Main photo credit: J.J. Gouin / Shutterstock.com
If you have done any home plumbing repairs, you’ve probably worked with hose clamps. One of the most common types of hose clamps uses a screw and a worm gear to secure it and prevent leaks.
But when working on a vehicle’s engine cooling, fuel delivery, or brake systems, you may find spring clamps fastening flexible hoses to metal tubing. A spring clamp is a simple device, but it can be fussy to work with as it is designed to hold tight until you squeeze two tabs to loosen it for installation or removal.
Therefore, the easiest way to manipulate spring-type clamps is with a set of pliers designed specifically for the job. If you need hose clamp pliers to help you replace worn-out cooling hoses or fuel or brake lines, we’ve compiled at list of the best such tools.
For more information on the best hose clamp pliers, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor’s Pick: BETOOLL 9-Piece Hose Clamp Pliers Set
- 2. Best on a Budget: GAO HOU Angled Hose Clamp Pliers
- 3. Best Value: Orion Motor Tech 9-Piece Hose Clamp Plier Set
- 4. Swpeet 4-Piece Hose Clamp Plier Set
- 5. Astro Pneumatic 9409A Hose Clamp Pliers
- 6. Drake Off Road Hose Clamp Pliers Set
- 7. Renekton Long-Reach Hose Clamp Pliers
- 8. Cangzhou Qianwei Locking Hose Clamp Pliers
- 9. ARES 71106 Angled Flat Band Hose Clamp Pliers
- 10. BaFu Hose Clamp Pliers
- Why should you use hose clamp pliers?
- What should you look for when buying hose clamp pliers?
- Do all vehicles use the same types of hose clamps?
- Should you buy a single pair of pliers or a multi-piece set of tools?
1. Editor’s Pick: BETOOLL 9-Piece Hose Clamp Pliers Set
We named this BETOOLL 9-piece set as our Editor’s Pick because it will equip your garage for just about any repair job that requires you to remove hose clamps. Be aware, however, that once your friends know you own this kit, you’ll be loaning it out to them frequently.
Inside the sturdy-looking case are six pairs of regular pliers, including swivel jaw and cross-slotted jaw fittings, a set designed to work with click clamps so you can re-use the clamps, and one with handles at a 45-degree angle for reaching tight spaces.
The company also includes a set of flexible long-reach pliers to help you access harder-to-reach areas in your vehicle’s engine bay, and a tool designed to help you pull tight-fitting hoses off of hard lines once the clamp is removed. Finally, this set includes a hose removal hook and a double-head (Phillips and flathead) screwdriver.
All of the pliers in this set have grippy, rubberized handles and a locking mechanism to hold a clamp open while you position the hose on its fitting.
2. Best on a Budget: GAO HOU Angled Hose Clamp Pliers
There are a lot of car repair jobs you may only need to do once or twice, including replacing hoses held on by constant tension clamps. Sure, you could rent the appropriate tool for the job, or, for about the same cost, buy GAO HOU’s angled hose clamp pliers.
This tool comes in a standard straight design or with a head angled at about 45 degrees, so choose the one you think will work best for the job at hand. The angled tool is a bit more expensive, but either way, these pliers should do the trick for removing clamps on engine cooling and fuel lines.
GAO HOU’s design has jaws that rotate so you can set the pliers to work at any angle you need, and the company says they’re made to open extra wide to fit around clamps large and small. There’s also a locking ratchet mechanism to hold the pliers in position so you can use both hands elsewhere.
The handles are dipped in non-slip plastic, while the metal portions are made of galvanized alloy with an anti-rust coating.
3. Best Value: Orion Motor Tech 9-Piece Hose Clamp Plier Set
From Orion Motor Tech comes this 9-piece set of hose clamp pliers. Orion’s set has a higher Amazon customer rating than the BETOOLL product we named our Editor’s Pick, but has been rated by fewer buyers. Hence, we’ve named it the best value of the hose clamp plier products that made the cut for our list.
We like this Orion set because, for one thing, it includes instructions on how to use each type of pliers. The makers of most of the other products here assume you’ve worked with hose clamps before and leave beginners to consult the internet for help.
Another plus is that Orion makes it clear its pliers will work with clamps measuring anywhere from 11/16 inch to 2-1/2 inches, so you don’t have to guess at whether this set is appropriate for the job you’re doing.
In the bright orange case, you’ll find pliers designed for collar and flat band hose clamps, angled and cable-operated flexible hose pliers, cross-slotted and swivel jaw designs, two hose removal tools, and a double-headed screwdriver.
