End cutting nippers and Pincers, What are they?

Do you want to grip and pull out nails from boards and trim or clip the nails flush with the surface? Find out which type of end cutter pliers you need between carpenters pincers and end cutting nippers.

Whether you are remodeling your house or demolishing a structure, you need a tool that will cut nails and sometimes pull them out. While a claw hammer can come in handy in pulling out nails, it might not be very useful in tight spaces. Also, you cannot use a hammer to cut nails. This is where pincers and end cutting nippers come in handy.

What are end cutting nippers/pliers and their uses?

End cutting pliers or nippers are a type of pliers with the cutting edge at the front. They have circular wide jaws with sharp ends. The jaws close to grab an object and cut it when you squeeze the handles tight.

parts of end cutter pliers
Parts of end nipper pliers

Both jaws of end nippers are sharpened to sever nails and wires like butter when you close them. You can use the pliers to cut large nails with minimal effort because the fulcrum is far from the effort and very close to the load thus providing a great mechanical advantage.

When the blades of end nippers close, the head appears flat at the top. This helps to cut nails flush with the surface. Carpenters use these pliers to cut protruding finish nails and brad nails from trim and to nip off nail heads.

However, when you look closely, you will notice that the head of the end nippers is not perfectly flat. It has a slight curve that enables the pliers to roll over when using them to pull out nails.


Although you can use end nippers to pull out nails from structures, they are not the best for the job. Instead, carpenter’s pincers are the right pliers for pulling nails. On the other hand, end cutters are more suitable for cutting nails and wires. That is why they are very common in concrete work for twisting and cutting tie wires on reinforcement bars or rebars. In fact, some people call them concretor’s nippers or concrete nippers.

To bind rebars using end nippers, simply run a piece of the tie wire across a joint where the horizontal and vertical reinforcement bars cross. Then grab both ends of the wire with the nippers and twist around until it is tight. Finally, squeeze the handles of the pliers to nip off the twisted tie wire to length. Cut about 1 inch from the base where the twisting starts.

If you are building a wire fence you can use nippers to cut chain link mesh and tension wires. These pliers cut just about any steel wire. All you need is to get the right size of pliers that will provide a good mechanical advantage when cutting tough steel wire.

Which are the best end-cutting nippers?

My favorite pair of end nippers are the 8-inch Wiha end-cutting nippers. They have sharp jaws that open at least 5/8 inches wide. The Wiha end nippers are forged from chrome vanadium steel and are rated to cut up to #4 AWG copper wire. I use them to cut off penny nails and rivets and the blades do not dull or get nicked. Their handles are well made and make the tool very comfortable in your hands. If you wish to buy a pair for your project, I have put a link to them on Amazon below:

What are carpenters pincers?

pincers and end nippers
The difference between pincers and end nippers

Carpenters pincers are a type of end cutter pliers for pulling and extracting nails and staples from wood material. They have a smooth rounded head that rolls better than the regular end nippers. When you look at the comparison picture above, you see that the circular shape of the jaws is more pronounced on the pincers than nippers.

The round shape and long handles of pincer pliers provide good leverage for pulling and extracting nails from material without digging into the surface. This makes the carpenter’s pliers great for pulling finish nails and brad nails from wood frames and trims without causing damage

Another difference between end nippers and carpenter’s pincers is that the jaws of pincers are blunt while those of nippers are sharp. However, some have an anvil blade design in that one blade is sharp and the other has a dull edge. The sharp blade bites into a fastener without necessarily cutting it to minimize slippage when pulling it out.


Therefore, pincers are not the perfect choice for cutting objects but can pull nails without cutting them. That is why they are exclusively suitable for carpentry work for removing nails and staples from furniture and other wood projects. You can also use them to pull out nails from tight corners such as on cabinet hinges where a claw hammer or fencing pliers cannot access.

Thus, carpenters’ pincers make great demolishing pliers. You can use them to dismantle old wooden furniture and structures to reuse wood. So, if you are a remodeler or carpenter, a pair of pincers pliers is a tool that deserves a place in your tool belt. Not even in your toolbox!

Which are the best carpenter’s pincers?

The 8 1/4 inch Knipex Carpenter’s end cutting pliers are the best pincers in the market. They are forged steel that is hardened with carbon, chromium, and vanadium for increased durability. The jaws are designed to cut, pinch, and pull objects. You can use the pliers to pull nails or cut them off. The jaws are rated 60 HRC on the Rockwell Scale. Between them, there is a wide gap that you can use to grip and pull round objects such as pipes and steel rods. The Knipex is available on various online hardware and retail stores such as Amazon and Home Depot. I have put a link to the tool on Amazon.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. A blog that informs and educates you about different types of pliers and their uses. Julio is a handy person and has used a variety of pliers including general-purpose and specialty pliers to accomplish tasks. He holds an electrical engineering degree and has previously worked as an O&M manager for minigrids where his love story with pliers and other tools began.