Pincers (tool)

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A pair of carpenter's pincers
Medieval pincers found in Hamburg-Harburg (15th/16th century)

Pincers are a hand tool used in many situations where a mechanical advantage is required to pinch, cut or pull an object. Pincers are first-class levers, but differ from pliers in that the concentration of force is either to a point, or to an edge perpendicular to the length of the tool. This allows pincers to be brought close to a surface, as is often required when working with nails. If the pincers have perpendicular cutting edges, the pincers are often called end-nippers or end-cutters. Carpenter's pincers are particularly suited to these tasks. Pincers are primarily used for removing objects out of a material that they have been previously applied to. Pincers, often red-hot, have been used as an instrument of torture[1] since ancient Roman times or earlier.

Pliers are a similar tool with a different type of head used for squeezing, rather than cutting and pulling.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Example of the use of pincers for torture in mediaeval Italy