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Best Locking Pliers – Buying Guide 2023

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Locking Pliers, Why you must have it!

Locking pliers, also known as vise-grips or mole grips, are versatile hand tools designed to securely hold objects in place. They are characterized by their unique locking mechanism that allows them to maintain a firm grip on a workpiece without the need for continuous manual force. This feature distinguishes them from traditional pliers, making them particularly valuable in scenarios where a sustained grip is required.

The fundamental design of locking pliers consists of an adjustable jaw that can be set to a specific width, and a lever-operated mechanism that locks the jaws in place. This locking action allows the pliers to maintain a constant pressure on the object, providing stability during tasks such as welding, bending, or turning nuts and bolts. Additionally, many locking pliers incorporate swivel pads or specialized jaw configurations to accommodate various shapes and sizes of objects, enhancing their adaptability across a range of applications.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide an in-depth evaluation of the best locking pliers available in the market today. By examining key features, performance metrics, and user feedback, this comprehensive analysis aims to assist professionals, enthusiasts, and consumers in making informed decisions when selecting locking pliers for their specific needs. The scope of this review encompasses a wide range of locking pliers types, considering their respective strengths, applications, and overall value. By offering detailed insights and comparisons, this review aims to serve as a valuable resource for individuals seeking the most reliable and effective locking pliers for their professional or personal endeavors.

Top Picks for the Best Locking Jaw Pliers 2023

1.Best Vise-Grip Locking Pliers—IRWIN Vise-Grip Original Locking Plier

Best Locking Pliers


The IRWIN Vise-Grip Original Locking Pliers stand out as a convenient and long-lasting household tool. They have earned their position as the top-rated vise-grip pliers on Amazon, boasting an impressive satisfaction rate of over 96% among customers. These 10-inch curved jaw pliers offer a range of essential features, including a quick-release lever, heat-treated alloy steel construction, a non-slip grip, wire cutters, and a hex key adjusting screw for precise pressure adjustments and seamless material pressing. Additionally, a slightly smaller 8-inch version is also available.

A contented reviewer affirmed their durability and highlighted the consistent high-quality craftsmanship synonymous with the brand. They expressed, “I placed this new pair next to my 20-year-old pair, and aside from some minor wear marks, they appear, weigh, and feel nearly identical. The gripping force also seems to hold up well after thorough testing.” This testimonial underscores the enduring quality and performance of these IRWIN Vise-Grip locking pliers.

2.Best Straight Jaw Locking Pliers—CRAFTSMAN 10-Inch Locking Pliers

Best Locking Pliers

The CRAFTSMAN 10-Inch Locking Pliers stand out as exemplary straight jaw pliers. Crafted from high-grade heat-treated alloy steel, these pliers offer durability and reliability. They feature an adjustable screw for precise manipulation of jaw opening and locking pressure, along with an effortless release mechanism. Additionally, the pliers boast a rubberized non-slip grip that ensures a secure and comfortable hold for regular use.

One pleased customer commented on the vise grip tool, stating, “Impressive quality; backed by a lifetime warranty, excellent handle, and sturdy spring strength, with sharp teeth on the wrench jaws.” Another satisfied buyer noted, “The release mechanism on these is remarkably easy. It only takes one finger, allowing me to use them single-handedly when necessary.”

3.Best Locking Plier with Wire Cutter—IRWIN Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter

Best Locking Pliers buying guide

The IRWIN Locking Pliers with Wire Cutter stands out as an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts. This two-piece set, priced just above $30, offers exceptional value. It includes a 7-inch curved jaw and a 6-inch long nose locking pliers, both equipped with integrated wire cutters. Notable features encompass a sensitive easy-release lever ensuring full locking strength, reinforced teeth, a convenient screw adjustment, and a construction of heat-treated alloy steel.

