How to Use Pliers

If you’re in the trade of being a plumber, electrician, or any other profession where your hands are required to do just about everything then you know that sometimes it can be difficult to get a good grip on things. How to use pliers is a question that comes up often among electricians.

There are many different types of pliers, but the most common type is used for gripping and holding things like wires or small pins. Pliers usually have a flat surface on one side of the jaws and serrated teeth on the other side to cut wire or small pins. They can also be used as a tool for bending metal if needed.

This article will cover how to use various sizes of pliers for different tasks in an electrician’s day-to-day work routine

Pliers: What Are They?

Pliers are primarily designed to grip items firmly. Turning, bending, or otherwise manipulating the objects becomes possible. In pliers, the handles join at the pivot point, and parallel jaws grasp an object. A plier that was designed specifically for a particular purpose may also feature additional components. There are many different types of pliers. One type of pliers can grip metal, another is for grabbing small objects, and yet another is for electrical wires. Another type is for bending wire. Commonly used tools are slip-joints and plumber’s pliers. Both are equipped with slip-joints for adjusting the jaw grip width. Also popular for firmly holding objects are locking pliers, sometimes referred to as Vice-Grip pliers.

The types and sizes of pliers are diverse, as well as their uses. Several types are designed to do specific tasks, such as gripping pipes or rods, twisting wires, or cutting wires. As well as cutting wire, there are tools for cutting cables and rope and not just wire cable. If you need to work with wire cutters or pliers, use the correct tools. 

Pliers of various types

Pliers are one of the most versatile tools in an electrician’s toolbox. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functions. Pliers can be used for gripping objects tightly or loosening them from something they’re stuck on.

Let’s learn about various types of pliers:

  1. Cutting Pliers

Side-cutting pliers and End-cutting pliers are the two types of cutting pliers that can be used on wire, nails, bolts, and other materials. These types of pliers are called Side Cutting Pliers

& End Cutting Pliers.

Uses of cutting pliers:

  • These devices are widely used in a wide range of fields, such as electrical work, communications, and construction.
  • Wire splicing or cutting, insulation stripping are tasks that can be handled with this tool.
  • The wire cutter is used to cut small pins, wires, and rivets close to the work.
  1. Long Nose Pliers

Alternatively, needle-nose pliers are known as long nose pliers. Due to the long, tapered jaws, these pliers are similar to linesman pliers and have the advantage of reaching into tight places. Various jaw configurations are included in long nose pliers, allowing various tasks to be performed.

Uses of long nose pliers:

  • Small items can be grasped using this tool.
  • Used to bend loops, hold wires in awkward places and to attach wires.
  • Wires of a smaller gauge are involved in this work.
  1. Utility Pliers

Slim, curved tips make it easy to reach tough areas. Wire is conveniently held at a convenient angle using serrated pads. The lips of this plier are completely protected by the rounded beaks.

Uses of utility pliers:

  • The grip is suitable for cubes, rounds, flats, and hexagon objects.
  • It’s possible to limit the twist force without hampering the work with Utility pliers.
  1. Diagonal Cutting Pliers

The diagonal cutting pliers are ideal for tight spaces that no larger cutting tools can reach, such as around wires and small pins. Objects can be cut flush with a surface since the cutting edges are offset by about 15 degrees.

Uses of diagonal cutting pliers:

  • Wire skinning and cutting work
  • Taking out pins and nails, as well as other fasteners.
  1. Flat Nose Pliers

Straightening out bends and kinks in wire is easy with flat-nose pliers. The smooth surface of these pliers won’t scratch delicate items such as glass beads, making them ideal for use with them.

Uses of flat nose pliers:

  • These pliers are useful for a wide range of assembly tasks and applications.
  • Wires can be gripped, bent, and turned with this tool.
  1. Slip Joint Pliers

Those pliers, known as slip joint pliers, are able to change the jaw size by adjusting their pivot point or fulcrum. One of several positions can be selected when the pliers are fully open.

Uses of slip joint pliers:

  • Nuts or bolts can be adjusted by using this tool.
  • These tools can be used to hold or bend flat or round materials.
  • Suitable for crimping sheet metal, looping wires, and cutting soft wire nails.

Different Ways to Use Pliers

These hand tools have opposing jaws that allow them to bend and cut as well as grip surfaces. In addition to providing a great deal of leverage to the user, the cross metal limbs also multiply his hand’s strength. Toolboxes should include pliers because they serve many purposes around the house. While all-purpose pliers usually do the trick, there are other tools that have been designed to handle certain tasks. You can increase efficiency and safety by choosing the right pliers.


A plier’s main purpose is to grip. Bolts can be loosen or tightened with them, as well as held for stability and fasteners removed. To hold larger objects, utility pliers have a round, teeth-filled opening and reasonably flat jaws. Some have a small wire cutter attached to the blade. They are made up of jaws that are offset, or angled, for greater leverage, but they work in a similar way to utility pliers. If you need to grab pipes or long nuts, the jaws can open wide and can be adjusted within a few degrees.


