Last year, we noticed that Amazon has come out with their own AmazonBasics outdoor extension cords. They have put their branding on lots of everyday-use products, but I found it curious that they would include something like outdoor extension cords under their own private label.
Earlier this year, Amazon came out with their own basic set of pliers. Yes, Amazon now makes pliers, or at least worked with an OEM to produce their own AmazonBasics-branded pliers.
The 4pc AmazonBasics pliers set includes 8″ slip joint pliers, 7″ diagonal cutters, 8″ lineman pliers, and 8″ long nose pliers.
All feature machined jaws for securely gripping, induction-hardened cutting edges, and non-slip handle grips. Amazon says that the pliers meet or exceed ANSI specifications.
There are numerous budget pliers offerings around, and it looks like this set is designed to appeal to shoppers who just want a bunch of pliers without fancy features or elaborate handle grip designs.
The designs look basic, but should handle most common gripping, pulling, twisting, wire cutting, and small object manipulation tasks.
Price: $15 for the 4pc set
Buy Now(via Amazon)
If you were just starting to build up your tool collection, would you buy these?
Thinking back to my first pliers, I think I would give these fair consideration, along with the Stanley pliers I had gone with. Now, I guess I would also consider this set for backup, lending, or auto purposes.
Probably better than a set from HF for not much more.
More chinese garbage.
Show me USA pliers at this price point.
I buy USA pliers, not exclusively. When I started building up my tool collection, there was no way I could have afforded USA made pliers, nor did I really have the need at the time.
Well built import pliers – and I would hope these are well built – are better than no pliers.
here is a usa made set http://www.homedepot.com/p/Channellock-Ultimate-Plier-Set-4-Piece-HD-1/100190542, and 3x the price, you are right that for most people cheap well made pliers are just as useful. with small tools like this the moniker of “buy cheap, replace with higher quality when broken” makes the most sense as it truly shows what tools you use the most and thus need in a higher quality.
I myself don’t care about the price point when it comes to hand tools, I almost always choose the USA made option. Within reason of course, I have no business owning a Stiletto hammer for instance, but I own like 14 pair of channellock branded pliers.
More times than not when you buy something cheap, the time, money and fuel spent to go get something newer, you could have just bought quality the first time and been done with it. But, as my dad says.. “there’s an ass for every seat”.
I would think that the appeal of these would really be the convenience. You are already buying something on Amazon and you can just add these on and have them delivered to you.
Similar in theory to the cheap tools you can buy at Ikea checkouts. Quality doesn’t really matter if you are buying picture frames and just need a hammer. You will buy it then and there rather than go to another store.
Interestingly, these don’t show up if you search for “pliers” on Amazon, since it drops you into the hand tools category. You have to tell it to search all departments, since they didn’t categorize these as tools.
Regarding your comment, “show me USA pliers at this price point,” Sears sells Craftsman pliers made in the USA. They have a 3 piece set on sale for $22 right now.
They have a couple of 4 piece sets, however the price for those is $40-50, but knowing Sears they will soon be on sale for $30, plus another %10 off, plus surprise points, etc for an out the door price close to $20.
I find it interesting, that one of the “key features” listed for all of their pliers sets on the Sears web site is: Made in USA
I can’t afford to buy cheap tools.
More mindless judgements.
Induction hardened cutting edges would seem to be an advantage at that price point, no?
Harbor Freight Amazon! Wow, that’s great.
Amazon is my last choice for tools anymore. Their shipping takes way too long unless you pay for prime. I tried prime and found that 90% of what I wanted was not eligible. The 10 % that was eligible was 25 to 35% higher in price than I could get elsewhere. I am tax exempt so that brought the price down to a bit more than I payed local. They used to be super fast with shipping and great prices too. When they went to prime everything changed. They don’t even offer USPS priority flat rate box which costs less than UPS or FedEx and gets here in two days from anywhere in the USA.
I can get Wilde pliers from Harry J Epstein’s or Channellock locally, made in the USA . I wouldn’t Purchase Amazon branded tools.
Just my opinion of course.
It’s interesting how variable shipping can be. Wherever I’ve lived, USPS has consistently been the worst delivery service. The Sunday delivery guy actually throws packages at my door from the yard. I kind of understand since he’s working on Sunday, but still.
Seems clear these aren’t intended to be high-quality tools. But compared to Stanley, Craftsman, or HDX (HD homeowner imprint), I don’t see a reason to pick any of them over the other,.
As Tom mentioned above, the only reason to buy these would be convenience, drop the pliers into the same box as your whatever else.
