What are Hose Pliers?

Erica Stratton

Hose pliers are a special type of pliers used to tighten hose clamps. They come in several different styles and in a range of prices. Hose pliers are used in the repair and maintenance of washing machines, automobiles and many other kinds of machinery.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

While there are many different kinds of hose clamps, the ones that most commonly require hose pliers are called spring clamps. Spring clamps got their name by being made of spring steel. The clamps are made of two interlocking rings. The rings have tabs which can be bent outwards using the hose pliers to expand them and then re-tighten them if needed.

Spring clamps are typically used for hoses inside automobile engines, so they can be situated at awkward angles. For this reason, several types of hose clamp pliers have been created to deal with tabs in hard-to-reach spaces. They have many different styles of jaw. Some of these pliers are adjustable, so their jaw size can be ratcheted up or down like an adjustable wrench.

Some kinds of hose pliers are called "universal." These have a basic design that involves the end of the pliers being bent at an angle to reach difficult places. Some universal pliers can't have their jaws adjusted to grip a variety of differently sized objects. Other kinds of hose pliers have tips which can be manually swiveled and adjusted to get a range of angles. Still other types are spring-loaded, so that they can be locked in place.

Finally, the plainest type of hose clamp pliers is similar in design to regular mechanic's pliers. Their jaws do not have bent tips, but have large, flat tips with ridges for gripping. Most of these hose pliers have adjustable jaws.

There are many different kinds of hose pliers, manufactured by dozens of different companies. Choosing one can be daunting, but the task can be narrowed down by considering what kind of work the hose clamp will be used for. For example, not all hose clamps are meant to be used with pliers, and different styles of hose clamps can require pliers of different strengths.

The price and durability of hose pliers will also vary by the manufacturer. Comparing various brands may take more money and time than is warranted for a project. Talking to mechanics can help individuals understand the ruggedness and usefulness of various pliers.

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