Pliers are an essential tool for both tradesman and DIY enthusiasts, but like every tool, actually deciding which ones you need can be a real problem – especially if you’re not in the trade.

Pliers are used for a wide range of purposes. From cutting and shaping wires to gripping bolts, removing nails and more, you’ll find that there’s a plier for every job.

At MAD4TOOLS, we supply pliers from some of the biggest names in tool manufacture from around the globe. Every single day, the tools we sell help people get jobs done, but if you’re stuck at the decision stage, we’ve got something that’ll help – a complete guide to the most common types of pliers available. Let’s get started.

Plier Parts

First, it’s important to understand the key parts of a plier and their individual functions. These parts may vary slightly from plier to plier.

Plier parts
  • Tip – The tip of the plier
  • Pipe Grip – Used for gripping round objects such as pipe
  • Cutters – Typically used for cutting wire and cable
  • Jaws – The working end of the plier used for gripping
  • Pivot Point (or Fulcrum) – This is where the two handles meet at a hinge, allowing the handles to open and close. In turn, this allows the jaws to open and close to perform its job
  • Handles – This is the part you hold. These can be curved or straight

Waterpump pliers

Often called waterpump pliers in the UK, but sometimes known as angle-nosed, tongue-and-groove and groove-joint pliers, these pliers are ideal for working on larger objects, like pipes.

Featuring serrated jaws at 45 to 60 degrees and expandable mouths, they’re ideal for gripping large objects and holding them in place and are available in multiple sizes.

Cutting, crimping & stripping pliers

Featuring an extremely sharp end and robust handles, these pliers are ideal for cutting through a variety of wires, as well as crimping and stripping.

They’re an essential tool for electricians or those simply performing wiring-based jobs around the house. Side cutters might have long, curved or short noses, and end cutters can be used on wire, rivets and bolts. There is a wide variety of cutting, crimping and stripping blades available.

Locking pliers

Locking pliers perform a similar function to that of a wrench, with a knurled screw that allows you to lock your pliers into position to stop them from slipping. Sometimes called vice grips, they allow you to pull or twist without losing your grip. You’ll find that locking pliers will feature a release that can disengage the lock, and will have serrated jaws for greater grip.

Long-nose pliers

Long-nose or needle-nose pliers are ideal for working in tight spaces and are ideal for a wide range of tasks, from jewellery work to cutting small-gauge wire. They feature long, slender jaws with a pointed tip which makes it easy for the pliers to reach small spaces.

Fencing pliers

Designed exclusively to cut and pull heavy-duty staples from things like fencing, featuring two wire cutters. The heavy head can also be used for hammering too, in a pinch.

Combination pliers

The ideal tool for the DIY user but still a popular choice amongst professionals, combination pliers combine attributes from a number of other pliers, like the ability to cut, crimp, strip, pull and twist.

Though they’re less specialised, they often feature the attributes required to effectively do a number of jobs.

To discover our full range of pliers, visit our MAD4TOOLS pliers page, where you’ll find models of every type of plier discussed above at low, low prices.

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