What Are The Best Hose Clamp Pliers? – 2020 Reviews
Your car is packed with hoses – but dealing with them can be one of the most frustrating parts of auto repair!
Fortunately, hose clamp pliers are a specialized tool here to help. They allow you to remove and replace hoses with ease, even when those hoses are hard to reach by hand.
Not sure what hose clamp pliers are the best choice for your garage? Our complete guide has everything you need to know about these unique tools. Plus, we’ve gathered up the best options for 2020.
Compare Our Top 3 Picks for Best Hose Clamp Pliers
- Our #1 Pick – Astro Pneumatic Tool Hose Clamp Pliers
- Our #2 Pick – Hose Clamp Pliers from Mainpoint
- Our #3 Pick – Betooll 9-Piece Set Hose Clamp Pliers
- Our #4 Pick – 8MileLake 24” Flexible Hose Clamp Pliers
- Our #5 Pick – GearWrench 145 Hose Pinch Off Pliers
- Our #6 Pick – FreeTec Nine-Piece Hose Clamp and Long-Reach Pliers Set
- Our #7 Pick – Swpeet Four-Piece Clamp Plier Set
- Our #8 Pick – Ares 24-inch Heavy-Duty Hose Clamp Plier
- Our #9 Pick – Wisdomen Angled Hose Clamp Pliers
- Frequently Asked Questions about Hose Clamp Pliers
- What are Hose Clamp Pliers?
- What are Hose Clamps?
- What Do Hose Clamp Pliers Do?
- What are the Benefits of Hose Clamp Pliers?
- How Do I Use Hose Clamp Pliers?
- How Do I Find the Best Hose Clamp Pliers?
- Cable Length
- Opening Size
- Locking Mechanism
- When Do I Need These Pliers?
Our #1 Pick – Astro Pneumatic Tool Hose Clamp Pliers
Astro Pneumatic Tool is the inventor of the hose clamp pliers, and their 9409A model is a strong, easy-to-use tool suitable for a wide range of general automotive maintenance and repairs.
- Thick, strong cable
- Versatile sizing options
- Wide, deep gears
- Great for general purpose auto work
a trusted brand today. Their 9409A model is a great all-purpose tool which fits both plastic and metal hose clamps between 18 and 54mm.
The re-engineered, double-gear lock lever has wide, deep gears for secure locking. The cable assembly has been recently redesigned to provide a stronger connection.
The flexible, high-strength cable has an extended range to reach deep inside your engine. Once attached, the pliers can be locked in place for a hands-free hold.
Our #2 Pick – Hose Clamp Pliers from Mainpoint
Suitable for heavy-duty, professional repair, these hose clamp pliers from Mainpoint can remove both flat and ring type hose clamps.
- Professional quality
- Durable high-carbon steel construction
- Comfortable rubber handles
- Handles aren’t spring loaded
- Can be difficult to use with one hand
Whether you’re working in a home garage or professional shop, these hose clamp pliers from mainpoint won’t let you down. They can install and remove almost any type of flat-type or ring-type hose clamps. They have a max opening of an inch and three quarters.
The grips are comfortable and ergonomic with handles double-dipped in rubber. Made from high carbon steel, the pliers are long-lasting and strong. The clamp also swivels for multiple angle access.
Our #3 Pick – Betooll 9-Piece Set Hose Clamp Pliers
This complete set of specialized hose clamp pliers lets you handle practically any and every hose-related job in your engine.
- Set of nine specialty pliers
- Includes durable carrying/storage case
- Soft, ergonomic handles
- Includes tools to help with hose removal
- Not all types of pliers are equally useful
Aside from the flexible cable hose pliers, this nine-piece set includes cross-slotted jaw pliers, curved hose clamp pliers, hose removal pliers, and more. It even includes a double-head screwdriver and a hose removal hook.
All pliers are made from sturdy steel with comfortable, orange handle grips. They lock clamps into an open position, so your hands are free to work.
All nine tools snap into a custom slot inside the compact, durable carrying case. It’s a versatile set of specialized hose clamp pliers which is easy to carry and keep organized.
Our #4 Pick – 8MileLake 24” Flexible Hose Clamp Pliers
A heavy-duty pair of pliers which flexes into almost any position and can reach up to two feet.
- Strong steel construction
- Maximum opening of an inch and a half
- Reliable locking mechanism
- Includes two-foot cable
- Handle design can feel clumsy
These pliers from 8MileLake combine strength with flexibility. They have a 24-inch cable which can bend to almost any position. You’ll even be able to access the trickiest flat-type hose clamps.
