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Best Pliers

Pliers are an extremely versatile and useful tool for any homeowner or tradesman. No matter your handyman level, having quality pliers can make all the difference. And to get the best, you need a pair of pliers made in the USA with American steel.

It can be challenging to find a quality pair of pliers. But don’t worry! We can save you time sifting through reviews and product details and point you in the right direction. Read our findings below, including pros and cons, along with factors that went into our research.

Our Findings

Variations of pliers are near-endless. From general-purpose to electricians, we found seven American made pliers that we think are the best on the market. A predominant theme we noticed in our research is that people want long-lasting pliers made by American companies that have been delivering excellence for decades. People want to buy a tool once and keep it for life; they don’t want to keep going back to Home Depot.

We’ve split out each of our top picks into different use categories because you need a specific tool for a particular job. We then went a step further and did an in-depth analysis as to why we liked each one.

Top Recommendations

Best Pliers Best for:
Channellock Pliers Tongue and Groove Pliers
Klein Tools Long Nose Pliers Grip
Armstrong Pliers Long Nose Pliers
Lang Tools Snap Ring Pliers Snap Ring Pliers
Xuron Tweezer Nose Pliers Delicate Wire Handling
Wright Tool Straight Jaw Locking Pliers Locking Pliers
Klein Tools Diagonal Cutters Diagonal-Cutting Pliers

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below you will find additional details on our top picks, such as what we liked specifically, what we didn’t like, and where they’re from.

Best Tongue and Groove Pliers

Channellock Pliers


The Channellock 440 Tongue and Groove Pliers were made to hold on tight with laser heat-treated teeth and an undercut tongue and groove design that won’t slip. You also won’t have to sacrifice comfort; the blue grip makes long projects not seem so long. Are you worried about it not lasting? These sturdy pliers, made out of high-carbon C1080 steel, have a PermaLock fastener to eliminate nut and bolt failure.

Get them in four different sizes (6.5-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, or 16.5-inches) and three different colors (black, blue, or silver). Founded in 1886, Channellock is a longstanding supplier of excellence and has over 100 different sizes and types of pliers. Good for a wide range of work, you’ll want to have Channellock Pliers in your toolbox!

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Things we like:

  • Small and portable
  • Minimal stress breakage
  • Grab onto whatever you need with maximum strength
  • Made from quality steel – long-lasting
  • Powerful enough for most jobs

Things we don’t like:

  • Sensitive to the elements such as cold temperature
  • The blue grip can fall off after extensive use
  • Small for people with bigger hands

 

Best Grip

Klein Tools Long Nose Pliers


We are really impressed by the Klein Tools D203-7 Long Nose Side-Cutter Stripping Pliers (and all Klein products to be honest!). For more than 160 years, Klein Tools has prided itself on delivering performance, durability, and precision by using high-quality materials, superior craftsmanship, and keeping manufacturing close to home.

These Long Nose Pliers can grip just about anything! They also have extended handles for greater reach and leverage, a slim head design for hard-to-reach spaces, a hot-riveted joint for smooth action, and induction hardened knives for an easy cut. You can buy them in 6-inch or 7inch, spring-loaded or standard. Currently, it can only be shipped within the U.S.

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Things we like:

  • Pivot is nice and tight, no wobble
  • Nose narrow enough to fit in tight places
  • The bright yellow is easy to locate in your toolbox
  • Multi-functional – can also be used to cut
  • Strong and reliable
  • Ships fast

Things we don’t like:

  • A bit pricey
  • Can get tight after working in the rain

 

Best Long Nose Pliers

Armstrong Pliers


The Armstrong 67-370 6-1/4-Inch Needle Nose Pliers do a lot of tricky work that a more heavy-duty plier probably won’t excel at. They stand out from the group due to their extra-long needle nose design and diamond serrated gripping tips.

Manufactured from high alloy steel, you cannot deny their quality. The non-slip grip for working comfort draws many to these pliers. Additionally, you can heat treat them for greater strength and durability. Get the task done quickly and easily with Armstrong, a company that has designed and manufactured tools for professionals since 1890.

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Things we like:

  • Handy for working in extremely confined areas
  • Good grip for a small tip
  • Durable

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Snap Ring Pliers

Lang Tools Snap Ring Pliers


It can be super frustrating to work with cheaply made snap ring pliers. If you want to work efficiently with less effort, the Lang Tools 75 Internal/External Quick Switch Retaining Ring Pliers are for you. What stands out about these pliers is the automatic ratchet lock, swift change between internal and external applications, the lock feature, and the spring return handles, which allow for greater control and ease of use.

