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The Best Adjustable Pliers for 2022

Hold, grip, bend, cut, and screw with the best adjustable pliers on the market!

Adjustable Pliers

A pair of pliers to a handyperson is what medicine is to a doctor — you can’t have one without the other. Pliers are a must-have weapon in any handyman’s arsenal, and with the best ones, you can do various tasks, such as cutting wire, loosening tight screws, and even getting to those hard-to-reach spots.

The great ones make it look easy by having features that make jobs quick and stress-free. One of those important nice-to-have features is adjustability. Modern pliers are now made with mechanisms that allow you to easily adjust their size and grip capabilities.

We have taken it upon ourselves to research, test, and suggest the best adjustable pliers on the market to make your choices simpler and your handiwork more enjoyable.

How We Picked

  • Push Button Adjustment

    Adjustability is the game, and push-button adjustment is the name. Our selected products are super easy to adjust thanks to stress-free, straightforward mechanisms.

  • Size + Weight

    Pliers are just one of the many tools you can find in a handyman’s toolbox. With all the other things you have to carry around, this tool should be lightweight and easily portable.

  • Ergonomic Handles

    Doing any form of hand work is hard enough. The least we can do is suggest products that make your job more enjoyable. With ergonomic handles, you are guaranteed a comfortable and supportive user experience.

  • Price

    Get the job done and keep some change in your pockets. Our valuable picks are cost-effective and provide incredible resourcefulness within their individual price ranges.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

One premium tool that does the job of ten groove-joint pliers put together.

Forged with oil-hardened chrome vanadium, these pliers are durable, resourceful, and take ease of use to the next level.

Buy Now for $42.38

These water pump (groove-joint) pliers are by far the most convenient pick on our list. With push-button adjustability and comfortable ergonomic handles, it’s no surprise why this tool made it to the top of our list. Granted, these pliers cost more than half the amount of our subsequent sets, but when it comes to value for money, it doesn’t get any better than the Knipex Cobra Water Pump Pliers.

Runner Up

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

They feature a single button adjustment and a selection of four practical pliers.

When it comes to comfort and ease of use, hardly any other pliers on the market can beat the Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock Pliers.

Buy Now for $37.90

This tool features a quick adjustment mechanism in the form of a single button. That means you can easily adjust the jaws of these pliers while you work, which is particularly useful when working in hard-to-reach spots. You also get a multi-groove ratcheting system and a self-lock feature. To top it off, you can decide to purchase the Groove Lock pliers alone, or in this resourceful set of four, which includes diagonal cutters, slip-joint pliers, needle-nose pliers, and the trusty adjustable groove-joint pliers.

Most Cost-Effective

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Durable, resourceful, and adjustable, all at a pocket-friendly price.

You get beautiful bi-material anti-slip handles for more comfortable use and up to seven adjustable positions for better turning, clamping, cutting, and gripping.

Buy Now for $11.03

If you want to have a wide variety of tools to choose from, you need effective yet affordable options. One such option is these adjustable groove joint pliers from Workpro. Its two-inch jaws are heat-treated with up to seven adjustable positions to choose from and are coated in chrome vanadium steel to prevent future rusting. They are supported by alloy steel and anti-slip handles that are incredibly ergonomic. With this pick, you are getting the best of the best when it comes to pliers at the most affordable price tag you can imagine.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

One premium tool that does the job of ten groove-joint pliers put together.

$42.38

Buy Now

Runner Up

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

They feature a single button adjustment and a selection of four practical pliers.

$37.90

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Durable, resourceful, and adjustable, all at a pocket-friendly price.

$11.03

Buy Now

Who This Is For

If you consider yourself a star handyman and a master of working with pliers, these products are guaranteed to make your job a whole lot easier. Adjustable pliers are a modern, stress-free upgrade solution to regular pliers. These products provide easy, straightforward mechanisms for adjusting their jaws to a wide range of positions without affecting the distance between the handles. This innovative concept makes all tasks requiring a plier, such as clamping, tightening, and screwing, much simpler to handle and maneuver.

Vjaw vs. straight jaw vs. smooth jaw
When it comes to adjustable pliers, you are likely to see one of these three popular jaw designs — Vjaw, Straight Jaw, or Smooth Jaw. Knowing the difference between each is just as important as knowing what kind of pencil to buy. Each jaw type is uniquely crafted to handle different kinds of tasks. Vjaws are the most versatile of the three. These pliers have a V-cut on both upper and lower jaws that allow them to securely grab onto a variety of screw heads and surfaces — flat, hex, and round shapes. Straight jaws are parallel to each other and have serrated teeth for easy work on flat or hex materials. However, you may struggle when it comes to round objects. The last jaw type — smooth — also runs parallel to each other but has no teeth. This limits their use too delicate surfaces that are more likely to be dented by a plier’s teeth, such as PVC, or finishings like chrome.

