Locking Pliers Versus Regular Pliers

Here is a quick compare between locking pliers and regular pliers.

Locking Pliers

Locking pliers lock in place on a work piece, freeing up a hand that would otherwise be needed to hold a regular pair of pliers in place. Besides functioning like regular pliers, locking pliers also can be used as clamps, adjustable wrenches, pipe wrenches, and wire cutters.

Vise-Grips, the first locking pliers, were invented by William Petersen in 1924. Mole grips, another early design, were developed by Thomas Coughtrie in 1955.

Locking pliers such as Vise-Grips typically have a screw adjustment mechanism on one handle and a release on the other handle. Some tools require one-hand to disengage, others require two-hands.

Regular Pliers

Regular pliers consist of a pair of pivoted jaws that are used for holding, bending, cutting, or turning objects. They also allow one to manipulate objects that are too small or too unwieldy to be manipulated with fingers.

An advantage of regular pliers is that it is easier and faster to reposition the tool because the jaws do not have to be unlocked and relocked each time.

Although pliers can be used to tighten and loosen nuts, this is a task better suited to the wrench. Pliers tend to damage the surfaces of fasteners and are usually more difficult to use than a properly-sized wrench.

Quality locking pliers will cost more than regular pliers of comparable size.