Last updated: August 18, 2021
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No household should be without flat nose pliers. It doesn't matter whether you use the flat nose pliers professionally or privately. Are you an electrician, jewellery maker or hobbyist? The flat nose pliers are your good everyday and professional companion. Do you need to hammer a nail into the wall? To avoid injury, you can do this with the help of flat-nose pliers. The little all-rounder can help you in many situations in life.

Every flat nose pliers serves its purpose and knowing the differences in the construction of flat nose pliers can help you choose the right flat nose pliers. In our flat nose pliers test 2022 we want to make it easier for you to choose flat nose pliers. We also introduce you to different areas of use for flat nose pliers and describe the criteria you need to look out for before buying.




Summary

  • Flat nose pliers are an indispensable tool that no workshop or household should be without. Basically, the flat nose pliers are differentiated according to the areas of application and the various designs of the jaws and the handles.
  • Flat nose pliers for electronics have a different range of use and properties than flat nose pliers for goldsmiths.
  • In general, flat nose pliers are used in the electrical, industrial, DIY, jewellery making, medical and precision engineering sectors.

The Best Flat Nose Pliers: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying flat nose pliers

What is a flat nose pliers?

A flat nose pliers is a tool that helps to do manual work that simply cannot be done by hand. This can be bending wires and holding objects.

What is a flat nose pliers like?

Flat nose pliers are pliers that consist of three components such as the jaws, the joint and the handles. Flat nose pliers are pliers with flat jaws that are good for bending wire.

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To avoid the risk of injury, you can also use the flat-nose pliers to hold the nail when driving it into the wall.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Hunter Haley)

A flat-nose pliers consists of three main components. We will introduce you to these main components here.

  1. The jaws: The jaws themselves also have different variations. They can be short, flat or wide. The jaws can be made of a special tool steel or plastic. The gripping surface of the jaws can be smooth, toothed or cross-toothed.
  2. The joint: The joint connects the jaws and the handles of the flat nose pliers and thus transfers the force from the handles to the jaws. A distinction is made between the sliding joint, the applied joint, the inserted joint, the extended joint and the double joint. An inserted joint is more typical for flat-nose pliers.
  3. The pliers handles: The handles of a pair of pliers differ in the shape and the coating of the gripping surface. Pliers handles have straight, curved and convex shapes. The curved shape of the handles is typical for most flat-nose pliers in order to optimise gripping and holding by the hand. Forged flat-nose pliers have straight handles.

Who is a flat nose pliers suitable for?

Flat nose pliers are particularly suitable for craftsmen who use them for bending wires or other manual work.

Here are some of the trades where flat nose pliers are used.

  1. Electricians: Flat-nose pliers with plastic jaws are suitable for electricians who can bend the wires in switch boxes without damaging the insulation.
  2. Opticians or jewellery makers: flat nose pliers are also used in these professions because they use flat nose pliers to bend or shape wires or pieces of precious metal.
  3. Construction of model railways: When repairing the tracks of the model railways, the application of flat nose pliers is also good.

Where is a flat nose pliers used?

Flat nose pliers are used in the following areas:

  • Various crafts
  • Electronics
  • Jewellery making
  • Orthodontics/Dentistry
  • Model making
  • Precision mechanics
  • Workshop

What is a flat nose pliers used for?

In the electronics sector, flat nose pliers are used to hold the material or to bend the wires. Such flat nose pliers should also fulfil the safety measures according to the DIN ISO 5745 standard in order to ensure work under voltage on electrical cables.

Flat nose pliers with plastic jaws are suitable for bending coated wires in the electronics sector or for bending silver wires in jewellery making to avoid scratching the surface of silver.

You can also use flat-nose pliers to hold hot objects, for example, when forging.

The forging tongs are made of special steel. If the tongs bend during forging, they can be restored to their original shape.

In which size should I buy flat-nose pliers?

Deciding on the size of flat-nose pliers will be easier if you think carefully about what kind of craft work you want to use flat-nose pliers for.

For jewellery making, slim and short flat nose pliers with an overall length of 130 mm will be a good choice.

For electronics, flat nose pliers with an overall length of 160 mm will fit better because they are easier to grip and hold objects with.

You will need flat nose pliers with an overall length of 300 mm if you want to do forging work. For this type of work you need to use the flat jaw forging pliers, which are sold in sizes from 30 cm upwards.

What are the alternatives to flat-nose pliers?

Flat-nose pliers belong to the group of gripping pliers.

The alternatives would be the other gripping pliers such as:

  • Mechanics' pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Precision mechanics pliers with cutting edge
  • Assembly pliers
  • Long nose pliers
  • Adjusting pliers
  • Weaver's pliers
  • Long nose pliers
  • Flat Round Nose Pliers
  • Long nose pliers

When choosing the right flat nose pliers, it is not only the type of application that matters. You need to consider whether you want to use flat nose pliers for bending, gripping, cutting or clamping, or in which professional branch the flat nose pliers will best serve their purpose.

Decision: What types of flat nose pliers are there and which is the right one for you?

There are different types of flat nose pliers.

Everyone must decide for themselves which pliers are right for them.

Choosing the right flat nose pliers is more about clearly deciding for yourself what purpose you need flat nose pliers for.

Flat nose pliers for orthodontists will be different from flat nose pliers for goldsmiths.

What are the characteristics of flat nose pliers for electronics and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Flat nose pliers for electronics are characterised by the following features:

  • Gripping components and wires
  • Chrome vanadium electric steel
  • Flat, straight, wide or narrow jaws
  • Coated, non-slip gripping surface

We have found out the following advantages and disadvantages of flat nose pliers for electronics.

