In this guide we’ll look at the best pliers.
We’ve compared construction materials, VDE insulation, pliers length and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best Pliers?
More Detailed Pliers Reviews
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Draper 63936 160mm DIY Series Plier Set Review
The Draper 63936 160mm DIY Series Plier Set makes the best plier set because they are made from carbon steel, have hardened jaws and cutting edges and good quality grippy handles.
This set of pliers includes combination pliers, diagonal side cutter and long nose and are all standard size. They are made from carbon steel which is strong and durable and creates a hardwearing tough set of pliers.
The pliers also have strong jaws and cutting edges due to the carbon steel construction. Draper has also used a process called induction hardening on the edges and jaws to ensure they are as hard and strong as possible.
These pliers have soft grip handles that make them super grippy and comfortable to hold making these pliers a joy to use.
The pliers are excellent value for money for a quality set of three pairs of pliers.
Overall, this item offers a versatile set of pliers with sturdy carbon steel construction, induction hardened jaws and comfortable handles.
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Draper Expert 69288 3-Piece VDE Insulated Pliers Set Review
The Draper Expert 69288 3-Piece VDE Insulated Pliers Set offer the best electrician pliers thanks to their chrome vanadium steel construction, lacquered corrosion protection finishes, and their VDE insulation.
This set of pliers includes combination pliers, long nose pliers and diagonal side cutters that are all standard length. They are all constructed from chrome vanadium steel. This is a hardwearing and strong steel allowing the tools to be durable and stand the test of time.
The chrome vanadium steel is lacquered with a corrosion-resistant coating which ensures they are usable for many years.
The lacquered chrome vanadium heads sit nicely inside the soft grippy handles that are comfortable to use. Importantly these handles provide the proper VDE insulation allowing them to be safe to use with up to 10,000 volts making them perfect for electricians. Each plier has been tested to 10,000V for safe 1000V AC or 1500V DC live line working.
Overall, these are a great electrician’s pliers thanks to their chrome vanadium construction, with lacquered finish and their VDE insulation.
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Stanley FMHT0-72415 Fatmax Compound Action Pliers-3 Pack Review
The Stanley FMHT0-72415 Fatmax Compound Action Pliers-3 Pack make a good choice because of their hardened steel jaws, dual-pivot action, and bi-material handles.
This set of pliers includes combination pliers, side-cutting pliers and long nose pliers with a length of 220mm. They are all made from hardened steel making them a strong and durable choice.
The steel headed pliers use a dual-pivot action which creates more leverage. This generates up to 70% more power with less effort allowing you to easily cut through even tough objects. This makes them a great set of pliers if your grip is not as strong as you would like it to be.
The bi-material handles give a lovely balance between grip and comfort allowing you to get a good strong grasp on them whilst being comfortable for extended use.
Overall, these are a great set of pliers thanks to the hardened steel jaws, dual-pivot cutting action and bi-material handles.
WORKPRO 5-Piece Pliers Set Review
The WORKPRO 5-Piece Pliers Set is a good option because you get a wide range of pliers, they are made from vanadium steel and have ergonomic handles.
This set has a wide range of pliers for different usage. Included in the set are 7” diagonal pliers, 8” long nose pliers, 10” groove joint pliers, 8” combination pliers and an 8” adjustable wrench. This gives you the right pliers for most jobs.
The heads of these pliers are made from chrome vanadium steel which is a great steel for tools as it is strong and durable. In addition, the pliers are heat treated to make them even stronger.
These pliers feature soft grip handles that offer slip resistance and are comfortable on the hands. The handles are also ergonomically designed so they are comfortable to use all day.
This set of five pliers offers a great set mid range that cover a lot of uses and make excellent value for money.
Overall, these are a great set of pliers if you require a wide range of pliers made from good quality vanadium steel with comfortable, grippy handles.
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Silverline 427610 Pliers Set 3-Piece Set Review
The Silverline 427610 Pliers Set 3-Piece Set 160mm are a good set entry level set because they are made from tempered steel with hardened edges and jaws and have polypropylene handles.
This set includes combination pliers, needle nose pliers, and side cutting pliers all of standard length. All are made from tempered steel to ensure they are durable and strong. The edges and jaws of the steel heads are also hardened to ensure you get the best grip or cut out of your pliers.
