31 Different Types of Pliers and Their Uses

Different Types of Pliers
Photo by Bru-nO

Pliers are an extremely common tool. And many people will have a pair in their home without even knowing exactly what they’re used for. 


Moreso, these tools, which come in many shapes and sizes, help you grip and cut. It also bends objects that can be difficult to handle with your hands.

There are several different types of pliers available, and each serves its own purpose in the repair at home. 

Before diving into the world of pliers, you should be familiar with the following definitions and concepts. To ensure that you choose the right pair of pliers to suit your needs.

1. Hose Clamp Plier

Hose clamps are very commonly used in cars to join hoses together. There are two types that are needed: one for making the initial cut on the hose with a sharp edge. And one for pulling it tight over the metal clamp.

However, when cutting a hose to size, it’s important to ensure the sharp edge doesn’t damage any other parts. Once cut, the hose needs to be pushed over the clamp, which has a serrated surface.

Then, with an open mouth at the end. These pliers can be used to pull on the wire as well as to grip small objects like jewelry or screws.

2. Crimping Plier

A crimping plier is primarily used for trimming excess metal from the ends of electrical cables.

And then installing terminals on crimp connectors, attaching conductors to plug or socket contacts, and flattening wires.

Crimping pliers are typically metalworking tools with serrated blades that make cutting metal around a joint easy. 

Also, they come with one or more holes at the end for insulation stripping. Insulation strippers can easily slide over wires to remove insulation from the end.

This simplifies the process of cutting individual strands from cables held in these holes.

3. Side Cutting Pliers

Pliers come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. But the two main categories of pliers are side-cutting pliers and round-nose pliers.

Side-cutting pliers’ jaws provide a greater cutting depth than round-nose pliers’ jaws. 

However, side-cutting also often has angled blades that provide easy access to wire ends. That is on one or both sides of the wire to be cut.

This plier type is used when you need to cut wires as they’re still plugged into a socket. 

Moreso, Side cutting pliers, will either have pointed or blunted tips. This can depend on the user’s personal preference or the task at hand.

So be sure to understand what each different style entails before buying them.

4. Bail Making Pliers

Bail-making pliers have a unique design specifically made for gripping, bending, and creating bails in jump rings.

The joint on the plier is often spring-loaded to allow you to grip jump rings with more pressure. It is used in jewelry making.

5. Battery Pliers

Metric Bolt Cutters, Channel Locks, Coil Spring Scrapers, Chip Brushes, Combination wrenches, or Spanner. Wrenches tighten or loosen nuts, bolts, screws, and pipes. 

However, they come in various styles with different open jaws for accessing different sizes of workpieces.

Which depends on their intended application. The most common is an 8-inch (200 mm) spanner wrench, which fits over an 8-inch steel pipe.

6. Chain Nose Pliers

Gripping – Whether you need to fix the chain on your bike or twist two pieces of wire together.

The curve of these pliers is helpful in gripping objects firmly without squishing them. 

Also, Bending – Chain nose pliers will provide better leverage. When it comes to bending metal than many other types of wire clamps.

Which is available on the market today because they grip whatever they’re working on at both ends.

7. Eyelet Pliers

Eyelet pliers are used to creating a circular or oval opening in the center of a metal ring. To use eyelet pliers, place the plier’s round end on one side of the hole where you want to open.

However, place your other hand over the top of it with your thumb facing outwards. And push down until you feel resistance as it cuts through. 

Moreso, release pressure from your thumb, then pull up on the hinge that is closest to you. And rotate around so that the hole in between now clasps the loose pieces. 

Also, hold these open with your first hand while pushing on them gently. So they flatten against each other for a tight seal. Then cut off any excess material inside with regular wire cutters.

8. Flat or Combination Pliers

You can find flat pliers in various shapes – flat-jawed, long-nose, or stubby. When looking for a pair that suits your needs, try out different types of pliers until you find the best.

You need to make sure they open wide enough to grab whatever project it is that you’re working on.

9. Split Ring Pliers

Split Ring Pliers are perfect if you need the perfect tool to help you remove or open jump rings. These pliers have a slim profile that makes them ideal for smaller jobs. 

