Irwin has launched new Vise-Grip PowerSlot pliers, which feature a high-leverage effort-reducing design.
There are two new PowerSlot pliers – 8-inch diagonal cutting pliers (IWHT84001) and 9.5″ lineman pliers (IWHT84000).
IRWIN, a channel sponsor, provided a sampling of the new tools for us to test out.
The curved PowerSlot provides a mechanical advantage, which reduces cutting effort.
For the lineman pliers, the PowerSlot design can provide 50% reduced cutting effort on average when cutting 12/2 non-metallic sheathed cable, compared to Irwin’s standard lineman’s pliers (2078209).
As an aside, I purchased the Irwin Vise-Grip 2078209 lineman’s pliers for testing a few years ago, and found them to be capable and an exceptionally good value.
I have medium sized hands (I wear a medium 8/9 size gloves) and had no difficulty cutting different wire sizes with the new Irwin Vise-Grip PowerSlot lineman’s pliers.
In addition to the side cutting blades, the lineman’s pliers have broad gripping jaws, and also a tape pulling zone to the left of the PowerSlot.
The diagonal cutters provide a 30% reduction in cutting force when cutting 12/2 non-metallic sheathed cable, compared to Irwin’s standard Vise-Grip diagonal cutting pliers, model 2078308.
Both pliers feature 60CrV steel construction for high strength, laser-hardened cutting edges, and an electrophoretic deposition coating for high corrosion resistance.
They also feature 3-shot bi-material handle grips for user comfort.
I have been testing both pliers, and they do indeed cut through 12/2 NM cables with less effort than all of the traditional pliers and cutters I own.
Irwin provided lengths of 12/2 and 10/2 cables for me to cut through. The Lineman’s pliers handled both with relative ease. I was able to cut through the 10/2 with the diagonal cutters, which is something I typically wouldn’t try at all with an 8″ tool.
For the diagonal cutter, the PowerSlot feature reduces the effort enough where I was able to make the cut instead of having to retrieve a different tool.
There is a tradeoff, in how the mechanical leverage requires greater handle spread for the same jaw opening width compared to traditional pliers of similar lengths. The same is true for all of the other compound-action pliers I have ever used.
However, the pliers seem well-matched for the sizes of wires and cables one can expect to cut with tools of such lengths.
The Irwin Vise-Grip PowerSlot diagonal cutting pliers increases the range of wire and cable sizes I can cut without difficulty, due to the reduction in effort. The Lineman’s pliers extends the range further, and I also like the idea of the tape pulling slot. I believe this is the first time I have seen such a feature incorporated into compound action pliers.
Both tools are available now.
Price: $25 for the diagonal pliers, $30 for the Lineman’s pliers