The 5 Best Slip Joint Pliers [Ranked]
Slip joint pliers are pliers that have a slot in one grooved jaw through which the other jaw will slide.
This enables the plier to grip objects of different sizes securely.
All of the models we review below, besides the Irwin pliers, include a wire-cutting jaw portion. But only 2 of them (Tekton and Channellock) are USA-made pliers.
The American-made Tekton 37122 slip joint pliers are among our favorites. They come in 6.5", 8" and 10" sizes.
Our Top Pick: The Tekton Slip Joint Pliers
- Universal 3-zone jaws grip multiple shapes and cleanly shear wire
One of the reviewers we spoke to broadly praises these Tekton slip joint pliers, saying that they are well-crafted and solid for extended use.
In general, he endorses the plier's cutting action.
He told us that while they are a bit heavier than the general style of household pliers you probably have lying around your home, that they compensate with a smooth and precise action.
Plus the wire cutter actually shears well, in comparison to other models that just don't work as advertised.
Tekton Video Overview
Tekton Slip Joint Plier Product Specs:
- Provides a universal 3-zone jaw grip for multiple shapes
- Cleanly shearing wire cutter
- Adjustable nut and bolt fastener can be set to desired tension
- Ergonomic, rounded handle keeps the hand comfortable during extended use
- Sturdy construction ensures reductions in twisting and bending
- Made in USA
Let's take a look at 5 of the best selling slip joint pliers on the market today and see how they compare.
|Slip Joint Pliers||Our Rating||Price||American Made?||Wire Cutter?|
|The Channellock Slip Joint Plier||4.4||$||Yes||Yes|
|The Stanley Slip Joint Plier||4.5||$||No||Yes|
|The Tekton Slip Joint Plier||4.8||$||Yes||Yes|
|The Irwin Slip Joint Plier||4.4||$||No||No|
|The Klein Tools Slip Joint Pliers Review||4.2||$||No||Yes|
The Top 5 Slip Joint Pliers
Ease of Use
These slip joint pliers offered by Channellock are durable, convenient and easy-to-use. Users love the solid, comfortable grip, but some do note that they had problems with the delivery. With a size of 9” x 2.9” x 0.8”, slip jaw pliers are made of high-carbon steel, and they have serrated jaws for better grip, a rust-resistant electronic coating and a weight of 10.7 ounces.
There is also a PermaLock fastener so you don’t have to worry that the nuts or bolt would wear out. Overall, this is an excellent choice for anyone that needs pull grip pliers for everyday use.
In general, users have a very favorable opinion of the 6.5-inch Channellock slip joint pliers, and they praise their design, durability, and usefulness. A buyer comments that the grips are comfortable, controllable and soft and that the wire cutters are strong and durable. Another reviewer mentions that the pliers are perfectly aligned and that they grip securely and tightly.
He would recommend them to anyone looking for the best slip jaw pliers available. A happy purchaser also shares that these heavy-duty wire cutter pliers will last for years without rusting or wearing out and more importantly for him – they are made in the USA. However, one customer has complained that he didn’t receive the pliers he had ordered, but an entirely different product and one user states that the pliers arrived rusted and deformed.
- PermaLock fastener
- High-carbon steel constructions
- Serrated jaws
- Rust-resistant coating
- Comfortable to use
- Complaints that the pliers arrived rusted
Ease of Use
If you are looking for inexpensive, but high-grade pliers, you might take a look at these slip joint pliers offered by Stanley. Users love the price and the durable design, but some do note that the pliers are smaller than they expected. With a size of 8.2” x 2.8” x 0.1”, these wire cutter pliers have a solid forged steel construction, a rust-resistant chrome finish, machined jaws for gripping items securely, a weight of 7.4 ounces, and double dipped handles for comfort.
Overall, these slip joint pliers are a product of high-quality and they are perfect for any homeowner.
A user mentions that he has been using these wire pliers for several months and that they are well-built, well-balanced and sharp. The reviewer also says that they are perfect for anyone looking for efficient, but cheap slip-joint pliers. Another buyer comments that the pliers are easy to grip and that the handles are soft, padded and easy to manipulate.
The reviewer also states that these 6-inch pliers are heavier and more solid that they appear in the picture and he would recommend them without a second thought. Another happy purchaser shares that the joint opens smoothly and that they are handy for quick-fix jobs. However, some customers have complained that the pliers would rust if they are left exposed to humid air. A user also complains that they are loose at the joint and that there is a gap between the two halves.