You don’t have to sacrifice comfort either. The grip is made of low-temp, high-impact material providing extra durability. Included are six pairs of alloy steel, color-coded tips, and a hex key, as well as a handy pouch, so you don’t lose those little guys.

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Things we like:

  • Versatile
  • Good for installing large clips
  • Comfortable to use

Things we don’t like:

  • Switching mechanism can sometimes fail

 

Best for Delicate Wire Handling

Xuron Tweezer Nose Pliers


The Xuron Tweezer Nose Pliers come in Standard, Limited Edition, with Serrated Static Control Grips or Static Control Grips. The fine, precise tweezer-like tips allow for delicate handling — grasp and hold wireless than one millimeter thick. Work for hours in comfort with the Xuro-Rudber cushioned grips and light touch return springs.

The radiused edges protect the wire, so this brand is one of the most popular in the jewelry making business. However, electricians, aerospace engineers, and fishermen also love them. Plus, all products are covered by a factory warranty. You can’t go wrong with the Xuron Tweezer Nose Pliers.

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Things we like:

  • Well-priced
  • Strong and durable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to use
  • Very small tip

Things we don’t like:

  • The soft return spring could be problematic
  • Very easily marks metal
  • The gripping area is limited to the tip of the jaws and not the whole length

 

Best Locking Pliers

Wright Tool Straight Jaw Locking Pliers


The Wright Tool 9V7R Straight Jaw Locking Pliers (sometimes called vise-grips) are 7-inches of alloy steel. Made in Ohio, these locking pliers are incredibly versatile and durable — a great gift for any new homeowner! It has a quick release and locks on with a tremendous grip, allowing less strain on you.

If you are not interested in a straight jaw, there is also a curved one. Locking pliers with a curved jaw are best used to clamp onto rounded objects such as pipe joints. It’s hard to go wrong with these pliers if you need the locking mechanism often.

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Things we like:

  • Made with quality steel
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Quick-release
  • Tremendous grip

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Diagonal-Cutting Pliers

Klein Tools Diagonal Cutters


We are once again recommending Klein — this time for diagonal cutters. The Klein Tools D2000-7CST Diagonal Cutters are a staple in electrical tool bags. They have a slim head, knurled jaws, and are spring-loaded.

These cutters can get through ACSR, screws, soft annealed rebar tie wire, and most hardened wire made for heavy-duty work. The unique handle tempering helps absorb the ”snap” when cutting wire. Like most Klein tools, they are lifetime guaranteed. Skip the cheap Home Depot ones and buy Klein. When it comes to your right-hand tool, you should always get the best.

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Things we like:

  • Strong and durable
  • No wobble
  • Spring-loaded
  • Slim head
  • Can cut just about anything
  • The knurled jaws make twisting and turning easy

Things we don’t like:

  • A bit pricey

Recap: Best Pliers Made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Quality and Strength

We wanted to make sure you were getting the best bang for your buck. We took into account what kind of steel the pliers are made out of, how long they last, and if they can handle heavy-duty work. Sifting through customer reviews also helped us conclude whether each set of pliers were actually up to the task. The best pliers should be strong enough to tackle any task and shouldn’t be too hard to take care of.

Weatherproof

Whatever the weather conditions, you need to be able to get the job done. For the pliers that can be used in outdoor environments, we looked at how rust-proof and weatherproof the material and coatings were on the tools. After all, you don’t want your pair of pliers to start rusting up and corroding on you after a few uses.

Price

Some people are not looking to spend a lot on a new pair of pliers, and others are willing to shell out a little more to guarantee quality. However, cheap pliers are generally of lower quality, so making an investment in a set of quality pliers may be the better choice in the long run. We looked into the purchasing options available and made sure to eliminate any brands from consideration where we felt like the product quality just didn’t live up to the price.

Size and Comfort

We made sure to look into the pliers’ size as small pliers could be simply unusable for people with big hands and vice versa. We also accounted for handles or handgrip technology as this will determine how easy they are to use and how long you can work for. Not only is it a much more pleasant experience when you choose the right pliers, but it is also a safer one. The better grip you have, the more control you have. This is especially important if you are using Diagonal Cutters.

For more tool recommendations, check out our tools made in the USA page.

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