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How to Buy Klein Tools Pliers [GUIDE]

How to Buy Klein Tools Pliers

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Some links contain affiliate links which means I may receive commission if you click a link and purchase a product.  These are all my own opinions - money will not sway me!

The Best Klein Tools Pliers for Commercial Electricians

In this article, I will share with you how to buy Klein Tools Pliers for electricians. (My favorites are the D2000-9NE).

Video about Buying Klein Tools Pliers for Electricians, and explaining the product letters and numbers. My personal favorites are the Klein Tools D2000-9NE pliers.

You may have noticed, Klein Tools has many letter and number designations on their pliers.

These can identify things like the insulation grips (dipped or journeyman grips), the strength of the metal (if you can cut through screws), to the length of the pliers (like 9 inches), to the style of the plier head (like the NE [NEW ENGLAND] tapered head designation).

At first, the Klein Tools plier product names are confusing, but that’s what this article is for, to make it simple for you! 🙂

What We Cover in this Article:

  • My Favorite Klein Tools Pliers
  • How to Identify Klein Tools Letter + Number Details

My Favorite Klein Tools Pliers

Before going further, I just want to really stress, I personally like the basic Klein Tools Pliers with Heavy-Duty Cutting, which is the D2000-9NE.

Favorite Klein Tools Pliers - D2000-9NE
The Klein Tools D2000-9NE are my favorite electrician pliers.

And, it’s not just me. Look at the AWESOME reviews of the D2000-9NE model on Klein Tools’ website!

I like the D2000-9NE because I find the fish-tape puller, crimper, and other “add-ons” a bit gimmicky. I just like a good set of high-quality pliers intended for splicing wires, cutting wires, and the hardened steel (the 2000 series) to cut stuff without worrying about damaging my plier’s cutting knives!:

Look at the 46 reviews.. it gets 5 Stars! View the D2000-9NE on Amazon!

How to Identify Klein Tools Letter + Number Designations

As mentioned, what the different letters and numbers on Klein Tools pliers are can identify their insulation grips, if hardened steel is used, its length, and style of plier head (and more below).

I’ll also share, I highly recommend looking at Klein Tools product catalog as it breaks each style of plier they have available, and you’ll be able to understand the Klein Tools product family designations easier.. here’s an example of what it can look like (screenshot from April 2022):

You can find Klein Tools most up-to-date product catalog by searching online!

The First Letter – Insulation Grips (Handle Finish)

Klein Tools Insulation Grips Handle Finish Examples Explained
The different Klein Tools pliers insulation grips (handle finish)..
Plastic Dipped (D), Journeyman (J), Heavy Duty Insulation (HD)..

I will keep referencing the D2000-9NE pliers for easy reference.

The first letter designates the INSULATION GRIPS (in this case, D). This is also referred to as Handle Grips in Klein Tools’ product catalog.

The letter designations are:

  • D – Plastic Dipped
  • J – Journeyman (Comfortable Grips)
  • HD – Heavy Duty Plastic Dipped (NOT for protection against electrical shock.)

You will also notice the INS Insulated and EINS Insulated handle finishes from the image above. These Insulated pliers are 1000V Rated for safety, and even have a double-layer system to identify if the insulation has been compromised.

The First Numbers (Metal Type)

When looking at the D2000-9NE pliers, we are now talking about “2000”.

The first numbers right after the insulation grip letter designation is the type of metal used.

You have to be careful here, because I HIGHLY recommend the 2000 Series for the hardened steel, but you can buy the journeyman series handles with a lower-quality of metal (for example.. J213 instead of J2000!!!!!)

I have found this image on Klein Tools website which identifies when a pair of their pliers are a part of this 2000 Series of “Heavy Duty Cutting” !

The 2000 Series pliers are a bit more expensive, but it’s 100% worth it! There are times where you’ll have to cut through hard metals like screws, and you can be confident your pliers will be able to withstand this over the years!

Here are the designations:

  • 2000 – “Heavy Duty Cutting” High-Leverage Cutting (RECOMMENDED)
  • 213 – High-Leverage (Standard Steel)
  • 208 – Standard Lineman’s Pliers (Standard Steel)

2000 is “Heavy Duty Cutting” and High-Leverage.. 213 is just High-Leverage.. 208 are just standard pliers without High-Leverage!

