Engineer Inc, which specializes in hand tools for electronics and general purpose use, makes very decent miniature and precision pliers.
This one, PS-01 long nose pliers, are 5.5″ long and have ESD-safe anti-static handles.
In my opinion, the PS-01 mid-length long nose pliers are a good introduction to Engineer Inc pliers. If you like it, there are many more styles to choose from, such as precision cutters, non-serrated needle nose pliers, and others in between.
The jaws are fine enough to grip small and delicate electronic components enough, but also strong enough for a broader range of tasks.
It has wire cutting blades, for use on copper wire up to 2mm in diameter, and loops at the ends of the handles for a tether.
I own many styles of Engineer Inc mini pliers, and like them a lot. The jaws are well-formed and precise, the handles are comfortable, and overall their pliers perform quite well. I have had zero regrets.
COO: Made in Japan
Also… I can’t mention Engineer Inc tools without bringing up their fantastic compact scissors, which are ~$20 at Amazon at the time of this posting. (JML, this plug’s for you! =)
You turned me onto the Engineer brand with those scissors. I now keep a pair at work and another in my backpack. I’ve also been extremely impressed with their screw removal pliers: https://www.amazon.com/d/B002L6HJAA/?tag=toolguyd-20
Very handy info, thanks!
Engineer makes the Vampliers. Both the Vampliers and their Nejisaurus are almost NECESSARY tools to have.
Bought those screw pliers a week or two ago. Great, great tool, one of those tools that you won’t use everyday but that is well worth the cost when you need it, as it does a job that few other tools do well.
I agree with Stuart that if you want to look at Made-in-Japan pliers – the Engineer brand has a lot to offer at fair prices.
Another Japanese pliers brand that I can recommend is Merry:
Surprise to see The Merry brand pop out here, It’s not common in the USA as I know.
However, Merry pliers are outstanding.
They make an automotive connector plier that’s supposed to be pretty awesome. I only see ridiculous pricing on them here in Canada, otherwise I would have bought them already. Looks like they’re far more reasonable in the USA: https://frankstools.com/merry-connector-pliers-hs175c.html
Your link at FranksTools – says out of stock – but also says only 2 left. Thaye are listed for about $13 less at Frank’s than ant Niles-Merry.
I am reading this 2 days after you posted, Fred. I am showing “out of stock” and (-2) left, which I believe means 2 on backorder.
I purchased from FranksTools close to 10 years ago. He was, and think he still is, on the Garage Journal. I had bought some Nepros and Koken ratchet sets.
I can say they were relatively quick and they had the best pricing at the time.
It was showing as negative 2 on Friday too.
I’m guess those are special-order, with few tools kept in-stock.
Since pliers are the topic on the table, it may be of interest to those needing very long nose needled nosed pliers that Kctool’s Tool of the day is a Knipex long nosed plier at 42% off. Don’t have experience with those, but seemed worth mentioning.
I bought Knipex angled-nose assembly pliers a while back. They’re very much specialty pliers in my opinion. They can be useful, but I would recommend other styles for long-reach applications.
I’ve maybe four versions of this style and have used them exactly…. Ah. Never?
I bought the NP-05 micro nippers recently. I don’t do a lot of work at this scale, but they seem like very nice small pliers.
Not sure if it is correct or not, but I separate pliers into two groups: “traditional” and “new style” (for the lack of better words). The first group tend to be “full size” with “traditional shapes” (again, for the lack of better words) such as the Milwaukee fliers in recent post. The second group are Knipex, Engineer,…I like the second group more and more. Sort of wonder why Milwaukee picked what they picked to start making in the US.
I think it comes down to market share.
Other than the ESD handles (and Engineer quality) these pliers look like very traditional small slip joint needle nose pliers.
Knipex pliers wrenches are in a class of their own, but I don’t think Milwaukee would compete with them without being a blatant copy of the Knipex design.
Both ESD needle nose pliers, and Knipex pliers wrenches are specialty pliers that not everyone will gravitate towards.
Good quality Linesman pliers, on the other hand, are a tool that a huge number of Americans want in their toolbox, especially those for whom “made in the USA” influences their purchase decisions.
Their pliers are excellent…as are those funky grips once you get used to them. I have this same pair and they became my primaries for so many things – wish they made a smaller pair in the mini 100mm-115mm range. Their quality has slipped just a little as of late but only in terms of the final finish and small burs, easy enough to address.
