We read about DeWalt’s compound action pliers, but they were kind enough to send us over a pair so we could take a look in person. They’re pretty much like most standard pliers — complete with some nice rubber handles and a quality feel — but with a little twist: a second fulcrum translates additional motion in the handles into additional gripping force in the jaws. DeWalt claims a whopping 70% increase.
This is really hard to explain in words — or at least it’d take more words than I want to spew out to you on a Friday — so I just grabbed my camera phone and gave you a look at the pliers in motion (see above). Hey, it’s not full of lots of production value, but you can see how they work. As you can see, I could hang on to a piece of 12-gauge steel tubing easily with the needle-nose versions. I didn’t even have to squeeze particularly hard.
So how do they feel? Surprisingly good. The additional motion in the handles makes it easy to apply force (a little or a lot) in a controlled fashion. While this is handy with the needle-nose, it’s SUPER handy with the linesman pliers, which I generally use around the shop for bending things and for cutting pretty large wire or cable. The rubber grips are comfy, too, which is important if you’re gonna wail on ’em.
We didn’t measure the actual force they apply, but they sure felt strong.
Bottom line: If you generally put a lot of force into your pliers (especially the cutters or linesman’s pliers), you’ll probably like these. And at around $10 apiece, there’s really no reason not to have ’em around.