Klein Tools helps clarify the 2000 Series in their product catalog by listing them on their own row under “With heavy-duty cutting knives designed to cut ACSR, screws, nails and most hardened wire”.


You can purchase Journeyman grips with the lower-quality 213 metal.. make sure to grab the J2000-9NE if you want heavy-duty cutting with Journeyman comfort grips (as there is also the J213-9NE out there WITHOUT heavy-duty cutting!!!!!).

You may wonder why I like the D2000-9NE pliers (plastic dipped) insulation grips over the J2000-9NE pliers (Journeyman Grips). I just like them because they felt more nimble, but I do like the Journeyman Grips on their Diagonal Side Cutters.

After the Dash – First Number

When looking at the D2000-9NE pliers, we are now looking at “9” after the dash.

The 9 just indicates how long the pliers are.

Klein Tools sells pliers in 7″, 8″, and 9″ pliers. I guess this comes down to preferences.. I’ve only ever owned a 9 inch set of pliers. They’ve been awesome, and a nice weight.

If you ever try the 8 inch and 7 inch pliers with the 2000 Series, let me know what you think..

The is the lighter and smaller feel better?

The Last Letter Designations (and Extra Additional Features)

When looking at the D2000-9NE pliers, we are now looking at “NE” after the dash.

Sometimes pliers will have additional letters AFTER the “NE” like D2000-9NETP .. the TP would be for the “Fish Tape Pulling” type of pliers.. I explain it all below!

I will separate NE from the other additional features.

NE stands for New England Tapered Nose. In other words, the head of the pliers is elongated making them very nimble to get into areas. This is probably the most common type of Klein Tools pliers, but they also have a “square plier head” if it does not have the NE designation.

Now for the additional add-on letters AFTER the “NE”.. these show if you are buying the Fish Tape Pulling, Crimper, Bolt Threading style of pliers.. etc:

  • TP – Fish Tape Pulling (A lot people like this, I personally would just grab the tape with the front of my pliers. If the wire is THAT stuck, you should be double-checking what’s going on, and using more lubricant to be honest!)
  • CR – Connector Crimping (Note, it only crimps NON-INSULATED stuff.. I always say just buy a regular set of crimpers, that crimp from the FRONT, and has both insulated and non-insulated crimping capabilities..)
  • TH – Bolt-Thread Holding (for REAL LINEMAN.. Commercial Electricians don’t work with 5/8″ stuff.. mainly 3/8″ or 1/2″.. can definitely be a pinching hazard for regular electricians!).
  • TT – Split Tether Ring (This may be very useful if you work on jobsites that require all hand tools to be tethered [tied off]).
  • INS – 1000V Rated 2-Layer Protection
  • EINS – 1000V Rated 3-Layer Protection
  • GLW – Glow in the dark.. (perfect for laser tag.. or not losing your pliers in a darker environment 🙂)


This is how it’d look for the basic pair of pliers: D2000-9NE. (My favorite ones!)

If you want the fish tape pulling feature, it’d be D2000-9NETP..

For the crimping version, it’d be D2000-9NECR.

SOMETIMES.. you can get a combo like D2000-9NETPCR which would mean “Dipped insulation grips, 2000 Series Heavy-Duty Cutting steel, 9 inch long pliers, New England tapered nose, fish tape pulling (TP), and connector crimping (CR).

That’s all there to it for how to understand the Klein Plier product names!

How to Buy Klein Tools Pliers for Sparkies

And so there you have it.

This article lead me into doing some good research!

I discovered reading Klein Tools’ product catalog is incredibly useful to understand their family of plier products, insulation grips, and various additional features you can get with the pliers.

I also want to repeat, I understand there are all these special features and add-ons for pliers like a fish tape puller and crimper, but I’ve ALWAYS liked just the basic pair of Klein Tools D2000-9NE pliers.

You can also try the journeyman series grips with the heavy-duty cutting, which are the J2000-9NE pliers.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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Oh yeah.. you may like some of these funny electrical jokes I’ve heard of the years 🙂

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