Although they’re a must-have tool for any plumber, water pump pliers are a multifunctional tool that is used across a range of industries from automotive and electrical to engineering and, of course, plumbing. They’re used to grip nuts and bolts and to grasp lock parts and other non-uniform objects.
They’re incredibly easy to use. Simply attach the beak of the pliers to your object, then slide the lower jaw through the different positions on the tracking segment. Once adjusted properly, the pliers will bite onto the object and give you a tight, safe grip. This eliminates fumbling around each time you turn the pliers. Because the long handle also gives you incredible leverage, there’s a sizeable reduction in the manual force required to complete the job.
The distinguishing feature of water pump pliers is the serrated, adjustable jaw that’s perfect when a rock-solid grip is necessary. They’re generally equipped with ergonomic handles that ensure comfort when working for long periods. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best water pump pliers from RS.
First, there are three main things to consider.
- Check the quality of the adjustment mechanism. The finer the tracking, the more precisely the pliers can be applied to the object you’re working on.
- Are there self-locking properties? This is important to ensure the pliers won’t slip and slow you down while working.
- Shape and comfort are also very important, especially if you’re performing the same sorts of movements on a frequent or daily basis.
Like any tool, water pump pliers come in various sizes and models – choose according to the task you have in hand. The longer the handle, the greater the leverage; however, they’ll be more difficult to use in those tricky, hard-to-reach places. You might need a second, smaller pair.
Smaller models are ideal for household use. These pliers are typically made of chrome-vanadium steel and have a plasticised handle for a more comfortable grip. They’re suitable for loosening most kinds of nuts, and the smaller size means they weigh less and are, therefore, easier to work with. Most makes will come in a variety of hardness and are priced accordingly. Cheaper models may not last the distance, but if you’re only using them occasionally, it may be all you need to get the job done.
The same (weight, quality, capability) applies to larger models though these, typically, are used in more industrial or professional settings. This is where you shouldn’t skimp on price, as a low-quality tool typically leads to trouble. Either the pliers won’t do the job you need them to or, worse, they’ll fail at exactly the wrong moment.
The versatility and reliability of water pump pliers make them a must-have in any toolbox. You’ll probably want two. And because there are so many brands to choose from, shop around to get the best fit for the kind of work you’re doing. Make sure they’re comfortable and strong enough to do the job properly.