Whether you are installing a wire fence, upholstering your car seats, crimping bungee cords, or sealing sausage casings, you need hog ring pliers for crimping hog ring fasteners. These are special types of pliers for attaching hog rings. Learn more about hog rings and their applications here.
The pliers have grooves molded into the jaws for holding the ring fasteners. When you squeeze the handles, the jaws close to crimp the hog clip so that it loops around an object. The clip itself has pointed ends to poke through whatever it’s being attached to.
The hog ring pliers come in various sizes and dimensions. Most are 45 degrees or straight. They are made to grip, hold, and mold a hog ring for closure around whatever piece of material you are working on.
Although some hog pliers have regular handles the best ones are spring-loaded for holding the hong rings in place easily and handsfree. Some also come with cushion grip handles making them more comfortable to work with all day long.
In this article, I bring you the 6 best hog rings pliers in the market. But before that. let’s look at the features to look for when buying the pliers.
Factors to consider when shopping for hog ring pliers
Spring-loaded handle or not?
Hog ring pliers have two types of handles; regular or spring-loaded. Although a tad more expensive, hog rings pliers with spring-loaded handles are easier to use. They also cause less fatigue on your hand and wrist.
The spring mechanism helps to retain the fasteners between the jaws without you pressing the handles. This feature is necessary for operating the pliers with one hand. It lets you set the hog ring between the jaws first so that you can use both hands to prepare where you want to stitch and then use one hand to crimp in the fastener. The feature is very useful in auto upholstery.
Straigh or angled jaws?
When shopping for hog ring pliers, there are two types of jaws to choose from. You can either have the bent head or straight. The bent head is perfect for applications in very tight spaces whereas the straight head is for general purpose use. Furthermore, angled jaws of any pliers provide good visibility on the workpiece. So, if you are looking for hog pliers that will provide great visibility on the workpiece and get to tight spots as well, then the angled head pliers are the best.
When clamping sausage casings, I find the bent head hog ring pliers very handy. The pliers let you squeeze the sausage from the open end more easily to expel as much air as possible before crimping a hog ring into place. The outcome is a tight compact summer sausage.
That said, pliers with straight jaws are generally more versatile when visibility is not a concern.
Size of the pliers and hog rings
The bigger the pliers, the heftier it is in your hands. However, bigger pliers are more heavy-duty and can do the hard tasks. And so are the large hog ring pliers. So, your application will determine the size of hog ring pliers to buy. For example, hog pliers for sausage making are less heavy-duty than fencing hog pliers.
Another way to look at size is by considering how wide the jaws open. Different applications use different sizes of hog clips, typically from 1/4″ and above. So, you should choose the pliers that open wide enough to accommodate the ring fasteners for your application. For example, if you are attaching a bungee hook to a 5/8 shock cord, you need hog pliers that will accept at least a 5/8″ hog ring.
Handle design and comfort
Manual hog ring pliers require you to apply some force to squeeze the ring closed. So, you don’t want a tool that hurts your palm or causes blisters. That is why you should consider the design of the handle and whether it has a comfortable grip.
Size of the jaw
Some hog ring pliers have needle nose jaws while a majority are stubby. Stubby ring pliers provide more leverage for closing hog rings than the long nose jaws. As such, the stubby nose ring pliers are perfect for heavier-gauge hog rings whereas the needle nose hog ring pliers are perfect for installing lighter-gauge rings in tight spaces.
Best Hog Ring Pliers Kits
Ion Tool Hog Ring Pliers Kit – Best for General-Purpose Use
- Accepts common hog ring sizes (3/8″, 1/2″, and 3/4″)
- Spring-loaded mechanism
- Cushioned handles
- 150 flash galvanized hog rings
The Ion Tool Hog Pliers kit is the best overall. It comes with a 7-inch long hog ring pliers and 150 pieces of galvanized D-style hog rings fasteners.
The pliers have a straight steel design and accept fasteners of various sizes from 3/8 inches to 3/4 inches. The handles are solid and are covered with foam for maximum comfort in your hands and to prevent slipping. The foam adheres very well around the handles so that it doesn’t slide off like in many vinyl-coated handles.
The head of the Ion Tool hog pliers has an internal spring that keeps the jaws closed and hog rings from falling. This spring mechanism also facilitates one-hand operation of the pliers.
You can use this pair of pliers to do many projects including closing rings on ground meat bags, upholstering car seats and furniture, crimping shock cords, and sealing summer sausages. I also used them to do a small fencing project at home and they did a perfect job but they are not the best for serious fencing projects.
Nevertheless, the Ion Tool Hog ring pliers are the best overall. They are affordable, versatile, durable, have a simple design, and will get you through most of your projects.
Dayslives Angled Hog Ring Pliers Kit – Best for Upholstery Installations
- 45-degree bent head
- Spring-loaded jaws
- Cushioned non-slip handles
Dayslives angled hog pliers kit includes the bent-head pliers and 500 pieces of 3/4 inch pig rings. The head is bent to allow you to access tight and awkward spaces. They are perfect for securing heated seat elements.
The pliers are spring-loaded to keep hog rings from falling and the handles are cushioned to increase gripping comfort. The overall quality of the pliers is top-notch, making it a good value for money for any upholsterer or DIYer.
Dewalt Hog Ring Pliers Kit – Best for Fencing
- Automatic feed mechanism
- Spring-loaded mechanism on the jaws
- Rubberized handles
The Dewalt hog pliers kit comes with a pack of 1000 rings and 7.7inch long self-feeding hog ring pliers. As the name suggests, the pliers have an automatic feed mechanism for hog rings. So, instead of setting C rings one by one on the jaws, you install the whole magazine of staples.
