Types Of Pliers & Their Uses [PDF]

Hey there! In this article, we’ll talk about different types of pliers and their uses. Pliers are a must-have tool for professionals. Each has a different function and we will discuss about each in detail.

What are Pliers?

Pliers are versatile hand tools used for various tasks, such as fixing a bicycle, crafting, repairing furniture, and wiring. They come in sizes ranging from 4” to 10” for different jobs, but not every pair suits every task. Many tool users keep a variety in their toolbox. Explore common types like slip-joint, linesman, locking, and needle-nose pliers, as well as specialized ones like welding, oil filter, and fencing pliers. Screwdrivers are useful for tightening and loosening screws.

Types of Pliers

#1 Hose clamp pliers

Hose clamp pliers

A hose clamp plier compresses and tightens hose and spring clamps, available in various forms, also known as spring clamp or radiator hose pliers. It features peg-shaped teeth on each jaw that pinch the clamp, and some models can be used directly on the hose.

#2 Soft Jaw Pliers

Soft Jaw Pliers

Soft jaw pliers, a variation of common types, have padded jaws to prevent scratches on soft metals and surfaces like chrome. Primarily used for plumbing and scuba diving equipment.

#3 Oil Filter Pliers

Oil Filter Pliers

Asymmetrical in appearance, these pliers feature a C-shaped pair of jaws with one being longer than the other. Specifically used in the automotive industry for removing oil filter covers.

#4 Split Ring Pliers

Split Ring Pliers

Split ring pliers, also known as fishing pliers, have a bent tip on the lower jaw that acts as a wedge to split individual coiled rings. Commonly used in the manufacture of fishing tackles and keyrings.

#5 Welding Pliers

Welding Pliers

Welding pliers feature jaws similar to combination pliers, with a needle tip akin to needle-nose pliers. Used extensively in welding, they handle tasks like splatter removal, wire gripping, cutting, and hammer use.

#6 Spark Plug Pliers

Spark Plug Pliers

These pliers, with their narrow jaws, are paired with insulated tongs or cylindrical holders. Specifically designed for automotive repair, they grip plugs, as the name suggests, either by the boot or plug wire.

#7 Sheet Metal Pliers

Sheet Metal Pliers

Wide and rectangular, these pliers are employed for bending and seaming sheet metal. Commonly found in metal shops and industries dealing with sheet metal work.

#8 Running Pliers

Running Pliers

Designed for creating stained glass crafts, these pliers produce a clean break along the run lines in glass. The wide jaws are adjustable to match the glass thickness, with a centerline for precise alignment when moving with the score.

#9 Piston Ring Pliers

Piston Ring Pliers

There are two types of piston ring pliers, both utilized in engines for removing and replacing piston rings. The first features simple mounting tips for stretching the piston ring, facilitating easy replacement. The second has a larger curved set with multiple braces to support the ring, reducing the risk of warping.

#10 Locking Pliers

Locking Pliers

These pliers secure the jaws, making them effective for gripping screws and bolts. With various jaw sizes available, you can choose a design that best suits your needs. Also referred to as Vise-Grips.

#11 Nail Puller Pliers

Nail Puller Pliers

The claw tips of these pliers are tapered for digging under nail heads and prying them out. Some versions include an additional claw behind the right jaw for added leverage. Resembling tongs in appearance.

#12 Linesman Pliers

Linesman Pliers

While the name might not ring a bell, you’ve probably encountered or used these pliers. They feature a small gripping surface at the tip and a cutting surface in the middle, serving as a versatile tool commonly used in electrical work.

Due to its multifunctionality and strong jaws, it’s adept at handling twists, turns, and cutting hard metals, tasks challenging for other pliers. While some models come with insulated handles for protection against electric shock, it’s worth noting that most models don’t provide shock resistance.

#13 Hose Grip Pliers

Hose Grip Pliers

Designed for tight spaces, these pliers have grab jaws shaped to protect hoses like vacuum lines, heater hoses, and fuel lines. Use them to hold and turn hoses on or off, and they’re versatile for clamps, spark plugs, and small components. Also called grabber pliers.

#14 Grommet Pliers

Grommet Pliers

They are like eyeglass pliers at work. Grommet pliers are used to make holes in tarps and other materials, as well as by gluing the grommets. Grommets have heavy-duty applications than eyelets, making the tool perfect for crafts with strong materials such as tent-making.

#15 Fencing Pliers

Fencing Pliers

This intriguing multi-tool, hammer-like with two handles, features a fulcrum that allows cutting wires of various gauges. The left jaw has staples with a hammer surface for driving, while the right jaw’s paws remove staples. The jaw also includes a gripping surface and a round grip hole.

#16 Eyelet Pliers

Eyelet Pliers

Eyelet pliers facilitate the addition of laces and drawstrings to fabric by creating holes with a ring and a long hub. This tool is crucial in tailoring, cobbling, and other textile industries.

Modern eyelet pliers often feature interchangeable dies for piercing and securing, though some only have a wheel in the upper jaw with various dye tips.

#17 Flat or Combination Pliers

Flat or Combination Pliers

These pliers have flat jaws with one side sharp for cutting. They are versatile, handling tasks like cutting wires and turning nails. Pliers for electrical work come with insulated handles. Avoid using a combination of pliers for cutting very hard metal to prevent damage to the edges. For a strong grip on tasks, parallel slots are incorporated on the inner side of the jaws.

#18 Chain Nose Pliers

Chain Nose Pliers

Chain nose pliers, essential in wire shaping and jewelry making, are designed for bending, crimping, and shaping wire. They typically feature a sturdy triangular jaw.

#19 Canvas Pliers

Canvas Pliers

Canvas pliers, also known as canvas stretching pliers, feature a wide jaw that enables a single person to do what typically requires two. The padded jaws prevent damage to the canvas surface as they extend over the frame.

#20 Bail-Making Pliers

Bail-Making Pliers

The jaws of this plier have two dowels, one larger than the other, and it is mainly employed in jewelry making. It is used to wrap wire around the jaw, forming clasps, ear wires, and various other shaped loop components.


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