Pliers are for gripping and bending metal. They should never be used in place of a spanner for undoing nuts, as their serrated jaws can damage or round off a nut.

If you need to avoid marking the metal to be gripped, wind adhesive tape round the jaws of the pliers.

Pliers are a hand tool used to hold objects firmly, possibly developed from tongs used to handle hot metal in Bronze Age Europe. They are also useful for bending and compressing a wide range of materials. Generally, pliers consist of a pair of metal first-class levers joined at a fulcrum positioned closer to one end of the levers, creating short jaws on one side of the fulcrum, and longer handles on the other side. This arrangement creates a mechanical advantage, allowing the force of the hand's grip to be amplified and focused on an object with precision. The jaws can also be used to manipulate objects too small or unwieldy to be manipulated with the fingers.

Pincers are a similar tool with a different type of head used for cutting and pulling, rather than squeezing. Tools which are effectively pliers designed principally for safely handling hot objects are usually called tongs. Special tools for making crimp connections in electrical and electronic applications are often called "crimping pliers"; each type of connection uses its own dedicated tool.

There are many kinds of pliers made for various general and specific purposes.

Read more on

Guides that use

How to replace windscreen wipers

Replacing wiper blades Wiper blades are fitted bayonet-style to the end of the arm, or the end o...

Adjusting and replacing window-winding mechanisms

There are three basic systems used to raise and lower car windows: mechanical linkage with sciss...

Adjusting the brakes

Types of brake drum adjusters A typical braking system uses disc brakes at the front of the car ...

Adjusting the handbrake

The handbrake provides some braking effect if the hydraulic system fails, but it is primarily a ...

Renewing drum-brake shoes

Separate drum A front break with a drum separate from the hub. The hub stays in place when the...

How to overhaul a Stromberg carburettor

The Stromberg carburettor does not have a regular service schedule, but should be cleaned about ...

Removing wheel bearings

Using a puller A hub with ball bearings, and even one with rollers, may stick. If so, use a...

Coil springs replacement

The top coil of the spring may be flattened. Be sure to fit the new spring in the same...

Replacing a master cylinder and servo unit

To disconnect the pushrod, straighten the split pin and pull it out with pliers. Push the clevis...

Adjusting the clutch

To work efficiently, the clutch needs the right amount of play in the linkage between the foot pe...

Replacing track-rod-end ball joints

This type of steering gear usually has just one replaceable ball joint at the outer end of each ...

Replacing steering-rack gaiters

Removing a gaiter Loosen clip or untwist or cut off wire clips, and throw them away. Replace wit...

Fitting and adjusting -breaker points

The -breaker setting is often neglected, but it is vital to good running. Ideally, check ...

Checking and cleaning a fixed-jet carburettor

A typical fixed-jet carburettor This carburettor is typical of fixed-jet designs. The body is in...

Checking and cleaning an SU carburettor

Remove the screws to take off the dashpot. Before lifting it off mark the dashpot and flange. Th...

Replacing core plugs

Core plugs are also known as expansion plugs, welch plugs and sealing discs - a point to remember...

Replacing lever-arm dampers

Front lever-arm damper A lever-arm damper on the front often acts as part of the suspension unit....

Stripping the starter motor

Remove the starter motor from the car (See Checking and replacing starter-motor brushes). The bod...

Checking a clutch cable

The clutch cable has a steel-wire inner core sliding inside an outer sheath. It should last at le...

Replacing transmission oil seals

Replacing a gearbox-extension housing seal The extension housing seal can usually be replaced wi...

Replacing starter or dynamo bearings

Tap out the bush with a hammer. Starter-motor bearings are usually bushes made of graphite-bronz...

Fitting new high-tension leads

Numbering the plug leads Before you dismantle, wrap masking tape around each plug lead and write...

Lubricating hinges, pedals and locks

Use a screwdriver if necessary to remove or to fit a pedal pad. Oiling foot pedals Most brake an...

Checking and renewing brake cables

Twin cables are usually fixed to the handbrake adjusting screws. Handbrake cable layouts vary fr...