Top 11 Best Locking Pliers

Have you ever encountered a stripped bolt or one that couldn’t get loose no matter the amount of effort you applied? Well, that’s why you should always have a pair of locking pliers in your toolbox. Whether you are a mechanic, metalworker, professional craftsman, or even a mere home DIYer, you will appreciate how a nice pair of pliers will more often make your work a whole lot easier.

Even with the simplicity of their designs, locking pliers pack an enormous amount of engineering to let you get over the toughest jobs without breaking a sweat. And with their multi-functionality, most of them will perform well in some jobs and flop in others. However, we still have a few options that will shine in all functions that a pair locking pliers is designed to do.

So, what exactly makes an excellent pair of locking pliers? Which one should you buy? Well, have your cool: our informative buying guideline has got you covered! Come with us to identify your ideal option!

Top Pick
IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers with Wire...
  • Curved jaw with hardened teeth are designed to grip a variety of shapes from any angle

11 Best Locking Pliers

#1 IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Original Locking Pliers

As one of the industry-leading products, this locking pliers is not an ordinary piece. It features plenty of awesome features so that you get an enhanced user experience in a variety of applications.

The multi-purpose tool makes use of heat-treated alloy steel construction. Therefore, if you are looking for a high-quality unit that will stand up to everyday abuse in a busy jobsite, the IRWIN Vise-Grip Original Locking Pliers won’t easily disappoint.

The curve-design of the jaw alongside the strong teeth of the pliers allow you to get a perfect grip every time no matter the angle. The adjusting screw allows you to vary the gripping force so that you get an excellent grip for every project.

The guarded trigger release improves the gripping force and ensures that the pliers remain locked to let you handle your jobs smoothly. After use, the trigger disengages the pliers with just a touch.

The reliable wire cutter means that it’s one of the options that are specially designed to give you the best value for your money. I mean, other than gripping surfaces, expect this unit to come in handy in other applications.

Pros
  • It feels great in the palm.
  • The quality is good.
  • The wire cutter is a plus.
Cons
  • It comes from China.

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#2 Crescent 5 Piece Long Nose Locking Pliers

Crescent 5 Piece Long Nose Locking Pliers

If you need more than one pair of locking pliers, you may consider giving this amazing set a shot. In this case, you are getting a total of 5 pieces- 3 with curved jaws and 2 with long noses.

The long noses provide maximum grip when working on confined spaces where the curved jaws can’t fit. However, since each pair of locking pliers has a narrow profile, expect all to fit most spaces.

The pattern of the teeth ensures that you get maximum locking power with minimal effort. The release lever gives maximum torque for more reliability while the plastisol dip maximizes user comfort.

The curved jaws have a reliable wire cutter. Having that said, we are safe to put this set among the category of the most versatile locking pliers. The bottom screw works with a hex key to adjust the amount of pressure depending on the project you are handling.

The alloy steel construction means that this set is designed to stand up to years of heavy use. The nickel-plated finish improves its aesthetics when providing superior protection from rust and corrosion.

Pros
  • The cushioned release trigger ensures comfortable use.
  • The adjuster knob is easy to use.
  • The 2 designs ensure maximum project compatibility.
Cons
  • The plastic on the release lever isn’t of the best quality.

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#3 WORKPRO 3-piece Locking Pliers Set

WORKPRO 3-piece Locking Pliers Set

As the name suggests, this set packs three pieces. All the locking pliers are of different sizes. That said, you will always have just the correct piece for every project that comes your way.

One piece of the set adopts a straight jaw for optimal versatility while the remaining two pieces of the set have curved jaws. This design ensures that you get exceptional performance when using them for clamping, tightening, and other jobs where a pair of locking pliers comes in handy.

The two pieces with curved jaws feature strengthened teeth that will not lose its grip when fastening or loosening a stubborn bolt. The adjustable screw at the handle lets you control the clamping pressure of the jaws depending on the nature of the surface

The heat-treated steel lets you buy with confidence that you are getting a set that will last for many years. The electroplating treatment ensures that it maintains its beauty for years when also providing superior protection against rust and corrosion.

The TPR handles will remain comfortable in your palm when giving a firm grip even for the sweaty hands. And since the handles are highly conspicuous, these locking pliers are easy to spot amidst other tools in your toolbox.

Pros
  • They lock very tight.
  • The build quality is fantastic.
  • The sizes are well thought of.
Cons
  • Releasing them is a bit tough.

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#4 Monster & Master Long-nose Locking Plier Set

Monster & Master Long-nose Locking Plier Set

The number 4 option on our list is a 2-piece set. Each piece comes with a long nose while the jaw base is of has a shallow and irregular base. This design makes it possible to use the set in tight areas where most members of the competition can’t fit.

We also like that each pair comes with machined teeth. This feature ensures that you get a reliable grip every time so that you save time and get your operations running smoothly.

The heat-treated chrome vanadium steel is an implication that you are getting a product that is going to serve the longest in your shop. To let you buy with confidence, each unit is nickel-plated for protection against harsh conditions.

