Crescent’s Cost-Effective 3-Piece Locking Plier Set Review
Crescent combines utility and value with its 3-piece locking plier set. The set features a 10-, 7-, and a 5-inch plier to grip a wide range of stubborn fasteners. Nearly identical to the ubiquitous Irwin Vise-Grip Original, the plier adds a rubber boot on its release trigger for user comfort.
The affordable locking plier set would be a good way to build out a tool kit, and its wide range means it can help with stuck fasteners at many sizes. I tested the Crescent 3-Piece Locking Plier Set around the house and gave it a task or two during an auto repair. My review follows.
Why a Locking Plier?
I had a good friend in the cabinetry industry who used to say, “it’s always goin’ fine, riiight up until it ain’t anymore.” The “when it ain’t anymore” is generally when the locking pliers come out of the tool bag.
In my opinion, anyone’s tool bag is more complete with a pair of locking pliers. I’ve always carried a pair in my kit because they help in emergencies or when jobs go haywire. You can lag them down to a stuck or stripped fastener and yard on them like a breaker bar, or you can do the same thing but go hands-free and use a mallet to coax it out.
In a pinch, locking pliers can be a clamp, and they’re enormously adjustable — they can grip something as narrow as a zip tie or as wide as a sink drain fitting.
Looser Fit Isn’t a Bad Thing in Locking Pliers
The first thing I noticed about Crescent’s locking plier was that it was built to a bit looser fit than I was used to. Anyone who uses tools knows this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: loose is different than poorly constructed, and sometimes a loose build can be an advantage when it comes to ease of cleaning, maintenance, and adaptability.
The Crescent locking plier had a lot of play between the handles. At first, this raised a red flag for me, but as I started to use the pliers, I realized it helped the handles fit into the shape of my hand. During testing, I didn’t notice them becoming looser. They proved suitably strong along every axis for medium-duty (locking onto a fastener, leveraging, even coaxing a stubborn bolt or two under the hood of my truck with the pliers and a rubber mallet).
Torque Test Review
I put max torque on the pliers during a failed effort to break my fused caliper bolts free. This didn’t work, but I pretty much didn’t expect it to. The factory specifies 129 ft-lb of torque for the bolts, and they’d been getting punished on highways and dirt roads for 50,000 miles by the time I got to them. Eventually, I used gluts of aerosol penetrant, a 1,500-degree F heat gun, an 18-inch breaker bar, and every straining cell in my body to break the stubborn bolts free.
Instead, the plier set came in handy elsewhere during the repair. Because of the jaws’ wide range and the pliers’ graduating sizes, I had a pretty easy time working the pliers into various tight spaces.
Crescent Locking Plier Set: Conclusions & Pricing
Crescent’s locking plier was an asset to my tool kit with its wide jaw range and various sizes. It can help to have a locking plier for any size job or fastener, and that’s just what Crescent’s set delivers. Crescent doesn’t list an MSRP, but the market price for the 3-piece set is an approachable $25.