I have come to the conclusion that Gearwrench’s new Pitbull pliers are the perfect Father’s Day gift for most users.
Before we get into it, Gearwrench is a ToolGuyd sponsor, and they also sent this set for review.
If you’re not in the mood for the story, here’s the set I’d recommend for most users.
So, the story starts yesterday, after I gave a Crescent 15″ adjustable wrench to my father-in-law. A couple of months ago he asked if I had a spare “large adjustable wrench.” I did not, and so I bought him a Crescent wrench for Father’s Day.
I asked him – do you need any other tools?
“Adjustable wrenches and pliers.”
What kind of pliers?
Cutting pliers, large pliers, smaller pliers?
I had some ideas. On the way to the local home centers, I called my mother. Does Dad need any new tools? “Yes, a hammer and… he’s asking for pliers.”
What kind of pliers?
“General and cutting pliers.”
So, I went to the store.
I didn’t really find anything perfect for my either my dad or my father-in-law. I considered Husky adjustable pliers, but would they have trouble with the adjustment button?
A lot of us have graduated from tongue-and-groove pliers, although I still keep a couple around. You know… that’s a pretty timeless and bulletproof design.
I went to two home centers and weren’t really happy with the options. I considered some of the brands and styles available online, and had an idea.
I have been working with Gearwrench Pitbull pliers, and there’s a lot to like about them. I’ve actually been using the dipped-handle set more, and will start using this dual-material set as well. I think these will gradually become my “daily driver” pliers.
In a nutshell, they are great cutters, they are comfortable to use (both handle styles), and they’re very well-made.
One of the things I like is that the pivots seem to be well-tuned. You know what I’m talking about here – I’m sure you’ve used pliers either too loose or too tight before. These are easy to use without being floppy.
When I left the home centers, I knew what I’d be getting for my dad and FIL – Gearwrench Pitbull pliers sets.
This seems perfect for all users, but especially for my father and FIL and their more experienced hands. Easy to use, easier cutting power, comfortable grips.
I was going to get the 4pc set for both of them, especially since it’s on sale right now for $51.51 from $60. But, I hesitated. For one, it doesn’t look like it’ll arrive before Father’s Day. Second, I also wanted lineman’s pliers and larger tongue and groove style pliers included.
So, I stepped up to the 6pc set, which is in stock at MSC – I paid $90 with tax but no shipping since there seems to be a promo tied to my account from back when I was an Enco customer.
For most people, I would suggest the 4pc set. I wanted the two other pliers, and so the $90 6pc set was still a good buy. Maybe I should have bought the 4pc set and added in a single v-groove pliers size? I’m not sure.
I also purchased the pliers for me, just in case. If we’re visiting and either my parents or my wife’s parents need help with something spur of the moment, I know they’ll have good pliers for me to use.
Plus, when I was lot younger, gift cards that they all gave me helped me to grow my tool collection, and so it seems fair for me to do the same and upgrade their tools now.
I really hope MSC doesn’t print pricing on their packing lists. And if they do, I’m going to lie. “I hope you didn’t spend a lot.” Nah, I only spent [some amount I know they’d be happy with].
There are a lot of different ways I could have gone for these pliers gifts. Both my dad and FIL asked for good pliers and both wanted pliers that can cut as well.
I’m sorry, but “good pliers” and “but don’t spend a lot” don’t really work together.
I don’t think either of them know exactly what they want or need, but when they need pliers, these sets will get the job done. I could have gotten them fewer pliers, but I really wanted them to have the variety, and it’ll come in handy in case I ever need to use pliers at their houses.
No matter how much I tried to convince myself of this early on, everyone needs more than a couple of pliers to tackle a broader range of tasks and needs. 2 or 3 styles just won’t cut it.
I could have gotten them less expensive pliers, but I’ve been liking the Gearwrench Pitbulls, and I know they’ll serve both users well. With less expensive pliers, there can sometimes be variability or design compromises, and I didn’t want to mess around with that.
Rewind quite a few years, to when I was using more basic and value-oriented pliers. I replaced all of those tools piecemeal over time, reaching into more premium brands and quality tiers. This set would have been a fantastic upgrade.
Actually, if I didn’t already have this set thanks to Gearwrench, I’d love to be gifted a set of these right now as well.
Tongue and groove pliers still seem somewhat archaic to me, and the same is true for slip-joint pliers, but I still use them. My dad and FIL will both use them too, as it’s what they know.
Maybe I could have saved some money and just gotten them the 4pc set plus lineman’s pliers, but with my luck the missing 12″ pliers would be the ones they need first or most.
Would you have gone in a different direction?