Bob Vila Radio: Tool Tip – Pliers

The tool we think of as pliers only evolved from “tongs” fairly recently, but it’s hard to imagine life without a variety of them in the old toolbox.

Plier set



Listen to BOB VILA ON PLIERS, or read the text below:

For electrical work, you need lineman’s pliers. These have insulated handles and shallow serrations on the jaws to grip sheet metal and twist wires, as well as a handy built-in wire cutter.

For plumbing, you’ll want a pair of water-pump pliers, designed for gripping pipes and angled to get into tight spots.

The double-lever action of locking pliers exerts a tremendous amount of force to clamp things together while you work.

It’s also a good idea to have a pair of slip-joint pliers handy. They’re not that precise, but their adjustable jaw width allows a lot of versatility for jobs you just can’t do with your bare hands.

If it’s precision you need, you want needlenose pliers, which look just like they sound.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on tools, consider:

Nail Guide
Types of Hammers