Knipex TwinGrip pliers are excellent, there’s no doubt about that.
I own two pairs, and while I don’t use them on as many tasks as I probably could – I largely stopped using slip-joint-style pliers a few years ago – they’re nicely featured and well-made.
They’re pricey too, but worth it to me.
When they came out last year, I praised the Knipex TwinGrip pliers as not being your ordinary slip-joint pliers, due to the adjustable opening design.
This style of locking adjustment seemed new for slip-joint pliers. But it’s not!
I came across an older post in my archives – Stanley FatMax push-lock slip-joint pliers.
The Stanley FatMax slip-joint pliers featured a button-adjustment system and offered 3 locking opening width settings, rather than the style of pliers’ traditional 2-position slide-to-open mechanism.
Stanley FatMax had push-lock-adjustable slip-joint pliers at least as far back as 2012. Amazon’s product listing says the FatMax was first available in 2005.
Knipex TwinGrip pliers came out in 2021.
The mechanisms could very different, but the concept is the same. Push a button to unlock and adjust the pliers jaws’ opening width.
I cannot find any other examples of adjustable slip-joint pliers, and so I’m going to accept Stanley FatMax as being the first such tool.
Wow. So Stanley, of all brands, came first, and then Knipex followed many years later. This isn’t quite fair to say, as the Knipex TwinGrip is certainly unique and very differently featured, but the shared adjustability concept does seem to have originated with Stanley.
By the time the TwinGrip pliers came out, I had long-forgotten about my post on the Stanley FatMax pliers from 9 years earlier.
The TwinGrip also appears to be a completely new design, whereas the Stanley more closely resembles traditional slip-joint pliers.
I don’t think Knipex did anything wrong here, I’m just surprised. Stanley FatMax was first, Knipex second. Or were there other locking slip-joint pliers I might have missed?
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