The polypropylene handles are reasonably comfortable to hold and feature a built-in knuckle guard.
Overall, this is a good set of pliers to have in your tool box for general use as they have hardened and tempered steel heads and comfortable polypropylene handles.
Pliers Buyer’s guide
There are a few key factors to consider when looking at construction material and how that material is treated and finished.
When looking at materials the best options are carbon or chrome vanadium steel. This is because these are very hard and durable metals which will mean the sharp edges of your pliers will stay sharp and the jaws will remain grippy for longer. A bonus is if the steel has been tempered or hardened to ensure they are as strong as possible. The cutting edge and jaws themselves are often induction hardened to help ensure maximum strength and durability is achieved.
Finally, a lacquer finish, just like the the finish of Draper Expert 69288 3-Piece pliers is a big positive. This enables the metal to resist corrosion and last a long time.
VDE insulation is an important component of pliers if you are an electrician or will work with electrics with your pliers.
To ensure that pliers are safe to use when working with electricity, standards are set for testing pliers, screwdrivers and other hand tools and this standard is know as VDE.
Therefore, if you buy a VDE rating insulated plier you can be sure that you are safe when working with electricity.
Obviously, even when using VDE insulated tools you must still follow the safety procedures required when working with electricity to ensure you stay safe.
The handles of your pliers provide grip as well as comfort.
If you don’t have a proper comfortable handle it is hard to apply enough force through the pliers. Good handles like the handle of WORKPRO 5-Piece Pliers are often rubberized or have a coating to ensure they are grippy. Softer plastic or rubber handles also provide a very comfortable feel to use for extended periods of time and allow you to apply as much force as possible.
Length of pliers
Plier’s length can vary from manufacturer and style of plier.
Mostly they have a standard size for the different types of pliers. The range is normally between 150-200mm for standard pliers getting larger for things like long-nose pliers with groove joint pliers being even longer at around 250mm.
This is the standard size for pliers and sometimes manufacturers change for specific sets like a mini set for example.
No. of pieces
Pliers often come in a set including the main types of pliers and sometimes extra more specific pliers for specific jobs.
Your choice of set will depend on what tasks you require of your pliers. For typical home use, the Silverline 427610 Pliers set is an affordable choice and includes 3 pieces of pliers. However, you will want to ensure it includes combination pliers, diagonal or side cutter and long nose as these are very useful for a wide range of tasks.
Dual pivot pliers like the Stanley FMHT0-72415 pliers have a special design that allows them to pivot from two different points. This creates a longer plier that can be squeezed through gaps and then fully opened whereas with other pliers the handle would get stuck and not be movable. This is very useful for specific tasks when working in confined spaces.
They also create more power thanks to the additional leverage allowing you to apply more force than a conventional plier.
Some types of pliers are designed with specific use cases in mind whereas some are designed to be more multifunctional.
There are three main uses cases for pliers.
One of the main uses of pliers is to hold or grip things. This can help you get a tight grip to turn a bolt or hold something steady while you use another tool on it. The main models for these tasks are groove joint, slip joint and locking pliers.
Cutting pliers, also known as wire cutters are designed to cut items such as wire, bolts, nails and various other materials. Side cutting pliers help you to either trim ends or sides of things and the diagonal cutters can help you make angled cuts.
The cross braces of the pliers allow for the required torque power to bend objects such as nails and wires. All pliers can be used for bending but you may want some specific pliers such as long nosed or needle nosed pliers to grip small objects or to use in hard to reach places.
Multi function pliers
Multifunctional pliers are useful to have around for various tasks. They have jaws that are designed to both hold and cut things. They often won’t work in specific scenarios where you will want specialist pliers but for household tasks, they work well. Designs include the linesman and long and bent nose pliers.
Having a good set of pliers will help you with tasks around the house and can generally come in very handy with odd jobs and projects. They are generally useful for removing old nuts and bolts, nails and staples and bending wire.
A set of pliers gives you a good range of tools so you can cover most household, DIY and craft uses.
I would recommend the Draper 63936 160mm DIY Series Plier Set because they are made from carbon steel, have hardened jaws and cutting edges and the soft grip handles are non slip and comfortable to use.