Tongue and Groove Pliers Uses.

Does your job require you to deal with a lot of bolts and nuts? If yes, then you must be familiar with tongue and groove pliers. But if you are not, let me introduce you to one of the most useful tools that any toolbox can have.

A tongue and groove pliers can be a great weapon in any handyman’s arsenal. You’ll be surprised to know how a simple tool like this can make your works so much easier through simple mechanical design. So, are you ready to learn more about this piece of work? Keep reading as I discuss the ins and outs of tongue and groove pliers.

Tongue and Groove Pliers

Image: Tongue and Groove Plier

What are tongue and groove pliers?

Before we dive into the usage and advantages of this great tool, let’s have a clear idea of what tongue and groove pliers are and how it works. It will be easier to understand if you are familiar with slip joint pliers.

In slip joint pliers, the pivot point moves to set the distance between the jaws and grab onto something. In that process, it does grab the object, but the distance between the handles increases simultaneously with the jaw opening.

However, the upper jaw stays in the same position in tongue and groove pliers, while the lower jaw can be set in several positions. There is a tracking section on the upper jaw through which the lower jaw positions are set. As a jaw remains constant this time, the distance between handles remains the same.

Tongue and Groove Pliers

Image: Tongue and Groove Pliers

How to use tongue and groove plier:

As mentioned earlier, tongue and groove pliers can be an extremely handy tool if you can learn to use them properly. Though the usage is pretty straightforward, you might not feel the same if you use it for the first time. So, to make things easier for you, I have put together this step-by-step guide on how to use tongue and groove pliers. Here’s how you can do it.

Image: How to Use Tongue and Groove Pliers

Step by step guide:

  • Step 1: Get the proper size:
    Though this step is not directly related to usage, you should know it before getting your hands on tongue and groove pliers. This tool comes in different sizes, and the first step of using it is to get the proper size for your targeted job.

  • Step 2: Grabbing the object-
    Once you get your hand on the right-sized tongue and groove pliers, it’s time to grab the bolts or nuts you are intended to work with. Like regular pliers, open up the handles and grab the object with the open jaw. Then, move the lower handle and jaw through the slots to fasten both jaws onto the object.
  • Step 3: Start applying force-
    After you are done grabbing onto the desired object, it’s time to apply pressure in the opposite direction to move/ unscrew it. As the handles are longer and the grip and leverage get multiplied, it’s pretty easy from this point. Just keep rotating with pressure until your work is done.

Now that you know how to use tongue and groove pliers properly, let’s move on to the advantages and disadvantages of this tool. While there are many advantages, there are some minor drawbacks too you should give a pass. This section will clear out any confusion you might have about the usage of this tool.

Advantages of Tongue and Groove Pliers:

  • Tongue and grab joint pliers allow you to grab onto something like any other pliers do. But in the process, the distance between the handles doesn’t increase. That’s one key advantage that separates it from other standard pliers.
  • Tongue and groove pliers have considerably longer handles than other slip-joint pliers. The length varies between 9” to 13” depending on the model. When in action, the length of the handle adds extra leverage and makes the job easier.
  • For jobs where you need extra grip, tongue and groove pliers can be a great help. You don’t get the optimum grip with normal pliers due to the shorter handles and the distance between them. As the handles are longer and distance remains the same, it provide you with an amplified grip.
  • The adjustability of tongue and groove pliers allows you to do a versatile line of jobs. While regular pliers only function within a certain jaw position, it has multiple adjustable positions to grab different-sized objects.

Disadvantages of Tongue and Groove Pliers:

  • Setting the jaws to the right position might be a little tricky for beginners. However, with practice, you’ll get a hold of it in no time.
  • Because of the longer handles, operating in a tight space can get challenging. That’s a drawback if you often need to work in a congested area.


A: Any job that requires you to rotate bolts ad nuts, irregularly shaped objects, and clamping things, you can use tongue and groove pliers there. There are thousands of applications to use groove joint pliers if you look closely.
A: Considering the usefulness, tongue and groove pliers are a must-have tool in any toolbox. Getting your hands on this tool is worth it since it offers sheer convenience and efficiency that no other pliers can.
A: If you look at the price to usefulness ratio, this is one of the most inexpensive tools to handle different tasks at once. Typically, within $30, you’ll find some decent tongue and groove pliers.


If you are planning to assemble your toolbox, tongue and groove pliers is a tool you shouldn’t miss out on at any cost. The versatility makes this tool the jack of all trades, and that’s why this is one of the most used pliers used worldwide. Getting used to it might take some time, but you won’t regret the investment once you get to use it.

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