Is it worth splurging on?
In our humble opinion, the price of comfort can hardly ever be considered a “splurge” as long as it can be afforded. Pliers are not just daily products that are purchased by anyone. They require a certain level of interest, experience, and craftsmanship in order to be properly used. Therefore, if you’re some sort of a handyman, mechanic, plumber, or any other kind of manual artisan, a pair of pliers is a must-have necessity in your toolbox. Why have regular pliers when you can spend a few more dollars to get an upgraded, comfortable, adjustable, and stress-free plier? We assure you, if you decide to go for any of our suggested products in this article, your hands will never stop thanking you, and your job will be all the easier because of it.

Why You Should Trust Us

We understand the stress, time, energy, dedication, and expertise that go into any form of manual labor. These jobs are hard enough as it is and require individuals with the greatest willpower to handle them. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to discover ways that alleviate this stress, at least as much as we can. We have researched and tested the top adjustable pliers on the market to select and suggest only the best options that are guaranteed to make your job easier.

How We Picked

Here are some of the important things we considered when making our well-informed list of the best adjustable pliers on the market.

Push button adjustment
One of the easiest and most modern ways pliers can be adjusted is through innovative push-button mechanisms. What this allows you to do is push a button located around the intersection of both the pliers’ handles in order to slide the handles up and down to increase or decrease jaw openings. Hence, you get a more precise adjustment that can even be easily made while working on nuts or bolts. In this way, there is no need to constantly readjust handles as sizes can be zeroed in quickly and more accurately. This also allows you to have a wider range of size selections than the typically adjustable pliers.

Ergonomic handles
Pliers come in different kinds of handle finishings. Due to their poor handle construction, older pliers are likely to have a “pinchy” effect on the palms when being worked with. They are most often simply metal bars that are covered with thin layers of plastic, leaving you with bruised or blistered hands. Thanks to modern innovations, pliers now come with extra padded finishes that are anti-slip, making them more comfortable to use and suitable for tasks that require a lot of hand strength exertion.

Size + weight
Adjustable pliers also come in different sizes and lengths, from seven-inch to up to 12 inches. In any case, the longer your plier, the wider your grip area within the jaws, but also the heavier and bulkier it is. 10-inch pliers are the middle ground of pliers because they offer a grip area of approximately five inches and a jaw capacity of about two inches, making them suitable for bolts and larger pipes alike, but not too bulky to fit in your toolbox. If you’re dealing with a smaller eight-inch plier, you have to sacrifice leverage and functionality, while if you’re dealing with a larger 12-inch plier, you’re left with longer handles that may be tough to get into tight spaces. The sweet spot is finding a pair of pliers that give you enough room to handle most tasks but are made with lightweight materials so that they aren’t a chore to carry around.

Durability and price
Our selected options are made with the most durable materials on the market. In general, the best pliers are crafted with a premium stainless steel alloy, with upgraded pliers throwing on additional wear-and-tear finishings like oil-hardened chrome vanadium to prevent future rusting and damage. We have found the most durable pliers on the market, guaranteed to provide the best value for money there is within their price ranges.

Ease of use
When all is said and done, the goal of this article is to find you the easiest pliers to use, regardless of their manufacturer, features, or price tag. Adjustable pliers are the easiest kinds of pliers to use, but as we have established, it’s way more than that. The products on this list have all the necessary features and qualities to give you a pleasant user experience and an easier work lifestyle.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Cobra Water Pump Pliers

Best Pick

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

Cobra Water Pump Pliers

One premium tool that does the job of ten groove-joint pliers put together.

Forged with oil-hardened chrome vanadium, these pliers are durable, resourceful, and take ease of use to the next level.

Buy Now for $42.38

Who It’s For

Looking for the best adjustable pliers? This tool offers the most premium versions of features you could ever want in pliers — push-button adjustment, ergonomic handles, and a versatile Vjaw made from the most durable materials.

Why It’s Great

The Knipex Cobra Water Pump Pliers are push-button adjustable Vjaw pliers that can work on various bolts and objects, from flat to round to hex or even square. Its handles are coated with durable plastic and have in-built pinch guards to provide maximum comfort in the most minimalist design. Its self-locking gripping surfaces are made with unique hardened teeth for high wear resistance and stable gripping. Top that off with a tether attachment point for mounting a fall protection system, and you have the best adjustable pliers on the market.

Potential Flaws

The great ones don’t come cheap. Our top pick costs nearly half the price of the sets on our list, meaning you’ll have to cough up a pretty penny to own this single upgrade tool.

