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Thread: High quality pliers and cutters I would recommend.

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    High quality pliers and cutters I would recommend.

    In my experience when looking for high quality steel, I'm inclined to trust the U.S, Germany, and Japan when it comes to manufacturing my tools (with Switzerland making a strong case lately).
    This is purely limited to my experience, and I'm always open to new suggestions.
    A couple of weeks ago I picked up a pair of Wiha round nose pliers, and I have to say that I'm very impressed with the quality. The jaws line up near perfectly just eyeballing it, and there is near zero horizontal play in the action. This is hugely important to me, so I'm willing to allow a little tolerance for paying under $20.

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    So far, I'm really digging these and have had great experience with the other Wiha tools I've bought. Particularly the flush cut pliers I have.

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    I have a pair of these round nose, another brand, but i have never used them. Am i missing something to make my life easier?

    I've used these Klein strippers and no problems yet.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    These Capri strippers were half the price, different gauges, and are working as good as the Kleins.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    Member HaroldBrooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    In my experience when looking for high quality steel, I'm inclined to trust the U.S, Germany, and Japan when it comes to manufacturing my tools (with Switzerland making a strong case lately).
    This is purely limited to my experience, and I'm always open to new suggestions.
    A couple of weeks ago I picked up a pair of Wiha round nose pliers, and I have to say that I'm very impressed with the quality. The jaws line up near perfectly just eyeballing it, and there is near zero horizontal play in the action. This is hugely important to me, so I'm willing to allow a little tolerance for paying under $20.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Wiha Roundnose Pliers.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	1.48 MB 
ID:	56770

    So far, I'm really digging these and have had great experience with the other Wiha tools I've bought. Particularly the flush cut pliers I have.
    I was dealing with truly awful soft poorly tempered steel cutters and cheap pliers from discount stores until very recently. I rationalized it by thinking that I could buy several for the price of one good tool, but it only ends up being a loss in time and quality work in the long run, as cheap is cheap and underperforms.

    I bought a slightly more expensive "Cresent" cutter and pliers recently, and they seem to be holding up fairly well, but I think the cutters are getting a bit dull too quickly.

    I will look into the Wiha one you listed for certain. My Dad had automotive hand tools back from the 1950's that still work perfectly, so that indicates to me quality is wide and far as a scale.

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    Last edited by HaroldBrooks; 01-26-2020 at 02:30 PM.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I have a small pair of dikes from Utica Steel. They were my dad's. I have had them for close to 70 years, not sure when dad bought them. Still tight, still sharp.

    I had a nice pair of Erem flush side cutters, great for snipping legs off ICs, but alas they fell to the floor one day and snapped off a point on the cement.

    I have a pair of these round nose, another brand, but i have never used them. Am i missing something to make my life easier?
    They are mainly good at forming round loops in wire. If you are assembling a board and don't have a resistor bending guide, you can turn wire leads with these and all will have a uniform regular bend curve. If you are replacing a damaged trace with wire, a loop around a component lead is a good start. etc.

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    If I have to strip more than 1 wire, I prefer the 'compound action' type, like this Klein 11063W. Definitely worth the extra $, and saves a lot of time and effort. The similar type but with auto sizing have not worked as well for me.

    https://www.amazon.com/Stripper-Elec...0XZ9JZMN6YBCHC

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    No strippers here, just cutters and pliers...

    to me the best value in tiny side cutters (flush) are Hakko CHP-170‎
    Click image for larger version. 

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    $4.47 from Digikey (but currently out of stock) and $7.25 at Amazon

    If you want to cut steel the German made Gedore 1829025‎ pliers are a work of art with carbide blades for $32.50 at Digikey

    For inexpensive quality plier/cutter set there is the Proto/Stanley J2806SMP for ~$100 with 3 cutters/3 pliers. The IRWIN 8 Piece set (2078714) isn't bad for $85

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    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    I had went through a variety of inexpensive side cutters and eventually bought the Xcelite brand. I was at Fry's electronics and saw it for about $20. I liked how they were smaller sized and I can really fit it in tight spaces. Best $20 bucks I have ever spent and even with the abuse I have put it through it's not worn out. I think they are made through Weller.

    https://www.slprocurement.com/weller...ool-group.html

    Here's a potential great deal on a used one on eBay.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Xcelite-Min...EAAOSwWk1d-uCQ

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Anyone got any splicer snips.
    I've probably gone through 50 pair in my telecomm days.
    I still keep a pair in my back pocket some.
    Handy for cutting tape, wax string, wire, and trimming whiskers!
    https://www.kleintools.com/catalog/t...-nickel-plated
    A pretty universal tool.
    One edge is serrated, and one edge is smooth.
    T

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    I have quite a few pairs of Lindstrom cutters and pliers but I don't really like the handle and spring design too much. They're high quality and stay sharp, though. I always have to hand some Taiwanese cutters branded 'Pro's Kit'. They were inexpensive but have lasted a long time in daily use. I have some heavy-duty ones and a pair of really fine, slim ones that can get between pins on a dip IC. They appear to be identical to Hakko. I also have a pair of Xcelite-branded Weller cutters. Really nice, but I got the ones with a retainer to prevent the clipped piece from pinging off somewhere. That retainer is a nuisance and keeps getting bent out of shape and in the way. I would buy the regular ones instead.

