The primary purpose of the tool known as pliers is to grip objects firmly. The objects can then be turned, bent, or otherwise manipulated. Pliers have parallel handles, a pivot where the handles join, and parallel jaws that grasp the object.
Special-use pliers may have additional components and purposes, such as cutting pliers. Types of pliers include engineer's pliers for gripping metal, flat-nosed pliers for grasping smaller objects, electrician's pliers for gripping electrical wires, and round-nosed pliers for bending wire into loops.
The most common are slip-joint and plumber's pliers, both with slip-joint adjustments to change the width of the jaw grip. In addition, locking pliers, sometimes known by the Vice-Grip brand name, are popular for firmly holding objects.
Slip joint pliers are pliers whose pivot point or fulcrum can be moved to increase the size range of their jaws. Most slip joint pliers use a mechanism that allows sliding the pivot point into one of several positions when the pliers are fully opened.