Pliers aren’t wrenches. Although grabbing a pair and gripping that tight bolt or nut might appear easier, that’s never the way to go. Wrenches are the correct tool for bolts and nuts. So, what should pliers be used for? Pliers are made for cutting by utilizing leverage and gripping objects. They feature varying jaw configurations to pull, cut, turn, or crimp various items. There are many types of pliers that undertake varying tasks. Here are some of the most common ones used for technical tasks.


Cutting pliers feature sharp, cutting edges with some shearing power. These types of pliers are created to cut heavy gauge bolts, wires, and nails. Unlike some other wire cutters, these are tapered to decrease the instant ‘snap’ when cutting anything. And the handles are built to raise the leverage required for cutting thicker gauges.


Needle-nosed pliers, which are sometimes called long-nosed pliers, feature long, narrow jaws. These jaws make them excellent for use in working in places that are tight. They are also invaluable when doing intricate work such as electronics work and jewelry making. Several long-nosed pliers come bearing a side cutting edge which is useful for cutting wires with excellent precision.

Lineman pliers

These valuable pliersalso called electrician’s pliers sometimes, feature flat, deeply toothed jaws and a blade for side cutting. The reason why they are called electrician’s pliers is that, they also perform certain functions that are similar to that of the electrician’s scissors. They are capable of cutting, twisting, and holding solid electrical wires. Lineman pliers are also truly excellent for shaping and bending sheet metal.

Locking pliers

These are adjustable pliers that can be locked closed on any object just like a vice. This feature frees up your hands in place of having you use them to hold the pliers in place. Majority of locking pliers feature adjustment screws that change the width of the jaw’s opening so it sizes the object to be held. They also come in varying sizes and jaw styles like needle-nosed, curved, and straight.


These are excellent as general-purpose pliers. It acts like cam-and-ratchet mechanism that enables it to adjust quickly to any object whenever the handle is squeezed. This act of squeezing keeps the jaws parallel to the sides of any object being held so as to allow for an accurate and sturdy fit while offering exceptional gripping power.


These can be found in almost everybody’s toolbox. They are versatile pliers that feature two jaw width options. The first lets the jaws close on one another; excellent for perfectly grabbing thin objects. The second leaves a little gap in-between the jaws offering a larger jaw capacity. These types of pliers can be utilized in a couple of gripping processes that include pulling wires, removing hose clamps, and securely holding bolts and nuts.

One last recommendation for using pliers is that it’s a bad idea to use them on a special finished surface. This is as unlike the best scissors used by electricians, they will leave visible marks on the surface. Most toolboxes contain varying pliers with each having its own particular task as no one size fits all when it comes to pliers.