This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.
Slip-Joint Adjustable Pliers
This versatile tool will be more commonly found in a plumber’s toolkit, but I have used a pair for beekeeping purposes for many years. Their adjustable nature (shown at right) allows a wide range of round, hexagonal or flat objects to be gripped firmly. They are also known as water pump pliers and in USA the term ‘pipe wrench’ is used.
This is wrong a pipe wrench is another beast entirely commonly called Stilsons in the oil business at least.
Used in combination with fencing pliers many fence maintenance jobs become even easier. Manipulating stranded wire or forming loops or twists in barbed wire is most easily carried out by using the two pairs of pliers in opposition.
They are easy to use and are readily obtainable. Prices vary from expensive to very cheap, The pair that I have cost a relatively high price and the quality that they represent has paid dividends, as on many occasions they have been used with much physical force. The expense is worthwhile as a cheap pair may well break under heavy use.
The pair illustrated were purchased around 1980 and have seen much use (and even a little abuse). They were made in, what was then, West Germany.
A useful feature of the design is the extra closing leverage that occurs if the pliers (as illustrated at left) are rotated anti clockwise.
The length of these is 240 mm when closed and when fully opened they will grip a round object that is 35 mm in diameter or a parallel sided object that is 28 mm across the flats.
Very useful for the house as well as the bees.