Standard wrenches and pliers can easily ruin surfaces such as bathroom fittings, polished brass hardware, or the plastic trim on your car. Quality tools with protective surfacing are the answer, but are hard to find locally. We finally found some excellent ones in Japan. They cost a bit more, but the money you'll save replacing damaged hardware and fittings makes them a true bargain.
The standard slip-joint pliers have special resin jaws, formed to grip from the end as well the sides. Maximum capacity about 1-1/2". The pair of pipe pliers are spring loaded with greater capacity (about 2-3/4") with two sets of jaws included: one for curved surfaces like pipes, the other for angular surfaces like large chrome nuts. The needle nose style will reach way into otherwise inaccessible narrow places. Jaw length 1-1/4".