Knipex has updated their 10″ Pliers Wrench with a couple of changes.
To start, they are 15% lighter.
The new 10″ Pliers Wrench jaws are narrower, which Knipex says allows for better accessibility in confined areas. The jaw capacity has also been increased, to 2″ (52mm). The jaw capacity on previous models is 1-3/4″.
There is also a new laser-marked adjustment scale, for presetting the opening width. Metric markings are on one side of the tool, inch markings on the other.
Additionally, there are what Knipex describes as recessed areas, for better grip. Presumably, this is referring to the new grooved areas on the handles, right above where the grip material starts.
The 10″ Knipex Pliers Wrench is now available with a black atramentized finish, with the choice of plain grip and comfort grip options. As shown at the top of the post, you can also get the new 10″ Pliers Wrench with the traditional chrome plated finish, also with plain grip and comfort grip options. It is also available with insulated handles.
The plastic-coated handles appear to be mostly the same, while the multi-component comfort grips appear to have been slimmed down a little.
Here’s a closer look at the new Pliers Wrench head compared to the previous one.
Seeing as how Knipex is using the same model numbers, it’s clear that the new style of 10″ Knipex Pliers Wrench is replacing the older style.
Dealers’ inventories might be mixed, and so if you have a preference for new or older styles, contact your favorite Knipex distributor for more information.
Here’s a promo video, with Knipex describing the pliers as being “The Classic Reinvented”:
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The new Knipex Pliers Wrenches are still made in Germany.
Several people have asked about the new Knipex Pliers Wrench, but unfortunately we haven’t tried them out yet.
As of now, the changes were only made to the 10″ size, and there’s no word as to if or when the other sizes will also receive an update.
It’s curious why Knipex is updating what is widely believed to be an excellent tool. We have seen new competing styles of tools in recent years, such as from Irwin Vise-Grip, and Wiha, but Knipex is still king of the high-leverage parallel jaw pliers market. Maybe the cost of raw materials has increased, and Knipex decided to redesign the pliers (and add in more features) rather than simply slimming them down or increasing prices?
Thoughts? How eager are you for the new Knipex Pliers Wrench in 10″ size, with thinner jaws, wider opening capacity, laser-etched scale, and updated handles?
The Youtube channel German Tool Reviews covered this in detail in a 10-minute comparison video that can be seen here:
I only remember him covering what you’ve already stated here, but I did see it quite a while ago so there may be more details I’m forgetting.
To be fair to Knipex, the guy doing that review looks like it’s the first time he’s ever used a pair.
I’m not sure I like the thinner jaws, this may be their way of jazzing up some cost cutting.
I’m also not sure that the laser etching of numbers is necessary. How do you know if you need to open it to size 37? If you’re first going to whip out the vernier to check then you’ll be there all day. Better to use your eye to gauge a nut size and then with experience you can set the Pliers Wrench’s opening accordingly.
Seems like a lot of changes to suit the Millennial man.
Maybe watch some of German Tool Reviews videos. He clearly knows how to use all of the tools he reviews and is a great source of information into uncommonly found brands in the USA
He probably does and I’ll take your word for it. However in this video he fumbles around like a newbie.
Just as guess about why change a popular tool (btw, I love the original plier wrench) – more and more competitors are making a similar tool now – presumably because the patent protection is now over. Where a once highly innovative and high quality tool could be a one of a kind and command a premium price, now Knipex is easily undercut. Forging dies have to be replaced anyway – maybe Knipex is working the profit margins by engineering equal performance out of slight less material. I know I am probably not alone in saying this is the tool that introduced me to Knipex, it really seemed very unique ~15 years ago – head and shoulder above a basic Channel Lock or adjustable wrench – and now everyone has copied it.
Now that the patent has expired the only thing that sets knipex pliers wrenches apart from the others is the high quality. If they “value engineer” out all the quality there won’t be any real reason to go with knipex.
I agree – my hope it this was more optimization than value engineer. I would definitely still pay a premium for Knipex quality.
Mechanical tradesman know the difference in quality. Knipex is the leader of the pack. Will always be a part of my day to day plumbing projects. New version, old version…both will be fantastic to anyone initiated to the club.
I’m looking forward to these and hope they update the rest of the line.
One thing I noticed is the plastic dipped handle on the black pliers are different than the chrome ones and all the previous ones. Normally they are shiny smooth but the black ones have a non slip coating. I personally prefer the older smooth plastic handles for cleanup reasons.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’d never seen the word “atramentized” before. In Google, half of the first ten hits are to Knipex or NWS tools. I suppose it is German for “phosphated.”