If you have interacted with other locking pliers, you will also notice that these locking pliers is unique in that it has screws middle fuselage part. With this feature, its sure that this unit will not deform with time.

The tension adjustment knob is of a generous size and has deep diamond treads for non-slip performance. The rounded shape of the knurl makes it easy to fine-tune the settings so that you get the exact amount of tension you need for the jaws.

Pros
  • They are very durable.
  • They will maintain their shape.
  • The adjustment knob is of good size.
Cons
  • The set would be more versatile if the pieces were of different sizes.

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#5 CRAFTSMAN (CMHT81727) Locking Pliers

CRAFTSMAN CMHT81727 Locking Pliers

Whether it’s pulling nails from the wall, removing an old shower, or loosening a stripped bolt, there is much that a pair of locking pliers can accomplish. And as you think of getting one soon, think about the Craftsman CMHT81727.

Once you place an order, you are getting 2 pairs of locking pliers, one larger than the other. The sizing of these lovely locking pliers ensures that you get wide project compatibility from the bunch.

The adjustment screw is non-slip and provides a reliable way of fine-tuning the locking pliers so that you get the exact jaw opening and amount of tension you need for every project.

The main feature that makes this unit different from the rest is that it doesn’t have a protruding trigger built-into the lower handle like other options. Instead, it makes use of an integrated quick-release mechanism at the lower side of the lower grip to support one-handed operations.

The bi-material handles interact well with the palm. Therefore, with Craftsman CMHT81727 Locking Pliers, expect minimal hand fatigue even when using it for extended periods.

Pros
  • The construction is solid.
  • It supports single-hand use.
  • The size of the adjustment knobs is good.
Cons
  • Some customers prefer the release lever of vice grips.

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#6 VAMPLIERS JAWZ EXTRACTION LOCKING PLIERS

VAMPLIERS JAWZ EXTRACTION LOCKING PLIERS

Although she hasn’t been in the industry for a very long time, in the few years that Vampire Tools has been in the industry has proved to be one of the most dependable manufacturers when it comes to making quality tools.

Like any of their tools, this locking pliers features a simple but innovative design. For this reason, if you want easy-to-use locking pliers that will offer solutions to tough problems, you can count on this unit.

The materials used to make the unit are of excellent quality. The solid construction alongside cutting-edge technology means that you are getting a pair of locking pliers that is not only durable but also one that comes with customers’ needs in mind.

The piece has vertical and horizontal serrations to maximize grip contact. Therefore, with this set of reliable pliers, expect it to maintain contact with the gripped surface even when rotating the pliers.

Although it’s sturdy, the unit maintains a lightweight design for comfortable use over extended periods. As a multi-purpose pair, you can also use it to cut wires of the maximum weakness of 2.3mm.

Pros
  • It uses state-of-the-art technology.
  • The design of the jaws improves bite power.
  • The materials are of best-in-class quality.
Cons
  • It’s not perfect for tight spots.

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#7 STEELHEAD 3-Piece Locking Pliers Set

STEELHEAD 3-Piece Locking Pliers Set

For the professional craftsmen or home DIYers operating under a tight budget, this set is one of the few that are conceived with them in mind. Although the set includes three pieces, it only claims a fraction of the price of most single-pack versions.

The different sizes mean that this set will work well with a wide range of fasteners. Therefore, whether you are a mechanic or a hobbyist who deals with different sizes of fasteners, this is one of the sets that will work well for you.

Using the adjustment screw at the end of the lower handle, you can adjust the jaw opening as well as how much pressure to apply on the object being gripped. The trigger release maximizes gripping power.

The smallest piece of the set has a long nose to ensure that it fits in tighter areas. The two larger members of the lot have a curved jaw and excellent teeth geometry for exceptional performance.

The carbon steel structure means that this affordable set will last for a very long time. Additionally, we like that the set comes with a premium corrosion-resistant finish for corrosion resistance.

Pros
  • The set is easy to use.
  • It is nice for everyday use.
  • It’s very affordable.
Cons
  • The set is quite heavy.

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#8 TEKTON Locking Pliers Set

TEKTON Locking Pliers Set

With this set coming with 6 pieces, it’s so far the largest number you get in a single package on our list. However, if you find this number quite huge than what you need, there are still smaller packs of 4 and 2.

All the pieces are of different sizes. The most impressive part is that 2 of the pieces have straight jaws while the remaining members of the lot have a curved design. Hence, no matter the size and the shape of nuts, bolts, or screws, expect to always have that one ideal size right at your palm.

The long-nosed pliers also work well in confined spaces. The curved jaws on the other side have serrations to provide aggressive bite on a variety of objects. Unlike in some locking pliers that have this feature, the serrations of this set are closely packed to ensure uniform distribution of grip power.

The 4140 chrome-molybdenum steel construction of the jaws is extra-tough for maximum strength in the most demanding projects. The sturdy construction is also naturally resistant to corrosion so that it maintains the beauty of the set.