I too have noticed that Amazon has built the shipping costs into the price of many items that they sell – and if you can buy it at Home Depot or other local retailer you may get it at the same price or cheaper. But does anyone think that there is such a thing as “free shipping”. With most online retailers the “free shipping” promotions have some minimum which allows the merchant to spread the shipping cost over a larger base to keep their profit margin at some target that they have. Some others advertise very low prices for the product – but it may come with high shipping and handling fees. It is still caveat emptor out there and you need to shop around considering price – but also return policy, shipping costs/speed and customer service.
Back on the subject of pliers – at less than $4 a piece – you may not get Channellock or Klein quality – but for someone who throws pliers in the kitchen junk drawer for once a year use – these may be all that they need. The same is true comparing some of the pliers from some of the European companies like Knipex to Channellocks : The Channelocks may be very serviceable and rugged – but the more expensive Knipex may operate smoother and adjust better and be worth the extra cost.
My motto for hand tools is that the fewer moving parts the cheaper you CAN go. Yes we like having nice stuff, but if you’re starting out your collection or necessities it’s worth cutting cost on stuff like these pliers or screwdrivers. Save the money for the more specialized stuff that actually takes quality to perform correctly. Sadly you d
Sadly you don’t have many items you can slip in dirt cheap like this before its actually causing problems, say stepping up to vice grips and locking pliers- I got a kobalt set just to have and use occasionally, absentmindedly played with the adjustment on one and it quit working within days…
That’s not necessarily the case. Cheap screwdrivers strip blades like it’s a design function, making them useless.
Actually, I feel kind of the opposite. The simpler tools are typically the ones you use the most. So any shortcomings with them become apparent, and can stay apparent for years, slowly driving you insane. And with such simple tools, there are few ways to economize, so if they do economize, they do it by giving it small and uncomfortable handles, cheap finishes, non-hardened steel, etc., all of which significantly affect their function. If my recip saw, for instance, doesn’t have the very latest built-in LED worklight or even quick-change blades, it can still function pretty well.
So for hammers, chisels, saws, screwdrivers, squares, tape measures, etc., I get good quality. They aren’t expensive in the first place, so I can afford to do that. And these tools will allow my skills to improve.
You can kinda cheap out on slip-joint pliers, I have several pairs of those that are actually my go-to pliers, so I don’t mess up my good ones, or mess up the object being plied since the cheaper pliers have duller teeth. Even dollar-store slip-joints are ok, if smaller pliers will do.
You can only go so cheap on needle-nose, linesman, and diagonal cutters. The dollar store stuff is not going to get the job done, or will make it unpleasant if they will work well enough.
I’d have to agree with the screwdriver thing as well, you really want a good quality screwdriver. The 99 cent ones at Lowe’s are actually ok, the ones at the dollar store are not. A $5.99 4-in-1 or 6-in-1 screwdriver is usually even better. A more expensive Wiha/Wera/Whatever almost makes the job a pleasure to do.
We are about to outfit our lab with a full set of tools, and no, these won’t be considered. We are going to outfit with both ‘high’ and ‘low’ class pliers, screwdrivers, etc.
High Class: pliers and the like will be exclusively the very pricey pliers-wrench and other Knipex items. These will be kept in locked or secured areas.
Low Class: Harbor Freight. Why so low and cheap? Because tools walk, and I’d rather just spend $50/year replacing everything cheap, twice, than worry about locking everything up.
I’ve used this high/low combo for years, and it works well. People who need a real tool spend the time/effort to get the awesome tool from the secured box. People who just need something fast can grab it when quality doesn’t matter.
The main reason I don’t like the Amazon set is no warranty or satisfaction guarantee, something I’m used to getting with tools, even if I never use it and it’s just there for peace of mind, or at least makes me think the seller actually will stand behind the products should there ever be an issue.
These kind of online-available tools seem to be marketed to someone like first-time home buyers, or people who are otherwise ordering their home furnishings from Amazon, and adding tools and the like to the purchase and are clueless about what they are actually getting. They would suit this type of buyer perfectly.
At this price point, I would go with the Craftsman Evolv pliers at Sears. $15 for a set and a lifetime warranty as long as you keep the packaging and receipt.
Lowe’s used to have Task Force pliers for super cheap, they weren’t the best but were great for the price. Their Kobalt pliers go down to $10 for a 4-5pc set on Black Friday or other holiday promos.
Otherwise the Stanleys or cheapos at walmart are an easy way to go.