Dewalt hog ring pliers have rubber-coated handles for increased gripping comfort. In addition, the feed mechanism is spring-loaded to enable the one-hand operation of the tool. To use it, just squeeze the handles and jaws will crimp one ring at a time from the stick just as an office stapler.
When you want to load new hog rings, just push the spring-loaded tabs in and pull back on the magazine release lever. Then put a new strip of rings and push back the magazine. The Dewalt hog tool is one of the most heavy duty hog ring pliers in the market. Therefore you can use it for heavy-duty tasks such as wire fencing.
The downside of this tool is that it accepts only one size of staples. Just the 11/16-inch hog rings and the minimum closing diameter is 9/32″. So, you cannot use it for applications that require different sizes of fasteners or very tight rings.
Nevertheless, the pliers are heavy duty, easy and fast to load with new staples, making them perfect for tasks that require hundreds of hog rings such as wire fencing, bagging, and netting.
C.S. Osborne Hog Ring Pliers Curved Open – Best for heavier-gauge rings
- Curved handles
- Plastic coated handles
- Spring-loading mechanism keeps jaws open
- Heavy-duty feel
The C.S. Osborne hog ring pliers are the best from the U.S. They are made from forged steel for extra hardness and strength and have a premium-quality feel. What is unique about them is that instead of having a bent head, they have bent handles. They also have a spring clip to keep the jaws open instead of closed. These two features make them great for upholstering in tight spaces such as attaching car seat heater elements.
Furthermore, the handles of the pliers have a vinyl coating to prevent slipping. Also, the grooves in the jaws are deep enough to keep large hog rings in place when crimping them. With these pliers, you can compress rings as large as 3/4 inches in a snap. They are simply the best U.S. made, professional hog pliers for heavy duty work such as auto upholstery .
The only challenge with the Osborne open ring pliers is that you have to press the handles together to retain the fastener. Otherwise, the fastener will fall. Other than that, the pliers are easy to load new fasteners.
In addition to the curved open hog pliers, CS Osborne makes the straight and curved-closed version as well. All bear the same heavy-duty and quality feel.
Nidaye Hog Ring Pliers Kit – Best for Sausage and Bungee Cords
- Straight stainless steel design
- Cushioned non-slip handles
You do not need heavy-duty hog ring pliers to crimp hog rings onto sausage casings or camping shock cords. A simple straight steel design hog pliers tool is all you need to squeeze that 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch C ring.
The Nidaye hog ring pliers are the perfect choice for the job. They have a sturdy alloy steel design to prevent rusting and an integrated spring-loaded design to hold hog rings in the galvanized jaws. Furthermore, the handles are comfortable in your hand because of the foam, non-slip covers.
These hog pliers can work with a range of C-ring sizes including 1/4 inch and 3/4 inch. You can use them to accomplish a range of tasks not only crimping bungee cords and sealing summer sausages but also upholstering car seats and building cages and traps.
Knipex Needle-Nose Hog Ring Pliers – Perfect for tight spaces
- Forged from hardened steel
- Comfort-grip handles
- Chrome-plated finish
The Knipex hog ring pliers are different from the ordinary hog ring pliers. They have long-nose jaws, unlike the regular hog ring pliers that have stubby jaws. The needle nose jaws make the Knipex hog ring tool excellent for installing C rings in tight spaces. You can use them to upgrade upholstery in your car, build pet cages and traps, and any project that involves the use of hardware cloths.
The major downside of these pliers, however, is that the long jaws do not provide a great mechanical advantage as the stubby jaws. From a physics point of view, the further a load is from the fulcrum the more is effort needed to act on that load. So, you would need to put more effort on the Knipex long nose ring pliers to crimp a hog clips than you would with a stubby hog pliers.
That being said, the Knipex pliers are well built, have a better finish and sturdy jaws, and are terrific for squeezing 16 gauge hog rings and lighter. They only struggle with heavier-gauge rings. You can use the pliers on light-duty projects such as upgrading your car upholstery, building traps and pet cages, sealing sausage casings, and any projects that involve the use of hardware cloths. They are the perfect hog ring tool for getting C rings to those tight spots where the stubby pliers cannot reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regular pliers are good for a variety of projects but you cannot use them to crimp hog rings. If you try, the hog clip will come flying onto your face because the regular pliers do not have grooves on the jaws to hold the clip in place and keep it from snapping out. So, hog rings should only be crimped using hog ring pliers.
One of the things you can do with hog ring pliers is to attach hog rings to chain link fence to secure it to a tension wire. You can also use the rings to weave together two pieces of chain link mesh. It is a very simple exercise. Simply open the jaws of the hog ring pliers and stick the hog ring clip inside the grooves of the jaws with the open side facing outside. If your pliers are not spring-loaded, squeeze the handles lightly to keep the clip from falling. Then put the clip around the chain-link wire and press the handles of the pliers hard to bend the open clip. Press until both ends of the hog ring overlap to make a tight ring. Use as many hog rings as you need to secure the fence properly.
Hog ring pliers are the best for installing hog clips but when you do not have them, you can try crimping the rings with regular pliers. But put on a face shield to protect yourself from the flying rings that snap out of the jaws when being compressed. If you are working on a big wire fencing project, you might consider a hog ring gun. Such guns however take C ring magazines.