A few weeks ago I heard that Wilde was coming out with new slip-joint pliers that featured a field-serviceable flush-joint pivot. I don’t really need more pliers, but after learning that they’re made in the USA and priced at less than $10 at Harry Epstein Co, I ordered a pair.
So what’s the point of flush-joint pivot? Not only does this make slip-joint pliers more compact and easy to maneuver in tight areas, it allows the pliers to be held completely flat against a surface.
Above, you can see the Wilde pliers (middle), surrounded by Craftsman (left) and Stanley (right) models. The Craftsman pliers feature a flush-joint pivot, and the Stanley pliers a low-profile rivet.
Flipping the tools over, you can see that the Wilde pliers have a recessed button head cap screw adjustment. The Craftsman pin is flush but permanently factory-installed, and the Stanley rivet is similarly permanent.
To be honest, neither the Craftsman nor the Stanley pliers have ever given me trouble. I don’t really see a need to tighten up or loosen pivot tension, put some users may like the ability to make adjustments in the field.
The pliers are 6-3/4″ long, which is a good size for slip-joint pliers, and an 8″ version is also available.
The jaws are lined with coarse teeth that are blunted and rounded down slightly. This won’t prevent damage if you grip items with a superman-grip, but it could help and might prevent damage and early wear of the teeth.
I’ve used these pliers for a number of small projects this week, and I quite like them. The tool is well-made, the pivot is buttery smooth, switching from one mode to the other is effortless, and the jaws are well-machined.
These pliers are about as no-frills as can be, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Slip-joint pliers are not precision tools, they are intended as general purpose all-around pliers. Use ‘em, abuse ‘em, oil ‘em every now and then, and these pliers should last a lifetime. Every 10 years, you may need to Plasti-Dip the handles.
Wilde flush-joint fasteners are available via Harry Epstein Co in 6-3/4″ and 8″ sizes for under $10 each. One warning – set a budget for yourself before browsing the store, as it’s quite easy to get carried away with all the USA-made and closeout goodies.
Stuart Deutsch is a tool enthusiast, critic, and collector, and writes his passion at ToolGuyd.