an adjustment leaver which serves to set the mandible according to the glass thickness. Also, the lever plus center line ensures perfect alignment to prevent breakage away from the scored lines.


  • Water Pump Pliers

They are the best friends of plumbers. Some of the designs include Channel-lock and Arc-joint. They are mainly designed to grip pipes firmly. They have a jaw which is crafted to an angle of its handle length, which allows it to reach into tight spaces where the pipes are situated.

Apart from being the best in serving the plumbers, they have a curved shape serration. Similar to the Slip-joint, the water pump can also be adjusted to fit various sizes of objects. In most of them, they allow for up to 7 different adjustments.

  • Cutting pliers

From the name, you are sure of its purpose. They have jaws which are relatively short, with their configuration angle set away from the handle. This enables it to have the strongest cutting power.

Moreover, the closer the cutting edges to the pivot, the strong the output power from the effort. The handles are fitted with rubber or plastic coating which is relatively thick to absorb the shock. In addition, they provide insulation from electric shock when cutting live wires.

They have the capacity of cutting through small metals and even electric wires with a heavy gauge. They are powerful enough to trim wires which are too tough for the ordinary wire cutter.

  • Linesman’s Pliers

They are the most common types which can be recognized by many people. Among the tools, these are the most versatile. Like any other types, they also have a pivotal hinge, serrated jaws for good grip, side cutting, and handles which are either insulated or not.

The shallow serrations of its jaw are handy in gripping and twisting wires by the electrician. Also, among the workers who deal with a metal sheet, they are applied due to their tight grip on flat items. The side cutters are strong enough to cut the steel nails without getting damaged; hence it’s also popular amongst carpenters.

  • Canvas pliers

Have wide jaws for grasping a bigger surface area of the canvas when stretching it. Each jaw is fitted with puddings to protect the canvas from stain and being torn by the metal. Also, the padding ensures a firm grip.

Just behind the pivot, it has a spring or lever that maintains the jaws open for easy application. At the rear end, the handles are fitted with a coating for proper grasping and also secure your hands from blisters.

  • Sheet metal pliers

From its name, it’s applied when dealing with metal sheets. The jaws are made wide and flat, which increases the grasping surface area. Therefore during manipulation of the irons sheets, it applies a larger impact on a wider area.

In most cases, apart from dragging the metal sheets, it’s utilized to bend them into the proffered shape or angle. They are prevalent in industries with deal with metal sheets or even in workshops.

  • Hose clamp pliers

They are specifically created for compression purposes. At the tip of the jaws, they have teeth which are peg-shaped. The tooth serves to pinch the hose and spring clamps. And through that, tighter connections are created. Some of these categories are also applied when dealing with a hose.

  • Fencing pliers

They have an appearance of a hammer, with the hammering end being broad and serves in driving the staples in. While at the opposite end is pointed (staple claw) which is used in drawing out the staples.

It has two handles with each controlling one of the jaws. At the fulcrum, the notches serve in the cutting of wires with different sizes. Lastly, the jaws have a gripping surface at the front and at the back of the fulcrum.

  • Battery pliers

It’s popular among the motorists and automotive industries. It has small jaws, with the upper jaw being longer and curved while the lower jaw is smaller. Both of them are very thick to ensure durability. It serves in the tightening and maintenance of car batteries bolts and also the jumper cables.

  • Bent nose pliers

It’s a type of needle nose, but rather than having a straight nose, its bend almost at the midpoint. The bent angle is either 45 or 90 degrees. Through this, you are allowed to use multiple tools in reaching out to the repair point without strain. Moreover, they are multifunctional, i.e. Application in the jewelry sector, electronics and other roles which are related to the shaping of wires.

  • Hose grip pliers

They are featured with long, slender and club-shaped tipped jaws. The handles are fitted with insulation material which also provides a surface for good grip. The extra-long jaws reach into tight spaces easily.

While the soft and club-shaped surface of the jaws ensures the hoses are not damaged. Apart from grasping hoses, it’s also a very good clamp for spark plugs and many other related services.

  • Combined pliers

This type has a multifunctional application. This is contributed by the three functional sections in the jaws of the tools. At the tip of the jaw, there is a flat and serrated surface. It serves in grasping of flat objects such as glass or metal sheets.

At the middle, it is curved and also has serrations for grasping or cylindrical or circular objects. At the end next to the pivot, it poses a side cutting surface. Many users might fail to distinguish it from the Linesman pliers.

  • Eyelet pliers

They play a major role in clothing industries, cobbling and even tailoring. At the jaw tip, they have an elongated hub and also a ring. The tool serves to create holes for laces in both clothing’s and shoes.

  • Grommet pliers

They are similar both in looks and function to the eyelet pliers. They serve in the creation of holes on the surfaces and also in the grommet fixation. As compared to the eyelet pliers, it’s more thick and stronger thus can fix bigger and tougher grommets. It’s mostly applicable to heavy materials such as tent fixing and other crafts which deal with sturdy materials.

  • Nail puller pliers

They have claw-shaped jaws which have sharp tips at their touching points. This enables them to dig easily under the nails head when drawing them out. The longer handles provide a surface area for strong grasping of the handle. As well as enables maximum effort input when grasping and drawing the nail out.

  • Needle-Nose Pliers

When you are doing repair and need to reach into squeezed spaces, this is the right tool for you. This is enabled by its jaws which are slim, long and tapered. Also, its handles are insulated enabling you to operate live wires without getting shocked. The noses are of two types, the straight nose, and the bent nose.

The bent nose is best when you are dealing with two pliers in your project. It gives you the viewing space as well as allows the second tool to glide through without you knocking your hinds due to limited space.

 Also, they are handy when holding or bending metal fittings; this is made possible by the serrated gripping surface. At the end of the jaw next to the pivot, it has a side cutter. This allows you to cut the wires easily and it’s also boosted by its position where the maximum output of the effort is received.



When selecting the right tool for your household or profession, ensure you determine all your needs. If they are specific needs, then you can go for a tool which is specific for that purpose. If it’s for general application, there are also plenty of those tools to choose from.