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Vises, clamps, and pliers are holding tools. Of these, pliers are most commonly used, especially by workers in electrical trades.

Types of pliers commonly used

Types of pliers

Pliers come in a great variety of types and sizes, each designed for a particular job. The inexperienced workman may attempt to use one kind of pliers for a job that should be done by another kind or to use pliers as a wrench or hammer. Pliers are not an all-purpose tool; they should be used only for the particular purpose for which they were designed.

Pliers are usually classified by the length and shape of the jaws, as 6" side-cutting or 4" diagonals. The kinds of pliers most of ten used are the side-cutting pliers, the long-nose pliers, and the diagonal pliers.

Use of side-cutting pliers

Side-cutting pliers, also called lineman's pliers, are used for gripping, wire splicing, wire cutting, insulation stripping, and (by using the heel) for crushing insulation. The most useful sizes are 6" and 8"; larger sizes are used for handling heavier wire. Side-cutting pliers are blunt nosed. The front ends of the jaws have a scored gripping surface which is a surf ace roughened with a series of grooves running from side to side and very close together. Behind the gripping surf aces are cutting blades; they have parallel heel surfaces and strong handles.

When removing insulation, the jaws of the pliers should not be allowed to touch the bare wire. If this happens, the wire may become nicked and therefore weakened; or some of the metal may be removed, thus reducing the diameter of the wire.
Side-cutting pliers should never be used for cutting completely through solid wire, for this may damage them. The proper method is to cut only part way through, making a deep nick in the wire. Then use the gripping end of the jaws to bend the wire back and forth at that point until it breaks.

Use of long-nose pliers

Like side-cutting pliers, long-nose pliers have a variety of uses, such as gripping, reaching places not readily accessible to the fingers, holding wires, bending loops, attaching wires to terminals and punchings, and skinning and splicing small wires.

The most useful sizes of long-nose pliers are the 5", 5 1/2", 6", and 6 1/2". They have long, narrow, tapering jaws, half-round on the outside and flat on the inside. Usually these inside flat surfaces are scored near the end of the pliers. Some long-nose pliers have side-cutters behind the gripping surface of the jaws. If the long-nose pliers have no side-cutters, they can be used for crushing wire insulation. This is done by sliding the wire down the base of the jaws and squeezing the handles, .thus loosening the insulation so that it can be removed easily from the wire. If necessary, the gripping surfaces of the jaws can be used for cleaning the wire.

Long-nose pliers are delicate tools. They should not be misused by being forced to do heavier work than that for which they were planned. Never use them for holding large and heavy objects, for tightening nuts, or for bending heavy gages of wire and sheet metal; for if this is done the jaws will become separated and out of alignment, rendering the pliers useless.

Use of diagonal pliers

Diagonal pliers, also called simply diagonals, are used only for cutting wire. The most useful size is 5". The jaws of diagonal pliers consist of two cutting edges set at an angle of 15 degrees to 20 degrees with the length of the pliers. They are superior to the side-cutting pliers because they can cut off wire closer to its point of attachment. Diagonal pliers are used only for wires up to #16 hard steel or #14 copper. Wires harder and heavier than these should be cut with side-cutting pliers.