Despite their simple appearance, the pliers (in many places also called tweezers) are some of the most versatile hand tools available on the market, using only hand power to turn bolts and nuts, bend and cut wire and some metals, and hold various objects.
In previous articles of Of Machines and Tools We present the various types of pliers, as well as some recommendations for their use.
As we can see, the variety of pliers in trade is very wide, so it is important to know how to choose the pliers most suitable for our particular job. This is precisely what this article will address, so to start, in the video below we will see a brief summary of the types of pliers already mentioned, in addition to other types and their applications.
Based on what we have just seen in the video, below we will detail a simple guide to help us choose the pliers Right.
First of all, we must bear in mind that the pliers Not only are they needed to put things together and take things apart, but, for example, plumbers use them to hold down pipes, electricians use them to cut, splice, and twist wires, and construction workers apply them to insulating coatings to remove the heat. cover. Also, a pliers It is always useful in the home, since it allows you to repair various artifacts, extract nails from the walls, repair fishing lures or even, although it should not be done, use it as a hammer. In the field of crafts, jewelry, costume jewelry assembly and even fishing there are small special pliers that are essential, as they are also in professional uses, such as among dentists.
As this is a basic guide we are going to concentrate only on the most common uses of utility pliers that we can acquire in hardware stores, hypermarkets or related businesses.
In the selection of a plier We must consider two fundamental questions, which are:
a) Work to be done with the pliers
Since the pliers They have many uses, it is worth knowing which one is best suited to each particular job. For example, let’s look at some questions we should ask ourselves about the intended use of our pliers.
- Do we need to clamp, bend or cut components or cables/wires with active electrical current?
In this case, a combination pliers with insulated handle It will be the right tool. These types of handles comply with international standards and are designed to withstand voltages of up to 1000 volts.
- Do we have to disassemble and/or repair small or precision-demanding objects in a confined space, for example, electronic components, motors or clockwork?
The long nose/nose pliers they are the kind of tool we need. If, in addition, the objects that we must repair are in areas of difficult access, the curved pliers or angled tip They will be even more useful.
- Do we have to tighten/loosen nuts or do we normally work with pieces that are two or more different sizes and we want a tool that can adapt to all of them?
In this case, a slip joint plier (up to two different sizes) or parrot beak and zipper pliers (several different sizes) can provide us with the features we are looking for.
- Are we specifically interested in cutting operations, be it wire, sheet metal or other thin sheet metal?
There is a large group of cutting pliers of various sizes, subdivided into pliers in front cut, side cut Y diagonal cut, each with different functions that we will see later.
- Are we looking for a good pliers for our DIY work at home?
Nothing better and more complete than a combination pliers, which will allow us to cut, hold, shape and twist/braid common wires and conductors (in the latter case the handle must be insulating) and we can even, in a pinch and if we don’t have the corresponding keys, tighten and loosen nuts and bolts.
- Do we want to do a plumbing or welding job that requires holding parts firmly and we don’t have a vise?
Not only the aforementioned parrot beak and zipper pliers it will be useful in this case, but better still, a pressure pliers, which can behave like a portable vise.
We have just seen some examples, but this is not all. Later we will present a table with many more details for a successful choice of our pliers.
b) Plier size
If we only look for a combination pliersFor safety reasons, it is advisable to choose one that is at least 150 mm long or more. This guarantees that during the use of the tool, that is, when the handles are contracted, we do not injure our fingers.
However, in many other cases we must choose the size based on the work to be done, as we saw earlier. For example, for delicate tasks we will choose the pliers smaller, and those heavy construction or plumbing related tasks will require a tool at least 200mm or even 250mm long. If we use pliers Frequently, for work or hobby reasons, we should think about acquiring a box or case with pliers of different sizes. There are many manufacturers that offer sets pliers not only of variable size, but also of various types that cover a wide range of services, both for the amateur and for the professional.
Now that we have a more concrete idea of the pliers that we must choose, let’s see in the following table a detailed detail of the most common types of pliers recommended for the most common jobs.