It took me a while to find this from Knipex:
However, taken literally, an atrament is defined as a blackening material. NWS’s locking pliers are also described as atramentized, but also specifically feature a black powder coat finish.
I like the concept of this style of tool as it would suit my line of work well in theory. To this day i haven’t been able to figure out if these would be a good replacement for a crescent wrench? No one seems to be able to confirm this, every review ive come across seems to be vague about how well they actually perform.
Yes, and no. It does a lot of things better than an adjustable wrench, but certain things worse.
Let’s say you have a hex-head bolt and nut assembly. You have a combination wrench (or other dedicated-size tool) to use on the front fastener, and need a tool to hold or turn the other one. An adjustable wrench is easier to hold in place, while a Knipex Pliers Wrench requires an active grip on both handles to keep the fastener flats in place. You can’t just apply force to keep the fastener in position, you need to squeeze the handle as well. Sometimes this isn’t a problem, but it can be at times, such as when turning nylon nuts that can cause the opposite fastener to turn.
Really, I’m happy to own tools of both styles.
The Pliers Wrench can do a lot of what an adjustable wrench can do, but an adjustable wrench can only do some of what a Pliers Wrench can do. I use my Pliers Wrench for more than just turning fasteners.
They perform really well, and are an indispensable part of my toolbox. But I won’t toss away my adjustable wrenches, or my combination wrenches for that matter.
Don’t like the idea of thinner jaws. Mine are used a lot as tubing wrenches, for their non slip grip. On some brass fittings they will sometimes slightly deform the tubing but before breaking it loose. Thinner jaws will just make it worse. For me personally, I’d rather have a wider jaw version than the narrower.
Stuart covered the bases pretty well. My suggestion would be to try the 150mm/6” version to see if it would work for you. If not, it’s like a Swiss Army knife, you’ll find uses for it even if you’re still using a standard adjustable wrench. I do use both, but on smaller fasteners I do like how the pliers wrench clamps onto the nut or bolt. That gives me a little more margin to lean into it if needed without fear of rounding the fastener. On larger fasteners that little bit of slop in an adjustable is less likely to pose a problem unless the fastener has already been damaged.
I don’t like the thinner jaws either. I use mine for sheet metal work a lot. Making small bends or flattening out corners. To a good upgrade for me.
I also found similar models from Gedore and others, beside Irwin and Wiha.
I own some of the old style, and the unnecessary bulk of the handles has been my chief complaint. So I think this upgrade is perfect!
I’ve never felt that their jaw opening was inadequate, given the size of the tool, but then I’m using the 150mm version, so maybe the 250’s were disproportionate.
I’ll give it a while until the new style is in distribution, and probably add a 250mm set to my box.
You will love the increased sizes!
They don’t feel lighter built, just more spread out.
Would like to play with a set .Pretty well thrown away all but oneof my adjustable wrenches in favor of Knipex plierwrenches . The only adj. wrench , is a pointy ended creature , good for lining up holes .
Yeah, this is just a way of using less metal and cutting costs to increase profits while spinning it as an improvement.
Not really surprising since Knipex already cut costs and quality before when they massively increased production to push more product globally.
My guess is whoever’s in charge now is just being greedy and cares more about constantly making increasing amounts of money than making the strongest, highest quality product possible, even if that means limited quantities and predictable profits.
I’m glad I have most sizes in the thicker, stronger version already, but like everything else that gets changed to be lower quality, this makes the prospect of a lifetime warranty exchange a lot less appealing.
Maybe if sales go down they’ll go back to the original design, or they’ll start making the original design in China for a whole lot less but for way more profit.
Check my posts on Instagram, they’re not weaker.
The web between the handles is spread out more. 2chipped
I just bought 2 pair from kc tool.
They were the deal of the day for 35$ ish each, on back to back weeks.
I core and set 2 inch fence posts using anchoring concrete.
I cut 3/4 x 3/4 wood blocks to hold the posts while the anching cures, typically about 10 minutes (depending on humidity, acidity/temperature of water).
My old pw would only go up to 1.5 inches?
The new pairs will just reach 2inches.
1 is comfort grip, the other is regular grip.
I also purchased the xl from Amazon for $120 before tax.
Shopping around will definitely save money.
I have shown all 3 on Instagram.
I know some time has passed since this post, but I have both the new and old version of the 180mm as well as the newer version of the 250mm, and there is another, intentional reason for the change in head shape.
The new version does open wider, but that wedge shape on the side of the jaws is used to secure the soft-pads:
With the soft-jaw pads mounted on the new version, the jaw opening is identical to the old version.
Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!
No one has commented on the “plating” of these new wrenches. I just picked up a 250 comfort grip and the “plating” looks almost like paint? Anyone else notice the differences?