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We reported on Channellock’s interesting 6-in-1 rescue tool a while back, but they’ve since added a second model, this time replacing the linesman-style pliers with a cable cutter — perfect if you need to clip a battery cable. Like the older set, they also feature a gas safety valve shutoff key, a steel punch for shattering glass, a pry bar (for opening stubborn doors or windows), and lots of other handy bits.

They’re just under 11″ long and weigh about a pound and a half. And best of all, they’ve come down in price a bit. We found the new set — called the 89 — for about $55 online.

89 Rescue Tool w/Cable Cutter [Channellock]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


Northern Tool is selling these Channellock 8″ Snap Ring Pliers for only $19.  The tool comes with five pairs of interchangeable tips, and you can convert it so it works with inside or outside retaining rings by sliding a tab on the tool.

Channellock Snap Ring Pliers [Northern Tool]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


ToolDiscounter.com is selling Channellock’s 911 9″ Cable Cutters for $15.68.  Cable cutters make a nice, even cut by enveloping the cable with the cutting edge — really the best way to cut stranded cable.

Channellock 911 9″ Cable Cutters [ToolDiscounter.com]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


With their 6-in-1 rescue tool, Channellock has beefed up a pair of linesman pliers to specialize ’em for rescue work. The extra-coarse texture of the pliers provides a stronger grip, and hardened cutters will cut through almost any wire. A hardened steel point on the tip of one handle will shatter safety glass, and a spanner wrench allows you to tighten or loosen standard hose couplings. The other handle functions as a pry bar and as a wrench that’ll fit over standard gas valves.

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Rob writes: “These Channellocks feature smaller jaws than standard tounge-in-groove pliers, but with a curved jaw they grab everything.  They make up for what they lose in size with the additional grip.”

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Phillip claims this is the lightest 12″ adjustable wrench he’s used.  He writes: “This 8″ wrench has the capacity of a 12″ wrench at 1-5/8″, but is on an 8″ frame with the Code Blue grip for comfort.”

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I’ve owned quite a few sets of snap ring pliers, and for the most part they seemed to do the job at least reasonably well regardless of their cost or build quality — until swapping the water pump on a Porsche 944.  As many of you know, the thermostat is snap-ringed into, um, a very uncomfortable place.

All of a sudden many of my cheap-ass snap ring pliers seemed to show their cheapness.  Flexibility and looseness made the already gargantuan task seem utterly impossible. 

But that said, what do you Toolmongers think?  Do you come across enough enough difficult snap ring jobs to justify spending $20 on something like the Channellocks pictured above?  They convert from inside to outside pliers without removing parts, and look to be a solid tool.  But $20?

What say you?  Let us know in comments.

Snap Ring Pliers, Model 907 [Channellock]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]



Timmy writes: “These are the greatest tool nobody’s ever heard of.  They’re specially designed for installing and maintaining wire fince on metal and wood posts.  It’s six tools in one: a staple starter, hammer, two staple pullers, a wire stretcher, a wire splicer, and two wire cutters.  There are many brands of fence pliers available, but I’d put my money on the Channellocks to be about the best.”

I’ll admit that though I’ve had a couple of pairs of fence pliers, I haven’t written about them yet because I never really work on fences.  I’ve used them to pull staples, as a hammer, and to cut thick wire, but I’ve never really used ’em for their intended purpose.

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ChannelLock’s taking their place on the short list of Tool Manufacturers With Balls(tm) with their awesomely-named 20-1/4″ BigAZZ Tongue and Groove Pliers.  Seriously, what else would you call a 20-1/4″ pair of pliers?  “Large” just doesn’t cut it, does it?

We think that other manufacturers should jump on the bandwagon as well, following the lead of Stanley (the FUBAR) and Snap-on (the “Crud Thug”) and giving tools names that a) actually describe what they do, and b) reflect something that we’re actually likely to call ’em.

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Eschoendorff writes: “I thought it was cool, so I bought it.  It appears to be a ‘new old stock’ adjsutable socket — think of a drill chuck driven by any 3/8 tool.”

We weren’t able to find it as an active Channellock product, so as Eschoendorff suggests, it’s probably available only as “new old stock.”  Still, it’s pretty interesting.

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