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Pliers and Cutters.

History and Development

The number of different designs of pliers grew with the invention of the vast number of different objects that need handling, for instance:

  • Screws and fasteners

  • Wire

  • Pipes

  • Electrical and electronic components

The basic design of pliers has changed very little since their origins with the pair of handles, the pivot and the head section with its gripping jaws or cutting edges forming the key parts.

Pliers were invented about 2000BC to grip hot objects - mainly iron as it was being forged into shape. Possibly the oldest illustrations of pliers are those showing the Greek god Hesphaestus in his smithy.

Today, pliers for holding hot metal are generally called tongs, with the term pliers being used for the tools we use for gripping and cutting a wide variety of things.

Every toolkit contains pliers of one type or another and consequently worldwide sales run into tens of millions annually.

Cable cutters are a relatively recent development - obviously, only since the invention and mass supply of electricity in the 20th century has there been a need to cut cables.

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