The company says each set of pliers has a locking mechanism, rubberized ergonomic handles, and heated-treated metal parts coated with corrosion-resistant black oxide.
4. Swpeet 4-Piece Hose Clamp Plier Set
Swpeet’s 4-piece plier set is a more basic kit designed to suit your more straightforward home mechanic needs.
The set includes two pairs of pliers, one with swiveling cross-slotted jaws to allow you to use them at any angle, and the other made to grip flat band clamps. The company says these tools will work on any size of clamp, from the tiny ones that hold vacuum lines in place, to the larger type found on radiator hoses.
There are also two types of hose removal hooks, one U-type and one V-type, with built-in cutters and winding mechanisms.
Swpeet says you can also use its pliers for the ear-type clamps that hold on driveshaft CV joint boots. A ratchet locking mechanism holds the pliers in place and is easily released with a thumb lever.
The pliers in this set are made from high carbon steel with handles double dipped in rubber to give you good grip. Measurements are 8.66 inches for the flat band pliers and 8.46 inches for the cross-slotted ones, while the hooks are 7.87 inches and 7.67 inches long for the U- and V-type tools, respectively.
All of Swpeet’s tools are tested for strength, durability, and fit.
5. Astro Pneumatic 9409A Hose Clamp Pliers
From the Astro Pneumatic Tool Company comes these stand-alone cable-operated pliers, which are a useful addition to a home mechanic’s toolbox.
Long-reach pliers allow you to grip clamps in tight spots where there isn’t enough room for the handles, or your hands, for that matter. Rubber dipped handles let you get a good grip on the pliers themselves.
Astro Pneumatic says these pliers will work on clamps measuring anywhere between 11/16 inch to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and the cable end can be adjusted to fit clamps anywhere between those two dimensions. You can lock these pliers in place to free up both hands, and a thumb lever releases the lock.
The company does state that its model 9409A pliers are an improvement on one of its older designs, featuring a widened lock lever with two teeth and deeper-cut gears for proper alignment with the lock lever. This product also has a larger, stronger cable and an improved adjuster for the cable end.
Finally, Astro Pneumatic makes it easy to replace the cable, spring, and lock on these pliers so you can replace worn parts instead of buying an entire new tool.
6. Drake Off Road Hose Clamp Pliers Set
Drake Off Road offers these hose clamp pliers to home and professional mechanics in search of no-nonsense tools who just want to get the job done.
This 2-piece set of pliers includes one with cross-slotted jaws and another with jaws meant for flat band clamps. In both cases, the jaws rotate to suit any angle, and Drake says its pliers will work on most ring-type or flat-band clamps.
Once you get the pliers where you need them and open the clamp, a rachet locking mechanism holds them in place to free up both hands for other tasks.
These pliers open to a maximum of 3-1/4 inches, so these may be the tools to buy if you’re working with particularly large hoses and clamps. The jaws and hinges are made from black coated metal riveted to silver handles covered in grippy rubber.
These are among the best-rated clamps in our list, and you can see why in one customer’s video, which shows these pliers to be well-constructed and easy to use with wide handles.
7. Renekton Long-Reach Hose Clamp Pliers
Here’s another set of long-reach hose clamp pliers offered as a stand-alone product to add to your arsenal of car repair tools.
Renekton says its pliers will work on clamps holding in place fuel, coolant, and oil hoses in diameters measuring between 11/16 inch to 2-1/2 inches, which are pretty standard specifications for this type of tool.
Meanwhile, the 24-inch cable allows you to work remotely on clamps in hard-to-reach areas, or where there’s simply not enough clearance to fit the entire tool, handles and all.
Made of drop-forged steel coated in corrosion-resistant manganese phosphate, these pliers have a locking ratchet mechanism to hold them still while you deal with other aspects of the job you’re doing. Consider that a plus for convenience’s sake, or to reduce hand fatigue and maintain accuracy when doing precise work.
Both the handles and the lock release lever are dipped in bright blue PVC. While it seems like a largely cosmetic consideration, that color should make these pliers easy to find in your crowded toolbox.
8. Cangzhou Qianwei Locking Hose Clamp Pliers
Cangzhou Qianwei makes our list with a hose clamp kit comprising a set of pliers and four hose removal tools.
The company says the jaws on its pliers open to a maximum of 1-3/4 inch, making these less versatile than some of the other tools in our list. Still, they should work for most of the clamps securing the hoses carrying vital fluids through your vehicle’s engine.
