How To Replace Plier Handles: Everyone Must Know

replace plier grips

Among the tools in your toolbox, pliers are a need. This is a crucial hand tool for gripping, cutting, tightening, and loosening, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional. The ideal plier grips are essential for simplicity of usage and optimal comfort.

But as you keep using your pliers time and again, the handle starts wearing out, hardening, or cracking, Using such pliers is really uncomfortable and can cause blistering in your hands.

In such a case, you think of getting yourself a new set of pliers and throwing away the damaged one.  But you can easily replace them. So, how do you replace plier handles?

In this article, we will look into effective ways to deal with worn-out plier handles. We will be discussing the step-by-step procedures on how to replace a plier grip.

So, keep reading…..

Reasons To Replace Your Plier Handles

Most people go for a new set of pliers rather than putting effort to replace the handle because buying a new plier is easy. But you can’t ignore the fact that no new plier can be more comfortable than your old one.

Let’s look into all the reasons why you should consider replacing your old handles rather than buying a new one.

1. Restore An Old Pair Of Pliers

In many cases, old tools are like treasures. They are very close to your heart. But over the years, plier handles deteriorate while the main metal part remains intact.

It’s not necessary for you to purchase brand-new pliers. Alternatively, you may still repair the old one by just changing the grips. Your pliers will appear brand new for just a few dollars.

2. New Look To Your Favorite Pliers

Sometimes, you do not like the grip or the colour of your handle. You can replace the grips and add a new look to your handles.

The grips don’t need to be damaged or worn out. If you prefer a different feel or wish to view the handles in a different colour, you can replace them.

3. Work More Comfortably

Your hand may suffer if you have poor grips. Every curve and turn will cause you to feel the majority of the force. Your hand or wrist may become more stressed as a result.

In such a case, you can opt for foam grips instead of plastic ones to give a more comfortable feel to your hands.

4. When The Handle Grip Keeps Sliding Off

Some of the grips on the pliers keep coming off. When it happens in the middle of a project, it can be unpleasant since you have to keep stopping and putting things back.

You need to replace your handles as soon as possible so that you will get a tight grip and can work in peace.

How To Replace Plier Handles

Replacing plier handles is quite easy when you get the proper guidance on how to do it. Here we have listed down the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Get New Handles

You can easily get the Klein Tools 89 Replacement Handles for your pliers. I have found this to be the best handle after thorough research.

These are hard plastic made in the USA, are slip resistant with extra comfort, and can fit any plier of 8-inch to 9-inch with easy installation.

Step 2: Remove The Old Handles

To remove the old handle covers from the handles, make cut through them with a utility knife and then pull them off.

But if the handles are loose enough, you don’t need to make a cut. Simply pull the plastic handle out from the plier.

Step 3: Clean The Handles

Clean the handles with soapy water and a wire brush. If there is rust on your tool make sure to remove all the rust from your plier.

Rinse it off with water and wipe it with a clean towel until dry. Remember to not miss this step because if the handles are dirty, the plastic handle will not stick properly.

Step 4: Dip The Plastic Sip Handles In Hot Water

Dip the handle completely in hot water of about 70-80 deg C and allow them to sit for a few seconds until the plastic softens a bit. Remember not to keep the plastic submerged for too long.

Remove the plastic from the hot water every 10 secs and check it. Remember, it should not be too firm or too soft.

Step 5: Install The New Grips Into The Handle

Once you are done, remove the plastic from the hot water, drain out all the water and slide your pliers straight into the grips one at a time.

If you find difficulty in pushing the pliers to the very end of the plastic handle, dip the end portion in hot water again and keep pushing with full force till you reach the end.

Step 6: Wait For Cooling

When you have fully inserted the handles into your piers, you will notice that no matter how perfectly you have inserted the handles, they tend to slip away from the plier.

You will observe that the handle you inserted keep sliding a bit. Not a thing to worry about. Wait until the plastic cools down completely. Gradually, it will retain its shape and have a tight hold on the plier.

Other ways To Fix Your Loose Plier Handles

If your plier handles have become loose and you don’t want a complete replacement of your plier handles, you can also use other methods to tighten up the grip so that it doesn’t slip anymore.

Method 1: Heating

The first method you can try is by heating the metal. Remove the loose handle and start heating the metal handle.

Once the metal gets heated up, put back the plastic grip into the handle. The heat will help the grip shrink and fit strongly into the handles so that it doesn’t slip again.

Method 2: Rubber Dips

Another method you can try is using rubber dips. These are easily available online and can be preferred if you want to give a new look to your plier.

You need to remove the existing rubber coating from your plier. Clean and dry it completely before dipping it into the plastic dip.

Dip the handles up to the desired length and allow to dry for 30 mins before giving a second coating. For better durability, go for at least 3 coats.

Allow it to dry and harden completely before you use them. This will make your old pliers completely new with good grips. Not only pliers, but you can also use this for any tool.


I personally feel investing in a plier handle rather than buying a new one because it is definitely worth it if you love your tools.

Now you have learned why you should consider replacing a handle and the different ways how you can get a new handle with a step-by-step procedure.

So next time, don’t be quick to throw away your vintage pliers just because they have worn-out handles.

Have you tried any of these methods to replace your handles? Let me know down below.

FAQ: How To Replace Plier Handles

Replacing plier handles can be difficult if you don’t know how to do it. That’s why many people just like you have lots of questions to ask. So I have added some of them in this article to provide appropriate answers.

1. Is Buying a New Plier Better Than Replacing Handles?

Ans: Replacing the handles will cost you somewhere between $9 to $12. You can easily get a new plier with this price range. But if you have a vintage collection and love your tools, there is nothing better than replacing the handles.

2. How Can You Remove The Plier Handle Grip?

Ans: You can easily remove the grip on your plier handles by cutting through them using a utility knife and then pulling them off.

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