The non-slip knob lets you control how wide the jaws open depending on the object you want to grip. The generously-sized knob has a hole. This feature allows you to create a T-handle for easy and comfortable operation.

Pros
  • The construction is corrosion-resistant.
  • 6 pieces is a good number.
  • You can create a T-handle for easy fine-tuning.
Cons
  • The finish is quite rough.

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#9 Milwaukee 48-22-3402 Torque Lock Curved Jaw Locking Pliers Set (2 Pieces)

Milwaukee 48-22-3402 Torque Lock Curved Jaw Locking Pliers Set

Milwaukee is one of the industry-leading manufacturers of high-quality tools at an affordable price. And with this 2-piece set coming from her, you can buy it with confidence that it will not disappoint easily.

The 2 pairs are of different lengths for different applications. In other words, the smaller version works well when working in tight spots while the larger pair comes in handy for projects that need that extra bit of torque.

The rubberized over-mold on the sturdy grips ensure that you get the job done right in no time without leaving your joints aching. The rubberized handles also minimize slippage when utilizing the pair with sweaty hands.

The thumb knob utilizes a unique design to make controlling the jaws easier and more convenient than ever. In fact, it even features a hole that lets you insert a thin rod through it when you need to get extra bite power.

The combination of strong construction of the jaws, torque lock technology, and ribbed teeth means that you can always count on this set to outperform the majority of the members of the competition.

Pros
  • The tightening knob is very efficient.
  • The jaws are very strong.
  • The notched teeth maximize friction.
Cons
  • There are only 2 pieces in the set.

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#10 KING Locking Pliers Set

KING Locking Pliers Set

This set packs one straight-jaw locking pliers and three pieces with a curved jaw. Hence, whether you are working in confined space or dealing with stubborn, rusty, or stripped bolts and nuts, this set offers solutions to all these problems.

The design of the curved jaws allows the pliers to accommodate nuts and bolts of different sizes. Also, you will notice that these jaws are ribbed to provide an improved grip on objects of different shapes.

The high-strength steel construction stands the test of time even with regular abuse in the most rugged job sites. The ergonomic handles on the other side provide a sure grip even in the most slippery conditions.

The size of the adjustment screw makes it easy to set the power of the jaws. To maximize the gripping power, each pair of these locking pliers has a reliable quick-release trigger.

However, there are still a few areas the manufacturer should focus to improve. For instance, including a small hole in the adjustment knob would be a nice feature as it makes it easy to get maximum torque.

Pros
  • The case is of decent quality.
  • They look solid.
  • They release trigger is easy to use.
Cons
  • The padding doesn’t feel firm on the handles.

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#11 KNIPEX Tools 4104180- Locking Pliers

KNIPEX Tools 4104180- Locking Pliers

The history of Knipex dates back to 1882. Obviously, through all this period, we expect the manufacturer to have learned a thing or two on how to design products that meet the needs of the customers to the letter.

Although you are only getting a single piece here, this pair of locking pliers is designed to deliver the versatility of a set. That said, it’s one unit that you can consider buying if you want a piece that will take minimal space in your toolbox when giving you maximum benefit.

The unit delivers great performance when using it for flat and round objects. The body is of heavy-duty steel rolled construction whereas the jaws are of solid vanadium electric steel for long-lasting performance.

The size, weight, and the positioning of the release lever implies that the pair of KNIPEX Tools 4104180 Locking Pliers will support one-handed operations. The toggle lever action provides maximum clamping force so that you work on your projects easily.

Pros
  • The finish is outstanding.
  • The size fits well in the hand.
  • It locks very well.
Cons
  • The lock adjustment screw is a little rough.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes The Most Dependable Locking Pliers?

When buying tools, its no doubt that the manufacturer is an important factor to consider. The good thing is that we have many manufacturers who have proven over time that they can make reliable tools. And yes, those on our list are perfect examples.

Are Knipex Pliers Worth It?

Knipex is one of the manufacturers that make high-quality tools. In fact, she’s been in the industry for a very long time. Therefore, if you use your tools to make a living, they are worth it.

Is A Pair Of Locking Pliers Worth Having?

Yes. Actually, if you asked most professional craftsmen, it’s among the most versatile additions you can ever make to your toolbox. Therefore, it’s a basic necessity for all hobbyists.

What Do I Consider When Buying A Pair Of Locking Pliers?

Before you acquire a pair of locking pliers, it’s good to consider a few things to avoid disappointments. They include the type of construction, type and ease of adjustments, jaw capacity, ergonomics of the handle, and of course, the price.

How Much Should I Pay For Locking Pliers?

The price differs depending on the manufacturer, type of construction, and the number of pieces in a set. If you need one that you will be using regularly, price should be the last thing to consider. However, if you need it for occasional use, there is no need for paying heavily when a more inexpensive unit can still do the job right.

Final Verdict

It’s no doubt that a pair of locking pliers is one of the multifunctional units any hobbyist can ever have in a toolbox. That’s why when buying one, you need to be sure that you get a tool that will do all jobs perfectly. And one surefire way of getting the right set is by following our reviews.

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