The maximum opening is an inch and a half. You should be able to grab all the major hoses in your car with no problem. Plus, the locking mechanism holds the clamps open securely.
Our #5 Pick – GearWrench 145 Hose Pinch Off Pliers
A strong, solid pair of pliers from trusted tool manufacturer GearWrench.
- Strong, steel construction
- Rubber handles create a comfortable, secure grip
- Automatic locking ratchet grabs a variety of hoses
- Trusted manufacturer is known for quality
- Pliers do not have a flexible cable for extended reach
GearWrench is a tool pioneer. In 1996, they created a patented five-degree ratcheting wrench which is still used by mechanics today. They’ve brought this same commitment to quality to their hose clamp pinch-off pliers.
The pliers are made from stainless steel with comfortable rubber handles. They have an automatic locking ratchet which allows for easy adjustment to hoses of different sizes. The jaws swivel to allow for parallel clamping.
Our #6 Pick – FreeTec Nine-Piece Hose Clamp and Long-Reach Pliers Set
This nine-piece set of hose clamp pliers can easily reach long distances into cramped, hidden engine areas.
- Includes nine different types of pliers
- Great for reaching into tight spaces
- Includes carrying case
- Pliers have difficulty grasping small clamps
Practically nothing can escape the grasp of the pliers in this nine-piece set from FreeTec. It includes a huge variety of hose pliers all designed to reach deep into your engine where fingers and hands are unable to go.
The set includes a hose clamp plier, flat band hose clamp plier, hose remover plier, Click-R Collar plier and more. Everything fits snug and secure in the compact carrying case.
Generally, these pliers are better at gripping larger hoses than smaller ones. The cable clamp, in particular, has difficulty gripping small spring hose clamps.
Our #7 Pick – Swpeet Four-Piece Clamp Plier Set
Swpeet’s four-piece set includes a variety of clamp pliers plus a complete hose removal hook set.
- Includes both cross-slotted and flat-band hose clamp pliers
- Pliers are made from durable and long-lasting carbon steel
- Includes hose removal hook set with two different tools
- Only includes two pairs of pliers
Although four pliers might seem small for a set, the specific tools offer a ton of versatility. It includes both cross-slotted jaw pliers plus flat-band hose clamp pliers. All pliers are made from high carbon steel with double-dipped rubber handles.
The clamps open via a ratchet locking mechanism for a secure, adjustable grip. The jaws swivel to provide maximum flexibility at any angle.
You also get a hose removal hook set with two different designs to fit between various sized hoses. It also includes a cutter and winding mechanism.
Our #8 Pick – Ares 24-inch Heavy-Duty Hose Clamp Plier
A well-designed, comfortable clamp plier with a wide range of grip ranges, a secure locking mechanism, and even an extra cable.
- Designed for both plastic and metal clamps
- Wide grip range
- Comfortable, ergonomic grip
- Includes free bonus cable
- Better for gripping smaller clamps than wide ones
A precision clamp and flexible cable allow you to reach practically any hose in your engine. They can remove plastic and metal self-tightening hose clamps. They’re able to grip clamps between 11/16ths of an inch up to two and a half inches in diameter.
Using the pliers is generally a comfortable experience. They have ergonomic handles which allow you to apply a precise amount of pressure through the cable. Plus, an extra cable is included for free.
Our #9 Pick – Wisdomen Angled Hose Clamp Pliers
With a unique angled shape and swivel jaw, these hose clamp pliers from Wisdomen work great at removing spring bundles and installing water hoses.
- Angled jaw for improved grip
- Comfortable, non-slip handles
- Galvanized metal allow won’t rust or corrode
- Designed to remove spring clamps
- Doesn’t include cable
Ideal for removing spring bundles, these pliers have a forty-five-degree elbow to increase the range of movement when used deep inside the engine. They’re 21.5 cm long with a handle length of 9.5 cm.
With a maximum opening of 3.5 cm, they’re able to grip a wide range of hoses, but they’re best for smaller clamps.
The pliers are made from durable, galvanized metal alloys. They’re rust-proof and corrosion resistant. The handles have a comfortable, non-slip handle made from soft plastic.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hose Clamp Pliers
What are Hose Clamp Pliers?
Have you ever popped the hood, stared at your engine, and simply marveled at all the stuff inside? Even an experienced mechanic can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of components inside a modern engine.