While individuals with larger hands might find them a tad compact, their non-slip grip is a standout attribute, providing stability during use. A satisfied customer emphasized that these long nose locking pliers exhibit a remarkable ability to lock securely in place. They proved invaluable in tasks such as securely holding a garage door track while replacing rollers, making them an excellent investment at this price point.

4.Best Locking Plier with Slide Hammer—Astro Pneumatic Tool Locking Pliers Slide Hammer

Buying Guide Best Locking Pliers

The Astro Pneumatic Tool Locking Pliers Slide Hammer is the ultimate solution for handling more substantial tasks, making it an indispensable tool for professionals. With its serrated, hardened teeth, it delivers an ironclad grip on various materials, while the nearly one-foot-long slide hammer provides exceptional pulling power, capable of tackling even the most stubborn screws. Moreover, this versatile grip tool allows you to detach the slide hammer for standard vise grip locking plier use. A satisfied user commented, “This slide hammer puller exudes high quality. The swivel feature, in particular, is a standout, not commonly found in other pullers, greatly enhancing its versatility.”

5. Best Long Nose Locking Pliers—IRWIN VISE Long Nose Locking Pliers

Best Locking Pliers buy

The IRWIN VISE Long Nose Locking Pliers have earned the top spot as the best needle-nose vise grips, according to Amazon ratings. These pliers are tailor-made for tasks demanding precision in confined, challenging-to-access spaces. The 1.5-inch long nose, crafted from durable steel, boasts a jaw capacity of 1 5/8-inch, with hardened teeth ensuring a robust grip even on the smallest materials.

In addition to their locking and releasing capabilities akin to standard vice grips, this tool is equipped with a wire cutter and screw adjustment feature. A satisfied reviewer attested, “These have very sharp and well-designed teeth on the long nose for a good grip on the part,” while another praised, “Quality mini locking pliers. My tips align perfectly. Great for hobby projects. The construction and finish are first-rate.”

6. Best Comfort-Grip Locking Pliers—FASTPRO Vise-Grip Locking Pliers

Comparison Best Locking Pliers

The FASTPRO Vise-Grip Locking Pliers, recognized as the best in comfort-grip options, are an invaluable addition to any toolbox. This heavy-duty set offers four types of pliers, including five, seven, and 10-inch curved jaw locking pliers, as well as a long straight nose locking plier with a robust vise grip. Noteworthy features include a built-in wire cutter known for its durability, a convenient quick-release lever, and an adjustable screw tailored for specific tasks.

One satisfied customer shared, “They proved their worth during a substantial project, exceeding my expectations. Their gripping ability matched that of my trusted older, well-known brand.” Another delighted buyer expressed, “I have a fondness for them; they feel incredibly comfortable in my hands, and I particularly appreciate the grips.”

7. Best Round-Jaw Locking Pliers—KNIPEX Tools Round Jaws Locking Pliers

Best Locking Plier

The KNIPEX Tools Round Jaws Locking Pliers are hailed as the best choice for those in need of reliable round-jaw locking pliers. Constructed from premium materials, including alloy steel with chrome vanadium electric steel jaws, these 10-inch pliers are a staple among professionals and a valuable addition to any toolbox. Noteworthy features include the well-designed adjustment screw and quick release lever, both of which contribute to exerting strong pressure on materials, whether round or flat.

A contented buyer shared, “This tool is crafted from high-strength forged steel and boasts a smooth chrome finish, devoid of any common steel burrs often found in lower-quality tools. The release lever is robustly anchored to the locking plier’s frame, ensuring durability and ease of use.” Additionally, the manufacturer stands behind their product with a warranty covering workmanship and materials, providing further assurance of its quality and longevity.

