The 8 Best Locking Pliers Sets

Updated August 03, 2017 by Christopher Thomas

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We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you need to remove a stuck nut or bolt, clamp together metal while welding, or bend hot steel in your metalworking project, you'll need strength, leverage, and a vise-like grip. The right pair of locking pliers can help you complete any of these tasks and more. Choose from our selection of various sizes and styles to find the one that's perfect for the job. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best locking pliers set on Amazon.

8. Crescent CLP-5SET

The Crescent CLP-5SET includes two different sizes of needle-nose pliers in addition to three curved-jaw pairs, making it easy to get a sturdy grip even in cramped spaces. This one's a great choice for the mechanic or repairman working on intricate machinery.
  • rust- and corrosion-resistant finish
  • meets asme standards
  • inconsistent construction quality
Brand Apex Tool Group
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Craftsman Evolv

When you need a vise-style grip on a shoestring budget, the Craftsman Evolv line offers an extremely affordable set of three choices to help you accomplish a number of tasks. Just be careful not to pinch yourself on the traditional downward-style release lever.
  • contoured rubber handles
  • makes a good backup set
  • not designed for constant heavy use
Brand Craftsman
Model 10061
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Stanley 94-960

The bare-bones Stanley 94-960 fits best in the home handyman's garage where they'll only see occasional use. These forged-steel tools adhere to ANSI specifications and will get the job done, but lack the ease-of-use and dependability of high-end models.
  • rubber-coated release levers
  • backed by limited lifetime warranty
  • cheaply made springs
Brand Stanley
Model 94-960
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Klutch Seven-Piece

Designed with welders in mind, the Klutch Seven-Piece offers a solution for a large variety of jobs in the workshop. Including specialized bending, welding, and C-clamp pliers, all with a standard unlocking lever, this set works great for DIY or professional metalworkers.
  • very low price point
  • three curved-jaw sizes from 5-10 in
  • may pop open fast upon release
Brand Klutch
Model 73265
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Craftsman 3-Piece

For a basic, well-made choice that will last for years of use under most conditions, look to the Craftsman 3-Piece. Featuring flat, curved, and needle-nose jaws for various applications, these nickel-plated steel-alloy tools are a useful addition to any workshop.
  • wire cutter integrated into body
  • renowned craftsman quality
  • no lever release mechanism
Brand Craftsman
Model 9-45713
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

3. Irwin VISE-GRIP

The direct descendent of the original 1924 design by William Petersen, the Irwin VISE-GRIP makes a great addition to the home or professional workshop. The five tools in this quality set are built to meet all tightening, clamping, twisting and turning needs.
  • made of a heat-treated steel alloy
  • stable turn screw holds position
  • storage bag included
Brand Irwin Tools
Model 68
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Proto Blackhawk

Part of a high-end line of tools released by industry giant Stanley, the Proto Blackhawk contains 5 sizes and shapes, offering versatility, strength, and easy movement and adjustment thanks to its welded construction and close tolerances.
  • highly rated by experts
  • rubberized easy-grip handles
  • pro quality at a moderate price
Brand Blackhawk By Proto
Model PT-1105S
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Grip-On GK500

Using an upward-style release lever that enables smooth operation, prevents pinching, and keeps the unit from popping open with excessive force, the Grip-On GK500 shows how a common tool, when it's made well, is easier and safer to use than cheaper alternatives.
  • high-grip omnium-style jaws
  • includes 10-inch hose clamp
  • curved jaws on 5- and 10-in options
Brand Grip-On
Model GRGK500
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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Last updated on August 03, 2017 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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