With a set of pliers you’ll be able to cut, turn and hold most things while working on your car. The best way to get started with these tools is to buy a set that comprises hefty combination pliers, a long-nose version for delicate work, and side cutters for snipping through wires, hoses and cable ties.
Adding adjustable water-pump (slip joint) pliers adds to a set’s versatility, while handle covers are important for comfort and to provide grip when working around fluids.
When it comes to pliers, each one has its own intended mode of use whether it be cutting and/or bending wire or getting just the right grip to tighten or loosen a pipe when the normal tools, or your hands, just can’t seem to handle it.
We’re going to show you 5 of the best pliers sets to start with for a homeowner that cost under $50. We’ll leave the final decision to you but no matter which set you choose, you’ll always have the right pliers for the job.
Factors To Consider
There are several factors to consider when searching for the right plier today. These factors include:
Size of the plier
Your choice of the size and type of plier you get should depend on the amount of effort and strength needed for the required task. The different sizes of pliers available all have functions for which they are best suited. Pliers with longer handles are great for leveraging tools for narrow spaces and smaller confines. Smaller jaw pliers are ideal for precision-related work.
The choice of the material used in manufacturing a plier is also an essential factor that affects how the tool performs the job. HRC is the acronym for the hardness of a tool’s design material. Pliers with Harder HRC are made with tougher metals and as a result, tend to be more brittle. Pliers built from chromium and vanadium are usually a great way to go due to their user efficiency and sturdiness.
Ease of Use
Usually, any tool that is efficient and easy to use would attract more users. If you need to use the plier more regularly, you should consider spending more on a plier that has a better design or ergonomically shaped handles (which lessen tiredness).
Certain brands offer more extended warranties than their peers. These brands’ products are typically more preferable to brands providing shorter warranties. Warranties can come in handy sometimes and it’s always best to have the option.
You should also think about safety when you choose your plier. The tool can cause considerable damage if used wrongly and as such should be stored properly and safely when not in use. Also, avoid using your pliers on surfaces that are polished and soft.
Best Plier Sets Reviews of 2021:
1. Klein 6-piece Apprentice Tool Set
Believe it or not, not many pliers sets exist on the market. For the most part, these tools get purchased one at a time. Still, some options exist, and the Klein 6-piece Apprentice Tool Set makes for our current best pliers set by far. It includes a decent 9-inch high-leverage lineman’s pliers, angled-head diagonal pliers, 8-inch long nose pliers, and basic compact wire stripper. You even get a couple of cushion-handled screwdrivers in the mix for good measure. While none of these tools might fall under our favorites overall—the sum of the parts works really well.
The pliers and cutters feature induction-hardened knives on the cutting edges. We also like that every single tool in this kit is Made in the USA. This pliers set runs around $97 but should get any apprentice up and running with some excellent, long-lasting tools.
2. WORKPRO 7-piece Pliers Set
The set contains 8-inch groove joint pliers, an 8-inch slip joint, a 6-inch, and 4-1/2-inch-long nose, a 6-inch diagonal, a 6-inch slip joint, and a 7-inch linesman. You can work on any project with these pliers.
All the tools in this set are made of forged steel; the steel is polished as well so that you get a nice shiny finish on your tool. Heat-treated construction means that these pliers are highly durable and won’t break easily.
We all have worked with pliers that do not cut wires easily; sometimes, you need to put so much pressure that your fingers turn red. But this one comes with hardened edges, which are great for cutting anything thick or thin. You will be able to cut wires like butter using these pliers. Minimum pressure is required, but that doesn’t hurt fingers as the handles are rubber coated.
The handles in these pliers are also non-slip, which means that even if your hand is sweaty, you can hold onto the handles easily without the tool slipping from your hands.
Rusty pliers are any user’s nightmare as rust isn’t easy to remove. All the pliers in this set are covered with grease so that rust doesn’t form on them.
3. Craftsman 6 Pieces Mini Set Pliers
Sears offers an excellent pair of locking jaw pliers in their Craftsman line. These are straight jaw, rather than the round jaw we’ve seen on the others. That works best when grabbing the flats on a nut or bolt, or when using the pliers to grasp parts and clamp pieces together.
It has padded handles for more comfortable work with lower fatigue. The handles also offer a “FastRelease” which is twice as easy to open as the conventional release, even when opening the tool with one hand. Adjustment screw hold in position when opening, allowing for repetitive work without readjusting the screw. As is customary with Craftsman tools, these pliers are guaranteed forever.
4. Greenlee 0159-29 Dipped Handle Pliers Set, 5-Piece
Greenlee is a largely unknown tool manufacturer who makes tools specifically for tradesmen. Their tools are comparable quality to those of SK or Craftsman. This kit has one pair of pliers which is different, in that it isn’t the standard set of slip-joints. Instead, they’ve included lineman’s pliers, which combine pliers without curved jaws with side cutters.
It also comes with an over-the-shoulder tool pouch, which really makes the kit stand out. This isn’t just a pouch for the tools in the kit, but a pouch that an electrician can use for carrying all their “ready to hand” tools on the job site. That adds some nice value to the set.
5. TEKTON Pliers Set
Introducing the TEKTON Pliers Set, an all-encompassing piece of essential equipment for any person who needs to tighten a bolt or cut wire. With 7 different pieces ranging from heavy-duty gripping & cutter pliers to needle noses, these tools are handy to have on hand at any time.
This set includes: 2 x 7 inch and 8-inch long nose pliers, 1 x 6 inch bent long nose pliers, 1 x 7-inch diagonal cutting pliers, 1 x 8-inch end cutting pliers, 1 x 8-inch cable cutting pliers 1 x 9 ½ inch linesman pliers.
The 7-piece TEKTON pliers set is the ultimate multi-purpose tool for both household and professional use. The crosscut teeth on the gripping pliers evenly distribute jaw force, so your hands don’t tire out as quickly. Induction-hardened cutting blades (except cable cutters) offer superior cutting performance and durability.
Get easy cuts for chains, pipes, and wire. The wire cutter pliers have curved blades made especially for holding and shearing round wire and cable. Three long nose pliers provide multiple options, from a long, slender nose (straight or bent) to a stout, strong model for tougher jobs, and linesman’s flat nose pliers which makes it perfect for heavy-duty tasks around the house.
How we tested them
We marked the comfort and grip of handles, overall build quality of the tools, and looked for smooth opening and closing of the jaws. Grip was assessed by trying to turn nuts that were tightened to increasing torques. We tried the side cutters on a Bowden cable (a thin cable running through a hollow one) and thick 45-amp wire from a stereo installation. We also checked storage, and finally compared the best prices from online retailers.
What is the difference between pliers and wrenches?
The plier and wrench have similar uses but execute these functions in different ways. Pliers grip objects in pivoted jaws of various shapes and sizes and allow you to apply more force than you would be able to with your bare hands.
Wrenches on the other hand are made for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts. They are less likely to damage nuts and bolts because they are designed to grip them within a specially shaped head so you can apply significant rotational force (torque) and achieve movement. Wrenches are fixed and don’t move about a point like pliers do.
Can I use pliers on polished surfaces?
No. Never use pliers on tiled or polished or marbled surfaces. Pliers may scratch the surface and cause damage to the property.
What is the ideal length for pliers?
Pliers should be a maximum of 10 inches long; otherwise, they will be too long for the user’s hands. Some users have longer hands, yes. But usually, nobody has a palm longer than 10 inches.