8. Best Locking Plier Set—KOTTO Locking Pliers Set

Locking Pliers

Ranked as the top Locking Plier Set, the KOTTO Locking Pliers Set is a comprehensive package featuring a versatile selection of tools. This set comprises a 5-inch pair, a 10-inch pair, and a 7-inch curved jaw locking plier, complemented by two long-nose locking pliers in sizes of seven and nine inches. The inclusion of a practical storage bag ensures tidy and secure organization of all the tools. Each piece in this set boasts a durable nickel-plated finish, and is equipped with a quick-release lever and adjusting screw, designed for convenient one-handed operation. A satisfied user noted, “These tools come with nice molded rubber handles, preventing any discomfort or slipping while tackling stubborn bolts or nuts. Moreover, the textured adjustment screw ensures smooth turning, even with mechanics gloves on.”

9. Best C-Clamp Locking Pliers—Monster & Master C-Clamp Locking Pliers

Locking Plier

Engineered with steelworkers and farmers in mind, the Monster & Master C-Clamp Locking Pliers offer a robust solution for unwieldy tasks. These pliers feature chrome vanadium electric steel jaws, ensuring exceptional strength and durability. The added nickel-plated finish provides resistance against rust and corrosion, prolonging the tool’s lifespan. Moreover, the inclusion of an adjustment screw and swivel pads further enhances its usability.

One satisfied customer attested, “I love the grip and find myself using them frequently, especially when clamping body panels together.” Another shared, “I employed these to secure 1.75-inch thick material while driving pocket screws into it. They maintained a tight hold with no discernible movement during the screwing process.”

The Monster & Master 15-inch C-Clamp Locking Pliers are a reliable choice for those seeking a sturdy and versatile tool for heavy-duty applications.

10. Best Locking Plier Multi-Tool—LEATHERMAN Multitool with Magnetic Locking

Best Locking Pliers in market

The LEATHERMAN Multitool with Magnetic Locking is a heavy-duty multipurpose tool that packs an impressive array of 19 functions into one compact device. In addition to the standard features, it includes essential tools like straight jaw locking pliers, needle-nose pliers, and a wire cutter. Notably, many of its functions can be operated single-handedly.

While some users expressed a preference for spring-loaded, self-adjusting locking pliers, a contented reviewer praised the tool’s robust construction, stating that it effortlessly cuts through hard wire. Another satisfied user highlighted its durability and the convenience of one-handed operation. They also commended the locking mechanism for its exceptional strength and easy disengagement.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing Locking Pliers

Locking pliers are versatile tools, but selecting the right one involves considering several critical factors. The following considerations will aid in making an informed decision:

Intended Use

Understanding the specific purpose for which the locking pliers will be utilized is paramount. Different types of pliers are engineered to excel in distinct applications. For instance, standard pliers are well-suited for general gripping and clamping tasks, while long-nose pliers are designed for accessing confined spaces and holding small objects securely. C-Clamp pliers are ideal for securing materials in place during welding or gluing operations. It is imperative to align the intended use with the appropriate type of locking pliers to ensure optimal performance and safety.

User Skill Level

The proficiency of the user is a crucial consideration when selecting locking pliers. Novice users may find simpler models with intuitive mechanisms more manageable, while experienced professionals may benefit from advanced designs with additional features. An ergonomic handle and an intuitive locking mechanism can significantly enhance user experience, particularly during extended use. Additionally, selecting locking pliers that match the user’s skill level ensures efficient and safe operation, minimizing the risk of accidents or damage to the workpiece.

Budget Constraints

Establishing a budgetary framework is a fundamental step in the selection process. These pliers are available across a wide price range, with various models catering to different budget constraints. While it is essential to invest in a high-quality tool that meets the intended use and user skill level, it is equally imperative to strike a balance between cost and value. Conducting market research, comparing prices, and considering long-term benefits such as durability and additional features can assist in making a judicious financial decision.

Brand Reputation and Warranty

The reputation of the brand and the warranty offered play a pivotal role in ensuring the reliability and longevity of the chosen locking pliers. Reputable brands often have a history of producing high-quality tools backed by years of industry experience. They invest in rigorous quality control measures and utilize superior materials, thereby enhancing the overall performance and durability of their products. Additionally, a comprehensive warranty not only serves as a testament to the manufacturer’s confidence in their product but also provides peace of mind to the consumer in the event of unforeseen defects or issues.

