The jaws can be designed for gripping, cutting or for both purposes. The shape of the jaw depends on the intended use.
We distinguish between flat, flat-round and round pliers. There are also special shapes for unique applications, such as Long Reach Needle Nose Pliers, Electronics Mounting Pliers or Mechanics' Pliers. The available space for working and the application - gripping, holding or bending - determine the selection.
Flat nose pliers
Snipe nose pliers
Round nose pliers
The gripping surfaces of the jaws can be smooth, serrated or cross-hatched, depending on the material to be processed and the purpose of the pliers.
Cutting pliers can be differentiated according to the position of the cutting edges and their shape. Depending on how the material to be cut can best be reached, the cutting edge sits at a right angle, diagonally or parallelly to the handles.
End cutters are used wherever there is access to the wire or materials only at the front of the tool. This can also be the case if, for example, a wire has to be cut flush to a surface. (With side cutters, the fingers that enclose the handles would be in the way here.)
Examples are end cutters, carpenters' pincers, concreters' nippers or bolt end cutting nippers.
Oblique cutters are used wherever there is neither front nor side access to the material to be cut.
Compared to front, side and center cutters, oblique cutters are probably the least often used.
Side cutters are the most common cutting pliers and are offered in many different lengths and for a wide variety of materials.
Examples are side cutters, combination pliers, radio pliers, stork beak pliers and electricians' pliers.
Center cutters offer high cutting edge stability with a favorable wedge angle, i.e. a relatively low penetration force of the cutting edge into the wire, which reduces the required manual effort.
Shapes of the cutting edge
Different cutting edge shapes make it easy to cut through different materials.
Cutting edges with outer bevel
The most common form is the cutting edges with an outer bevel. The shape of the cutting edges, beveled on both sides, ensures that the load on the blade is low.
Cutting edges without outer bevel
Cutting without an outer bevel is only suitable for soft materials such as copper or plastics. The benefit of this design is they allow for flush cuts.
Knife or anvil cut
The knife or anvil cut is - provided it is manufactured precisely - suitable for fiber bundles such as ropes and cords. When cutting wires, it is not the preferred cutting edge as it leads to a considerable increase in manual force.
Shear cut is used for cable and wire rope shears, universal shears and sheet metal shears. It causes the lowest cutting forces and produces a clean cut.