Best Channel Locks for Plumbing


Channel lock is another name for adjustable pliers and the name channel lock comes from an American company known to manufacture such tools, known as Channellock.

Founded in 1886, Channellock has almost 140 different types of pliers as part of its product catalog but it is most well known for its adjustable or slip-joint pliers.

Channel lock pliers are a convenient tool that is used in a variety of fields including construction work, electrical work and plumbing.

We have put together a list of the best channel lock pliers available in the market so that you can choose the right set of tools for yourself. But first, let us understand what a channel lock is and what makes a good channel lock plier.

What Is a Channel Lock?

A channel lock is a type of plier that has an angled head. On the head of the plier, one of the jaws can be moved back and forth to change the size of the plier and then locked into place. The jaw is designed to move in such a way that the gap between the handles is not changed.

In addition to the adjustable jaw, a few other design elements are common in channel lock pliers.

They are usually made of very sturdy materials and have grips for a comfortable hold. Channel lock pliers also have grooves in the jaws to keep the pliers from slipping.

Channel locks are extremely versatile and can be used as a plier or as a wrench. It can also be used to clamp down on something. They can be used to pinch and grab like other pliers, to tighten nuts and bolts, for instance.

In plumbing, they can have many functions such as tightening pipes as one channel lock can function as a clamp to hold down one pipe while another is used as a wrench to move the other one.

A good channel lock for plumbing has a good length that fits well in the hand, has a large jaw capacity to fit in different sizes of pipes and plumbing fixtures and has comfortable grips that reduce hand strain.

Let us look at three of the best channel locks for plumbing.

Best Channel Locks

Channellock 440 Tongue and Groove Pliers

This set of tongue-and-groove pliers is a high-quality product from none other than Channellock. This channel lock plier is 12 inches big and the jaw can open up to 2.5 inches.

One of the most common issues with channel lock pliers is that the joint where the adjustable jaw is attached can get cracked if not used appropriately.

The Channellock 440 tongue-and-groove pliers have a perma-lock fastener that eliminates the risk of cracking in the joint. The risk of stress breakage is also reduced with Channellock’s patented reinforcing edge.

The jaws of the pliers are designed in right angles along with the jaw’s teeth which are hardened with laser. These two components together provide an extremely strong and tight grip.

The adjustable jaw has groove channels and an undercut tongue that are meant to reduce slippage.

The pliers are made with high carbon steel, which makes them extremely durable, and a special coating ensures that these pliers remain free of rust.

The Channellock 440 tongue-and-groove pliers come with exceptionally good reviews from previous customers and are available at the price of $25.59.

Irwin Vise-Grip Locking Pliers

These locking pliers from Irwin Vise-grip have a V-shaped jaw and are designed to offer ease of use and comfort at the reasonably affordable price of $24.78.

These pliers are extremely easy to use and the manufacturer has added a unique button that you simply need to press and slide to quickly adjust the adjustable jaw of the plier. This button will help you adjust the jaws of the plier twice as fast as any other model.

Compared to other groove pliers, this pair of pliers has a much more precise multi-groove ratcheting system that provides twice as many grooves as any other plier. Hence, these pliers provide a much stronger grip and eliminate the risk of slippages.

The grips are designed for utmost comfort and have an anti-slip and anti-pinch design that will ensure you can use these pliers for heavy-duty work without worrying about strain and pain in your hands.

These pliers are built from extremely durable materials and the manufacturer gives a lifetime guarantee for its reliability.

Knipex Cobra Pliers

Though these cobra pliers from Knipex have a much higher price of $42.55 than the other pliers on the list, this model’s high-quality features and impeccable design more than make up for it.

These pliers have a length of 10 inches which fit comfortably in the hand and the jaws have a capacity of up to two inches.

These cobra pliers are designed to be extremely convenient and have a unique self-locking mechanism. As a result, you don’t need to estimate and test the capacity of the jaw according to your workspace.

Instead, you can directly place the jaw around the object you want to use it on in your workspace. All you need to do is push the button and close the jaw around that object and your plier will automatically adjust to that size.

The pliers have specially hardened teeth and these along with the self-locking design will ensure that there is no risk of slippage.

These pliers prioritize comfort and the grips are designed in a way to ensure protection against pinching and will reduce the risk of blisters and strain in your hand.

The jaw has a unique design that makes it appropriate for objects of different shapes and sizes be it square, round or hexagonal. This is perfect for plumbing as you can use these pliers on any plumbing component, including pipes, fixtures, nuts and bolts.

These pliers have a thin head that makes them perfect for use in compact and confined spaces. The pliers are made from a heavy-duty steel alloy that is hardened for durability and longevity.

Bottom Line

Channel locks are great for plumbing because they are very versatile and easy to use for different functions without interrupting your workflow. A good channel lock plier is durable and easily adjustable without the risk of slippage and cracks.

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