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If you’ve ever tried grabbing a shaft lengthwise with a normal set of locking pliers, you’ll notice they don’t hold it very well — the shaft can slip from side to side in the jaws.  With this in mind, Snap-on designed their new locking pliers with grooved jaws designed especially for holding such objects.

Snap-on gave their locking pliers serrated milled teeth just like other locking pliers, but they cut a V-groove longitudinally in one jaw to hold round objects. This groove prevents side-to-side movement because the jaws contact the object at three points instead of two.  They also taper the groove, making it wider as it goes deeper into the jaw so the larger the diameter of the object, the more securely the jaws hold it.

For normal gripping, the convex jaw pushes objects against the fixed flat jaw, which results in higher clamping force.  Plus, a recessed area behind one of the jaws allows you to hold irregular or angled objects.

You’re gonna pay $30 for these grooved-jaw locking pliers — more reasonably priced than we would have expected from Snap-on.

Locking Pliers (PDF) [Snap-on]
Locking Pliers [Snap-on Store]


13 Responses to Snap-On’s New Grooved-Jaw Locking Pliers

  1. fred says:

    I commented before on screw extractors – citing a company (Xtricator that seems to be out of business) that made every similar locking pliers called “Claw Jaws”. We have a few of these and still use them to removing sheared-off brass wood screws – grabbing them along the piece of shank that’s exposed and gently turning what’s left of the screw out.

    I opined back then that you probably could grind a notch in the jaws of a regular vise-grip type pliers and get the same result – – but here comes Snap-On with a commercial solution.

  2. jeff says:

    I vote for the notch grinding also. Maybe a file or a small grinding wheel in a dremmel would work well.

  3. David C says:

    Arrgh! I’ve been cutting this slot in vise-grips for 2 decades!

    Works well for many purposes.


  4. Toolboss says:

    It may work well, but I;m still having a problem with buying Taiwan and China-made tools from the Strap On dealers. Snap On outsourcing is one of the reasons that the original Vice Grip company has decided to close their plant here in the USA and move to China:


  5. David C says:

    I recc buying some of the last US made vise-grips and adding the slot with a dremel.

    I sure wouldn’t buy a pair with the groove already in it, just for the groove!


  6. David Bryan says:

    Joseph Eifel’s mighty plierench is still available new or you can get an 80 year old model on ebay for a song. The old ones have grooves parallel, perpendicular, and at an angle to the jaws for gripping at all sorts of angles.

  7. Dex says:

    I thought anything that said “Snap On” was still made in the USA? And that (some) Blue Point was reserved for the imported items.

  8. Coach James says:

    Sad but not anymore. Some Snap On items are outsourced and made overseas.

  9. Coronado says:

    These Snap-on tools are rebranded tools made by Grip-On of Spain. Decent enough tool but it doesn’t compare (IMHO) to the quality and heftiness of the Vise-grip line. Like many things European, it is well made but not as rugged as the American equivalent.


    Toolboss: That’s really painful seeing Vise-grip being out-sourced. Just a few months ago during my most recent purchase of a Vise-grip I was thinking how nice it was to buy a still-made-in-America tool that was heavy and rugged. As for the Irwin exec saying in the article linked that domestic Vise-grips are not price competitive, that’s a bunch of crock. The good people of Iowa don’t make anymore than the good people of Berriz, Esp. (where the Grip-ons are manufactured). Toss in the incredibly weak dollar and that guy is lying through his teeth. Not competitive with junk made in China, sure, but more than competitive with any decent quality locking pliers made in Canada, Japan, the Continent and Great Britain.

    It ain’t the price of steel because the cost of transportation (read fuel) has made American steel competitive with Chinese steel, it ain’t the costs associated with environmental controls because the EU has higher standards, and it ain’t labor costs because the EU has higher social costs (benefits) built into their labor costs.

    Man, this one bothers me.

  10. Coronado says:

    Sorry, I meant Nebraska, not Iowa.

  11. Joey says:

    The problem with Irwin Industrial is that they are owned by Newell Rubbermaid, who doesn’t understand tools and doesn’t give a damn. They are used to buying from Asia. This outsourcing would never have happened if it were still American Tool.

    I think Cooper Tools has given up on American made hand tools like the Crescent brand. So gone are the American iconic tools Vise Grips and Crescent. Next will probably be Channellock. Their adjustable wrenches are made in Spain by Irega. The New pliers are made in USA with imported grips.

    So, so sad. Look at the latest Snap-on and JH Williams catalogs. Loaded with Asian products. The other tool truck brands – Mac, Matco, Cornwell – all have loads of tools branded as their own, but made in Asia. Some of Proto’s ratchet are made in Italy now. How long before Proto closes its Amrican plants?

    Craftsman used to be American made exclusively. Now more and more products are made in Taiwan, and even China. Thank God Danaher and SK can still be competitive.

  12. Bruce Caldwell says:

    I recently bought two pair of locking c-clamp vice grips, the Irwin made ones that is, because my over 15 year old made in Dewitt Neb. ones have seen a lot of abuse in my job as a steel fabricator. The old ones however are still more solid than the brand new ones. I wish I had bought more of the “real” ones when I could have. Sad, sad, sad!

  13. Joe says:

    Grip-on does a lot of private label work in the US. Their tools are very easy to identify – just look for the distinctive concave heads on the rivets. The new Proto locking pliers are made by them.

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