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What are parallel pliers and how do they work?

What are parallel pliers and how do they work?

28th Nov 2022

You may be confused by the term “parallel pliers” and wondering what they are and how they work.

In this guide, we go over the details and explain why they might be useful for your next project.

What are Parallel Pliers?

Parallel pliers (also known as “parallel-action pliers”) are pliers where the jaws close parallel to each other, as opposed to the “scissor-action” used by traditional pliers.

They use a box joint system, which allows the jaws to remain parallel to each other as they are opened and closed.

They work just like other pliers, by applying pressure onto the handles to close the jaws.

Some parallel pliers will have a return spring, which makes them self-opening for ease of use.

Handles vary from traditional zinc-plated handles for extra grip to soft plastic grips designed to be more comfortable over longer periods.

Maun Industries is the most well-known and respected brand of parallel pliers.

Benefits of Parallel Pliers

The main reason to choose parallel pliers over a normal set is the grip. They grip far better than other pliers, as they avoid the “pinch point” of a scissor-type tool.

By clamping together in parallel, the jaws give you a larger surface area of contact with your workpiece. The result is greater friction, for more grip, together with less risk of damaging the workpiece at the point of contact.

This means you don’t have to try as hard to achieve a firm grip and you’re less likely to mark more fragile materials. That’s why they’re really popular in jewellery making.

Parallel pliers are also useful in forming and flattening metal sheet, and for working with wire.

Types of Parallel Pliers

Here are the most popular types of parallel pliers:

Smooth Jaw Parallel Pliers

Smooth jaw parallel pliers are designed so you don’t scratch or damage your workpiece when you’re gripping it. Ideal for jewellery makers, model makers and crafters.

Shop Smooth Jaw Parallel Pliers

Watch our features and benefits video here.

Jewellery Parallel Pliers

Parallel pliers designed specifically for jewellery makers, for tasks like ring bending and loop making. Smooth jaws to prevent damage, with a range of pliers and sets to choose from.

Shop Jewellery Pliers

Snipe Nose Parallel Pliers

Snipe nose pliers have tapered jaws so you can fit them into smaller spaces, as well as for detailed work with more miniature items. Ideal for making models with delicate pieces, as well as jewellery and other hobbies. They’re also really useful for DIY.

Shop Snipe Nose Parallel Pliers

Watch our features and benefits video here.

Serrated Jaws Parallel Pliers

If you need extra grip on your workpiece, then serrated jaws offer the maximum grip you can achieve with parallel pliers. Combined with the extra surface area that parallel action provides, you don’t have to worry about slips that could cause damage.

Parallel pliers with serrated jaws have the added benefit of a V-slot in one jaw. This makes them excellent for gripping wire or rod, which they will hold firmly without risk of slipping.

Shop Serrated Jaws Parallel Pliers

Discover our Flat Nose Plier in action.

Side Cutter Parallel Pliers

Side cutter parallel pliers combine gripping pliers and side cutters into one versatile tool, the perfect combination plier to save you time.

Shop Side Cutter Parallel Pliers

Watch our how to video here.

Plastic Jaw Parallel Pliers

Plastic jaw pliers provide even more protection over your workpiece, and prevent scratches and damage, while still maintaining an accurate and secure grip.

Shop Plastic Jaw Parallel Pliers

Round Jaw Parallel Pliers

Round jaw parallel pliers are ideal for bending rings and wire loops, and creating curved objects. They use smooth jaws to ensure no damage to your workpiece, and are available in a range of configurations and sizes.

Shop Round Jaw Parallel Pliers


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