Other Features

These push-button adjustable pliers have up to 25 positions to choose from! This tool is made to stand the test of time. It is crafted with oil-hardened chrome vanadium electric steel, the most durable construction material currently available for pliers. Its jaw-gripping surfaces are made with unique 61 HRC hardened teeth, suitable for sturdily holding onto objects of all shapes, and built with high resistance to wear and tear. These pliers also have a unique self-locking feature that automatically adjusts and fits the sizes of pipes and nuts without slipping off, making your job easier and less stressful. It has anti-pinch handles and can be purchased with a tether attachment point to enable a fall protection system. The Knipex Cobra Water Pump Pliers are ten inches long with a two-inch jaw capacity and weigh about 13 pounds.

Runner Up - Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

Runner Up

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

Irwin Vise-Grip Pliers 4-Piece Set

They feature a single button adjustment and a selection of four practical pliers.

When it comes to comfort and ease of use, hardly any other pliers on the market can beat the Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock Pliers.

Buy Now for $37.90

Who It’s For

If you love buying your tools in sets and are on the lookout for functional, durable, and adjustable pliers, this Irwin Vise-Grip 4-Piece Pliers Set is all you’d need and more. This plier set, which is similar to our top pick, offers a broader range of functionality at a reasonable price.

Why It’s Great

Why have one pair of pliers when you could have four? Our runner-up is a 4-piece set of vise-grip pliers manufactured by a well-known name in the tool industry — Irwin. This toolset features 6-inch diagonal and slip-joint pliers, 8-inch long nose pliers, and 10-inch adjustable groove joint pliers, all packaged in a lightweight tool wrap. This makes this set highly functional and suitable for all needs — household and professional alike. The star of the show, the groove joint pliers, features push-button adjustability as well as highly ergonomic handles.

Potential Flaws

The width of the nose of the groove joint pliers proves a little too bulky when working with smaller objects, nuts, or bolts. These pliers are also not anti-rust, and their self-lock feature doesn’t work as well with round objects.

Other Features

There are two things we love about this pick; range and functionality. This tool set consists of four very efficient pliers, but since our focus for this article is on adjustable water pump/groove joint pliers, we will discuss this piece in detail. The groove joint pliers in this set are 10 inches long and made from durable nickel chromium steel. It features machined jaws, perfect for working on a variety of objects, as well as push-button adjustments with up to 15 jaw adjustment sizes to choose from and a multi-groove ratcheting system that allows you to adjust its size using the lower jaw handle without needing to press the button.

To top it off, you get a self-lock feature for nuts and bolts with highly ergonomic non-slip, anti-pinch handles that provide comfort for all the arm strength used during those long working hours. You can choose to purchase these pliers on their own or in a set of four alongside diagonal, slip-joint, and long-nose pliers. We recommend the latter as it is super cost-effective and offers more functionality. In any case, Irwin provides a full lifetime warranty under normal wear and tear conditions on these tools.

Most Cost-Effective - Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Most Cost-Effective

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Workpro 10-Inch Groove Joint Pliers

Durable, resourceful, and adjustable, all at a pocket-friendly price.

You get beautiful bi-material anti-slip handles for more comfortable use and up to seven adjustable positions for better turning, clamping, cutting, and gripping.

Buy Now for $11.03

Who It’s For

Allow us to introduce the best pliers on the market for budget buyers! These adjustable water pump pliers are perfect for the home handyman looking to save some bucks without compromising their quality standards.

Why It’s Great

The WORKPRO Adjustable Groove Joint Pliers are made from the most durable material on the tool market — Chrome Vanadium Steel! This means they are rust-proof, built to stand the test of time, and effectively so. They are 10-inch pliers with a 2-inch straight jaw capacity, making them perfect for flat and hexagonal objects. These pliers are adjustable and have up to seven positions to choose from, all supported by very stylish ergonomic handles.

Potential Flaws

Push-button adjustability is a relatively new innovation, and this pick lacks such a feature. This means that its jaws have to be manually adjusted using the handles, and this can’t be done while working on the object of your choice. It also has straight jaws, limiting its functionality and making it ideal only for smaller household tasks.

Other Features

These grooved joint pliers offer ease and efficiency with a budget-friendly price tag. Made from 50 chrome vanadium (CrV) steel with a 45–50 HRC heat-treated hardness, these highly rust-proof pliers will remain functional for a long time. It has hardened teeth for increased cutting ease, better grip, clamping force, and toughness.