They have a plastic box/case that I’d love to have, but the pricing and especially shipping costs from Japan (Amazon) have gotten pretty unfavorable.
Their wire strippers are fantastic as well…best I’ve ever used and they do a better job than any Klein/Channellock/GB/Greenlee/Knipex I have used in the past, just a pleasure to use.
I already had a few of their screw extracting pliers but picked up the slip joint version of those last year (neoprene dipped, not the molded grips) – those are really quite excellent and pretty cheap usually.
I have these pliers, the flush cutters, the wire strippers, and their solder sucker in my soldering-to-go bag and they are all excellent. Can’t reccomend their products enough. I am waiting for the TZ-14 auto punch to arrive, I think its new this year and it looks like the perfect punch for light applications.
I tried to like the scissors. I really did. The handles are just not ergonomic at all to me, I loathe them, and it’s a shame because of how I saw them becoming a go-to in my arsenal. I have some Neijisaurus and they’re great and Engineer heavily specializes in screw removal, but the scissors are just a no for me.
Some other companies if people want to look at Japanese pliers are Tsunoda who have a very impressive range, and Igarashi/IPS who specialize in slip joints and adjustable joints but seem to not have a solid distribution in the States for their full lineup like Tsunoda. But Engineer pretty much has the screw removal market cornered.
I agree on the scissors, they have a hard plastic handle that isn’t comfortable to me at all. I also have a pair of their smaller screw extraction pliers with the same sort of grip pattern but with an elastomer grip and they feel outstanding to use.
Not just the specific material it’s made out of, but the scissors have a sprue line from the mold right up the middle of the inside of the ring and the two halves of the mold apparently aren’t shaped in a way where the spot they meet makes a nice flat or rounded surface, they come together in a way that makes a kind of raised section with the sprue in the middle. No distribution of forces. I’ve heard Olfa makes good scissors though, they certainly make good knives.
But fortunately, Engineer doesn’t just do scissors, so there’s still plenty to enjoy from the brand.
Same for me – like Engineer Neji Saurus (screw gripping pliers) and extra-thin jaw adjustable wrenches (come in 2 sizes)
– but can’t abide the scissors. I thought that it was just me and my big mitts.
I found the engineer and vampire screw grabbing pliers good for their small size allowing you to get into small places.
However, the handles do flex when applying pressure and the teeth get chewed up relatively easy unlike my larger Knipex version.
It would be nice if Knipex made their version in this smaller size and design to compliment their collection.
What makes these ESD safe? Conductive rubber in the handles maybe?
Yes. Handles have just enough conductivity to dissipate static charge. Surface resistivity in the mega to tera ohm range.
I’ve mentioned this before but I have an awkward time using unsprung pliers.
I’ve got a few of their stuff but I find myself only using it when that’s the only tool I’ve got for the job.
I even jammed leaf springs into the small screw extracting pliers because I wanted to use them more often. The folded tube on the handles isn’t really for me as it lengthens the tool too much. Maybe a torsion spring?
I you want a higher quality pair of similar Japanese pliers, I recommend the Keiba FCC-306.
Amazing variety. Somewhat more expensive than the Engineer pliers. There are some pliers I haven’t seen before, like this: KEIBA HRC-D34 Pro Hobby Wire Loop Pliers. Nice tip, thanks!
I never realized until now that Misumi lists a variety of Japanese hand tools, including Engineer, Lobtex, and Keiba.
Pricing in general seems on the higher side (although the HRC-D34 is currently less at Misumi than Amazon), which I expected because Misumi is an industrial supplier similar to McMaster-Carr.
I have each variant of the Engineer mini-pliers and like them a good deal also. I also have several of the mini-cutters, which are similarly well made.
The scissors just went into the Amazon cart. I’d like to see (or maybe do) a comparison between those and the equivalent Knipex scissors.
I have 3 or 4 of their scissors and a pair of their pliers. All very good and would recommend to anyone considering them.
Engineer makes fine tools but they are not designed for big American hands. I purchased a pair of their scissors and only the tips of my thumb and fingers will fit through the handles which makes them awkward to use.
Does anyone make scissors (and other such tools) for people with big hands?