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    I have a pair of these round nose, another brand, but i have never used them. Am i missing something to make my life easier?
    I bought them for bending wire and component leads initially, but these have teeth in the front of the jaws so they work great as normal needle nose pliers as well.

    I've used these Klein strippers and no problems yet.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I use these same strippers, except in the 22-12AWG B ER range and I love them. I use them several times a day

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    I have quite a few pairs of Lindstrom cutters and pliers

    well if some here go THIS FAR upscale (~$50 each!) we can include Knipex and a few other boutique Swiss and German brands!
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	56776 CK $650!

    If you wanted one of every type of Apex Tools Erem series cutters from Digikey you'd have an awesome set of 27 for only $3400... :0

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post

    THE ‘FREIGHT!!!

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I bet I bought 10 sets of the HF large orange plier sets.
    I used to give them for christmas presents to the boys.
    If you let a pair rust, or lose them, no big loss.
    T

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedmich View Post
    well if some here go THIS FAR upscale (~$50 each!) we can include Knipex and a few other boutique Swiss and German brands!
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	56775 Knipex
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CK T3703D.jpg 
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ID:	56776 CK $650!

    If you wanted one of every type of Apex Tools Erem series cutters from Digikey you'd have an awesome set of 27 for only $3400... :0
    Look, Erem seems awesome. I would love to have a pair of their cutters or pliers. But I have to be very patient and often a bit creative to het into tools like that. Paying retail for high end tools in that class is not in the cards for me.
    I will say, so far I’ve never been disappointed spending the extra money on a high quality tool. But, I have absolutely regretted not spending the extra money on a higher quality tool.

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    Really nice, but I got the ones with a retainer to prevent the clipped piece from pinging off somewhere. That retainer is a nuisance and keeps getting bent out of shape and in the way. I would buy the regular ones instead.
    I've not had that problem though I now have regular type. The retainer can be very helpful in tight spots where you can't get your fingers or a pair of needlenose with your other hand to catch the clipped off lead. Picking up the unit to shake the clippings out is not always practical.
    I guess a pair of each is the best option.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I guess a pair of each is the best option.
    That is why they make a zillion types of tool, there is one for any circumstance.

    I have a pair of LOOONG nose needlenose pliers. And that long nose bends 90 degrees. So your handles remain parallel the bench but the tips point down towards the work. I bought them as a kid, and I thought they were going to be super useful. over the last 60 years, I hardly every used them.

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    HF?
    Pittsburgh?
    I wonder if some part of their chinesium jaws are guaranteed to touch?

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    That is why they make a zillion types of tool, there is one for any circumstance.

    I have a pair of LOOONG nose needlenose pliers. And that long nose bends 90 degrees. So your handles remain parallel the bench but the tips point down towards the work. I bought them as a kid, and I thought they were going to be super useful. over the last 60 years, I hardly every used them.
    FYI these can be GREAT for spring hose clamps buried in a forest of engine wires/tubes!
    For repairing E equipment maybe not so much...

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Here's some that are around $50 each in a set.
    They look pretty cool!
    https://www.riogrande.com/product/sw...ers-set/111026

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    Sometimes an inexpensive tool can be remarkable in quality and durability. About 25 years ago I needed some side cutters just for one job while I was out and about. I bought the cheapest Chinese ones just to get me by. These have been incredibly good and I never care what I cut with them - nothing will nick the cutting edge and they haven't gone slack at all. Maybe they're the only set in a million that's hardened properly. My Lindstrom 8160 cost 35 times as much and every time I pick them up the springs have misaligned and one handle slid down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    My Lindstrom 8160 cost 35 times as much and every time I pick them up the springs have misaligned and one handle slid down.
    Must be a Lindstrom "feature" as mine are exactly the same. They don't have a retainer but are small enough to allow me to trap the cut off ends with my first finger.

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    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    For me, Erem is at the top of the list, along with Excelta, Utica & Optima. It's been decades since I had the money to spend on a brand new pair of Erem tools, since among my favorite cutters, these days they are well over $100 ea. I've been selectively buying cutters and pliers on ebay for years. Every so often, I find a really good deal on them. Last one was for (5) pairs of Erem 776E Flush cutting pliers, lightly used in excellent condition for $35. These are the 4.5" size, meant for small component and small AWG wire. I tend to use only Flush cutting pliers, though do have some semi-flush cutters for heavier AWG use. Also I tend to use serrated needle nose pliers more than smooth nose for better grip, though I have both. I've been meaning to put some of those up on the Parking Lot to sell for $7 ea, but haven't gotten around to that yet.

    I've been buying tools since I was 10 yrs old, and still have those tools, now some 60 years later. Early in my electronics work, I had bought some Xcelite cutters and pliers, along with some Klein tools. They were ok, but once exposed to what I consider the 'good stuff', I never went back. I love high quality tools, and haven't compromised on that. Unless damaged from misuse or being stolen, they tend to be a purchase that lasts a lifetime, or until they wear out.