Like many of the other products we’ve listed here, these pliers are made from high carbon steel that’s coated in manganese phosphate to prevent rust. A ratcheting lock mechanism releases at the press of a thumb lever. The pliers and pick/hook handles are coated in non-slip rubber; we wish the lock release lever was too.
What convinced us to include this product in our list is the kit’s quartet of hose removal tools. These include a full hook, a straight pick, a 90-degree hook, and an angled hook, all of which are made of heat-treated chrome vanadium steel. These hooks and picks are useful for removing hoses that are stuck in place, and having such a variety of designs is a real plus.
9. ARES 71106 Angled Flat Band Hose Clamp Pliers
ARES makes a wide range of tools for home and automotive repair, including these angled flat band hose clamp pliers.
As this product’s name suggests, this single set of pliers is designed to help you work with one specific type of clamp at a price comparable to some of the multi-tool sets we’ve listed here. Obviously, you’re getting less versatility for your money. However, ARES has a good reputation in the tool community, so we’ve included this product as one that promises you higher quality and a longer service life.
The angled design and swiveling jaws let you use these pliers in tight spots where a straight design won’t fit. A locking ratchet holds the tool stationary while you work on other components.
ARES says the 71106 pliers will work on flat band hose clamps up to 2-1/8 inches in diameter. As is typical, these pliers are made from drop forged steel with a manganese phosphate coating for rust prevention. The pliers’ jaws are riveted to handles coated in PVC designed to provide grip and reduce hand fatigue during more involved jobs.
10. BaFu Hose Clamp Pliers
The final item in our list proves that an effective tool doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Like the ARES tool found earlier in our list, BaFu’s relatively basic hose clamp pliers are made to do one specific job, which is open ring-type and flat-band clamps and hold them open while you maneuver them on or off a hose or fitting.
The jaws of these pliers open to a maximum of 1-3/4 inches, which is wide enough to work on clamps of most diameters. They also swivel to let you use the pliers at any angle relative to the clamp you need to remove or replace. That versatility means these pliers will work on coolant, fuel, and oil lines.
You may well miss having angled pliers or the ability to open clamps requiring cross-slotted jaws, but at this price, you could probably afford to buy another set for whatever job you need to do.
BaFu says its pliers are made of carbon steel, and while they are black in the photos, the company doesn’t say if that’s because they have the same manganese phosphate coating other manufacturers use to prevent corrosion.
Why should you use hose clamp pliers?
Photo credit: BLKstudio / Shutterstock.com
It is possible to loosen spring-type hose clamps with needle-nose or channel-lock pliers, but it’s easy for those multi-purpose tools to come loose without warning. At best, that is inconvenient, and, at worst, potentially dangerous as the clamp could send the pliers flying and cause injury or damage.
Hose clamp pliers have jaws that grip the clamp’s release tabs, and there are pliers designed to with the various different types of clamps used in most modern vehicles.
Also, the plier handles lock in place, holding the clamp open so you can use both hands to install or remove a hose.
What should you look for when buying hose clamp pliers?
Look for hose clamp pliers with jaws that swivel or rotate. This allows for easier alignment with the clamp if you’re working in a tight space. You can also buy angled hose clamp pliers, which provide an extra measure of flexibility when trying to access a difficult-to-reach clamp.
If there’s not enough room to access a clamp with a straight or angled tool, you may need a set of cable-type pliers. These have a conventional-looking handle that operates a metal cable inside a sheath, like a bicycle brake cable. At the end of the cable is a set of jaws that fit on the clamp; when you squeeze the handle, it pulls the cable taut and closes the jaws to loosen the clamp.
Do all vehicles use the same types of hose clamps?
There are only a handful of different types of spring-type hose clamps, but which ones you’ll find under your vehicle’s hood depends on the manufacturer.
Wire and flat-band clamps are the most common types used in modern cars and trucks. Pliers with cross-slotted jaws are best for wire-type clamps, while band clamps are more easily manipulated with larger, claw-shaped jaws.
Some automakers use click clamps that work differently in that you have to squeeze the clamp to close it rather than open it. Click clamps require a specific type of plier that you can buy individually, but is also included in some multi-piece hose repair kits. We recommend that you use the right pliers for these clamps as other types of tools can ruin them.
Should you buy a single pair of pliers or a multi-piece set of tools?
This depends on what tools you already own. If this will be your first time working with hose clamps and you’re not sure what type of clamps your vehicle uses, we think your best bet is to buy a complete set of tools to avoid guesswork.
If you know your vehicle uses the same type of clamp on all of its flexible hoses and fluid lines, keep things simple and buy a single pair of pliers.
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