The scary thought the image made me think, since the pliers look so similar to the Western Forge Craftsmans, what if Amazon is the one to buy the Craftsman/Kenmore/DieHard brands, open huge retail stores, and take over the market once occupied by Sears and the like? Walmart and Target might have some B&M competition coming their way in the future.
That’s very far off Amazons current MO. I think the same day shipping is their threat to B&M. Order it on your lunch or break, and it’ll be at your door when you go home, no trip to the store required. Far lower overhead – only a couple warehouse employees needed.
They must’ve hired logistics geniuses to pull off what they have, and their warehouses are surely highly automated. Buy Amazon, and put even Walmart employees out of work. Everyone loves Amazon, so they’ll never get the hate Wally World will, but the threat exists
I get what they are doing now with same-day delivery, but that’s only in a few major urban areas.
Once Sears is gone, and probably a few other stores as well, I would say it’s inevitable that something like an Amazon.com B&M store is going to happen, or at the very least, local warehouses stocking the most popular items, with pickup at a smaller retail store or delivery as fast as you want to pay for it.
to all the people complaining about quality, these are made for people who use them once a year for a menial task that better quality would not improve. these are the poeple who got by for years using a butter knife as a screwdriver and will use these pliers as a wrench. they are not meant for people like use who use our tools hard and often for critical tasks.
To me many things go into my decision on tools. I prefer to buy US made. Sometimes that’s not practical.
The slip-joint pliers from the dollar store are good enough for once-a-year use.
I’m sure these are for people who care nothing and know nothing about tools, but they look to be several steps up from what I would expect someone who is clueless about tools to have.
Look at it this way, it’s good they will have these so when someone shows up to help them out, they can be handed a semi-decent tool to get the job done.
Perhaps someday you can plumb the depths of just what “meets ANSI specifications” means for pliers. I did for wrenches, and found out it can mean as little as the proper way to do the labeling.
It’s easy enough to do, just expensive for us mere mortals without access via an employer’s existing library. The funny thing is most of time the applicable standard isn’t even published by ANSI, manufacturers simply toss out the ANSI buzzword as some assurance the tool meets some sort of standard that’s published somewhere by some organization for some reason. Such as, in this random example, “Meets or exceeds ANSI specifications”.
Anyone have access to an ASME library? Or does someone have too much money on hand and need to get rid of some? B107.500 awaits!
Maybe. But standards get really complicated fast.
For wrenches, I’m guessing it would have to do with length and torque capabilities, tolerances, things like that.
I know we kind of went off on a tangent, but I try to buy something with a recognizable brand on it. Why? Because a coworker’s son worked for an American company and was constantly going to China to monitor things. This coupled with going to HF and seeing a pallet filled with returns of the tools right next to it. That unless you are familiar with the brand, that the desire to maintain their brand hopefully provides enough motivation. I realize there are a million exceptions to this, but I don’t want to spend too many hours researching tools.
Original Question: “If you were just starting to build up your tool collection, would you buy these?”
I suppose it would depend on my age. If I were back in my early 20’s, I most likely would have considered it. However, as a consumer who is now older, I would rather invest (keyword) in a higher quality tool that has the potential to last longer.
As to being made in China — I was very surprised this morning to see a Vaughan hammer in the store that cost over $100 and yet had the words “Made in China” printed on it! After all, I had the impression that Vaughan does everything short of wrapping their hammers in an actual American flag in order to hammer (no pun intended) “Made in the USA” home as part of its competitive advantage.
In fact, the product description for this hammer clearly states at the very end that it’s made in China . . . yet scroll down to the footer on the Vaughan web page itself and you’ll see a big emblem on the right hand side that says “Made in the USA”.
Ummm, Brand confusion?
I just got these. They are nice enough. I like them because I would throw them away or lose them before I think they really failed for odd jobs around the house. They don’t have the rough grip, but they have a smoother handle cover. They look like they are like the craftsman pliers but not the rough grip which I like. I would buy a bunch of these to keep them around in the car and in the multiple bags and tool boxes. Can’t beat the price.
I havent tested the cutters but I don’t expect them to be super sharp – they aren’t Kleins (which I use for wire cutting and stripping)
I’ve owned this set for some time. It’s a good set to keep in a truck box or emergency tool bag. I’m not afraid of them walking off the jobsite or being mangled from abuse. They have developed some surface rust, and the pivots are…not precision. But they work well enough for what I use them for.
In my tool cabinet I keep more reputable brands. Though only a few of my pliers are made in the USA. Quality is more about effort than geography.