Pliers are a comparatively modern invention. Pliers are
popular hand tools which are used for gripping objects by using
leverage. They have a pair of pivoted jaws, used for holding, bending,
turning, gripping or cutting a variety of things. They have different
jaw configurations depending on their usages. Top quality pliers are
forged from fine-grain tool steel, machined to close tolerances with
hand-honed cutting edges properly hardened. They are polished, adjusted
and inspected. Pliers vary in length from 4" to 20". Every
tool user make use of pliers of various types.
When we talk about the look of a plier, we can say that is probably
started out looking something like our modern day barbeque tongs. The
basic design of pliers has not changed much since their origin. The
plier has a a pair of handles with the pivot which is often often formed
by a rivet. The head section has the gripping jaws or cutting edges.
Thereby, the plier consists of three elementsthe handle, the pivot
and the blades. In comparison to a pair of scissors or shears, the jaws
of the plier always meet each other at one point.
How to use a plier?
Pliers convert a power grip into a precision grip. The power grip is
the curling of the fingers into the palm of the hand and when we talk
about precision grip, it means directing the power of the hand's grip on
to the object to be gripped in a precise fashion. The handles are long
compared to the shorter nose of the pliers. Hence, the two arms or the
pair of handles act as first class levers with a mechanical advantage,
which helps in raising the force applied by the hand's grip and forcing
it on the work piece. Pliers are used when our fingertips can't do the
The materials used to make pliers consist mainly of steel alloys, like
stainless steel, aluminum, carbon etc. There are some with additives
like Vanadium, Chromium, which improve alloy strength. It also helps in
preventing corrosion. The grip of the pliers sometimes have insulated
grips. This not only prevents electrical conductivity but also ensure
Classification of pliers
Depending on the functions, pliers can be classified into four main
Types of pliers
- Gripping pliers: These pliers are used to improve grip
and the most common type of pliers. Lineman's pliers, needle nose
pliers, round nose pliers etc. are examples of gripping pliers.
- Cutting pliers: Cutting pliers are used to sever or pinch
off. For example, lineman's pliers, pinching pliers, wire stripping
pliers etc. are cutting pliers. Cutting Pliers are of three types:
Some cutting pliers are made with a spring in the handle to
open them automatically after each cut, providing ease and comfort
for the user.
- Side Cutters have a cutting blade on one
side only and are available in long, curved and short-nose
- End Cutters have cutting blades on the end
and are used to make sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on
wires, bolts and rivets.
- Diagonal Cutters have two cutting blades
set diagonally to the joint and/or handles. Shears have cutting
edges that pass each other.
- Crimping pliers: Crimping pliers are special type of
pliers used for crimping objects, which is not possible by other
- Rotational pliers: These type of pliers were specially
developed by NASA engineers in order to help an astronaut to turn a
nut in zero gravity.
There are different types and sizes of pliers and each plier is
designed for a specific purpose, although their versatility makes them
suitable for many jobs.
|Slip-joint pliers: Great for
tightening, they are the most common type of pliers used in
households, having a joint which can be used for two different width
||Groove-joint pliers: They are similar to
slip joint pliers, having several joints to fit many jaobs of vaious
sizes. They are also referred to "Channellock"
|Needle-nose pliers: Used for
reaching places with restricted clearance, these kind of pliers have
a pointed nose and may have side cutters. Its typically used for all
electrical and electronics work.
||Diagonal cutter pliers: Diagonal pliers
are actually cutting Pliers with cutters positioned diagonally to
the handle to provide leverage when pulling cotter pins. These are
also used for general cutting by electricians and mechanics.
|Solid joint pliers: Solid
joint pliers have a joint fixed with a solid pin or rivet and are
||Lineman's pliers: Also known as
combination pliers or electrician pliers, these are actually
heavy-duty, side-cutting pliers, designed for all regular
wire-cutting needs. These pliers have gripping jaws in addition to
cutting edges. High-leverage lineman's pliers have rivet placed
closer to the cutting edges to provide 50% more leverage.
|Multiple slip joint pliers:
This kind of a plier is a general utility tool with up to eight
adjustments, allowing for jaw openings up to 4 1/2". It may be
available in either multiple hole or tongue and groove types. Also,
Straight and curved jaws are available, while the most common types
is 10" water-pump pliers.
||Plumber's Special Pliers: This kind of
pliers are available with smooth jaws or jaws covered with a soft
material to prevent scratching, when used on plated plumbing
|Parrot Nose Wrench Pliers:
Noted for its grip, it is a combination pliers and pipe wrench with
75° offset nose. These kinds of pliers are ideal for pipe and
||Thin Jaw Slip Joint Pliers: These pliers
resemble slip joint pliers closely but are made with a slim nose to
reach into tight places.
|Curved Thin Needle Nose Pliers:
With nose bent at about 80° angle, this kind of pliers are used
for reaching round objects.
||General Utility or Water Pump Pliers:
These are all-purpose pliers with as many as five jaw-opening
adjustments. Its teeth are shaped for positive grip on round
|Duckbill Pliers: Majorly used
by jewelers, telephone workers, weavers, these pliers have long,
tapered, flat nose for work in restricted places.
||Wire Strippers: Featuring adjustable
stops, Wire Strippers are used to cut insulation, without damaging
|Midget Pliers: Used by people
working with small objects or in confined areas such as electronic
technicians, hobbyists, electrical workers, aviation mechanics.
Midget pliers include straight, chain, round, end-cutting,
diagonal-cutting and flat-nose pliers in extra-small sizes.
||End Cutting Nippers: Meant to ensure
sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on wires, bolts and rivets,
end-cutting nippers feature powerful leverage.