Is Kobalt’s new Magnum Grip parallel-action auto-adjusting pliers worth buying? Here’s a quick hands-on preview.
Magnum Grip Set: Buy Now via Lowes. (As of October 2013, the 2-pliers set is on sale for just $10.)
And don’t forget to also check out Husky’s new – and lower priced – self-adjusting pliers.
The 6-inch Magnum Grip pliers is made from laminated steel plates and have a capacity of about 3/4″, at least according to the markings on the pliers’ jaws.
These pliers feature grooved jaws and V-shaped grooves to better fit hex fasteners. For the most part they work well with and don’t mar or damage medium-sized nuts and hex bolts.
The larger 8-inch pliers, also made from laminated steel, have plastic-lined non-marring plastic jaws. Although smooth, the removable plastic liners do a good job gripping metal objects without slipping. The grip is not going to be as strong as with grooved metal jaws, but the design allows for the pliers to be used with more delicate objects.
Logically, the 8-inch pliers have a wider jaw opening that the 6-inch ones: 1-1/4″. The parallel jaw action of both pliers is said to provide double the power compared to standard pliers.
The plastic jaw liners can be removed with a bit of prying to reveal straight grooved jaws. Removing the plastic liners/jaw caps also exposes a copper-only wire cutter.
The thin and somewhat loose-feeling handle grips leave something to be desired, but I’ll reserve judgement until I test the pliers a bit more. It could also be that I have become spoiled by the thick and contoured comfort grips found on pricier premium pliers.
Buy Now(via Lowes)
Buy Now(Bonus set via Lowes)
The pliers are available now at Lowes as part of a $20 2-piece set. Order online (link above) and you get free bonus carrying pouches.
Similar and seemingly based of the same patent, but the mechanism is a bit different. I don’t have any Robo-Grip pliers to compare these to.
Agreed, they look a lot like the Robogrip pliers. However, the top of the handles seem like they lack the metal between the hand grip part and the jaws.
Any idea who actually makes the plastic face pliers? I need some of those.
PennTek (Penn United Technologies) had Magnum Grip pliers on their website for quite a while, but they never seemed to have been manufactured. Now they are not on the site at all.
Those are locking pliers, these are not.
There are a lot of soft-jaw and plastic-lined pliers, but I can’t find any others by a reputable brand which have flat plastic faces. I suppose you could always line steel pliers with masking tape, silicone, or Plasti-Dip.
I would like to really see Kobalt vs Milwaukee in power toold and hand tools. I have always liked Kobalt but I have seen as of late Milwaukee dominating the market. Anyway you could accommodate this request?
these are robogrip clones for sure..craftsman had red plastic covers for the jaws that were removable and i actually used them…im not a fan of kobalt so ill probobally pass
Pricey, I know, but I have totally fallen in love with my Knipex parallel jawed pliers. These kind of look interesting, though, as a cheaper set to maybe throw behind the seat of the pickup,though.
We like them so much that have 4 sets (a pair of each) of Knipex Plier Wrenches (86 03) in 150, 180, 250 and 300mm sizes in most of our rolling tool carts (Ford E350’s)
I love the Knipex pliers wrench. I am a huge fan of their quality. I agree that these Kobalt pliers look like a cheap knockoff of the old Craftsman Robo Grips. I still use those occasionally, and I do have the plastic sleeves to go over the jaws.
One thing I notice right away is the bulky head; they probably won’t get in tight spaces owing to the parallel jaw action. They should be fine in less-constricted areas, though. Also, will you be testing the durability of the plastic jaw covers on the larger one? As they appear to be riveted on, I can see them getting chewed up after a few years’ use with no easy means of replacing them. I just noticed there is a wire cutter on the larger pair, actuated by squeezing the handles, correct?
The jaw covers are removable and can be pried off around the rivets that hold the jaws together. I don’t know if replaceable caps are available.
I will try my best to test the durability of the liners, but to put it nicely I don’t plan to use these pliers too extensively.
One of the laminated plates that forms the jaws has a V-shaped anvil that serves as a wire cutter. The loop in the handle that says “insert wire from this side” can be a wire cutter or wire stripper, I haven’t figured that part out yet.
Given that this is the Kobalt brand, I can only think of three words that are associated this tool. Made in China. I rather go on eBay and buy a vintage USA made Craftsman Robo Grips than this cheap knock off.
i have both of the kobalt pliers and they both have a hole labled “loop”. Any idea what thats used for?
I believe that the loop is meant to bend solid wire into an eye.
the loop is to bend wire
Everyone has forgotten to mention that they have a Lifetime warranty. No questions asked.
Bought Kobalt parallel jaw pliers and when I turned them upside down to take off a hose clamp they would not grip. Both pair I had did the same thing so took them back to lowes and they opened another package and both of them did the same thing. I got my money back —- can’t use pliers that won’t work upside down. Karel