Tons of gimmick-laden hand tools grace the shelves at the local home center every year — and they come and go with such speed it’s hard to keep track. But C.H. Hanson has rolled out a new locking set of pliers that seems to be as far away from late night infomercial as you can get. If they work half as well as the video demonstrates, we might have a winner here.
The term “automatic” in this case refers to a knobless adjustment for gripping items of different sizes. Instead, you set the desired clamp pressure in the center with a small knob and squeeze. To release, just flick the lever at the back end (with the same hand you’re holding it with) and the clamp releases.
C.H. Hanson says its automatic has more power than standard locking pliers as well, so you’re not losing anything with their new style. Here’s a chunk from their press release:
The redesigned tools deliver twice as much power as before and even 25 percent more power than the leading competitive product. Certified by a third party laboratory, the Automatics generated 1,660 pounds of tip pressure when the handles are closed with 83 pounds of force, compared to 1,265 pounds the competitor’s tool generated at the same force.
C.H Hanson further enhanced the Automatics line to improve performance and enhance the user experience including:
- Redesign the handle to be 15 percent thinner and more ergonomic
- Devise the release lever to provide a controlled release
- Construct the tool to eliminate points that may pinch the user’s hand
If these statements are true, and the new locking pliers are lighter, tougher, easier to handle, and all with a controlled release, then it sounds like C.H. Hanson may have a bunch of these sold in the months ahead. Apparently someone was listening when all of us cursed aloud after over/under adjusting the pressure on standard locking pliers.
Pricing is in the $18 range for a set of standard 6″ automatic locking pliers, which isn’t cheap, but not the worst we’ve seen either. To sum this up, the dream of operating locking pliers with one hand and and never putting your beer down is now a reality. Just a little side-perk from your friends at C.H. Hanson.