Locking Pliers

Locking pliers are an essential hand tool for those working in applications where heavy-duty gripping is required, like clamping pipes, or twisting stubborn objects. Locking pliers are also commonly known as mole grips or vise-grip pliers and can be purchased in a wide variety of configurations, shapes and sizes, dependant on the application they are required for.

How do locking pliers work?

One side of the plier handle includes a bolt that is used to adjust the spacing on the jaws. This helps ensure that there is a secure fit around the object that is being gripped and that there isn't a risk of slipping off the object, especially when a large amount of torque or pressure is being applied.

On the other side of the plier, there is a lever that allows you to push the two handles together to apply pressure and securely grip the object, which normally functions with a locking mechanism and guarded lever to ensure security and safety for the user and the object being gripped. These two handles also double up to unlock the jaws when the task has been completed.

What materials are locking pliers made from?

Mole grips are typically made from either Chrome Vanadium Steel or Carbon Steel because strength and durability are some of the most important aspects of the pliers. Because of the heavy-duty applications they are used for, they need to be strong, robust and durable, no matter what they are used for and what conditions they are used in.

Types of Locking Pliers

There are many different variations of mole grips available, each of them having a distinct benefit for the applications they can be used in. Below are some of the most common types of mole grips:

  • Needle-nose or long nose - these are a precision locking plier that can be used for applications where hands may be too big, like bending or clamping small electronics wires
  • Straight jaw - these pliers have flat jaws and are ideal for gripping flat objects like sheets of metal or wood
  • Curved jaw - they can hold objects that are round like cabling, bolts, and fasteners or fixings securely
  • Long reach - ideal for use in applications where objects are difficult to reach in enclosed areas or with limited access
  • When would you use locking pliers?

    Locking pliers or mole grips can be used across a wide variety of applications. Traditionally they are used to clamp, grip or twist parts of metal during the welding process, however because of their heavy-duty nature and ability to grip so securely with minimal effort, they have proven to be popular across a variety of maintenance and repair applications where a nut or bolt has been damaged or rounded, or even pulling nails out of object. Now, they are most commonly used in:

  • Automotive repair and maintenance
  • Engineering
  • Industrial repair and maintenance
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical and cable installation
  • DIY enthusiasts

  • ...
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    Description Price Maximum Jaw Capacity Minimum Jaw Capacity Material Overall Length Integral Wire Cutter Height Safe
    RS Stock No. 847-3759
    BrandRS PRO
    £9.53
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Vanadium Steel 254 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 418-6265
    BrandRS PRO
    £20.96
    Each
    Units
    48mm - Alloy Steel 250 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 847-3740
    BrandRS PRO
    £7.69
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Vanadium Steel 178 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 418-6243
    BrandRS PRO
    £18.50
    Each
    Units
    41mm - Alloy Steel 178 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 847-3743
    BrandRS PRO
    £11.06
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Molybdenum Steel 254 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 847-3746
    BrandRS PRO
    £10.05
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Molybdenum Steel 178 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 665-8422
    Mfr. Part No.0-84-811
    BrandStanley
    £17.25
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Plated Steel 225 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 176-0674
    Mfr. Part No.513.10
    BrandFacom
    £23.29
    Each
    Units
    55mm - - 235 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 537-183
    Mfr. Part No.C6NVN
    BrandCrescent
    £16.33
    Each
    Units
    - - - 152 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 879-3072
    Mfr. Part No.T05T
    BrandIrwin
    £21.60
    Each
    Units
    48mm - Alloy Steel 250 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 124-6115
    Mfr. Part No.TAH2958-250
    BrandBahco
    £22.67
    Each
    Units
    63mm - - 250 mm - Yes
    RS Stock No. 123-0240
    Mfr. Part No.T1402EL4
    BrandIrwin
    £20.07
    Each
    Units
    51mm - Alloy Steel 150 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 876-5196
    Mfr. Part No.501AMPPB
    BrandFacom
    £39.65
    Each
    Units
    100 (Round) mm, 50 (Square) mm, 80 (Hexagonal) mm - Chrome Molybdenum Steel 250 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 123-0239
    Mfr. Part No.T0902EL4
    BrandIrwin
    £15.85
    Each
    Units
    29mm - Alloy Steel 125 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 835-3125
    Mfr. Part No.445.10R
    BrandFacom
    £119.67
    Each
    Units
    - - Stainless Steel 360 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 176-0668
    Mfr. Part No.513A.7
    BrandFacom
    £19.97
    Each
    Units
    35mm - - 190 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 862-6473
    Mfr. Part No.501APB
    BrandFacom
    £48.79
    Each
    Units
    100mm - - 250 mm - -
    RS Stock No. 537-224
    Mfr. Part No.C5CV
    BrandCrescent
    £11.26
    Each
    Units
    - - - 127 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 123-0238
    Mfr. Part No.T0102EL4
    BrandIrwin
    £19.65
    Each
    Units
    48mm - Alloy Steel 250 mm Yes -
    RS Stock No. 665-8576
    Mfr. Part No.0-84-809
    BrandStanley
    £18.47
    Each
    Units
    - - Chrome Plated Steel 225 mm - -
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