As engines grow increasingly complex, the tools in your garage need to be increasingly specialized. Hose clamp pliers are one of the newest types of specialty tools. They’re used to both install and remove hose clamps.
What are Hose Clamps?
Vehicles use a variety of different types and sizes of hoses to move fuel, oil, water, and more. The hoses need to be secured inside the engine, so they avoid touching other components. Plus, space inside the engine is at a premium, so hose clamps help keep everything organized.
Also called hose clips, hose clamps are circular rings with some type of closing mechanism or adjustable fastener. They’re placed around hoses to attach and seal them to pipes or fittings. There are a few different types of hose clamps:
- Ear Clamps – They’re closed with a pincer tool
- Quick Release Clamps – They’re easy to install and remove thanks to a hinged latch
- Spring Hose Clamps – A strip of spring steel compresses to form a seal
- Snap Grip Hose Clamps – Pliers pinch the interlocking, toothed jaws to close these clamps
- T-bolt Hose Clamps – They’re tightened with a hex nut
- Worm Gear Hose Clamps – They use a worm gear arrangement to close
Hose clamps connect all sorts of different hoses so, as you might expect, they’re available in many different sizes. The most popular sizes are between one and six inches, usually in one-inch increments.
Most hose clamps are made from metal. Stainless steel is the most popular metal for hose clamps, especially for clamps used in a vehicle, because it’s resistant to corrosion.
What Do Hose Clamp Pliers Do?
Hose clamps play a vital role in keeping your engine running. But dealing with hose clamps can be a real hassle. Depending on the type of clamp, you might need to press a latch down with a screwdriver, unscrew a hex nut or otherwise perform some intricate maneuver.
Plus, hose clamps can be difficult to access. They’re found at each end of a hose. Depending on the type of hose, the clamp could be buried deep within the engine surrounded by other components.
Hose clamp pliers make removing and attaching hoses much easier. They lock onto the hose clamp and squeeze it open. Once the clamp is open, the pliers can hold it securely out of the way.
There are a few different types of hose clamp pliers:
Flexible cable hose clamp pliers use a strong, thin cable to manipulate the outer edges of the hose clamp. They’re the most popular and common type of hose clamp pliers.
Most hose clamp pliers with a cable are designed for spring-type hose clamps. Sprung clamps can be either wire or flat-band style. They’re the most common type of hose clamp found in cars. They’re used throughout the oil, fuel and coolant lines.
Traditional hose clamp pliers do the same thing, only without the cable. They can’t reach into tight, cramped areas. You need space to move your hands to use these pliers. However, they’re also a bit easier to use, because you don’t have to manipulate the cable.
Flat band hose clamp pliers remove and install a certain type of clamp called a flat band. They’re mainly used when working with radiators and heater hoses.
Clic-R pliers are used when working with a special type of clamp called a clic hose or Clic-R clamp.
What are the Benefits of Hose Clamp Pliers?
Hose clamp pliers:
- Allow you to access small, cramped area
- Protect your hands
- Protect your engine
The fitting end of flexible cable pliers can secure directly to the hose. You can easily remove a hose even if it’s in a cramped area which you can’t reach your hands into.
Plus, shoving your hands into the smallest corners of your hands is a good way to cut, scratch, and burn yourself. Letting the cable on the pliers do the work helps avoid accidental injuries.
Finally, hose clamp pliers help protect your engine from accidental damage. If you’re trying to open a hose clamp with a screwdriver, you’re just one slip away from accidentally piercing or scratching a nearby component.
How Do I Use Hose Clamp Pliers?
Hose clamp pliers are fairly simple to use, but they can require some finesse. If they feel a bit cumbersome to use at first, try practicing on larger, easy-to-see hose clamps instead of trickier ones deep within the engine.
Before loosening a hose clamp, make sure the vehicle is off and the hose is clear of all fluid. You’ll likely have to empty the fluid from a reservoir such as an oil or windshield washer fluid reservoir. Never place pliers on a filled hose. The shift in pressure can cause the hose to rupture or back up into mechanical components and cause serious engine damage.
Once the host is safe to work on, you can attach the plier. It’s designed to fit onto the outer edge of the hose clamp. Closing the pliers then collapses the clamp, causing it to open.
Next, you’ll slip the hose clamp past the male fitting of the hose. The clamp will be out of the way at this point. Opening the pliers locks the clamp closed where it won’t move around.
You can now remove the hose. If the hose is difficult to remove, use the clamp pliers. It can fit directly on the hose. For especially stubborn hoses, you can also use a special tool called a hose removal hook.
