A New Grip

@craftsman has released some stylish new pliers that rival the classic ones we have come to know and love, so I decided to take a look and see how they look and feel. The 4-piece set (pictured above) we reviewed comes with: (from left to right in above picture) 6-3/4″ slip joint pliers [28075], 8″ long reach long nose pliers [71647], 9-1/2″ arc joint pliers [28346], and 7″ diagonal pliers [28202].

All of the pliers are fairly similar to that of their classic counterparts - forged alloy steel with a clear coating for protection, similar weight-in-hand, and size and shape nearly identical. There are improvements to the design of each individual tool, which I will cover further in this review, but the most drastic change was the replacement of the grip in the handles, which Craftsman calls ‘TruGrip Handles’; and they definitely live up to their namesake.
This was probably my biggest complaint in the classic variation was the grip-ability of the handles. They always felt dry to me, and I found myself gravitating to some of my other Craftsman variations, like the lighted pliers. The TruGrip Handles are comfortable in the hand, not bulky, and offer a surprising amount of grip. The material of the handle grips is resistant to different chemicals such as brake fluid, gasoline, glycol and alcohol. What’s even more is they managed to do this all while making the design elegant, engraving the namesake right into the steel handle, and Craftsman’s newer iconic ‘C Shield’ into the joint of the pliers.

The slip joint pliers are merely identical, operating and appearing the same. They both feature three work surfaces on the jaw surface for small, medium and large objects and have a two-position jaw. When testing these out, I did have better gripping force because of the new handles.

The joint of the diagonal pliers were tighter on the new than the classic, which made it easier to control them when tested. I cut a 1/16″ thick solid metal wire and the pliers cut it better than the classic pliers.

The new long reach long nose pliers feature cross hatch teeth which over increased grip. I use needle-nose style pliers like this quite often, so this will indeed come in handy. I also noticed that the jaws are slightly bigger than on the classic pliers.

The arc joint pliers are another often-used tool in my shop, sometimes being reached for to make quick work on fasteners before I reach for a wrench. Although the design here most definitely has not changed, it shows off a feature that is arguable my favorite: the inside of all of these pliers are sealed and coated! I love this because this is really where the pliers get their most wear and tear - dirt, grime, and grease all get trapped here.
These sleek, new pliers are available in 2-piece3-piece, and 4-piece sets. The pliers feature Craftsman’s lifetime warranty.
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