Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Vise Grips

Vise Grips
Small adjustable hand tools that can grip and lock onto, and hold together small objects. Also called Multi-Grips or Gripping Pliers.
Small hand tool with a scissor like action used for gripping, cutting and bending
Needle Nose Pliers
Pliers that have elongated narrow jaws.
Circlip Pliers
Mechanic's pliers used for fitting circlips or retaining rings. Can be classed as internal or external,

locking pliers or vise grips
Locking Pliers or Vise grips.
Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons, User: Duk

These extremely useful tools can be adjusted initially to grip or clamp to a size, and thereafter they do not need resetting. Very quick and easy to use but with very positive holding power. The term vise grip is a good one as when they are set right they do indeed grip like a vise. I am not sure if the original invention was credited to this company. I seem to remember calling them "Mole Grips" at one time. Whatever the name though they were a ground breaking tool when they first came out and now they have applications for many trades from welding fabrication to roofing.

vise or multi-grips

Shown above are a few from my collection. These came in a cheap kit and at the time I bought three sets. The locking action itself has now been incorporated into many other varied clamps for specialist fabrication and fixing work.

A pair of generic pliers
A pair of generic pliers
Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons, User: M338

Above is a pair of standard pliers. Often said to be Electrical Pliers because of the plastic insulation to the handle but the ones above are fairly cheap and an electrician would not be using them for critical work.

  • Most pliers are operated with one hand.
  • The ends of the jaws are serrated to give a better grip.
  • Close to the centre pivot there is usually a section that can cut wire.
 a pair of needle nose pliers
A pair of Needle Nose pliers
Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons, User: Dori

Above is a pair of needle nosed pliers that are used for gripping objects in narrow spaces.
It is a funny thing that even though we may be looking at a single tool they are still described as a pair, as though there is two of them. Pliers are named basically after their function or main feature and there are many more of them than I have room for on this page.

  • Below is a set of Circlip Pliers, they are used by motor mechanics among other for removing and replacing retaining rings in engines. They are further defined as being used for removing outer rings or as the one pictured for working on inner rings. Most come with springs to assist in holding the retaining rings open.
  • Fencing Pliers are large with long handles for leverage and with the capacity to cut high tensile fence wire.
A pair of mechanic's circlip pliers
A pair of mechanic's circlip pliers
Photo thanks to Wikimedia Commons, User: Windell Oskay

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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