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When I worked on radio-controlled airplanes as a kid I used soft-jaw pliers because they don’t mar the control system’s tiny parts. But when I went shopping for a set yesterday, I balked at the twenty-freakin’-dollars manufacturers want for them now. A better solution: a $2 set of jaw covers from Duratrax.

Sure, these covers are actually meant to fit on Duratrax’ pliers, but they’ll slide over almost any set of reasonably small needle-nosed pliers, making a set of $3 Harbor Freight pliers into a set that would run you about seven times that — plus you can throw the covers away when they finally wear out.

Even if you mangled ’em in the first few uses, they’re still pretty cost effective. Of course, you could also just submerge the front end of your pliers in Dip-It for a permanent fix, but I like having the ability to remove the covers. Then again, maybe I should’ve just hung on to my childhood set. Live and learn, I say.

Soft Jaw Replacement Covers [Duratrax]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


4 Responses to Soft-Jaw Pliers On The Cheap

  1. Chris says:

    You can also put shrink tubing on the ends if you’re using needle-nosed pliers. Any electronics store should have them cheap

  2. Fong says:

    Those look familiar. I started out with a Tamiya shaft-driven 4-Wheel drive but soon overcame the cheap ABS construction in favor of the glass-filled Nylon Kyosho cars. You can get the Hobbico version of these pliers still for about $8 with both sets of grips (different hardnesses) at Tower Hobbies. http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXJSP3&P=3

  3. useless says:

    If you need a set of soft jaw pliers on a jobsite, raid the first aid kit for a couple of band aids . Wrap them around the jaws with the gauze on the serrations for padding.

  4. hj says:

    shrink tubing (mentioned), a few turns of electrical tape, fishtank tubing, misc. fuel line. All have done the trick for me in the past.

    I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but if I were to buy a set of these “for when I need them”, I can be SURE that when that time comes, I’ll have no bloody idea where they are.

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