The Knipex Cobra XS (87 00 100) are the ultimate pocket pliers, and they’re currently a couple of dollars less than when they first launched.
Knipex Cobra adjustable “water pump” style pliers are fantastic. They’re comfortable to use, easy to adjust, and durable.
The Cobra XS is the smallest size you can get, with a 4″ length and full 28 mm (~1.10″) jaw opening width. It can can grip hex fasteners with flats up to 24mm across.
I tend to use my XS as general purpose pliers, whenever something small needs to be pulled, squeezed, turned, twisted, or manipulated. There are lot of small everyday-type tasks where this will do the trick and save me a trip to the toolbox.
The XS doesn’t adjust the same way as larger sizes, but I haven’t had any problems with it yet. It can also self-lock onto fasteners, pipes, and whatever else you’re grabbing, requiring less force to get your work done.
A pinch guard helps to keep your fingers safe.
The price can be tricky to justify, but this is the kind of tool where you’ll easily forget about the cost once it’s in your hand.
I also really like Knipex’s 5″ Cobra pliers, which were also difficult to justify.
It always stings me when smaller tools cost the same or sometimes even more than larger ones. But, if that’s the tool that works better, I tell myself that the manufacturing processes are the same or largely similar, with only small differences in the amount of raw materials used.
I use my 7-1/4″ Cobra pliers the most, followed by the XS or 5″ size, depending on which finds its way into my pocket first on busy days. The 5″ has a dipped grip and push-button adjustment mechanism, while the XS is adjusted in a similar manner to tongue and groove pliers, but without the frustration.
The Cobra XS is made in Germany.