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Article: Pliers



  • Pliers are an ancient invention used for handling hot materials in metalworking processes.
  • Development from wooden to bronze pliers likely occurred before 3000 BCE.
  • The oldest illustrations of pliers depict the Greek god Hephaestus in his forge.
  • The number of different plier designs increased with the invention of objects like horseshoes, fasteners, wire, pipes, and electrical components.


  • The basic design of pliers consists of handles, a pivot (often a rivet), and a head section with gripping jaws or cutting edges.
  • Pliers are made of steel alloys with additives like vanadium or chromium for strength and corrosion resistance.
  • Grips made of other materials are added to the handles for better handling and insulation against electric shock.
  • Pliers have jaws of varying sizes and shapes, with textured surfaces to minimize slipping.
  • Diagonal pliers are specifically designed for cutting wires.


  • Research has been conducted to improve plier design for easier use in difficult circumstances.
  • Handles can be bent to align the load applied by the hand with the arm, reducing muscle fatigue.
  • Ergonomic design is especially important for factory workers who use pliers continuously.
  • Proper ergonomics can help prevent conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Related Concepts

  • Nipper

References and External Links

  • Hand Tools: Tongs, pincers, and pliers. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • What are parallel pliers and how do they work?. Maun Industries.
  • The History of Hardware Tools.
  • A Concise Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: Spottiswoode & Co.
  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pliers.
  • Look up pliers in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Pliers Data Sources

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