A while back I left a comment saying something about how I didn’t think there were any modern brands still selling bare metal combination or slip joint pliers. By bare metal, I mean bare metal handles without dipped or molded grips.
Of course, all pliers are bare metal before their handles are finished, but there didn’t seem to be any brands who stopped at this step.
Well, Crescent’s Cee Tee pliers fit the bill. Instead of vinyl-dipped handles, or molded comfort grip handles, these pliers have knurled surfaces that provide for a secure grip.
These pliers are about as basic as they come. Cee Tee pliers are available in 6-1/2″ and 8″ sizes and have two gripping zones with machined teeth, and wire cutters.
There are a couple of different model numbers, but it seems that main difference between models of similar sizes is in how they’re packaged for sale.
Prices range from $6 to $10.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like all – or possible any – of Crescent’s Cee Tee pliers are made in the USA anymore. My pick of inexpensive pliers would be Tekton’s new USA-made slip joint pliers. Beyond that, I would look to Channellock and Klein. Still, these pliers are proof that at least one brand still markets bare metal-handled pliers.
Wouldn’t these qualify as both American made and having metal handles? Wilde offers a bunch of options actually.
I have a couple of these Armstrongs to throw in the tractor tool boxes.
Stuart–Did you find that these “basic” pliers gripped objects well? That’s perhaps the deciding factor in whether to buy or not. Beyond that, the knurled handle surfaces are important to me, as they tend to bite into your hand as you grip and bear down on them during use. Not too bad if you’re doing a small job, but bothersome if you’re working continuously.
It was a big deal for me while using a rough-knurled handle SK ratchet that I had; I needed to wear gloves to use it for any length of time. My brother-in-law sent me a Snap-on ratchet for my birthday years ago (a smooth-handled one, without a comfort grip), and I’ve never looked back.
I suspect many folks now look to buy bi-material or vinyl-gripped pliers, screwdrivers, etc. A more ergonomic handle shape often comes along with the rubberized grip. They offer better gripping ability and are comfortable during a day’s use. Tools that aren’t comfortable to use become marginalized (used less) than those that are.
I haven’t tried them, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t grip well. For slip-joint pliers, I tend to prefer ones that have 3 gripping zones instead of 2, but that’s because of the size of materials I tend to work with. That’s why I find the Wilde and Tekton ones a little more appealing.
I’ve got an ancient 6.25″ pair of these – no idea where I got them. Some prior owner modified them by grinding the tips down to a semi-needle nose. Rarely use small slip joint pliers, but they do what they do just fine. Looks like the current models have the same cross-hatch and dot pattern on the handles as the old ones. The transition on the handles, however, is smooth on the old ones as opposed to stepped on the new ones pictured.
Made in Jamestown, NY.
I’m a farmer and I carry these and use the dozens of times a day. I wouldn’t even consider rubber/plastic-dipped handles (been there, done that) because once the rubber/plastic falls off- which will take less than a month of continuous daily use, you’re left with skinny, funny-feeling and often skinny, lightweight handles that will break or bend.
They are no where near as rough as most knurled ratchet handles; they’re made for men with working hands….
These are the gold standard in farm country. Every retailer has a box of them on their counter-a box that needs replenished often. I would guess most hard-working farmers would easily give up carrying their cell phone if they had to but would NEVER give up carrying these pliers.
I have a hard time believing that a bonified “tool guy” wouldn’t use these all of the time-unbelievable that you haven’t heard of them. Us guys in the flyover states accomplish more with a pair of these than an urbanite or suburbanite on either coast could with a pickup box of tools.
Bare handled pliers are much better for rough outside work than plastic handled as they take abuse much better, just got to put some bright paint on somewhere so you can see them when you drop them in the dirt. I am very pleased with the Wilde pump pliers I recently got with bare handles, considering the very reasonable cost.
Bare handled are also far easier to keep clean.
USA Tektons (cheaper than direct from Wilde) and a USA utility knife will get you where you want to be.
I bought a metal detector and I found these 6 1/2″ pliers outside. How do l find out what year they were made ?
If there are no date codes it might be impossible to tell.