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What are Hog Ring Pliers?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated: May 17, 2024

Hog ring pliers are a specialized type of tool designed to fasten hog rings. Utilized in various applications, from sausage casings to chain link fencing, a hog ring is similar in function and appearance to a staple. Hog ring pliers may be manual or pneumatic, and also come in automatic feed varieties. Manual hog ring pliers resemble regular pliers, though they are specifically designed to clamp a hog ring tight, while the automatic feed version contains a number of hog rings within the unit. These are similar in design to staplers, and the hog rings are automatically fed via a spring mechanism, with a new ring sliding into place each time one is clamped.

While hog rings may be clamped with regular pliers, hog ring pliers have specialized grooves that allow them to do the job better and faster. A hog ring may slip out of regular pliers while clamping, and may not fasten them as tightly. This can be fine for emergency situations like repairing a chain link fence when the correct tool isn't available, but in most cases it is better to have the correct tool for the job.

Since hog rings may be used in a variety of applications across many different industries, there have a number different designs. In the packing of sausage, hog rings may be manually clamped to seal the casing. In an application like this the pliers may have an automatic feed and be designed to be operated by a single hand, allowing the packer to handle the sausage itself with the other hand.

Industries that utilize larger hog rings may make use of heavy-duty two-hand units, or even pneumatic pliers. Typically used for the biggest jobs and sometimes referred to as a hog ring gun, pneumatic pliers are heavy, often expensive, and can clamp very large hog rings without the operator exerting much force. They also usually contain many more hog rings than other automatic feed type pliers.

Hog ring pliers also come in a variety of different configurations, depending on the job that needs to be done. Straight hog ring pliers may be useful when the job is right out in the open, but applications such as upholstery manufacture and repair can present a problem. For situations like these, pliers with various different head configurations can make the job easier. To that end, pliers that hold a hog ring at a 90-degree angle from the handle, or in other various configurations, can be found.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon223331 — On Oct 18, 2011

There is one company who actually makes them here in the U.S., that I know of! They are located in Imlay City, Michigan. I have found many uses for Hog Rings including most recently fixing the broken chain on our swing set!

By Emilski — On Jul 16, 2011

Thanks to a show I was watching the other day, I think I might want to try my hand at upholstery. It seems like something I would enjoy doing and would be good at. I also have a good sense of style and think that I could make some extra money doing random upholstery work for people.

What types of pliers should I be looking for to start out, and how much should I be expecting to pay? I have seen snap ring pliers mentioned in a few places, as well. How do these work, and will I need a set of those? Are there any good online stores to find these things, or should I find a local upholstery supplier (if those even exist)? Any help is appreciated.

By kentuckycat — On Jul 15, 2011

I am getting ready to have a chain link fence installed in my backyard. My uncle, who also has a chain link fence, mentioned that I should invest in some hog ring pliers in case I ever need to do repairs.

Where would I find hog ring plier suppliers? I've looked at the local hardware store, but they said they didn't carry them. Would I be able to find them at one of the larger chains? I figure that would be cheaper than buying them online, but I don't want to waste the time going there to look if they won't have them.

By jmc88 — On Jul 14, 2011

After reading this article and looking at some pictures online, I have solved a long mystery.

When my grandmother passed away, we found a pair of pliers with a bent head in her tool box. No one was really sure what they were used for. They had an odd shape, and didn't have many gripping capabilities. Reading this now, I've decided that they were a pair of hog ring pliers. My grandma used to do upholstery work for various people, and she obviously had these pliers for that. It's been about seven years, but I finally have the mystery solved!

By cardsfan27 — On Jul 13, 2011

Ahh, so that's how they get that wire around the end of the sausage. I was always under the assumption that it was a straight piece of wire that was bent into place by hand or a special machine. They are nearly impossible to uncoil with a normal pair of pliers.

Besides sausage, fences, and upholstery, what are some other uses for hog rings? I'm particularly interested in the large industrial uses.

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