Commonly used by blacksmiths, plumbers and electricians, pliers are versatile instruments that can be used to securely grip, cut and bend metal objects and wires. With a variety of types, it's easy to find a pair of pliers that fit your specific industry and work with your materials. Consider adding other common hand tools and equipment to your tool box to handle any job.
Perhaps the most common types of pliers are needle-nose pliers, which use two long, lean pointers for getting into tight, narrow spaces. Needle-nose pliers are an electrician's dream tool as they can hold and bend wires located in fuse boxes, light fixtures and within walls. When precision matters and when dealing with very thin wires, needle-nose pliers are a great option. For applications that require you to actually splice through wires, choose cutting pliers, which feature sharp edges to snip through electrical wires and thin metals.
It's important to choose pliers and cutters with a comfortable handle that fits easily within your hand. When dealing with electrical applications, choose pliers with insulated handles to prevent electric shock. Ergonomic handles reduce discomfort during use and offer a non-slip surface that helps you establish a secure grip. Pliers with a locking mechanism built in keep the nose locked in a certain position when the handles are squeezed for hands-free stability.
Most pliers are constructed from a tool-grade steel for long-lasting use. Look for cutters with a wide-mouthed opening to fit around thick, large pipes. Wide-mouthed pliers are especially ideal for plumbers.