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Timmy writes: “These are the greatest tool nobody’s ever heard of.  They’re specially designed for installing and maintaining wire fince on metal and wood posts.  It’s six tools in one: a staple starter, hammer, two staple pullers, a wire stretcher, a wire splicer, and two wire cutters.  There are many brands of fence pliers available, but I’d put my money on the Channellocks to be about the best.”

I’ll admit that though I’ve had a couple of pairs of fence pliers, I haven’t written about them yet because I never really work on fences.  I’ve used them to pull staples, as a hammer, and to cut thick wire, but I’ve never really used ’em for their intended purpose.

Channellock does tend to make solid tools, but we’ve also seen some up-and-coming introductions in the last few years — especially Irwin’s set, released under the Vise-Grip name.  They feature Irwin’s ProTouch grips, which we’ve been pleased with.  Of course, YMMV.

The Channellock streets for around $22, and the Irwin/Vise-Grip starts around $18. Amazon has ’em for almost exactly the same price.

Fence Tool [Channellock]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Buy It Now from Amazon [What’s this?]

Fencing Pliers [Irwin]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Buy It Now from Amazon [What’s this?]


12 Responses to Reader Finds: Channellock’s Fence Pliers

  1. Paul says:

    I got a couple of pairs of these, heck I’ve even got a wire fence, but yep you guessed it, pliers and fence have never met. Being as I have a pair of 10-WR Vise Grips in front of the pair of fencing pliers I have out you know what I’m grabbing! Fencing pliers are pretty much toolbox ballast as far as I’m concerned.

    Now I have another mondo bizzaro pair of pliers next to my fencing pliers that I actually use now and again. A pair of Safety Wire Twist Pliers. The Yankee screwdriver of pliers! Every cool Toolmonger should have some Safety Wire Twist Pliers, and a few pairs of fencing pliers too, just for weight, so their toolbox is way too heavy for anyone to try to steal.

  2. T says:

    They’re kind of an oddball creation. I’ve actually used mine for fencing, and for cutting big wires that the dykes just gag on. They also work pretty good for pulling headless nail or staples out of things. In a pinch, they make a half assed hammer as well. Mine came from Sears and were bought specifically to do the fencing. They really do work good for that.

  3. eschoendorff says:

    I’d buy them… mostly ’cause they’re made by Channellock. I love their stuff! And the Channellocks aren’t that much more expensive that the Chicom crap next to them in the store….

  4. joe says:

    They’re one of my favorites. Partly for utility, partly for sentimental reasons. I spent a lot of time watching my dad use them/using them myself when I was growing up. Nothing’s better for twisting wire.

  5. Roscoe says:

    I spent a summer dismantling old fences with these as a teenager and am convinced that for full-time fence work, individual tools would be better. I can see how these would be handy to keep with you if you had an occasional bit of fence mending to do, but I still cringe when I see them from my own experience.

  6. nrChris says:

    I used these to remove tackless and staples after we ripped the old carpet out of our living room. Really useful for this application as you wind up using the pliers to pull and cut, the tail to pull, and the hammer to knock stuff out of the way.

  7. Old Donn says:

    Got a pair of these several years back for all the reasons stated above, never used them.

  8. Rush says:

    i don’t own a pair of these either but i work at channellock and wonder what other ppl are thinking when they buy a pair of pliers that that passed under my nose. it’s rather interesting! keep honest and keep posting.

  9. ryan says:

    still haven’t used em for what they were intended for and after searching the net for 10 minutes still can’t find out exactly how the wire stretching part works. Interesting and heavy though. Probably will rust before they wear out. i give em’ a solid 5.

  10. Scott says:

    I grew up on a cattle ranch where fixing fence was never ending. As a kid I d these things. As I grew and actually actually learned how to use them, I found that they were indispensible. They are the best things going for a repairing a barbed wire fence. I’ll give you they make a pretty poor hammer, but thats why you carry a hammer in your fencing bag.

  11. Mark says:

    Bought them for the “staple starter” feature. To-date have not found out what that entails. The hammer, wire cutters, staple puller, crimper (bottom inside jaws?), are understandable. the two center notches on top, and again, the staple starter feature, remain a mystery to me.

  12. Mark Wright says:

    I grew up raising cattle. Anyone who has spent a lifetime as a cowboy and actually knows how to use a set of these finds them indispensable. Any large or small cattle opperation has them and uses them almost daily.

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