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10 of the best specialty pliers every technician should own in 2020

The toolbox of a technician will always have a couple of staples in it – screwdrivers, wrenches, a multimeter, a flashlight and of course a variety of pliers.

You may think there is nothing exciting about pliers, but techtown has tracked down the 10 most innovative (or just plain cool) pliers on the market. Enjoy the list, and as always – let us know in the comments if you do/don’t agree with our picks, or if you have your own addition for the list.

Gedore 8340 Z-200 JL Boltcutter
Wiha 32636 8″ BiCut High Leverage Cutters w/ Button
Vampliers Pro 8″ Screw Extraction and Linesman’s Pliers
DEWALT 4.25 in. Compound Action Linesman Pliers
Channellock 348I 8” XLT™ Combination Plier W/1000V Insulated Grip
Wiha Tools Insulated Industrial Pliers and Cutters 8 Piece Set
Klein Tools 8 in. Heavy Duty Wire Stripper
KNIPEX 7 in. Automatic Wire Stripper
KNIPEX Electricians Shears
NWS 1096-69-200 8″ Ergonomic High Leverage Combination Pliers

Gedore 8340 Z-200 JL Boltcutter

Gedore Boltcutters

Gedore is a German tool company with relatively limited brand recognition in the US market outside technicians who are fans of German tools. Thankfully, there are several companies in the States who specialize in importing these German-made products.

The Gedore bolt cutters are quite the little marvel – inductively hardened cutting edges and a two-step cutting process. After making the first deep cut, the second cutting edge makes short work of the bolt.

The leverage of these cutters can get through soft wire up to 6mm, hard wire up to 5.5mm and piano wire up to 3.8mm.

Buy from: Zorotools.com

Price: $51

 

Wiha 32636 8″ BiCut High Leverage Cutters

These Wiha cutters have a secret weapon: a button to activate a high leverage setting. Pressing it essentially enables an internal lever action to double the cutting force. Push it back out, and you return to normal 1:1 force.

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64HRC hardened edges allow you to snip through wire up to 4mm. And of course, with this being Wiha, you get exceptional quality for a very reasonable price.

Buy from: Wihatools.com

Price: $35

Vampliers Pro 8″ Screw Extraction and Linesman’s Pliers

Naming your pliers Vampliers is a brilliant move, and the features of these pliers are equally brilliant. Japanese made, the Vampliers are developed to do all the usual things you’d expect from combination pliers, but also lets you remove stripped or corroded screws, nuts, bolts and more.

The serrated front teeth are great for pulling wires and the rounded front lets you grip onto screws without the usual fear of injuring your hand from slipping or not being able to grab onto enough material.

Some versions of the Vampires come in their own included carrying pouch, and really are worth your investment, because sooner or later you’ll be face to face with a broken screw, and these pliers might be the only thing to help rescue you!

Buy from: Vampliers.com

Price: $45

DEWALT 4.25 in. Compound Action Linesman Pliers

The DEWALT compound action linesman pliers combine all the features of traditional linesman pliers and add a compound action lever to increase the cutting force by 70%.

Between its cross-hatch teeth and hardened cutting edges, you’ll have no problem putting these to good use on your next job.

Buy from: mscdirect.com

Price: $24

Channellock 348I 8” XLT™ Combination Plier W/1000V Insulated Grip

Insulated pliers are a must-have for any technician who finds themselves working on energized equipment. Even with correct tag-out procedures, there are times when you need to perform work on something that is still powered on or close to other energized lines.

When doing that, there is always a risk of cutting through an energized wire, which is when you put insulated tools to work. These Channellock XLT combination pliers are rated for up to 1000V and feature the usual combination plier features like the Channellock Xtreme Leverage Technology which is designed to reduce fatigue from all-day jobs.

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Buy from: Lightingsupply.com

Price: $62

 

Wiha Tools Insulated Industrial Pliers and Cutters 8 Piece Set

The Wiha Tools 8 piece set is a bit of a cheat in our lineup, because this set (as its name implies) offers 8 pliers instead of 1. In a canvas pouch, Wiha sells the only 8 pliers you’ll ever need on the job. 6.3″ long nose pliers, 8″ long nose pliers, lineman’s pliers with crimper, 8″ multi-strand cutter, diagonal cutter, high leverage diagonal cutters, stripping pliers and crimping pliers.

Not only is the set made to extremely high standards, but the tools are also all VDE rated for 1000 volts. While the price may seem high, with 8 pliers, you are only paying around $38 each  – a really good price given the quality.

Buy from: Wihatools.com

Price: $289

 

Klein Tools 8 in. Heavy Duty Wire Stripper

There are plenty of wire stripping pliers out there – and most of the cheap ones are just that – cheap (and lousy). If you need a pair of strippers that will never let you down, then these Klein Heavy Duty Strippers are just what you were looking for.

Looking (and feeling) like traditional combination pliers, the heavy-duty wire strippers are 4X stronger than most others. Wire stripping can be done up to 18AWG for solid wire and 20AWG for stranded. The pliers can cut or twist up to 3 solid wires at a time.

Additionally, the pliers can shear 6-32 and 8-32 screws.

Buy from: Acme Tools

Price: $36

 

KNIPEX 7 in. Automatic Wire Stripper

Doing a large installation? Chances are you’ll need to work on a control panel or something else with a large amount of wire stripping. The Knipex automatic wire strippers then become your best friend on the job.

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With support for 10AWG up to 24AWG, the cutters automatically adjust to prevent damage to the insulation. Built-in wire cutters reduce the amount of tool swapping when on the job.

After a ton of wire stripping, the blades can be replaced. While there are plenty of knockoffs on the market that promise the same functionality, these Knipex strippers are fiberglass reinforced and will survive a LOT more battering than the $8 version from the local discount hardware store.

Buy from: Amazon.com

Price: $36

KNIPEX Electricians Shears

The Knipex Electricians Shears are an interesting hybrid of pliers and scissors but are specifically designed for cutting large amounts of wiring. The included pouch can be carried on your belt for quick and safe access to the shears.

According to Knipex: “Their precisely ground serrated blades perform clean cuts with no risk of slipping”.

Buy from: KC Tool Company

Price: $21

 

NWS 1096-69-200 8″ Ergonomic High Leverage Combination Pliers

Last in the list are definitely not the least – these German-made NWS ergonomic combination pliers feature soft-grip handles at a special ergonomic angle with sprint opening catch and easy power transmission to its jaws, allowing for incredibly high leverage on any job you throw at them.

The pliers can work equally well with hard or soft wires, gripping with specially designed asymmetric inside jaws.

Buy from: KC Tool Company

Price: $41

Note: Prices all valid at the time of publishing.

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