Stuey writes: “I recently ordered Irwin GrooveLock pliers and Vise-Grip 7LW pliers, and I already have a few Crescent wrenches. All three tools — at least to the best of my knowledge — can turn a fastener or nut without marring its finish. I’m curious to see what preferences you Toolmongers in regard to these tools. Disregarding the plumbing advantage for tongue and groove pliers, it seems that the three pliers are interchangeable when it comes to standard sized nuts or bolts. Let’s say you have a single nut to loosen 1/2 a turn before (or after) spinning it by hand. Which pair of adjustable pliers (they’re all the same length) would you reach for and why?”
Admittedly, I’m pretty reluctant to use pliers on a standard-sized fastener in most any circumstance — save when I’ve already destroyed it by other means. I generally use pliers for gripping non-standard items and use properly-sized wrenches or sockets for nuts and bolts.
But that said, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes you’ve gotta use what’s available to you. In those cases, my first choice would be an adjustable wrench for nuts and bolts and the GrooveLocks for non-standard items. I’m a pretty big fan of the GrooveLocks — I’ve got a pair that never seems to make it all the way back to the toolbox.
What say you? Let us know in comments.