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevetslab View Post
    For me, Erem is at the top of the list, along with Excelta, Utica & Optima. It's been decades since I had the money to spend on a brand new pair of Erem tools, since among my favorite cutters, these days they are well over $100 ea. I've been selectively buying cutters and pliers on ebay for years. Every so often, I find a really good deal on them. Last one was for (5) pairs of Erem 776E Flush cutting pliers, lightly used in excellent condition for $35. These are the 4.5" size, meant for small component and small AWG wire. I tend to use only Flush cutting pliers, though do have some semi-flush cutters for heavier AWG use. Also I tend to use serrated needle nose pliers more than smooth nose for better grip, though I have both. I've been meaning to put some of those up on the Parking Lot to sell for $7 ea, but haven't gotten around to that yet.

    I've been buying tools since I was 10 yrs old, and still have those tools, now some 60 years later. Early in my electronics work, I had bought some Xcelite cutters and pliers, along with some Klein tools. They were ok, but once exposed to what I consider the 'good stuff', I never went back. I love high quality tools, and haven't compromised on that. Unless damaged from misuse or being stolen, they tend to be a purchase that lasts a lifetime, or until they wear out.
    I can't speak for Klein or Xcelite pliers, but the Xcelite nutdrivers in our shop have stood up under heavy daily use for over 30 years.
    Last year, I bought a brand new Klein hollow shaft nutdriver set on craigslist for like $18 (or something crazy), and I'm very happy with the quality. However, because several 1/4" jacks take a 9/16" nut, I bought one of their new heavy duty series nut drivers to add to my set. Now I want to replace my existing set, and have them as back up because these are by far the best nut drivers I've used yet. You know when you get into a great tool when it makes the task a pleasure to do.


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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I have had a set of plain old Craftsman nut drivers for decades. Well, two sets, metric and imperial. They have served me well. I also have some Xcelite nut drivers that also served me well. One Xcelite product I like is the 99 series. That is the yellow plastic handle with a socket in it to accept various blades. Blades can be screwdrivers of all varieties, nut drivers, hex and torx wrenches. And even extension shafts. I also sawed off an extension to chuck it into my power drill. I think they make one too, but I had plenty of extensions. Trust me, using a power drill to spin the nuts off 250 Switchcraft jacks on the back of a mixer, well, you won't go back to manual.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I still have a majority of the tools I had to buy for tech school, including the set of Xcelite nut drivers. It's kind of funny. I've had them for so long that I skip the "size step". Often times, I can't tell you what the nut size is, but I can tell you what color nut driver to grab.

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    One Xcelite product I like is the 99 series. That is the yellow plastic handle with a socket in it to accept various blades. Blades can be screwdrivers of all varieties, nut drivers, hex and torx wrenches. And even extension shafts.
    My Dad has had a set of these in his toolbox for as long as I can remember.

    I also sawed off an extension to chuck it into my power drill. I think they make one too, but I had plenty of extensions. Trust me, using a power drill to spin the nuts off 250 Switchcraft jacks on the back of a mixer, well, you won't go back to manual.
    HA! We do the same thing.
    They would almost fit a normal cordless drill chuck fine, but those "wings" at the base are just a little to close to the end.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    yep, carbide wheel on my Dremel, and I could sand off the wings or cut the shaft short. Many times I grabbed extensions from several sets and stacked them. I could reach WAAAAAYYY down into something to turn a screw.

    I know the drivers by color as well. I have the one Xcelite brown one - well, I see it as root beer color. It is the one size larger than half inch. It is the size for toggle switch nuts and for the oversize nuts on plastic Fender jacks. it lives on an old speaker magnet stuck to the side of my tool cart.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    This Xcelite set, looks nice, and are a reasonable value.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Xcelite-...C1KN/304133441

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    In the 70s in the workshop we used to see how long we could hold a tongue on a new Xcelite screwdriver handle. They smelt rather odd to begin with, but would produce an increasing burning sensation like raw chilli peppers.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I too found the plastic Xcelite handles had an aroma, sorta like a balled up wet wash rag, a sour sort of smell.

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    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    Likewise on the Xcelite hollow shaft Nut Driver set. Been using those for decades, though since I moved into the long narrow shop space at CenterStaging, my machinist chest is no longer at my right to be able to reach over and grab them from the drawer. Instead, I have two sets of 1/4" deep sockets...one Metric, one 'domestic' and the cover the range up to 5/8"/15mm, always within reach in the middle of my bench atop my Philips PM2535 System Multimeter. Housed in one of the small Lane Cedar Chest boxes. Love those little boxes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    In the 70s in the workshop we used to see how long we could hold a tongue on a new Xcelite screwdriver handle. They smelt rather odd to begin with, but would produce an increasing burning sensation like raw chilli peppers.
    Smells funny, let's see how it tastes!

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    Supporting Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I too found the plastic Xcelite handles had an aroma, sorta like a balled up wet wash rag, a sour sort of smell.
    Is it the handles that smell like that? All I know is something happens as they sit in a tool box over the years that makes the whole thing smell like complete puke.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Well, I tend to doubt it is the steel blades...

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