A discerning evaluation of the intended use, user skill level, budget constraints, and the reputation of the brand, coupled with a robust warranty, forms the bedrock of a well-informed decision when selecting these types of pliers. By meticulously considering these factors, one can procure a tool that not only aligns with specific requirements but also ensures a safe, efficient, and enduring investment.

Importance in Various Applications

Locking pliers play a pivotal role in numerous industries and applications due to their unique capabilities. Their versatility is particularly beneficial in the fields of automotive repair, plumbing, woodworking, metalworking, and electrical work. In automotive repair, for instance, these pliers are indispensable for clamping hoses, securing brake lines, and extracting damaged or rusted fasteners. In woodworking, they excel in holding pieces together during glue-ups or when intricate cuts are required.

Furthermore, in metalworking and welding, these pliers are essential for tasks that demand precision and stability, such as positioning materials for welding or providing additional leverage for cutting and shaping metal. Their use extends to the realm of plumbing, where they are crucial for gripping and turning pipes, nuts, and bolts securely. The adaptability and strength of thesepliers make them an indispensable tool in a wide array of professional and DIY settings.

Types of Locking Pliers

Locking pliers are a versatile hand tool designed to provide a secure grip on various objects. They come in several specialized configurations, each tailored to specific applications. Understanding the different types of pliers is essential for selecting the most suitable tool for a particular task:


Standard locking pliers, also known as curved jaw pliers, are the most common and versatile type. They feature a curved jaw profile that allows them to grasp a wide range of shapes and sizes. The curved jaws provide a firm grip on both flat and round surfaces, making them indispensable for tasks such as clamping, holding, and turning objects. Standard pliers are widely used in automotive repair, woodworking, plumbing, and general maintenance.


Long-nose locking pliers, as the name suggests, have an extended, slender jaw profile with a pointed tip. This design enables them to access tight or confined spaces where standard pliers may not be effective. Long-nose pliers are ideal for tasks that require precision, such as electrical work, intricate assembly, and delicate adjustments. They are commonly used in electronics repair, jewelry making, and fine craftsmanship.


C-Clamp locking pliers, also referred to as welding clamps, have a distinctive C-shaped jaw that resembles a traditional C-clamp. This design allows them to exert strong, even pressure over a wide area, making them suitable for applications that require secure clamping or holding. C-Clamp pliers are commonly used in welding and metalworking, where they are employed to hold workpieces in place during fabrication or welding processes.


Welding locking pliers are specially designed to withstand the rigors of welding environments. They feature heat-resistant materials and coatings to prevent damage from sparks, slag, and high temperatures generated during welding operations. Additionally, they often incorporate ergonomic handles for a comfortable grip, even when wearing welding gloves. Welding pliers are indispensable tools for welders, ensuring precise and secure positioning of workpieces during the welding process.

Oil Filter

Oil filter locking pliers are engineered with a specialized jaw design tailored for gripping and removing oil filters. They typically feature a serrated jaw surface that provides a firm grip on the smooth, cylindrical surface of an oil filter. This type of pliers is an essential tool for automotive mechanics and DIY enthusiasts involved in oil changes and routine maintenance tasks.


Specialized locking pliers encompass a diverse range of configurations designed for specific applications. These may include hose clamp pliers, exhaust pliers, and hose grip pliers, among others. Each specialized type serves a unique purpose, addressing the specific demands of particular industries or tasks. These tools exemplify the adaptability and versatility of these pliers across a wide spectrum of professional and DIY applications.

Understanding the distinct characteristics and applications of various types of pliers is crucial for selecting the appropriate tool for a given task. Whether it be the standard versatility of curved jaw pliers or the precision of long-nose pliers, each type serves a specific purpose, ensuring that these pliers remain indispensable tools across a diverse range of industries and applications.

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