At Dewalt’s 2016 media event (here’s more new tool coverage from the event), the showed off a couple of new pliers.
For me, the star of the pliers display were these new locking pliers, with Euro-style release mechanism. I like this style a LOT better than Vise Grip-style mechanism, which can pinch if you’re not careful.
It looks a lot better than Dewalt’s previous locking pliers design, which did not make it to market.
The new locking pliers looks quite a bit like Blackhawk’s locking pliers, reviewed here, and currently available via Amazon.
The most obvious difference that I can tell is that the new Dewalt locking pliers has a beefier adjustment knob, with flats for applying extra tightening force using a wrench.
It’s unclear as to how many different sizes or styles there will be, but I’m hoping for a full lineup. In the meantime, this one has model number DWHT75903, which doesn’t appear anywhere online yet.
There were also heavy duty diagonal cutters (DWHT74274), which had quite comfortable grips, and…
Monster cutting jaws. The tips are ground down a little bit to give them a low-profile shape for prying up nail heads.
They’re available now, for $20.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
There were also 8″ slip-joint pliers (DWHT75403), which had a similar comfy grip.
See Also: Are Slip-Joint Pliers Obsolete or Still Useful?
I didn’t give them much of a try, but noticed they had a flush pivot joint, a style I liked in the USA-made Wilde flush-fastener pliers I reviewed, and 2-zone gripping jaws. There was a finer-toothed section towards the tips, and a larger aggressively toothed area for curving fasteners and other round materials.
These are also out now, for $10.
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
I have never tightened the adjustment screw on a set of vice grips AFTER I’ve gripped something. I always do it ahead of the actual grip, but based on the number of VG variations that allow pressure adjustment after I figure I must be in the minority.
Me neither, but some people do.
What I like about the flats is that they’re there if you need them, and easily ignored if you don’t.
I am not saying that is the intended design, but I’ve done the reverse once when I got them on too tight but not get them off. I was afraid of breaking the release lever so loosening the adjustment screw was the next best option.
I actually do use the adjustment screw on my vise grip 7″ needle nose pliers. I use this feature while servicing spas. I can lightly clamp down on 3/4″ clear tubing then use the adjustment screw (4mm hex) to clamp the line shut without causing any damage. I have used various styles of hose pinch off pliers but the vise grips seem to work the best. I do wish they were smooth jaw. I have actually thought about customizing mine but they seem to work and as of yet, I haven’t ever damaged a hose. Clamping the hoses off allows me to isolate a bad part and replace it without draining the tub. This saves time and and money for my company on warranty work and for the customer on non warranty work. The adjustment screw also comes in handy to open up the spring clamps on that tubing as well.
I have tightened after gripping but only because I had it too loose and finger tight was good enough.
but I like the flats on that not a horrible idea.
Those dikes look pretty good too. I don’t use slip joints so I’ve got nothing there.
I would have liked to seen some sort of slim runner grips on the locking pliers. Muck like the craftsman locking pliers but with a thinner rubber material.
The last batch of Dewalt handtools released in the UK (and i guess Europe) were truly awful for the money. From the pics, I don’t see these changing the landscape much.
Steel quality is a big deal for locking pliers. We’ll have to wait and see if Dewalt got it right. For now my locking pliers money will go to Blackhawk, whenever I need more.
Who do you think owns blackhawk ? Stanley Black and Decker
Who do you think owns blackhawk ? Stanley Black and Deckers
Who do you think decides OEM’s, product positioning and tool quality? Stanley Black & Decker.
It’s been the same in North America. I can’t figure out Dewalt’s game plan. Their first hand tools were heavy duty mechanics tools and were quite decent, if overpriced a bit. Everything since then has been cheap crap that is usually priced accordingly but not always. I’ve never seen tape measures that shed their paint and markings like most of the Dewalts I’ve seen.
Their rollout is puzzling as well. A few pliers here, some screwdrivers there, almost like they can’t decide if they want in the game or not. Say what you will about Milwaukee’s stuff but at least they are all in and still expanding their lineup on a regular basis.
Huh? Milwaukee has very limited hand tools and virtually no mechanics hand tools. So they’re all in on what? So when DeWalt is constantly adding these items they’re not expanding they’re lineup on a regular basis? I’m not defending or bashing any brand, personally like many others I vastly prefer Knipex. Just confused about that comment with no merit.
Easy answer, put the Dewalt name on it and get people to buy asian made tools !
Picked up a pair of Knipex 9.5-Inch Lineman’s Pliers a few weeks ago. Talk about nice! Doesn’t look like Knipex has to worry about DeWALT muscling in on their turf anytime soon.
I dont really understand the rationale of expanding a companys tool chest for the sake of matching colors and branding.
Stick to what you make best. Milwaukee dewalt makita bosch, all premium power tools… The market is saturated enough with relicensed rebadged hand tools for sake of “collection”…..im looking at you milwaukee, ill use your power tools, but your hand tools are nothing special.
Haven’t used a locking pliers in the last……..10, 20, 25………wait………oh yeah, never.
But why do I think that I need them in every tool kit I own.
Post is telling. You must be a butcher! My uncle is a butcher. If he had locking pliers in his tool kit, he would never use them either. Though he does have awfully sharp cutting tools.
Try working on a rusty old car some time.
So are the new tools made in Taiwan or China, Peoples republic of?
I hear Stanley is coming with a new one hand vise grip number 2 soon, they make the old 90 year design V G tool obsolete ,what has taken them so long STANLEY Gets THE Credit WAITING GUYS