Craftsman has come out with new compound-action diagonal cutters. The compound-action mechanism features increased cutting force compared to standard cutters and pliers. In other pliers, compound pivot mechanisms typically also increase the handle opening width, a trade-off for increased cutting power.
The new 8″ diagonal cutters, CMHT81718, also features a “multi-zone bi-material” grip. The pliers are made from drop forged steel, and the cutting edges are induction hardened for greater longevity.
Craftsman has also come out with 8″ Lineman’s pliers, featuring a similar compound-action pivot.
Price: $15 each
Amazon recently listed the diagonal cutter at $17, but has since changed it to a 3rd party-only listing.
We’ve seen these tools before, or at least very similar designs, in the form of Stanley pliers that debuted in Europe a few years ago.
There are many other compound-action cutters and pliers on the market:
- Gearwrench’s PivotForce pliers
- Crescent’s Pivot Pro offerings
- NWS Fantastico cutters (a personal favorite)
- Knipex TwinForce
- Wiha BiCut cutters
Generally, the trade-off with these types of pliers and cutters is similar – you get greater cutting power, meaning you can cut harder materials with reduced effort, but the handles open wider to do so.
I wouldn’t trade in my USA-made Craftsman Professional pliers for these, or choose them over say Channellock, Knipex, or NWS, but they have their purpose. $15 for higher-leverage cutters and pliers doesn’t seem bad.
It’s been nearly a year since Craftsman’s big brand relaunch, and I hope to see some unique hand tools added to the product line soon.
If you want to save some money, Stanley Control Grip 8″ compound action diagonal cutters, STHT74915, are currently $10.44 via Amazon.
Buy Now(Stanley 8″ Compound Action Cutters via Amazon)
Amazon also has a 3pc set with the European-style handles, but for $68.10.
If you’re up for spending more, NWS Fantastic cutters, or Irwin’s 8″ diagonal cutters, provide an exceptionally good experience. The trade-off of wider-opening handles is still present, but the cutting action and overall comfort is very well executed.
The Craftsman compound action cutters and pliers – and the Stanley too – have similar pivot designs to NWS’s, and might be a good way for you to determine if compound action cutters are a good choice for the work you do. $15 is an easier investment than $35 or more.