- Made of steel
- Rust-resistant chrome finished
- Double dipped handles
- Might be loose at the joint
- Complaints that it rusts
Ease of Use
These 6.5-inch slip ring pliers offered by Tekton are comfortable, convenient and suitable even for hardened steel wire like guitar strings. Users love the high-quality design, but some do note that they are expensive.
These slip jaw pliers have a size of 2.5” x 6.5” x 0.5”, a weight of 8 ounces, universal three-zone jaws with evenly spaced teeth, adjustable nut and bolt fastener, a rounded handle with a non-slip surface and they are made of high-grade alloy steel. These pliers are manufactured in the USA, and you can use them to snip copper, aluminum and hardened steel wire.
A buyer comments that the quality of these slip jaw pliers is exceptional and that you could use them for years without worrying that they would rust or wear out. Another user mentions that the grips are closer than he expected, but it turned out that they were perfect for small, confined places where other similar pliers would be useless.
A happy purchaser also shares that these pliers feel very comfortable in his hands, and even though he has arthritis, he can use them with no problems. The reviewer also states that he was surprised by the high-quality and he likes that these wire pliers are manufactured in the USA. However, some customers have complained that they are not chromed plated and may rust with time.
Some users also note that the nut and the bolt stuck out and that the design of handles could be improved.
- Three-zone jaws
- Adjustable nut and bolt fastener
- Non-slip grip surface
- Made of alloy steel
- No chrome plated finish
Ease of Use
If you are searching for top-rated vise grip pliers, you might take a look at these slip joint pliers offered by Irwin Tools. Users love the price and the quality, but some do note that these pliers are made in China.
These wire cutter pliers have a size of 10.6 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches, a weight of 8 ounces, a nickel-chrome steel construction, an induction-hardened cutting edge, machined jaws, and a molded anti-slip grip handle. The right angle teeth grip in all directions, so this could be a useful pair of pairs if you need to snap a wire.
In general, users have a very high opinion of the Irwin vise grip slip joint pliers, and they praise its performance, design, and construction. A buyer comments that these slip jaw pliers appear to be well-made, durable and sharp, but he admits that he wouldn’t have bought them if he knew they were manufactured in China.
Another customer mentions that he is extremely pleased with this 8-inch wire cutter pliers and that they are well-machined, well-engineered and the quality surpasses the price. A happy user also shares that these are the best cheap snap joint pliers available and after a couple of months of use they don’t show any signs of rusting.
However, one customer has complained that the rivet that should hold both halves together is loose and as a result, both sides wobble, and there is a significant gap between the two halves.
Irwin Slip Joint Plier Video Review
- Made of steel
- An induction-hardened cutting edge
- Molded anti-slip handle
- Machined jaws
- Complaints that the rivet is loose
- Made in China
Ease of Use
These slip joint pliers offered by Klein Tools are well-made, practical, effective and comfortable to use. Users love the comfortable grip, but some do note that they are expensive. With a size of 6.5” x 2.2” x 0.5”, these slip jaw pliers have serrated jaws with two versatile jaw positions, a durable nickel-chrome finish, plastic dipped handles, a jaw thickness of 3/8″ and a jaw width of 1-3/16 inches.
They also have a weight of only 6 ounces and a shear-type cutter so you can snap any wire quickly and precisely. Overall, these pliers are a product of excellent quality and durable construction.
In general, users are pleased with the functionality and durability of the Klein 6-inch slip joint pliers. A buyer comments that has three of these slip joint pliers and he uses them almost daily with no complaints at all. Another happy customer mentions that these slip jaw pliers have a simple, but sturdy design and that the Klein Tools are his favorite brand of pliers.
He would recommend it to anyone looking for high-quality slip pliers. A satisfied user also shares that he has been using these 6-inch wire cutter pliers daily for almost a year and they don’t show any signs of rusting. However, some customers have complained that these pliers are made in Mexico, and they are not as sturdy and durable as they expected.
A purchaser also complains that the pliers don’t have a PermaLock fastener.
- Serrated jaws
- Nickel chrome finish
- Plastic dipped handles
- Made in Mexico
- No PermaLock fastener
What Are Buyers Saying?
One of the best received slip joint joint pliers was the 6.5 inch, USA-made Channellock pliers. Its manufacturers have included a serrated jaw to increase the firmness of its grip, a permalock fastener that helps to eliminate bolt and nut failure, and a high-carbon C1080 steel build that includes electronic coating to prevent rusting.
