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.
12 thoughts on “Tool Review: Wilde Flush-Joint Pliers”
What they really need to do is design an anti-pinch pair of pliers. How many times have you used one to pull on something and it slips causing the pliers to snap closed and taking a bit of skin?
Not only are they made in the USA, they’re made in my hometown. I was very surprised to see this article pop up on my newsfeed. I have owned a set of their pliers before and can say that I was very pleased.
Cool pliers, but more importantly… How am I just discovering Harry J Epstein Co? Awesome site, thanks for that.
Field-serviceable! Yes! Too many tool joints are held with rivet-like holders. They need to do this more for kitchen tools such as can openers so they’re easier to repair.
“Flush Joint” ? Consider the Knipex “Alligator”
My Previous Comment:
February 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm
Although I did custom electronics assembly years ago now I do gardening and small farm work. The spring Cobra design can jam with dirt / soil and corrode / rust the spring. The Alligator will NOT jam on adjust if minor care is taken and can adjust FAST. The box design makes most people think it’s a tough antique. It overcomes the common groove-lock (Channel Lock) problem of either being loose enough to adjust but it jumps grooves or tight enough not to jump grooves but hard to adjust.
I have two. One is the full 12 inches but it’s too much to carry unless needed for a specific job. Another has been cut to 6 1/2 inches for pocket-size daily carry. The stop bump has been filed down so when adjusted into the second hole the handles are close together for a slim profile. That one and a 6″ Vicegrip (with other stuff) are permanently in my pants tool pockets. Leatherman style carry pliers do not open far and I’ve saved many a person’s ass by having this tool with a TWO INCH jaw opening actually ON me.
Note: the jaw is a hex, useful on nuts-n-bolts; it will chew but can be padded.
It WILL tighten in like a pipe wrench and can take a cheater bar (or a box wrench if in a hurry) on the top handle.
Another reason the 12 inch is cut down for daily carry is that I’ve seen people bend the pocket size model. I’ve used the handle in the tab of concrete pier blocks to move them. There is NO way I can torque-out this tool. This is one of those pieces of steel that despite having only a few per cent of alloy has the perceived heft of greater weight than it should be. It is SWEET! EXTREMELY recommended!
[…] of the Wilde flush fastening slip joint pliers that appeared in his Toolguyd blog as well as in Makezine. He also made a video talking about it which you can see below. (Picture is by […]
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