I saw these pliers being abused for something they’re probably not meant for.

What are these pliers actually for, and what do you call them?

Enter image description here

  • So bottle opener, where is the tool for removing stones from horses hooves?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 8:40
  • 3
    Not sure why we have VtC on this question. It seems rather legitimate to me and well along the lines of all they other identify-a-tool questions that have been asked. Sure, I guess they're all opinion based, but so are many of our questions here, including this holy war on drywall hanging.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 12:13

3 Answers 3


Unique pliers. I'm not sure, but here's my guess: they are for fishing.

The pliers themselves are for pulling hooks out of fishes.

The top saw-looking thing is for scaling fish.

The blades near the joint are for cutting fishing line.

The point adjacent to those blades are for crimping doohickeys or for unclasping stubborn clasps.

The sharp point and triangle on the bottom are for opening bottles of your favourite beverage.

  • 10
    And if you "forget" to put a hook on the line draped over the side you can just use the bottle opener without being disturbed by pesky fish getting caught...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 12:31
  • Probably correct. But if doohickeys are lead weights, you can crimp them with the pliers or even by hand, and the crimper in the picture would just destroy them. Curious. Maybe for wire rope ferrules but that would be an odd thing to put on a multi-tool.
    – jay613
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 12:45
  • 2
    Wire leaders are a thing in fishing for severely bitey fish.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 12:47
  • 1
    Also, a scaler without a knife?
    – jay613
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 12:52
  • The most I know about fishing is about a whopper that got away from me fifty years ago, but I did think of fishing for the pliers.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 12:56

@RockPaperLz nailed it. After some reverse image searching, these appear to be a model of fishing pliers popularized by ABU (now ABU Garcia) - can't tell if this is a knockoff or ABU-brand pliers from your photo.

Here is a photo from this Etsy listing (archive link), with the various details translated from Swedish via Google translate:

pliers sitting on top of a descriptive leaflet in Swedish


ABU Fisketång är ett för sportfiskare, jägare och övrigt friluftsfolk mycket praktiskt universalverktyg.

ABU Fisketång har alla dessa funktioner:

  1. Lossar krok
  2. Fjällar fisk
  3. Trimmar blysänken
  4. Biter av tråd o dyl
  5. Plattar till sänken o dyl
  6. Öppnar burkar
  7. Öppnar flaskor

Translated (with help from @ghellquist)

ABU Fishing Pliers is a very practical universal tool for anglers, hunters and other outdoorsmen.

ABU Fishing Pliers have all these functions:

  1. Releases hook
  2. Scales fish
  3. Trims the lead sinker
  4. Cuts pieces of thread and similar
  5. Flattens fishing sinker and similar
  6. Opens cans
  7. Opens bottles

Additionally, here is an Ebay listing (archive link) with 4 of these types of pliers, noting that they are "4 vintage ABU fishing pliers from the 60's to the 90's."

  • 2
    4. Cuts Pieces of thread and similar 5. Flattens fishing sinker and similar (dyl is short for dylikt meaning "such things")
    – ghellquist
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 19:15
  • 1
    So, with #6 you can open a can of fish if you fail to catch any yourself? This tool has you covered - now you just have to remember to bring a can of fish...
    – rob74
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 8:26

The coated handle, the built-in wire cutter, the crimper, and the needle nose suggests telecom pliers to me. The hook on the bottom may be a cable-sheath stripper. The dull saw-teeth on top may be for fanning out leads.

  • Good guess, but not correct answer.
    – ghellquist
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 12:25
  • Actually quite ingenious for a "wrong" answer but it needs an outer jacket stripper and an RJ- crimper.
    – jay613
    Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 18:18

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