One user who purchased a pair of these pliers says that in the past he had been the victim of receiving cheap Chinese knockoffs that quickly chipped or broke after only light use. These slip joint pliers, however, are different. He says that you can tell that they are American made because the grip is highly controllable and solid, and the slip joint is easily activated.
Another buyer told us that there is no play between the two plier pieces- that they grip exceptionally well, aligned perfectly. Other reviewers concur, telling us that it is a well-machined option that operates with complete smoothness.
Buyers also tell us that they were able to cut wire, pull hoses, and work with electrical connections, anything at all really can be done with this American-made pair of Channellock pliers. Channellock pliers have a really solid reputation among handyman and professional contractors- with many of them saying that purchasing a pair is a lifetime investment in a quality tool.
How to Choose and Use Pliers and Wrenches
The Stanley 84-055 slip joint pliers was another pair that we examined- it is a USA-made plier that comes complete with a chrome finish that is rust resistant and machined jaws designed to grip items firmly. Stanley slip joint plier buyers are pretty impressed by this product, saying that the construction is high-quality, that it has survived years of heavy-duty use, and is a much larger and solid product than appears in the product image photos.
Many reviewers described purchasing several pairs of these at a time because they have a tendency to get lost. Other reviewers praise the ergonomic functionality, saying that the soft and padded handles make them easy to control and manipulate. Indeed, plumbers, electricians and other home service professional contractors tell us that the soft grips enable them to use the tool for an extended period of time without aggravating their hands. As well, because it is anodized it doesn't wear or rust. It persists as a sturdy, solidly crafted option produced by a well-regarded brand.
The Tekton slip joint pliers come in three different sizes- 6.5 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches. Its manufacturers describe a three-zone jaw grip that enables it to securely hold onto multiple shapes and perform clean wire shears. As well, you're able to seamlessly calibrate its tension using its adjustable bolt and nut fastener.
Indeed, its manufacturers write glowingly of its versatile jaws that provide evenly spaced but sharp-gripping teeth that can work with thin sheet metal, tubing and pipe, as well as square and hex fasteners. Its sheer-type wire cutters also all able to smooth the snip aluminum, copper as well as hardened steel metals like guitar strings and piano wire.
On the downside, he does say that the pivoting nut and bolt stick out a bit more than other slip joint pliers, which can be slightly troublesome if you are working in really tight work areas. He also says that he found that the sideways alignment of the pliers tips was not completely accurate and there were some microscopic burrs located at the plier's tips, which could be easily removed.
Another reviewer provided some sage general advice, saying that before you begin using any tool that it is exceptionally important that you choose the right one for the job that you are doing. This reviewer told us that while these are not top-of-the-line quality, that for the average home repair person these will function well.
He was particularly impressed by the functionality of the wire cutters- he says that they do work well, but not as well as if you were using a tool specifically designed for the purpose of wire cutting. Another buyer told us that he has been using these slip joint pliers extensively for a number of years, specifically employing them as fencing tools, jump wire pliers, hitch pin pliers as well as pry bars, in a pinch.
Irwin Tools also makes a pair of quality slip joint pliers- its manufacturers describe them as built from nickel chromium steel and induction-hardened to make their cutting edges remain sharper for longer periods of time. While some of the buyers were unhappy that these are Chinese-made, they were pleased with the build quality and the service they received from Irwin Tools, saying that in the case where they received the wrong item they were quick to remedy the problem.
One buyer was unimpressed, however. He says that these are not high-quality pliers because the rivets used to hold the halves together are way too loose, allowing both sides of the slip joint pliers to wobble. Whenever he positioned his pair of Irwin Tools slip joint pliers in a closed mouth position he found a gap of 1 mm and in an open mouth position he found a gap of 3 mm.
Klein Tools also makes a pair of slip-joint pliers- the D511 series that comes in 6 inch, 8 inch, and 10 inch varieties. Klein Tools say that the shear-type cutter is designed for highly precise wire cutting with two versatile jaw positions and well-machined serrated jaws that provide users strong gripping power. The plastic-dipped handles are ergonomically designed for carpenters, electricians and home repair professionals to use them comfortably for extended periods of time.
There is truly mixed feedback for this pair of Klein Tools pliers with many buyers saying that that they are made in Mexico and are inferior quality to US-made slip joint pliers. On the other hand, more recent reviewers have told us that the quality is good- a bit of a mixed bag.