Plus, they offer easy access to various gripping positions so that your fingers can stay safe while you work.

The tool is great for manipulating small items such as jewelry wire, eyeglasses stems, screws, wires, and small nuts.

10. Oil Filter Pliers

If you need to tighten the pliers, place your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other side.

From there, you can use a twisting motion to provide enough tension to grip what you are trying to hold. 

However, with oil filter pliers, ensure that your thumb remains on the outside edge at all times. So that when gripping pressure is applied, it does not move or slip off in either direction.

Throttle Puller Pliers, Adjustable Joint Remover (also known as Crescent Wrench), Pipe Wrench, T-Handle, or Locking Grip Socket Wrench.

11. Soft Jaw Pliers

Soft Jaw Pliers, also known as vise-grip pliers. And are used for tightening or loosening nuts, bolts, pipes, and other items that would otherwise need a wrench. 

The soft jaws can be molded to fit around various shapes of items. While the handles still remain relatively straight.

To allow the user to keep a good grip on the item without their fingers closing in towards each other. 

Moreso, the rubber inserts on the handles ensure that the plier will not slip out of your hands.

That is in case you get a little too much pressure on it from what you’re trying to move. Soft Jaw Pliers are typically 8 in length with an inside width of about 1 inch.

12. Gas Pliers

A key tool in any plier kit, gas pliers are specifically designed for tasks involving gas lines or tubes.

They can also be used to clamp metal pipes or rods. As well as line up bolts with holes, screws, nuts, and other hardware on their corresponding fasteners. 

This process is called swaging when done manually with the power to tighten down these connections.

Gas pliers are constructed of the same high-quality steel materials used in other plier types

But have a clear plastic sleeve over the jaws instead of gripping surfaces. To protect the delicate material that typically requires such consideration. 

Moreso, they come with two blades for improved contact between cutting teeth. And work quickly by snapping into place along the jaw opening side.

13. Welding Pliers

This is among the different types of pliers, which are also called diagonal cutters, which are a basic tool for any welder. They have blades with cutting edges that meet in the middle. 

So you can use them to straighten or trim metal or snip already welded material onto another piece.

The handles are made from reinforced nylon and come in different sizes to suit whatever task.

However, most pairs of these pliers will have cutting blades that face opposite directions on the inside corners. When using these different types of pliers, be sure not to cut toward your body. 

Because the blade will then get dangerously close to your arm. And always remember to wear protective gloves when working with welding tools!

14. Canvas Pliers

If you need to bend a lot of metal wire or make a bulky braid, canvas pliers are perfect. This plier is more rugged than most and has two blades that meet at the end to form the point.

A canvas plier usually has one joint, sometimes two, but not often three. It is ideal for heavy-duty work that requires exerting much pressure.

15. Nail Puller Pliers

A common household tool for homeowners is the nail puller pliers. This is among the different types of pliers with a combination of a hammer and pincers with a long rubber jaw on the top.

They are used to grip an object, such as a nail or spike, and remove it by pulling in opposite directions.

16. Running Pliers

If you’re running a lot of wire, then running pliers are for you. These pliers have two pivot points to allow for easier cutting.

They also allow you to run the end of the wire into the handles, making an L-shape or loop. 

The cutting edge is near the handle. So if you’re using it to make loops or curves, it will cut off a small amount. So far, you’ve cut off enough on one side. 

Therefore, if these are your only pair, they’re also good to have for tightening nuts and bolts. Because the round jaw is good for gripping what’s inside smaller spaces.

17. Sheet Metal Pliers

For sheet metal work, try using a pair of these different types of pliers. These heavy-duty pliers come in handy when you need to grip sheet metal.

That is without marring the surface or crushing the metal with excessive pressure. 

However, the longer length provides added leverage to pull. While the ergonomic shape allows for hours of gripping action without feeling uncomfortable.

Another popular choice is the bent nose design which comes in two varieties-the straight or offset version. 