Bending and straightening with pliers is also possible. Objects such as sheet metal, nails, and wires can be bent and twisted with superior torque power provided by the cross braces on the pliers. If you need to bend something, all pliers can help, so your choice will be largely dependent on what you need to bend. Small objects can be difficult to grasp with long nosed or needle-nosed pliers. Typically, electricians use linesman pliers to bend wires and cables.


Wire and wire nails can also be cut with some pliers. Wire cutters, or pliers with diagonal and side cuts, are generally used for cutting wires. Wire cutters’ jaws are not typically designed to grip objects larger than bolts. They are considered pliers, however, since they can grip and remove nails.

Splicing Wires/Stripping Insulation

Splicers and insulation strippers are special pliers used by electricians. The most popular tool for this task is the lineman pliers. The wire cutting functionality allows you to cut through the insulation of an electrical cable and expose the bare wire by removing a short segment. Then, by attaching or splicing the two wires together with the pliers, you can do the same with the other electrical cable.

How to Use Pliers

A plier can be used for many different things, and they are also extremely simple to use. The pliers are some of the most versatile tools.

There are many uses for pliers. We’ll learn how to use pliers in these simple ways:

Step 1: Open jaws

The pliers handle should be held in your hand to open them. There are some pliers that open automatically with a spring. When you hold them in a comfortable position, your fingers should be away from your jaws if they feature thumb stops.

Step 2: Position pliers

To grip- Ensure that the jaws are positioned as ideally as possible both sides of the object to be  gripped.

To cut- Whenever cutting wire, or an item to be cut, place it between the blades as close to the pivot as possible because at this point is where the greatest force is produced.

Step 3: Close jaws

Put your hand on the handles and close them. It will end with the jaws meeting. According to where the material is positioned in the jaws, it will either be cut or gripped.

Maintain grip while manipulating the material, and keep the handles together while doing so.

Safety Measures for Pliers

All tool users, whether amateur or professional, use pliers of various types. Some pliers are versatile, so they can be used for a wide variety of tasks. Pliers come in many shapes and sizes, each designed for specific jobs. Using these pliers will save you time and money. In general, you should follow the following safety rules to work safely:

  1. Unless specifically designed for this purpose, the use of pliers is not recommended when cutting hardened wires.
  1. Heat shouldn’t be applied excessively to pliers. Materials may be altered and tools ruined as a result.
  1. Keep right angles when cutting. The wire should never be bent against the cutting edges or rocked from side to side.
  1. Light pliers should not be used to bend stiff wire. It is possible to damage long-nose pliers by bending wires too large. Ensure the tool you use is sturdy.
  1. The handles of pliers should never be hammered nor should pliers be used as hammers. Such abuse may lead to cracks, breaks, or nicked edges.
  1. For greater leverage, don’t extend handles. Ensure your pliers are large enough.
  1. Neither nuts nor bolts should be handled with pliers. It is better and less risky to use a wrench rather than a plier.
  1. It is sometimes necessary to oil pliers. If oil is applied to the joint, the tool will last longer and operate smoothly.
  1. Whenever you cut wire, etc., you should wear safety glasses or goggles for your protection.
  1. Cutting “HOT” wires is never a good idea.

Note: There is no protection against electric shock provided by comfort grips on handles, and they cannot be used at or near live electrical circuits.


Where are pliers used?

How do wire cutters and pliers differ? The types and sizes of pliers are diverse, as well as their uses. They are designed for certain tasks, such as twisting wire, gripping something round, and cutting wire.

Are channel locks pliers?

Each home and garage should have a CHANNELLOCK Straight Jaw Tongue and Groove Plier. It features a patented reinforcing edge to minimize stress breakage, a PermaLock fastener to hold nut and bolt secure, and laser-treated teeth to provide longer-lasting grips.

What causes pliers to stiffen?

In order to ensure the pliers remains supple, it must be lubricated continuously to prevent the introduction of rust and its particles into the hinge.

How do you restore rusty pliers?

Dipping pliers, wire cutters, or any rusty hand tool in a mixture of white vinegar and water will effectively soften the rust. After that process you can easily scrub dust to clean it properly.

What pliers do electricians use?

The electrician’s go-to tool is a pair of linesman pliers. Wires can be twisted together with its squared-off end, and it has a central cutting blade that is great for trimming wires. It has a groove, inside and outside, for gripping and pulling the wires.


Pliers are a type of tool that has been around for centuries and has served many purposes. They were initially designed to grip items firmly, but other uses quickly became apparent. Today, pliers can be used in plumbing or electrical work as well as metalworking; they may also include wire-cutters or crimpers. If you’re looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, consider picking up some tools.

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