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When you’re putting together a small electronics kit, the flat-nose pliers are generally the first to go.  You can do most of the same stuff with needle-nose, and flat-nose pliers are big.  But why not carry both in one tool?

Kronus’ “Switch-Grip” pliers have handles that rotate 180 degrees to allow the use of two different “heads” — in this case a flat-nose and a needle-nose.  (The head not in use remains nestled between the grips.)

We found this particular set at Radio Shack for $5.  (Imagine that — an inexpensive impulse buy at Radio Shack.  Who’d’a guessed?)  We’ve heard that other companies make similar tools, so if you really don’t want to deal with the ‘Shack you can probably find something similar with a bit of searching.

Switch-Grip Pliers [Radio Shack]


7 Responses to Finds: Kronus Switch-Grip Pliers

  1. mike cat says:

    Husky makes a set. Needlenose and flathead, then a smaller set w/ wirecutters and another set of pliers. About ten bucks. And they look to be an identical design. I didn’t like them as they were poorly machined and the needlenose grips were not very effective, and the cutters on the needles and wire cutters were both very weak. I think it’s the cheap steel used. Great idea, poor execution. Get yourself a pair of wire strippers with the little plier grip on the end, and you will be much happier. For flatheads, get a small vise grip instead – most of my uses for a flathead become easier with the vise grip, or you could get a small pair of linesman’s pliers that electricians use. They have cutters and flathead on them, so they are also useful for combo tools and saving space.

  2. Rob says:

    I had a similar experience when I checked these out too. The jaws didn’t seem to line up well enough on the needlenose side and the overall fit and finish was low enough that I passed on these at 30% off (after going through all of the ones they had on the hangar to find a good set).

    “Great idea, poor execution.”

    My thoughts exactly.

  3. Steve says:

    I don’t know. My electronics kit contains a pair of miniature foam-handled Xcelite needle nose and side cutters scaleed appropriately for electronics work. I’ve had them for over 15 years and they’re still bulletproof. I think I’d cry if I ever lost them. Now, I realize that maybe if you’re trying to save space and/or weight for, say, a small tool kit for the car, or your personal tools for your next space shuttle mission – where every item counts against your carry-on limit, then a combo tool may be useful on occasion. But for me, I prefer the RIGHT tool for the job, not the right HALF of the tool for the job.

  4. Myself says:

    I picked up a pair when the local Radio Shacks were pruning down their location numbers (5 closing stores within 20 minutes of home! Spending spree!) and immediately tossed them in the car toolkit. That’s generally the place I want maximum functionality for minimum bulk and cost.

    I’ve used them a few times in various situations, never enough to really stress-test them, but for general-purpose pinching and cutting, they’re more than adequate. It’s a shame that common dikes don’t cut truly flush, or they’d find a happy home in my work toolbag.

    These things also have extreme fiddle-factor. I find myself turning ballpoint pens end-for-end while bored, and when a pair of Switchgrips presents itself, I’m amused for several minutes of flip-grip-flip-grip action. The line between tool and toy begs to be blurred.

  5. Evaristo Ramos says:

    You people are on crack, me and my fellow convicts work offshore and these things are awesome, 2 tools in one!!! saves weight and looking for a pair of cutters. I’d be interested in buying more tools that are dual purpose, I HIGHLY recommend these to everyone I talk to.

  6. great handshake says:

    I got a pair of these and broke them within a year. A sharp snapping sound let me know they failed, now the cutters won’t close all the way but the needle nose still works (WOW)
    Great for women and childeren to do crafts. Currently looking to find out where I can warrantee them

  7. contrygirl says:

    Personaly I have one of the very first ones made and i use them every day working on the farm and they still havent broke they work great

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