Cutters and pliers appear to be catch-all terms in the hand tool world, but can cover a wide range of applications. The standard design of a cutter is two handles, a head and a pivot, and many different types are made for specific applications. There is a nearly endless array of different pliers and cutters, but there are some particular types that are especially common and multi-functional.

Slip-joint pliers

Slip-joint pliers are one of the most forms of pliers and cutters, useful for holding or bending flat around stock, crimping sheet metal, looping wires, cutting soft wire nails, removing cotter pins and even loosening or tightening nuts if necessary. 

The slip-joint of the name is the reason why this particular tool is so versatile. They are operated via the opening and closing of the handles as with the majority of cutters, which opens and closes the jaws. However slip-joint pliers also come with an adjustable pivot point, which means the two parts of the jaws are able to shift in respect to each other. 

Slip-joint pliers can thus securely grip objects of varying degrees of thickness depending on their own size, with the majority coming with several options for how to position the pivot point. 

Linesman’s pliers

Also referred to on some occasions as engineer’s pliers or electrician’s pliers, these versatile steel tools are descendants of bell pliers from the 19th century as bell hangers used them to cut and twist wires to connect household bells not powered by electricity. 

They still at pivot points as with most pliers, opening or closing the jaws by having the handles worked apart or together. Sheet metal workers use them to grip firm objects such as sheet metal thanks to the shallow serrations on the jaws, while electricians use them to twist wires together into a knot, with side cutters behind the jaws being designed to cut wires. 

Needle-nose pliers

These are basically smaller versions of electrician’s pliers that come with long tapered jaws and are particularly suitable for working with wires when in confined spaces such as electrical boxes, though they can also hold and bend metal fittings. The jaws taper out to a particular point, with serrations on the grip surface at the nose and a side cutter positioned at the tool’s throat close to the pivot. 

Needle-nose pliers are also sometimes known as radio pliers and are also used to work with small nuts and other precision pieces that fingers may not be able to reach. 

Diagonal cutting pliers

Diagonal cutting pliers, also sometimes referred to simply as cutting pliers, are a staple tool for electricians, featuring a fairly short jaw that is angled away from the handles with the cutting knives extending right to the tips and allowing the user to snip wires accurately within a crowded gang box. 

They can even be used for cutting small screws and nails, while some variations come with longer handles in order to provide more leverage. 

Pliers and cutters come in many shapes and sizes and have many functions, making it vital to know what exactly you are looking for. To find the best cutters for your needs visit  RS Online  today! 

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