Retailers have shared that Channellock is soon coming out with new locking pliers.
Presumably made by Grip-on, the Channellock locking pliers feature drop forged jaws, rugged teeth, and epoxy resin coating, and extended no-pinch release lever.
Shown here are Grip-on 10-inch curved jaw locking pliers, with an epoxy resin coating in orange and black. Channellock’s colors are black with blue accents.
Even if you recognize the style, what you might not know is that Channellock offered these locking pliers before.
You can see a pair of Channellock-branded locking pliers in this 2011 photo of some of my favorite tools. It doesn’t look like the design has changed at all in the 12 years since then.
I bought 3 sets of Channellock locking pliers back in 2009 when they were on closeout – two for use and one for spares. The clearance pricing was great, where I bought a total of 6 locking pliers for less than it would have cost me for 2 of the same tools under Grip-on branding.
I have found that Grip-on locking pliers, whether self-branded or made for other brands such as Channellock, are decent performers. I would buy them again if the pricing was right.
Channellock’s locking pliers were already on clearance when I first started reporting on the tool industry, and so I didn’t know much about what happened. It’s good to see them revive things, but what’s different now compared to 14 years ago?
It will be interesting to see what Channellock will do now in the locking pliers space.
Channellock’s PR firm could not provide any imagery or product information, and so everything we know so far comes from the single teaser image shared by a tool dealer in a public newsletter. Thank you to Fred for the tip!
Grip-on used to make Snap-on’s selection 15 odd years ago.
They are just behind the original in usability, and durability.
Tried several other offerings with poor results, before trying the Knipex pliewrench 15 years ago.
Despite owning 10 pair of visegrip type,have not picked up a pair in at least 5 years.
Like the hacksaw,gas chainsaw,and home phone…unless you use it for a daily business has been bypassed with technology.
Standard pliers have gotten leaps and bounds better but a locking vise grip still puts a bite unlike anything else.
It’s rarely my first grab, but it does what no other tool does. I have a 5” grip on in my go bag, between a pliers wrench and a cobra. I’d like to see more of the line in other colors.
Would have been nice if Channellock went with a blue jacket over a black lever. I’m completely over tools being ‘murdered out’ and want to see what I’m reaching for.
I agree. Regular plier designs have come a long way since the invention of the tool that improved on man’s original gripping method (thumb and forefinger) providing access to spots where fingers won’t fit or grip strength is insufficient. But there are times when locking the grip provides a real advantage. As an example, I find that Engineer brand screw extracting pliers work well to remove most stuck screws – but for their vise-grip style work better in some tough applications:
fred. Thanks for that link. I have their other two smaller plier sized versions. Love them.
And now I’ve ordered this big brother version I didn’t previously notice.
Great removal tools indeed.
I usually keep a small vice grip on hand for when a stripped screw or a screw with no heads needs to be removed. They’re perfect for the job.
In my line of work we also put them on drywall Dollie’s to clamp onto the platform and prevent our loads from slipping off.
>> I’m completely over tools being ‘murdered out’ and want to see what I’m reaching for.
I work outside in the sun at times. The last thing I want is a tool that’s too hot to pick up. Chrome tools are bad enough, but black tools are an automatic disqualifier for me.
Cool. I’m fond of the Channellock brand and will probably try a pair just because.
Yes, plus I like they are made in USA
I’m thinking they’re made in Spain.🤔
You aren’t wrong. I’ve got an extra two tier 48″ cabinet full to overflowing with off-brand stuff that took a step on Matco or Mac or Snap-on. At this point I buy mostly off-brand. But sometimes the trucks have the edge and they don’t know it.
But these kind of side vids are my jam. If you’re using these in any sort of of repair video, shit has already gone sideways guaranteed. But there’s levels to this game and any time I don’t have to cobble together something from Hazard Fraught and the angry metal cart to fix a problem it’s in everyone’s plus column. Did I mention I hate vice grips? Hate hate hate. Something is already f’d up and I am trying to fix it. No bueno, amigo.
How do these compare to the ill-fated Malco Eagle Grips?
Malco Eagle Grips have better fit/finish, between the two styles I prefer the Grip-on release lever placement.
We don’t have the price yet, but I can also guarantee the Channellocks will be a fraction of the Malcos.
In the last month I bought two versions of the 10″ Eagle Grips, they are very nice. I’d gladly replace all of my US made Vice Grips with them. I completely agree with Stuart on the fit and finish; the placement of the release lever isn’t of that much concern to me though. I will purchase one of the Channellock variety when available so I can try it out and add it to my collection of their tools.
Any idea if these are made in the USA?
Likely Spain, where Grip-on is based. Similarly-styled locking pliers not made by Grip-on are also made in Asia.
Gong Maw Enterprise (China) seems to be one of the more prolific OEM’s:
Not sure why they would make these in the black color as they would be hard to find in dark areas. I do like the Channellock brand however, I wish they offered these in these silver or zinc plated finish also.
Grip-On offers them in both orange and unpainted nickel.
I have one pair of the originals. From Spain. Nice to try something different, but honestly, I don’t use them much at all. I prefer Milwaukee and of course, Malco. Your results may vary.
In my city there is basically and almost endless supply of USA made Vice grips at the local flea market priced from $1 to $3 dollars each I have well over 100 pairs because it is hard to pass these up at that price.
I’m a sucker for classics like those. I guess I just don’t frequent the right places to find them.
Between these Grip-On-made locking pliers and the Irega-made adjustable wrenches, Channellock seems to be pretty conscious of quality when they outsource. I have a few old Vise-Grips and of course a 10″ pliers wrench, but I’ll probably end up with some of these.
In Black no less! Might have to look these up at some point if I can afford an upgrade.
Thanks Stuart! This kinda brightened my day!
I wonder if they get shelf space at Home Depot.