5 Best Safety Wire Pliers: What They Are Used For and How to Choose the Right Set

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Here is what you need to know about safety wire pliers. A guide for auto enthusiasts and professional mechanics alike.

safety wire pliers

Safety wire pliers originated from the aviation industry, where they used them to hold bolts tightly. You tightly wrapped the safety wire end around the bolt to prevent it from loosening. Nowadays, they have also found a home within motorsport. This technique is not familiar. It’s only used where high-speed travel puts an additional strain on bolts.

Safety wire pliers are an excellent tool for any backyard mechanic or professional auto technician to have on hand. You can use these pliers to install and remove safety wiring, which is essential to prevent the nuts from loosening when they become vibrated by engine movement. 

The chances are (because you’re reading this) you need a safety wire plier but are unfamiliar with what they are, how they work, and your buying options. 

Safety wire pliers should not be confused with regular needle-nose or groove joint pliers, as their jaw shape is designed specifically for this task. We have reviewed five of the best models available so you can choose the right set for your needs!

What are Safety Wire Pliers?

A safety wire plier is a positive locking device that prevents fasteners from untightening and, eventually, coming out due to vibration and other forces. Safety wire pliers are put on the fastener, which is then pulled to tighten. Safety wire pliers come in various sizes and shapes, making it easier for you to work with different-sized wires. You can use safety wire pliers around any machine or other moving component where there may be a risk of the fasteners loosening due to forces and vibrations.

Here’s an outline of what we provide in this best safety wire pliers review article:

  • First, we weigh each model against each other in our comparison table
  • Next, we’ll advise their features and benefits you’ll find handy
  • Then, we’ll look at each models weakness you might need to know about
  • And finally, we’ll show you a video about how safety wire pliers work

Sound OK? Let’s begin!

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Our Favorite Safety Wire Pliers | Compared:

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Considering other types of pliers, too?

Slip joint pliers

Needle nose pliers

Snap ring pliers

9 Different Types of Pliers – Which One is Right For You?

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5 Best Safety Wire Pliers | Reviewed:


1. Imperial Tool Milbar Wire Twisting Pliers  (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

  • Great performance
  • Reliable
  • Efficient
  • Pricey


2. Race-Driven Safety Wire Pliers (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

  • Great value
  • Ideal for small jobs
  • Not reversible
  • Not for high-performance tasks


3. Stahlwille (Model 6575 1 220) Reversible Wire Twisting Pliers

Pros & Cons

  • Light and compact
  • Built to last
  • Expensive


4. Mostbest 9″ Safety Wire Twisting Pliers

Pros & Cons

  • Good value
  • Well-built
  • Not reversible
  • Hard grip to tighten


5. BikeMaster Safety Wire Pliers (inc 25′ Stainless Steel Wire)

Pros & Cons

  • Cheap
  • Space-saving design
  • Questionable cutting blade
  • Not for professional use



Video: How to Safety Wire Bolts, Grips, and Drill Bolt Heads

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There’s a lot at stake in using safety wire pliers, given they were originally designed to hold bolts tight in aircraft to prevent disasters. We found there was a huge difference in quality between the cheapest to most expensive models, and so if you are a professional race or aircraft engineer buy the best.  

Don’t, PLEASE don’t! Buy the cheapest as it just won’t be as safe.

Imperial Tool Milbar Comfortably won our Best Overall pick. These guys know what they are doing in manufacturing safety wire pliers. Yes, you’ll pay a bit more, but they will pay you back easily throughout your career. There are many options with Milbar, so no matter what you’re working on, they will have a tool that can assist you.

Our Best Value pick went to Race-Driven Safety Wire Pliers. There’s a lot of competition amongst manufacturers in this price bracket, but we felt this gives you the best return on your investment. The build quality is great in comparison with similar tools.

We hope you have found our review of safety wire pliers useful, and you can now decide which tool is the right fit for you.

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Walts DIY is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Walter Snyder