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How to Choose and Use Pliers

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows off his favorite tools for gripping, twisting, cutting and pulling

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows off his favorite tools for gripping, twisting, cutting and pulling.

Steps:

1. Use slip-joint pliers for simple, light-duty jobs.

2. Tongue-and-groove pliers adjust easily and provide greater holding power.

3. When gripping a pipe or nut, orient pliers so that when you swing the handle the top jaw follows the lower jaw, not the other way around.

4. Slide the pliers all the way onto the nut to create a three-corner bite; the pliers will contact the nut at three places.

5. Adjustable pliers will automatically adjust to the thickness or diameter of the workpiece.

6. An adjustable wrench is designed for turning hex-shaped nuts and bolts. Rotate its knurled cylinder to open or close the jaws.

7. Locking pliers can be adjusted to automatically clamp onto a workpiece, eliminating the need for you to squeeze the handles closed.

8. Lineman's pliers can be used to grip pieces, cut and twist wires, and make crimp connections.

9. Cut wire and small nails cleanly and easily with diagonal wire cutters.

10. Pull and cut nails with end nippers.

11. Needle-nose pliers come in various sizes and configurations and are ideal for use in tight spaces.

12. Multi-purpose fencing pliers can be used to grip, twist, cut, crimp and even hammer.