Lineman’s pliers have a curious name. Essentially they are larger, usually at least 9 inches long, pliers and wire cutters. Since their handles are longer you can apply more torque and thus more force at their cutting end. This is important because of the thickness of the sheathed wiring used in the electrical system. If regular wire cutters are used, you will likely find that you need to make multiple cuts to cut all the way through the all of the wires within the sheathing. Lineman’s pliers on the other hand, are large enough so that all the wires can be cut with a single squeeze. The large tip of the pliers is also very useful for twisting a group of wires together prior to installing a wire nut.
The price of lineman’s pliers can vary substantially with a high of around fifty dollars. However, we found the Commercial Electric 9 in. High-Leverage Multi-Purpose Linesman Pliers , priced under $20, to work exceptionally well.