Pliers & Plier Sets

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There are many factors to take into account when choosing the right pliers for the right job. A hobby toolbox can manage with only a few pliers. In a professional box, you really always need to have the right tool. Naturally enough, both for the sake of efficiency at work, but also from a personal safety perspective. Partly because the tools must not lead to injury from long-term use with repeated issues, but also to protect against sudden incidents such as slips, pinch injuries or protection against electric shock.

Diagonal cutters

When cutting, the two fundamental aspects are the type of cut and the cutter’s capacity. Manufacturers show the type of cut using symbols for what type of bevel the cut has. Capacity is shown by a circle symbol that state that states up to which wire type the cutter is intended, followed by an indication of the diameter in millimetres that the pliers can accommodate for a given type of wire.

Symbol Cut
Centre cutter
With bevel
With small bevel
With very small bevel
Without bevel
Symbol Wire type Example
Soft Copper, plastic
Medium hard Nails
Hard Steel wire
Piano wire Spring steel


Force transmission

There are different solutions for transmission in pliers in order to reduce the muscle power that is needed to use them. We have borrowed a picture from Knipex below that shows very clearly the difference that pliers with different transmission makes.

Pliers with extra force

Knipex X-Cut

40% less force than traditional diagonal cutters.

Knipex twin force

gives 3 times more force than traditional diagonal cutters.

Wiha BiCut

A click on the button doubles the force




Pliers are some of the most common hand tools and are found in every DIY toolkit, but in the electrical world they are used for much more than simply as gripping tools. Different tasks require different tools and pliers are made in many different sizes and forms. General purpose combination pliers may often prove adequate for day-to-day gripping, squeezing and cutting requirements, but more delicate work will invariably require less clumsy tools, and long-nosed and side-cut pliers are some of the most popular, with precision electronic work requiring pliers with miniaturised jaws. There will always be occasions when heavy-duty tools are needed, such as water pump pliers and cable cutters, but in general, precision is a major consideration. Insulation is always given a high priority and special sets are available, designed specifically for electrical use. Work with ESD-sensitive components will also require tools with dissipative handles, and a range of pliers is specially designed for work in such environments. Many tasks can only be properly carried out by using specially designed types of pliers, such as stripping pliers, circlip pliers and crimping pliers. As is always the case, having the correct tools makes any job much easier and it makes sense to have a wide and varied choice of pliers.