Pliers - available for many things
The variety of pliers is impressive. For the maker, pliers are a tool that is actually used for every project and therefore belong in every tool bag. They are made for a wide variety of applications and are flexible helpers for many purposes. Pliers are used for gripping and holding, they can shape or form and you can use them for cutting and separating materials. In order to be able to use the best tool for a particular purpose, different types of pliers have developed over time. To help you decide which pliers should be part of your equipment, we show you the most common models here.
The combination pliers
The combination pliers are certainly the best-known type of pliers and are a multi-talent among tools. They combine the two most frequently used functions of pliers: gripping and cutting. The gripping jaws of a pair of combination pliers often have a fine serration. This prevents round or very thin components from slipping or slipping through. If you want to use combination pliers to cut through hard wires or nails, you should make sure that the cutting edges of the pliers head are also hardened. Otherwise, the high force on a small surface can result in dents in the cutting edges, which will make clean cuts difficult in the future. A special type of combination pliers are the power combination pliers, which at first glance look no different from normal pliers. It is only when you look at the joint of the pliers that you notice that it has been moved upwards, directly below the head of the pliers. This change in geometry improves the leverage and greater forces can be exerted on the pliers head with the same pressure on the handles. The only disadvantage is that the change in geometry reduces the maximum opening angle of the pliers' flanks. It is therefore easy to cut very hard materials, such as piano wire, with a pair of power combination pliers.
Pincers are also very popular and widely used because of their robustness. Unlike combination pliers, the cutting edges are not in the plane of the handles, but are positioned transversely to them. Nippers are built in such a way that you can unroll them over your head and thus, for example, easily pull out a gripped nail via leverage. This leverage trick makes nippers particularly suitable for removing nails and staples. This type of pliers is also used to cut nails and wire. The extra-long pliers handles make it possible to apply a high force to the sharp cutting edges, so that cutting even hard material should no longer be a problem.
The flat nose pliers / telephone pliers
Flat-nose pliers are among the cheapest pliers and inhabit almost every hobbyist's toolbox. Characteristic of their shape are the narrow jaws tapering towards the front. This type of pliers is optimal for gripping and holding in tight places and is often used as an assistant to the combination pliers. The flat nose pliers are a useful tool, especially when the combination pliers turn out to be too short or wide for a particular application. Flat nose pliers come in different sizes and are used, for example, in precision engineering, wire bending and jewellery making.
The crimping pliers
For makers, connecting flat plugs, cable lugs and butt connectors to a cable end is a frequently recurring work step. Anyone working with control electronics will certainly have to connect connector types such as Scotchlok connectors, Western connectors, modular connectors, Cannon connectors or others to a cable sooner or later. Using a crimping tool, the connection is made by plastic deformation. The process is called crimping. The number of possible crimp connections has continued to increase in recent years and is by no means limited to power cables. In the meantime, optical fibres, antenna cables, telephone and LAN cables can also be assembled with crimping pliers.
The wire stripper / wire end crimping pliers
If you often work with electrical cables, whether low or high voltage, you will not be able to get past these two types of pliers. With wire strippers, you can remove the insulating tube from cable ends quickly, safely and cleanly. This tool pays for itself very quickly, especially if this step is performed frequently. With a wire stripper you not only save time, but also increase the safety of your connection. You use a wire end ferrule pliers to permanently crimp sleeves pushed over the end of the wire to the cable cross-section. Wire end ferrules are used to create a secure cable end for fine-wire conductors (stranded wires). Twisting or wetting with solder is no longer recognised as safe if the cable end is to be connected to a luster terminal, switch cabinet or similar. The wire end ferrule pliers press the wire end ferrule and wire together from four sides via four crimping parts. This creates a firm and electrically safe connection through plastic deformation.
The circlip pliers
This type of pliers could be interesting for you if you have to deal with axles, shafts and ball bearings. This can be the case, for example, in model making or repairing household appliances. In principle, there are two types of rings. Outer rings that are placed on shafts and inner rings that are inserted into bores. To fix or remove these retaining rings quickly and safely, there is a wide range of retaining ring pliers, sometimes also called circlip pliers or snap ring pliers. You can easily recognise this type of pliers by the two small metal spikes located at the tip of the pliers head. These spikes fit into the holes on the side of the circlip. Once you have hooked in, you can slightly widen or taper the diameter of the ring. Because the rings are made of spring steel, they do not bend permanently, but spring back into shape when you release them with the pliers. Some circlip pliers have angled tips of 45 or 90 degrees, making installation possible even under difficult space or visibility conditions.