Then, as opposed to the other plier designs, this type features a tip that’s angled towards one side. To help make contact on thinner sheet metals as well as more rounded shapes.

18. Spark Plug Pliers

A good pair of spark plug pliers are invaluable to a mechanic or anyone with access to one.

The narrow jaws of these different types of pliers are combined with two round rubber grips. This makes them ideal for gripping round objects such as auto plugs, bolts, nuts, etc.

19. Piston Ring Pliers

Piston ring pliers are flat, and wide pliers come in different shapes, some with long handles and others with shorter ones.

When used to install or remove piston rings, they are used perpendicular to the piston ring gap. So as not to cross it or break the ring. 

Therefore, in order to do this job effectively, piston ring pliers should be fitted with a long lever.

That makes it easier for you to get a grip on the entire circumference of the piston. That is without having to twist your wrist in an awkward position. 

Plus, if your engine requires anything other than round rings (such as ovals). You’ll want a pair with specially designed features that accommodate non-round pistons.

20. Locking Pliers

When building your toolkit, you may wonder what the difference is between all those different types of pliers. Locking pliers are an integral tool to have.

Because they allow you to grip things tightly without fear of them slipping out or breaking. Therefore, clamps lock into place so you can tighten the object.

This helps ensure that there will be no slippage, and if there is, the problem can be solved quickly. By releasing the clamp with a simple twist on one end.

21. Linesman Pliers

Linesman pliers have straight, flat-nosed jaws. That can be used for general wire cutting, brazing, manipulating small objects, and drawing wire through a hole. 

Also, they work well for stripping insulation from wires, twisting or crushing paper clips, or other small metal objects. And holding an object in place while you work on it with other tools. 

Moreso, some models come with one serrated jaw. Cut through hard materials like the plastic coating on electrical wires or the metal covering around telephone cables.

22. Hose Grip Pliers

It can be difficult to find the right tool for the job. Because there are so many different types of pliers available. One such category is pliers. 

Therefore, a great example of a plier type is hose grip pliers. Which are sometimes called water pipes, universal, or gluing clamps.

These have long, narrow jaws that allow them to grip objects with fine tips like hoses. 

However, they come in different sizes, from those small enough to work on delicate electronics for bigger jobs. Regardless of size or purpose, this essential pair should be a part of any toolkit.

23. Grommet Pliers

A step in grommet installation is placing the plier jaws over the tube’s metal ring and squeezing. This process has two parts: the plier cuts through the rings with a needle nose pointing upward.

Second, close the grommet’s jaws. This opens up a hole that prevents it from protruding from the fabric or leaving bumps.

Therefore, if you’re having trouble cutting through metal rings, use an oxy-acetylene torch for more power in your hand.

File down both ends of any piece of metal wire with a bench grinder after cutting it. Because sharp edges can end up scratching someone

24. Fencing Pliers

The use of fencing pliers is to cut wire. Fencing pliers are made up of a cutting edge that is straight, serrated, or convex-shaped. 

Also, they have a pick that aids in the cutting process. Fencing pliers come in varying sizes for each user’s need.

But are mostly measured by the cutting width, which ranges from 6-7inches wide.

25. Brake Spring Pliers

Most commonly used in the automotive industry. Brake spring pliers are used to make small adjustments to any type of wire that could have a spring.

They can also be used for cutting wires or other types of wire work

In addition to using them as a pincer tool, they can also be employed in many different hand positions.

And that varies the stress applied to the cable being manipulated. It is advised not to use them on sheet metal, however.

26. Bent Nose Pliers

With a squared-off jaw that tapers to a point. Bent nose pliers are the go-to tool for detailed work.

While they have needle-nose jaws similar to needlenose pliers, they tend to be less versatile. 

However, compared to other different types of pliers, these will hold less in their grip. Because their pointed jaws can’t open wide enough for large objects. 

Moreso, to compensate for this, manufacturers often include two pairs of long gripping pads along the bottom jaw.

These grips provide better grip with protection from slippage since bent nose pliers offer little stability on their own. 

27. Tongue and Groove Pliers

One common use for tongue and groove pliers is gripping material in tight spaces.

