The 10 Best Long Nose Pliers
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in July of 2019. Also known as needle-nose, long-nose pliers are the tool you reach for in tight situations. The narrow tips at the ends of their long jaws are designed for delicate work, and they are great for fishing wires out of crowded junction boxes and extracting stripped screws or stubborn staples. Note that this ranking is focused on noninsulated options not suitable for live power work. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
September 02, 2020:
Without much evolution in the category since our last round of updates, all of our previous picks still proved to be viable selections for these rankings. However, we did decide to replace the Tekton Mini PMNO with the Schmitz 4911HS22 — a model that was similarly well equipped for precision work, but built with a superior box joint. We also switched the Klein Tools D203 out for the Klein Tools D203-8-GLW — which is virtually the same tool, only outfitted high-visibility, glow-in-the-dark handles, which is a nice touch for electricians and other tradespeople who're frequently subjected to dark working environments.
And, while perusing our July 23, 2019 editor’s note for these rankings, to see if there were any bits of wisdom pertaining to long-nose pliers that hadn't been mentioned yet, it occurred to me that long, long-nose pliers were one aspect of this category that wasn’t being represented by our rankings. While most users will find these tools to be unnecessarily unwieldy, when compared to a solid eight-inch model, there are certain situations in which there is no substitute for them, and there are few situations where longer jaws are prohibitive, arguably making long, long-nose pliers more versatile then their shorter counterparts, which we thought made a pretty good case for finding a place on our list for them. In order to make space, we eliminated the Newacalox Industrial Multi-Tool, which was essentially a budget version of our top-rated Klein Tools J207-8CR, and replaced it with the Elitexion 11-Inch Set — a five-piece kit that, while perhaps not meeting the same astringent build standards as some top brands, is priced affordably and should offer sufficient utility for most users, providing their only planning on calling on these pliers for occasional use.
Remember that, even in the case of some basic jobs around the house, an improperly executed electrical installation can lead to arcing that causes fires, which can lead to serious injury or even death. So, while there are a myriad of relatively safe, practical applications for your new long-nose pliers, for all jobs electrical we must recommend that you consult with a reputable, licensed electrician. And, if you are going to be working on live power with these pliers, take time to select a model that's backed by a 1,000-volt rating.
July 23, 2019:
Before anything, it must be noted that the items ranked in this category are non-insulated items and they are not intended for use with live power. If there’s any chance that you’ll be working around live electricity with this tool, then you should consider investing in a pair of pliers with a 1000-volt rating.
Before anything else, it should also be noted that working with electricity is extremely dangerous: the risk of serious injury or death via electrocution or electrical fire should not be taken lightly. Make sure that all electrical work done on your home or property is completed by a reputable, licensed electrician.
Often known colloquially as needle-nose pliers, long-nose pliers are a critical component in many professionals’ tool box. While they’re rarely the piece of gear that sees the most action in a workday, they are often the tool you grab to get yourself out of a tough situation – by reaching into an awkward place or gripping a small object for you.
They might not be the first suspect that comes to mind when it comes to naming culprits responsible for catalyzing accident reports on job sites (poor ladder protocol and sharp-teethed power tools usually seem to skate with that infamy), but there are still best practices that need to be observed while working with pliers and other hand tools – even when live power isn’t involved.
If there’s any chance of flying debris while you work, whether it be stray chunks of masonry or loose shreds of wood, wear a face shield or safety glasses. It isn’t hard to find an option that’s relatively comfortable and inexpensive, and – especially while working on larger job sites with all sorts of trades around you – it isn’t a bad idea to just get into the habit of wearing them.
If you come across some material that’s tough to cut through, make sure you keep cutting with your hand strength. You might find that your natural reflex is to start putting your body weight behind your pliers, but that can easily wind up being the first step toward a slip-and-fall or a pulled muscle. To help avoid situations like this, make sure you know what materials your pliers are rated to cut, and keep the cutting edge of your pliers sharpened and the rivet well lubricated with grease, oil or a synthetic lubricant.
If you’re working at extreme heights, tie your tools off (yes, tools need fall protection too). It might seem inconsequential to drop a pair of pliers, but if it falls twenty-two floors and lands on top of somebody’s skull, it might kill them. Many regional health authorities have regulations demanding that all tools be tied off for any work above a designated height. Offerings like the Knipex T-BKA have a tether attachment point welded to their handle, to help facilitate the attachment of a lanyard for safety.
A few things to keep top of mind while you’re shopping for your long-nose pliers:
Do you care more about comfort or cost? Sometimes, especially when considering multiple offerings from a single company, the biggest differentiator between these tools is the construction of their handle. If you’re a professional who’s going to be depending on this tool on a daily basis for years to come, then investing a little extra for a comfortable grip might make perfect sense. At the same time, if you’re a casual user who’s just hoping to see these pliers offer you a little utility around the house once in a while, then you might be quite satisfied to save some money and select a more modestly-dressed option with plastic or vinyl handles.
Is a multi-tool right for you? Some people sing the praises of a tool that serves many functions. For example, the Klein Tools J207-8CR functions not only as a long-nose plier, but also a screw shearer, dimple crimper, side cutter and wire stripper. While this Swiss Army knife of needle-nose pliers might seem superficially superb, it’s not always so simple.
Many users report that these multi-tools just don’t function as well as multiple tools performing one specific function each. For instance, several people report that the strippers on the J207-8CR don’t do well when working with stranded wires, compared to the designated wire strippers from the same company, that work wonderfully.
While the argument has been made that there is a savings in weight to be capitalized on, by consolidating several pairs of pliers into a single multi-tool, it’s also been pointed out that some of these multi-tools are so heavy, that they weigh more than the collective weight of a lean pair of wire strippers and needle-nose pliers. Still, if you're somebody who’s a fan of keeping things simple and not a fan of clutter, a multi-tool might be an awesome option for you.
What’s the warranty like? It might not be the first thing you’re thinking about during this purchase journey. We are, after all, talking about a hand tool and not a new automobile or laptop. But, with so many companies in this category backing their products with a lifetime warranty, why not make this the very last pair of long-nose pliers you’ll ever invest in?
And finally, with all that being said, let me also just say: good luck to you – with your shopping, and even better luck to you – with whatever projects your new tool’s intended for!