Whether it’s food equipment, HVAC or cars, there are many types of specialty pliers used to get the job done. Linesman and combination pliers are used to tackle various electrical projects. While some folks use the terms “combination” and “linesman” pliers interchangeable, there are a few notable differences. Let’s break down the difference between combination pliers vs linesman pliers.
What are Combination Pliers?
Combination pliers are multi-purpose pliers primarily used to grip, bend and strip wiring, but they also can cut thin wires and cables. These pliers boast a square jaw that is perfect for compressing material, making them ideal for closing chain links on items like conveyors and jewelry.
Top Combination Pliers
If you’d like to add a pair of combination pliers to your toolbox, check out these popular options below:
- Channellock 8 in. XLT™ Combination Plier w/ 1000V Insulated Grip
- Klein Journeyman 8 in. Universal Combination Pliers
- Milwaukee 7.75 in. 6-in-1 Comfort-Grip Combination Pliers
- NWS 8 in. Ergonomic High-Leverage Combination Pliers
- Wiha 8 in./9 in. Industrial SoftGrip Combination Pliers
What are Linesman Pliers?
Linesman pliers are designed to grip, bend, strip and cut not only wiring but also cable and small metal components. While they’re used mainly for electrical work, they also can be used for pulling out nails and screws that are stuck in wood or other structures.
Top Linesman Pliers
Looking for a high-quality pair of linesman pliers? Here are some of the best options on the market today:
- DEWALT 4.25 in. Compound Action Linesman Pliers
- IRWIN 9.5 in. High Leverage Lineman’s Pliers with Fish Tape Puller
- Klein 9 in. Linesman’s Crimping Pliers
- Vampliers Pro 8 in. Screw Extraction and Linesman’s Pliers
- Wiha 9.5 in. High-Leverage NE Style Linesman’s Pliers w/ Soft Grips
The Main Difference between Combination & Linesman Pliers
Based on what we’ve covered so far, there aren’t major differences between combination and linesman pliers. They both have the ability to cut, bend, strip and compress. However, there is a key variation in terms of design. Below is a quick breakdown of how each type of pliers is constructed:
- Combination plier design – Combination pliers are shorter and have a lighter design. With narrow, tapered jaws similar to long-nose pliers, they’re able to easily grip and compress material.
- Linesman plier design – Linesman pliers are longer and have a heftier construction. They also have reinforced, square-jaw profiles for optimal grip and sharper teeth to pull and cut wiring or cable.