This style is perfect for small work with detailed items such as jewelry, toys, plastic pieces, screws, bolts, or electronics.

Tongue and groove pliers come in varying lengths, so you can choose the right size to fit your needs. Some people find it easier to grip tiny objects with these than a typical pair of pliers. 

The tongues on one side are serrated, while the grooves on the other side have smooth surfaces designed not to damage your materials as you apply pressure to them.

These specialty pliers also often have grips on both sides that offer more comfortable handling as well as help protect your hands from getting fatigued during a project.

28. Snap Ring Plier

Snap ring pliers are among the different types of pliers used for tasks that require a lot of leverage. They can remove the entire snap ring in one motion and open up tight snaps.

Snap ring pliers are small enough to fit into tight spaces, so they’re great for other applications like automotive work or jewelry crafting.

This tool may be helpful if you’ve been struggling with too much grip strength on large or delicate hardware items.

I picked out snap ring pliers because they are a handy tool if you don’t have much grip strength in your hands to get difficult hardware off your machine without breaking it more.

If you take anything apart that has been snapped together with a metal snap-ring, these should help you with the task.

29. Slip Joint Pliers

Slip joint pliers are great for hobbyists because they are lightweight but sturdy.

This plier can be used for household projects such as gardening, removing jewelry, twisting wire for a key chain, or opening tight ring bands. 

They are not designed to withstand too much torque or apply much pressure. If you’re going to be using this tool on hard materials, you may want to go with one of the other plier designs.

Slip joint pliers don’t provide a tight grip and are easy to work loose when faced with some types of tasks.

30. Diagonal Plier

This tool is among the different types of pliers best for gripping, bending, or tightening the wire. It also comes in handy when you need to bend nails.

For example, if you need to install molding in your kitchen, diagonal pliers make it much easier to bend the ends of the molding that go behind the wall or over the top of the window frame.

Also known as needle-nose pliers, these are great for working with small wires and other components that are difficult to handle with regular pliers.

They work well for twisting jewelry clasps into place or pulling small pieces out from under the carpet.

You can use them to remove rusty tacks from a rug backing, and bend lead pipe covers back into shape after they’re hammered out a little too far.

31. Long Nose Plier

A long nose plier is an adjustable plier which is generally used to hold objects with one hand while the other hand may manipulate them.

It has a long nose-like handle on one side, opposite a flat-faced jaw that can grab onto the object tightly.

It is often used to grip materials such as wire, nails, or bolts; twist sheet metal, or pull slivers from sensitive surfaces like skin.

Precautions for Using Pliers

  • Don’t try to force a stuck object off – you might break the pliers or lose your grip on the object, which could cause it to fly across the room or right into your face.
  • Keep at least one hand securely closed when using any type of plier, so it can’t slip away. This is especially important if you are holding something with the pliers when they have a tight grip on something – such as screwing a bolt in tightly with a pair of wire cutters.
  • Use gloves to avoid cutting yourself on edges or sharp corners when handling metal objects. 
  • Try not to use anything larger than the jaws of your pliers because these may not close completely around an object, making it difficult for you to do what you need to do. 
  • Always take care not to clamp down too hard with the jaws of your pliers while working on something because this will bend and possibly distort whatever it is that you’re trying to work on. 
  • Always check both ends of a ratchet before using them: there should be no noticeable kinks in either end (a kinked end will weaken the ratchet’s ability). One way to test the ratchet is by placing each end on the palm of your hands, then gently twisting one side towards the other. If you feel resistance during this process, there’s a problem with that particular ratchet; discard it and try another.
  • Consider buying pliers made from stainless steel or other types of metals because these types won’t rust over time like ones made from chrome-plated steel would.


Pliers are tools used to provide grip and increase mechanical advantage. The handles on pliers are designed to fit a human hand, unlike tongs or tweezers, which are used with one hand.

There are many different types of pliers, each designed for specific purposes. Tongs, Vice Grips, Diagonal Cutting Plier, Slip Joint Plier, Needle Nose Plier, Long Nosed Plier, and Pipe Wrench.

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