How Do I Find the Best Hose Clamp Pliers?
Here are the main features you’ll want to consider when selecting a pair of clamp pliers:
The cable should be long enough to reach both ends of the hose. Cables range from 12 to 24 inches long. Generally, longer cables give you more flexibility regarding what hoses can be reached. A two-foot cable is the most versatile option.
Pliers will have different maximum opening widths. The standard range is between 11/16th of an inch and two and a half inches. That should cover practically everything in a standard engine for most cars and trucks.
However, you might encounter smaller or larger hoses in classic cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, and so on. If you regularly work on a vehicle with atypical hoses, a set of pliers be helpful.
The pliers should have a locking mechanism. Locking the clamp open frees your hands to work on other parts of your car. Almost all pliers will have locking mechanisms.
The locking mechanism should be tight and secure. You don’t want it to release accidentally while you’re working on your car. Also, make sure the pliers are easy to purposefully unlock. The locking mechanism should be reachable even when the pliers are in an awkward position.
Stainless steel is usually the best option for home mechanics. Not only is it strong and long-lasting, but it’s also highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
You can also find pliers made from aluminum. They’re not as durable as steel, but they’re often the least expensive type of clamp pliers. Just don’t count on them lasting for long.
However, aluminum pliers do have their uses. They’re great if you’re looking for a pair of pliers with a unique size or shape which you only need to use once, such as during a specific, rare repair. Aluminum pliers are sometimes reinforced with sections of Teflon.
Keep your pliers in great shape by wiping away dirt and debris after each use. Never allow oil, coolant or general car grime to sit on your pliers for prolonged periods. They can corrode the metal even if it’s galvanized and rust resistant.
The handles should be comfortable and easy to grip. Rubber sleeves are usually the best option. They allow you to keep a secure hold on the pliers even if your hands are covered in oil or other car fluids.
Also, consider the shape of the handles. Straight handles can be hard to grip. Instead, you want handles which have a gentle, ergonomic curve. They’ll help prevent hand cramping after extended use. Plus, ergonomic handles allow you to apply pressure in a controlled, precise way.
When Do I Need These Pliers?
You’ll most likely need hose clamp pliers for repairing coolant hoses.
Coolant hoses are probably the most important type of hoses in your car. They allow for coolant flow between the engine, radiator, and heating block. Coolant hoses include the upper radiator hose, lower radiator, heater hoses, and bypass hose.
Also called antifreeze, coolant is a water/ethylene (or propylene glycol) mixture which your car needs to run. It absorbs heat from the engine and expels it through the radiator. Coolant circulates through the engine – traveling through a series of hoses – the entire time the vehicle is running.
Your car can’t run without coolant for long. The head gaskets are the first to likely go. But eventually, the engine will likely seize and stop. The pistons can melt. Serious, even catastrophic damage can occur.
Coolant hoses should be replaced at the first sign of trouble. Tiny cracks will eventually cause the hose to burst. Fortunately, few hoses burst without warning. You can identify and replace hoses with minor problems before engine damage occurs.
Check hoses for the following early warning signs:
Hose quality has improved dramatically over the years. Modern hoses can last ten years or more. However, automotive experts typically recommend replacing major hoses every five years or so.
Other hoses in your vehicle include:
- Fuel Hoses
- Oil Hoses
- Transmission Hoses
Hoses aren’t always easy to see. They can be hidden away deep in your engine. So instead of checking all hoses directly, you’ll need to look for more roundabout signs of hose problems.
Do you regularly park in the same spot? That’s great. Check the ground underneath your car regularly. You’re looking for stains, drops, and other signs of leaks.
Oil leaks should be fixed right away. If you see oil underneath your car, it’s likely eating through your engine, too.
While oil is probably the most obvious substance to identify, also watch out for other fluids. Blue or green liquid can signify a coolant leak. Even water leaks are a sign of a potential problem.
Sometimes it can feel like there’s a specialized tool for every aspect of car repair – and not all of those tools are necessary. But hose clamp pliers perform a very specific function which other pliers cannot.
If you’re looking for the best all-purpose hose clamp pliers, choose a pair made from stainless steel with rubber handles and a flexible cable which is at least two feet long.
However, that’s just the start of what’s available. You can find sets of specialized hose clamp pliers which will allow you to install and remove hoses of any size.
Working with hoses under the hood is often considered a tedious chore – but it doesn’t have to be. The right pair or set of hose clamp pliers is a great time-saver and trusty tool to have by your side in the garage.