Gearwrench Double-X pliers have been a useful addition to my my tool box for quite some time now. While they don’t see daily use, and sometimes a lot of time passes before I pick them up again, they’ve been useful, convenient, and even indispensable.
Update 6/1/21: The 2pc pliers set is currently on sale for $25.20 at Amazon.
The key feature about these Gearwrench Double-X pliers, and similar pliers from Apex Tool Group’s other hand tool brands, is that they have a compound pivot joint built into the extended-length handle.
The problem with single-pivot extended-length pliers, or rather a potential problem or frustration, is that you have to spread the handles wide to open the jaws.
With these Gearwrench Double-X pliers, you get more jaw opening width with narrower handle spread.
Basically, these are long-reach pliers that are capable of fitting into tighter spaces compared to traditional or extended-length pliers.
You lose a little bit of precision, and the pliers are a tad bulky since the double-action compound requires a certain amount of metal for proper strength.
And, these are longer-length pliers that aren’t perfectly suited for all kinds of tasks. For close-up tasks where you don’t need reach or a narrow opening width, shorter pliers will allow for higher precision holding or manipulation of parts and materials.
These are specialty pliers for me, but as mentioned they do come in handy. My Double-X pliers have earned their spot in my toolbox.
About half the time I use these pliers these days, it’s to grab lint accumulations from beyond my dryer’s lint trap. Claw-grabbers don’t work, vacuum nozzles – even smaller tube-style ones – don’t work very well, and regular pliers don’t have the reach. For something like that, these pliers have the reach, precision, and narrower profile that I need for clearing things out.
They are similarly useful in drains – if you’re careful – and also in machinery for placing screws or adjusting parts and clips.
There are now other brands offering similarly-styled pliers, but I can’t tell you anything about them, as I have only ever purchased Gearwrench and Crescent-branded Double-X pliers.
At the time of this posting, the Crescent 2pc set is slightly less expensive than the Gearwrench ones. Which one to buy depends on your handle preference style.
I started off with one style and later bought the other. I got away with using just one style, but sometimes having angled jaws vs. straight, or vice versa, works out a little easier depending on the task.
You can buy these pliers individually as well, but it’s usually more economical to buy the set if you end up wanting both jaw styles. For example, the straight pliers are ~$22 on Amazon right now.
Price: $28 for the 2-pc Gearwrench set, ~$26 for Crescent
Sale Price (6/1/21): $25.20
I purchased my Gearwrench straight Double-X pliers at retail pricing in June 2008. They were regularly priced at $25 at the time, and I paid $15 during a promotion. I will also be ordering a new set of these pliers to judge whether the quality has changed at all over the years, although I don’t expect that it has.
I purchased a set of Crescent Double-X pliers in October 2011 for $25.49 after discount.
$26-28 for the 2pc set still seems like an excellent price.