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Powerful Facts about Pliers and How To Repair Stiffed Pliers(2022)

A plier


Pliers are one of the major hand tools of any technician irrespective of the nature of work the technician may be specialized in.

Powerful Facts about Pliers and How To Repair Stiffed Pliers(2022)

Electricians and mechanics may not have the same type of pliers for their jobs based on the varieties of pliers with their special design for specific jobs that can be found in the industrial tools market.

Pliers Tools Forceps Tongs Pincers Nipper


Whenever the popular hand tool becomes faulty, the result can be very annoying as many craftsmen can be been seen struggling with defective pliers in order to carry out a given task.

Having such defective tool cannot act as an excuse for any incomplete task since every technician is expected to have his or her tools in proper condition regularly.

Lots of issues with the problem had been recorded in the past among many technicians.

Instead of the defective tool which may make the worker look like an armature in his or her field of profession, it is a matter of necessity that such instances be avoided since it has the capacity of making the affected individual lose clients’ trust and capacity to carry out other jobs in the future.

Based on the above reasons, it is important we discuss the basic ways pliers should be used, maintained, and repaired if it becomes stiff.


Plier as a gripping and twisting hand tool always find its usefulness in the hands of the engineers, technicians, and craft men irrespective of the purpose it is intended to be used for.

Different types of pliers have different category of professionals that use them.

For example;

The Long nose pliers, had been classified as the major pliers used randomly by electricians, technicians, and craftsmen for making repairs in electronics, bending of soft edges, bending/shaping of metallic sheets and wires, and other multiple applications.

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The center-cutter pliers (Needle Nose Pliers) had been classified as pliers meant for electricians carrying out electrification works because it enables them to cut the cables easily.

Pliers Tool Diagonal Cutting Pliers Needle

The pencil nose pliers type helps the electronics repairers to pick any fallen object in any intricate locate within the electronic panel. It can be found also in the hands of technicians and engine mechanics for similar function.

Pliers, Needle-Nose Pliers, Tool, Craft

Other bigger size of pliers can be found in the hands of carpenters, mechanics, and other professions based on the hard jobs they can be used to do.

Working Principle of Pliers (How Pliers work)

Pliers have the same working principle with scissors used by tailors except that it is usually more fat and stronger.

The hinge located at the center usually permits the tool to have flexibility which makes it possible for it to grip any object when a force is applied by the human palms at the opposite side of its ending.

Its design is also almost similar to that of the scissors such that a compressive force at the handles will activate a gripping force at the grippers.

Some special pliers capable of cutting objects had been referred to as cutters, but in general terms, they are all classified as pliers.


  • When using the plier, it is important not to use it beyond its capacity otherwise the hinge may shift, break, or the handle or gripper may bend and become deformed.
  • It is also important not to use the plier as a hammer for hitting any hard object such as iron or thereby damaging the plier unknowingly.
  • Testing the flexibility of the plier is important before using it to avoid the disappointment of stiffness after inserting and gripping an object.
  • Any deformed plier in any of the handle or gripper is not suitable for a serious work because it may not give proper gripping.
  • A good craftsman, engineer, or a technician must not have only one plier in the tools box as occasions may arise where two pliers may be required at the same time in a single job.
Smith Furnace Hammer Anvil Iron Metal Forg


Seeing a plier become stiff is a norm in the handwork field but the cause of such problem varies differently based on the following factors;

  1. The pliers may have been used as a hammer to hit hard object causing shifting, deformation, or possible entrance of foreign objects into the hinge. The hinge is a major part of the pliers and any problem of stiff in the pliers can be traced to it. So every time the pliers is under undue stress the hinge will always be affected if the pliers was used for hammering the possibility of becoming stiff will be higher next time the pliers will be used.
  2. The pliers may have been used for intense compression. Though this does not usually cause stiffness in pliers rather it creates room for stiffness to occur later. Whenever hydraulic jack is used to assist in a gripping action on the pliers handle based on how strong the object needs to be gripped, the possibility of over-stressing the hinges is high and that may cause the hinge to become loosed later allowing space to exist in it, this space created may soon be filled with dust and sands after a short time to cause stiffness to the pliers.
  3. Allowing the pliers without lubrication for longtime will introduce rust and its particles into the hinge and cause the flexible joint to become stiff. Infarct, this factor had been a major cause of stiffness in stiffed pliers found in tools and machines packing stores.


To repair any stiffed pliers one must try and know the major cause of the stiffness. Based on the three factors highlighted above, the repair process may not be the same, for instance;

Stiffness caused as a result of the pliers being used as a hammer can be repaired only by tracing the parts of the pliers affected especially the hinge if it had shifted from the center a hammer or hard object should be used to center it by hammering at the opposite direction.

If the hinge had been deformed such that hammering may not make the pliers flexible again, then the best recommendation is to condemn the pliers and buy a new one otherwise there could be a possibility getting the pliers back to work again.

Stiffness caused by intense compression is a gradual one and can be easy to repair. The easier way of solving such problem is to throw the pliers into a solvent like fuel, kerosene, or diesel and allow it for some time.

The molecules of these liquids have a higher permeability to sands and dust particles hence, they will penetrate into the hinges and cause the dust particles to fall off while the stocked ones can by removed by turning the hinge repeatedly. This method offers the best solution for such stiffness.

Stiffness caused due to rust and corrosion of the pliers will be treated with grease and oil or gasoline. The process of recovering the pliers in this condition is tedious and will take longer time than the other processes.

First, the pliers should be cleaned with a sandpaper to remove all the visible particles of rust. Kerosene, fuel, or solvents like WD-40 should be dropped severally on the hinge or possibly be thrown into a bow containing any of the solvents.

After about 6 hours, remove the pliers from the bow and start the process of recovering the flexibility of the hinge by forcing the handles to move in both compressive and tensile force.

If it still appears very strong, tap the handles with a hammer just to cause it to move a little. Once the handles make a little move, start moving it that way continuously until the rust particles are forced to come out from the hinges.


In the industrial tools stores, one store may have over fifty pliers of different types of which the cost of condemning them for new ones will be huge for the industry.

A standard construction industry may have over two thousand sets of pliers of different category in their tools packing stores of which the cost may be hitting in thousands.

So learning how to resolve the problem of stiffness will reduce the financial loss of having to buy new sets of pliers regularly.


Having discussed the major topics about pliers, if we have missed any area of your interest please use the comment section to give us a feedback.

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