Almost Made The Cut - Channellock TOOL ROLL-3 5 Piece Pliers Set

Almost Made The Cut

Channellock TOOL ROLL-3 5 Piece Pliers Set

Channellock TOOL ROLL-3 5 Piece Pliers Set

A trusty set with the right tools and the perfect pliers for any kind of job.

This handy set consists of slip-joint pliers, diagonal cutters, needle-nose pliers, and two sets of groove-joint pump pliers — 9.5 inches and 10 inches. The rust-resistant pliers feature heat-treated teeth and vinyl-dipped grips that are non-slip and comfortable to the touch. They are all neatly packaged in a stylish nylon tool roll.

Buy Now for $93.65

Who It’s For

Plumbers and other professional tool artisans will love the versatility of this pick. The Channellock Tool Roll-3 Set offers five different pliers to choose from diagonal, slip-joint, long-nose, and two groove-joint pliers — perfect for plumbing applications! Therefore, if you love having a wide range of functionality and being spoilt for choice, this set is sure to fulfill all your needs and more.

Why It’s Great

As impressive as this set may be, our primary focus is on the groove joint pliers, and with this toolset, you have two to choose from — 9.5-inch and 10-inch. This makes them perfect for a wide array of professional and household tasks. They are crafted with durable high-carbon steel and made by a renowned award-winning name in the tool-manufacturing industry.

Potential Flaws

The pliers' handles in this set are vinyl-dipped, making them the least ergonomic handles on our list. Their straight jaws are also not made with anti-rust material and have limited functionality as they can only be used for flat and hex-shaped objects. As much as we love the hardened, durable teeth of the groove-joint pliers, they may also leave dents and lacerations on difficult nuts and bolts, which hurts the overall aesthetics. You should also beware that these pliers have no push-button mechanisms and must be adjusted manually.

Other Options

Channellock is so well-known that people casually refer to all groove joint/water pump pliers as channel locks. This fact lets you know that this award-winning manufacturer produces high-quality leading products, and their Tool Roll-3 5-Piece Pliers Set is one such innovation. This multi-purpose set features an 8-inch long nose plier, a 7-inch diagonal cutter, a 6-inch slip-joint plier, a 9.5-inch groove joint plier, and a 10-inch groove joint plier. The pliers are made from C1080 high carbon steel for superior performance and durability and are supported by vinyl-coated handles. The flat jaws of the groove joint pliers are adjustable with hardened, heat-treated, non-slip teeth, suitable for various tasks. All this is packaged in a high-quality tool roll with individual sleeves for each plier, backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Care and Maintenance

As with most tools, maintaining a pair of pliers is not tedious if you have the right methods. Although they do not require routine cleaning, thoroughly cleaning them at least once a month goes a long way to preserving their lifespans. Here are a few steps you can take to that effect.

Make a cleaning solution of hot water and dish soap in a bowl or bath of your choice.

  1. Place your pliers in the solution and allow them to sit for at least five minutes.
  2. Use an old toothbrush to clean serrations and crevices to go over the jaws.
  3. Use a rag to wipe down handles to rid them of stains, excess sweat, and grease.
  4. Rinse them in clean, fresh water to remove soap.
  5. Wipe down thoroughly with a dry towel to remove excess water. Ensure your pliers are fully dry before storing them away in your toolbox.

Over time, pliers may get rusty, and it’s important to treat this as soon as it is spotted to avoid future damage. You may use home remedies like vinegar, lemon, or salt or professional anti-rust solutions like WD40 or Boeshield T9 sprays to do this.

  1. To use vinegar, pour the distilled white vinegar into a bowl or cup of your choice and submerge your pliers in this solution for at least 24 hours.
  2. Open and close joints frequently in this soak to expel gunk around the joints.
  3. Rinse your pliers with clean water and dry them with a rag.
  4. Apply a thin coat of rust-protection oil like a machine or linseed oil to all metal parts of your pliers to protect them from future rusting. Don’t forget to wipe off excess oil from handles and joints.

If you’re using an anti-rust spray, follow the steps below:

  1. Spray generously on the jaws and joints of your pliers to cover all metal surfaces susceptible to rust.
  2. Open and close handles repetitively so that the oil from the spray penetrates properly.
  3. Let your pliers sit for about fifteen minutes to allow the anti-rust spray fully work.
  4. Use a rag to wipe the gunk off your pliers and follow up with a toothbrush along the jaws and joints.
  5. If there is still some rust, repeat the steps until your pliers look as good as new.
  6. Wipe your pliers clean and apply a thin coat of machine oil to prevent future corrosion.

When using your pliers, always remember that safety comes first. Therefore, ensure that you use these tools with the right protective gear, like gloves and that they are properly kept away in your toolbox — out of the reach of children or pets — when not in use.