Last Updated on August 31, 2020
No shop is complete without a great set of pliers, but shopping online can be hard. The difficulty lies in telling if you’re getting a great deal or getting ripped off, and that problem is harder when you can’t handle the tools themselves.
You should be able to shop online with confidence, which is why our reviews are designed to show you the good and the bad on each model. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting before you buy. With that information, you’ll be able to find the best set for you.
We’ve also included a buyer’s guide. If you’re setting up your shop for the first time, it’s a good resource to consult, so that you have the information you need to make a good decision. We’ve also included some tips on getting great value, so if you’re looking for a great deal, check it out.
|Top Pick||Irwin VISE-GRIP GrooveLock||
|The Runner-Up||Channellock TOOL ROLL||
|Best for the Money||Stanley 84-058||
|Craftsman Evolv 9-10047||
The Irwin VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, 8-Piece is a pliers set done right. The included pliers have anti-pinch grips, which users will really appreciate. This set comes with eight different pliers, allowing you to tackle just about any task without having to purchase more tools. This set also comes with three great adjustable pliers. Even if you don’t end up using the rest of the pliers in this set, it’s nearly worth the price for those three pliers alone.
This set has a lifetime guarantee. Those are rare today, and it’s a sign that the manufacturer is more than willing to stand behind this product. If you’re looking for pliers that will last, you’ll be very happy with the durability this set provides. The only thing you may not like is the wire stripper. It’s not great for people who need one for daily use, though it takes care of the occasional job. Overall, this is a great set to get if you’re looking to build one for the first time, or if you want to expand your capabilities.
Channellock has a reputation for making great tools, and the Channellock TOOL ROLL Plier Set, 5-Piece is no exception. These are some of the most durable pliers on the market today. If you want a set that will last the rest of your life, this one has a real shot at doing so. Besides being quite durable, these pliers also have heat-treated teeth. This critical part of the tool won’t wear down easily, making it just as effective years later. They also have a computer-applied anti-rust coating, which ensures full coverage so corrosion is minimized.
This set comes with a useful storage roll that lets you keep your pliers safe and secure, and it’s small enough to drop into a toolbox. What ultimately keeps this great set out of first place is that it’s very expensive on a per-tool basis. Not everyone is going to take full advantage of these tools’ durability, and they don’t inherently work better than comparable, lower-priced pliers. Still, if you work a job that shreds tools, you’ll be surprised at how long these last.
The Stanley 84-058, 4-Piece Pliers-Set is another great set of pliers. They have slip-resistant grips, which makes them a good choice for working in wet conditions, or if you need to ensure that your grip remains solid. They come with hardened cutting edges, so the cutting models will hold their edge for a very long time. Plus, they’re extremely durable, and you can expect them to be in great shape for years. Since they cost a fraction of what you’ll pay for the top models on our list, this set is the best overall value for the money.
If you’re looking for a bargain steal, you could be very happy with these pliers. However, this isn’t a perfect set. They’re larger than standard pliers, so if you have small hands, they may be too large to use comfortably. They also have occasional corrosion problems, so you may want to reseal them in an anti-corrosion coating when you first get them. Overall, this is a great set if you want good-quality pliers at a price that won’t leave you feeling like you need to take out a loan.
The GearWrench 82108 7-Piece Standard Pliers-set provides decent quality at a good price, but that’s not enough to boost it to the top of our list. If you need a wide variety of pliers, you’ll like that this set comes with seven pliers. This gives you a wide range of options to approach the task at hand. These wrenches have the best handles of any model on our list, and their different sections mean you can get a good grip, even when holding them abnormally. They also have excellent durability, and they’re a set you should expect to last for years.
Unfortunately, they come with a plastic tool tray. It’s not great for protecting the tools or for transport, though it’s of sufficient quality that most people don’t want to throw it away. It drives up the price without adding much value, which is a shame. These tools also have corrosion problems, so you’ll want to recoat them soon after purchase to keep them in pristine condition. Overall, these are good tools, though the suspect tray makes this set less valuable than it could be.
If you’re looking for a set of pliers to use around the house, the Craftsman Evolv 9-10047, 5-Piece Set could be the one for you. This set has ergonomic handles, so they’re far more comfortable to use than many pliers at a similar price point. The handles are also bright green, so you’ll be able to spot them easily if you keep them in a messy toolbox or belt. Plus, they’re not terribly expensive per unit, which means they’re a good choice for people who don’t want to devote a big portion of their budget to their tools.
However, they come in tough packaging. It’s always a pain to get tools in a package that seems like it was designed to frustrate you instead of keeping the tools safe during transport. These also aren’t the toughest tools around. They’ll work for occasional around-the-house use, but they won’t stand up well to use in professional or construction work. That means they won’t have the durability everyone is looking for, but some people will still be satisfied with their performance. Overall, this is a decent set, but you can get better value.
Sometimes you just feel like you need a lot of pliers, and that feeling would lead you to buy the Ironton Pliers Combo, 20-Pc. This set comes with 20 pliers, which is more than most people will need, but if you’re a plier aficionado, you may like having the flexibility this set provides. While it isn’t an objectively low-priced set, it does provide good value on a per-pair basis. You’re paying roughly what you would pay on a per-unit basis for the best-value models on our list, which makes these a good deal in that regard.
However, this set really struggles when it comes to quality. The metal is often brittle, so you’re likely to break some models the first time you use them. They also have low-quality handles that often tear or fall off the tool, which can be difficult to repair or end up rendering the tool useless. Even worse, you’re getting the same type of tool in different sizes in this set, which means the value isn’t as great as it could be. This set lacks good quality, and that’s enough to sink it to the bottom of our list.
The right pliers aren’t hard to find when you know what you’re looking for.
The most important thing to do before looking at different sets is to figure out what pliers you’re likely to need. Think about the projects you know you’ll need to do, and factor in projects you might end up undertaking, as well. There’s a right tool for the job, and doing a little research will help you discover which tools you ought to use.
It’s very important to get a set with all the plier types you’ll need. If you don’t, you’ll end up buying them one by one, which gets expensive. Then, figure out what quality and durability you’ll need for a good experience. If you go too low, the set will leave you frustrated, and if you go too high, you’ll hurt your wallet needlessly.
Then, make a list of the pliers sets that meet those criteria. Sort them by price, and then choose the lowest-priced set. It has all the tools you need to get your work done, with the overall quality and durability you expect, while providing the lowest overall price. That means that set is the best overall value for your money, and it should leave you happy for years to come.
The types of pliers:
The Irwin VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, 8-Piece is our favorite set due to its great anti-pinch grips, lifetime guarantee, and good adjustable pliers. In second is the Channellock TOOL ROLL Plier Set, 5-Piece, which has great durability, heat-treated teeth, and a useful storage roll, though its high price keeps it out of first place. The Stanley 84-058, 4-Piece Pliers-Set has slip-resistant grips, hardened cutting edges, and great durability. Since its price is so low, it’s the best overall value for the money on our list. The GearWrench 82108 7-Piece Standard Pliers-set has a variety of pliers with good durability and handles, but the low-quality tool tray and corrosion problems drop this model to fourth place. In fifth is the Craftsman Evolv 9-10047, 5-Piece Set, which is decent for household use but won’t live up to the rigors of professional use. The Ironton Pliers Combo, 20-Pc has a lot of pliers at a relatively low price, but their poor overall quality drops them to the last place.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you get a better feel for pliers sets and have helped you find the set that will let you crush your next project.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!