Advantages
  • Slim shape
  • Insulated, electrically dissipative gripping surface
  • Straight, flattened and smooth shape of the jaws
Disadvantages
  • No cutting surface in the jaws
  • Can damage surface susceptible to scratches
  • Sliding joint not present

What are the characteristics of flat forceps for dentistry and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Flat forceps for dentistry are characterised by the following criteria:

  • Handles without coating
  • Serrated, smooth or cross serrated gripping surface
  • Smooth jaws
  • Stainless steel

We have found out the following advantages and disadvantages of flat forceps for dentistry.

Advantages
  • Stainless steel
  • Handles without coating
  • Sterilisable
Disadvantages
  • Handles not insulated
  • Handles smooth and slippery
  • Joint not adjustable

What are the features of flat nose pliers for jewellery making and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

A special feature of the flat nose pliers for jewellery making is the plastic jaws. The plastic jaws serve to avoid scratching the sensitive surface of precious metals such as gold or silver.

Flat nose pliers for jewellery making are characterised by the following criteria:

  • Jaws made of plastic or stainless steel
  • Can be used for smoothing odd wires
  • Interchangeable jaws
  • Double leaf spring in the handles

We have found out the following advantages and disadvantages of flat nose pliers for jewellery making.

Advantages
  • Replaceable jaws
  • No scratching of precious metals
  • Double leaf spring
Disadvantages
  • The plastic jaws are not suitable for hard metals
  • No cutting surface in the jaws
  • Not suitable for pulling needles or other similar work

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate flat nose pliers

We will then present you with the features you can use to decide between the many possible flat nose pliers.

The features that help you compare the flat nose pliers with each other include:

In the following sections, we will explain what is important about each feature.

Weight

The weight of the flat nose pliers depends on the purpose for which they are to be used.

Flat nose pliers for goldsmithing or electronics can weigh as little as 4 grams.

Forging flat nose pliers, on the other hand, can weigh up to 500 grams.

Flat nose pliers with nylon jaws are well suited for working with precious metals such as gold and silver.

Material and special features

The flat nose pliers are made of the special tool steel and partly of the plastic.

The flat nose pliers for electronics are made of tool steel. The jaws and the joint of the flat nose pliers are usually chrome-plated or coated with special surface protection to prevent rusting.

There are two main types of handles for electronics.

VDE covers ESD covers
VDE: Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies ESD: electrostatic discharge
Electrostatic dissipative Electrostatic compensation

The handles with the VDE covers (VDE: Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) are covered with the special plastic that functions as an electrostatic dissipative. This means that when you are working on a wire that is electrically live, these flat-nose pliers must not transmit any electric current to you.

The flat nose pliers with the VDE covers are well suited for working on electrical cables.

Another type of handle cover is the ESD cover. Translated from English, ESD means electrostatic discharge. These covers enable electrostatic equalisation between the person and the electronic components.

The flat nose pliers for goldsmiths are made of nylon jaws, the stainless steel or the carbon steel and handles covered with rubber or PVC. Some jewellery flat nose pliers have the double leaf spring on the handles.

The flat nose pliers for dentistry are made of high quality stainless steel.

The precision mechanic flat nose pliers are made of the special tool steel and handles covered with the plastic.

Length

When choosing the length of a pair of flat-nose pliers, we would recommend that you think carefully about these three criteria:

  • What kind of craft work do I want to do with the flat nose pliers?
  • What objects do I want to grip or bend with the flat nose pliers?
  • How will flat nose pliers feel in my hand?

Once you have answered these questions, you can then roughly estimate the length of the flat nose pliers you need.

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The gripping pliers exist in different sizes and lengths.
(Image source: unsplash.com / NeONBRAND)

You can get a mini flat nose pliers for versatile handicraft use from an online supplier starting at 115 mm in length, which is also well suited for bending sheet metal and wires. Such mini pliers also have an advantage over other flat pliers in that they are easier to transport.

Double-jointed flat nose pliers can be up to 335 mm long.
Needle nose pliers can help you when you need to grip or bend small objects in hard-to-reach places. These pliers look the same at the tip as flat-nose pliers but the needle-nose pliers have extra long handles.

Facts worth knowing about flat nose pliers

What can I do to prevent my flat nose pliers from rusting?

To prevent your flat nose pliers from rusting before and after use, you need to take care of them.

You can care for flat-nose pliers with motor oil.

Flat-nose pliers are made of steel, which starts to rust as soon as it comes into contact with water and oxygen. The flat nose pliers are machined so that they have a smooth surface. The smooth surface is very important when maintaining flat nose pliers with an oil. This makes it easier for the oil layer to adhere to the smooth polished surface. You need to check and renew this oil layer after a few periods of time.

To prevent the flat nose pliers from rusting afterwards, it is better to store them in a dry place.

Which lubricating oil can I use to care for my flat nose pliers?

When maintaining your flat nose pliers, you can use a conventional motor oil or industrial oil.

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Engine oil is not only good for cars. Engine oils are also great for caring for flat-nose pliers.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Jacob Campbell)

Are there spare parts for my flat nose pliers?

Spare parts do not exist for all flat nose pliers.
Some online suppliers offer additional nylon jaws for the purchased flat nose pliers for jewellery making.

If you have KNIPEX flat nose pliers, you can ask in the specialist shop whether spare parts are available for your flat nose pliers.

Image source: Gajus/ 123rf.com

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