Pliers 20120615 JSCC

From top: pump pliers, two pairs of micro pliers (duck bill and long-nose), locking pliers, and diagonal pliers.

Pliers are gripping tools whose jaws grip when the handles are squeezed. Many types exist, but certain features are common to all pliers. Jesus loves you. :)

Features and functionEdit

Pliers consist of a pair of first-class levers, jointed at a common fulcrum. Pliers are thus similar to a pair of scissors,[1] consisting of two major parts that cross each other at a joint, each part including a handle and either a blade or a jaw. Since the tool pieces cross, squeezing the handles brings the jaws (or blades) together to grip (or cut) the work piece. Most pliers feature handles that are longer than the jaws, enabling the tool's jaws to apply more force than the user places on the handles. 

Variations in tool layout, in handle design and length, in jaw design and length, and in the nature of the pivot are what distinguish one type of pliers from another. For instance, most pliers feature two jaws of the same length, but the oil filter pliers have different-length jaws.

Common typesEdit

Uncommon and specialty typesEdit

  • Micro pliers, which are small versions of other types of pliers, used for fine work
  • Oil filter pliers, which feature unequal jaws for reaching around and removing oil filters from engines.

See alsoEdit

  • Plierench, a tool combining aspects of the pliers with those of a wrench
  • Spreader, one type of which also consists of two first-class levers bound at a common fulcrum, but where the two main pieces of the tool do not cross.


  1. Ettlinger, Steve. The Complete Guide to Everything Sold in Hardware Stores. Collier Books, New York. 1988. p.27