Hog ring pliers make all the difference in projects that require the use of hog ring fasteners. In this article, I review the best hog ring pliers in the market.
Whether you are installing a wire fence, upholstering your car seats, crimping bungee cords, or sealing sausage casings, you need hog ring pliers for crimping the hog ring fasteners. These are special types of pliers for attaching hog rings.
What are hog ring pliers?
Hog ring pliers are special types of pliers for installing hog rings. They have grooves molded into the jaws for holding hog rings. When you put a hog clip between the jaws and then squeeze the handles, the jaws crimp the clip to close it. If there is an object inside the clip, the clip will loop around it.
Hog rings do have pointed ends to poke through fabric or soft material. So if you are attaching the ring fastener around a metal rod embedded in fabric such as the car seat bars inside the seat cushions, you don’t have to worry about how the ring will go through the cushion. The ends are wedged to poke through fabric with ease when you compress the fastener.
Hog ring pliers come in various sizes and dimensions. Most are 45 degrees or straight. They are made to grip, hold, and mold a hog ring for closure around whatever piece of material you are working on.
Although some hog pliers have regular handles the best ones are spring-loaded to keep the jaws closed. This helps hold a hog ring between the jaws hands-free while you prepare your work piece for clipping. Some also come with cushion grip handles making them more comfortable to work with all day long.
Factors to consider when shopping for hog ring pliers
Spring-loaded handle or not?
Hog ring pliers have two types of handles; regular or spring-loaded. Although slightly more expensive, spring-loaded hog rings pliers are easier to use. They also cause less fatigue on your hand and wrist.
The spring mechanism helps to retain the fasteners between the jaws without you pressing the handles. This feature is necessary for operating the pliers with one hand. It lets you set the hog ring between the jaws first so that you can use both hands to prepare where you want to stitch and then use one hand to crimp in the fastener. The feature is very useful in auto upholstery.
Straight or angled jaws?
When shopping for Hog ring pliers , there are two types of jaws to choose from. You can either have the bent head or straight. The bent head is perfect for applications in very tight spaces whereas the straight head is for general purpose use. Furthermore, angled jaws of any pliers provide good visibility on the work piece. So, if you are looking for hog pliers that will provide great visibility on the work piece and get to tight spots as well, then the angled head pliers are the best.
When clamping sausage casings, I find the bent head hog ring pliers very handy. The pliers let you squeeze the sausage from the open end more easily to expel as much air as possible before crimping a hog ring into place. The outcome is a tight compact summer sausage.
That said, pliers with straight jaws are generally more versatile when visibility is not a concern.
Size of the pliers and hog rings
The bigger the pliers, the heftier it is in your hands. However, bigger pliers are more heavy-duty and can do hard tasks. And so are the large hog ring pliers. But your application will determine the size of hog ring pliers to buy. For example, hog rings for sausage making are small enough to press with small hog ring pliers. In contrast, fencing hog rings are heavy-duty and thus require heavy-duty hog ring pliers to compress them.
Another way to look at size is by considering how wide the jaws open. Different applications use different sizes of hog clips, typically from 1/4″ and above. So, you should choose the pliers that open wide enough to accommodate the ring fasteners for your application. For example, if you are attaching a bungee hook to a 5/8 shock cord, you need hog pliers that will accept at least a 5/8″ hog ring.
Handle design and comfort
Some hog ring pliers have needle nose jaws while majority are stubby. Stubby ring pliers provide more leverage for closing hog rings than the long nose jaws. As such, the stubby nose ring pliers are perfect for heavier-gauge hog rings whereas the needle nose hog ring pliers are perfect for installing lighter-gauge rings in tight spaces.
The HAIAN hog ring pliers are the best from China. They are made from forged steel for extra hardness and strength and have a premium-quality feel. What is unique about them is that instead of having a bent head, they have bent handles. They also have a spring clip to keep the jaws open instead of closed. These two features make them great for upholstering in tight spaces such as attaching car seat heater elements.
Furthermore, the handles of the pliers have a vinyl coating to prevent slipping. Also, the grooves in the jaws are deep enough to keep large hog rings in place when crimping them. With these pliers, you can compress rings as large as 3/4 inches in a snap. They are simply the best China made, professional hog pliers for heavy duty work such as auto upholstery .
The only challenge with the open ring pliers is that you have to press the handles together to retain the fastener. Otherwise, the fastener will fall. Other than that, the pliers are easy to load new fasteners.
In addition to the curved open hog pliers, HAIAN makes the straight and curved-closed version as well. All bear the same heavy-duty and quality feel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use regular pliers for hog rings?
Regular pliers are good for a variety of projects but are not good for crimping hog rings. If you try, the hog clips might come flying at your face because the regular pliers do not have grooves on the jaws to hold the clip in place and keep it from snapping out. So, the safest way to crimp hog rings is using hog ring pliers.
How do you attach a hog ring to a chain-link fence?
One of the things you can do with hog ring pliers is to attach hog rings to chain link fence to secure it to a tension wire. You can also use the rings to weave together two pieces of chain link mesh. It is a very simple exercise. Simply open the jaws of the hog ring pliers and stick the hog ring clip inside the grooves of the jaws with the open side facing outside. If your pliers are not spring-loaded, squeeze the handles lightly to keep the clip from falling. Then put the clip around the chain-link wire and press the handles of the pliers hard to bend the open clip. Press until both ends of the hog ring overlap to make a tight ring. Use as many hog rings as you need to secure the fence properly.
What can I use instead of hog ring pliers?
Hog ring pliers are the best for installing hog clips but when you do not have them, you can try crimping the rings with regular pliers. But be sure to put on a face shield to protect you from the flying rings that snap out of the jaws when being compressed. If you are working on a big wire fencing project, you might consider a hog ring gun. Such guns however take C ring magazines.