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Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers 1096

Hero Member Posts: 654
Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« on: August 28, 2020, 09:46:01 PM »
Soooo the XS (100mm) model just came out so I’m debating if I should just stop carrying a Leatherman and instead carry the XS. As I’ve gotten older my choice of pocket tools have gotten to be more and more simple and I find that I can get away with just carrying a Cadet and a LM Mini.

But as you all know a dedicated tool is much better than a MT and the XS is the perfect pocket carry.

The only issue is that I do use wire cutters occasionally and the XS doesn’t have it. So my question is has anyone modded a wire cutter in the Knipex pliers? Is it possible? If not what other options do I have? Not too crazy in carrying an additional tool just to cut wires.

Thought I’d toss this to the experts. Thanks!!
No Life Club Posts: 1,602
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2020, 02:19:53 AM »
Since no experts have replied yet I thought I'd give it a shot instead:

Like similar pliers the Cobra has a movable pivot point to provide a wide gripping range. And as it is a intended primarily as gripping pliers the movable pivot doesn't have to be very tight fitting - indeed with it being movable it requires a fair bit of tolerance. Cutting pliers on the other hand aim to have the jaws and cutting edges move and meet each other quite precisely. (Or have the cutting edges slide by each other as with most multi-tools). 

Thus I think placing cutters in the Cobra jaws will likely end with the cutters tending to spread apart sideways due to built in tolerances, and with the objects to be cut instead being stuck in between the cutters.   

All is not lost however. The Cobra handles can happily pass on mechanical advantage to a smaller unit which can be placed in its jaws. For instance an amputated cutter plier head without any or very stumpy handles (depending on whether the cutting head can be gripped at the front or not). Maybe make some arrangement to mount it to a Cobra jaw when it is in use? (An added pro that it is easy to replace if the cutters get damaged).

"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2020, 02:55:36 AM »
Thanks. The tolerance comment makes sense. I’ll have to think about carrying a cutter head. It’s ingenious but just one more thing to carry. I like it though.
Hero Member Posts: 955
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2020, 06:10:20 AM »
Thanks. The tolerance comment makes sense. I’ll have to think about carrying a cutter head. It’s ingenious but just one more thing to carry. I like it though.

A style PS or something similar may work for small cutting tasks..but what I have found in general is that anything less than at least the cutters of a skeletool is rather useless. I carry a true pair of Diagonal cutters in a EDC tool roll. Also I far far far prefer the 125 Plier Wrench to the Cobra as I find the Cobra to mar almost anything due to the very aggressive teeth. The amount most people use cutters day to day is close to zero, and if you use it a lot...worth getting a dedicated tool. This is the classic problem.
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2020, 08:59:14 AM »
Makes sense. Well, when the XS arrives I’ll try I out. Wire cutters come in handy a few times but I’m never far away from a full size MT anyway. I don’t think I need a wire cutter on my person.

You are right about the Cobra marring surfaces. Back in the day my jobs allowed me to carry a tool pouch so I never really thought about these things. But I’ve since moved on from warehouse jobs to office jobs so I have to pick what I want to stuff my pockets with.

Appreciate everyone’s feedback.
No Life Club Posts: 1,602
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2020, 11:13:32 AM »
Also I far far far prefer the 125 Plier Wrench to the Cobra as I find the Cobra to mar almost anything due to the very aggressive teeth.

They are really made for different tasks, but for general carry I go with the Plier wrench too. (Indeed I just seem to have lost one  :dunno ). I mostly use it for hex bolts, and it is much better suited to that than the Cobra. If I were to hold and drag something, or try to get free a deformed head or twist something round the Cobra would be my choice.

Another consideration is the differences of mechanical advantage. Due to the parallel jaw action the Plier Wrench has a high and constant mechanical advantage along the entire jaw length. The Cobra in comparison is like normal pliers with decreasing mechanical advantage the further you get from the pivot point. So for instance if you were to press or grab something at the very front of the jaws the Plier Wrench has a significantly higher force multiplier.

"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 2,259
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2020, 04:20:31 AM »
I have another weird thought.. Since we all know that the aggressive teeth on a cobra will probably leave some marks on things that we grip, would it be dumb to grind off the teeth? I use them on bolts anyway. Never had a need for gripping pipes. Didn't like the pliers wrench as I find them a bit more fidgety to operate than a cobra. Price point is of course another factor...
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 04:27:48 AM »
I suppose if it’s worth it to grind it off why not. I guess it would be interesting if the designed tolerances are not impacted. I’m guessing you would not be able to close the pliers completely once ground off?
No Life Club Posts: 2,259
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 09:23:45 AM »
I suppose if it’s worth it to grind it off why not. I guess it would be interesting if the designed tolerances are not impacted. I’m guessing you would not be able to close the pliers completely once ground off?

I think closing shouldn't be an issue. Only the inside teeth will be grounded off where they contact the bolt and nuts..
No Life Club Posts: 4,807 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2020, 03:10:47 PM »
I have another weird thought.. Since we all know that the aggressive teeth on a cobra will probably leave some marks on things that we grip, would it be dumb to grind off the teeth? I use them on bolts anyway. Never had a need for gripping pipes. Didn't like the pliers wrench as I find them a bit more fidgety to operate than a cobra. Price point is of course another factor...

I'd start off by only removing a small amount at first, in case they don't grip very well if completely smooth.  Also note that they have hardened teeth (some kind of electrical hardening IIRC).

If you do remove some metal from the teeth please let us know how you get on.

babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,740
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2020, 03:44:46 PM »
You could also use some shrink tube over the teeth. They would still grip, but the workpiece would be somewhat protected. It‘s just the question how long the shrink tube will last, i have never tried it on mine  :think:
No Life Club Posts: 3,911
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2020, 09:18:36 PM »
Though I was initially attracted to the XS because of its small footprint, I think I'll stick with the 5" Pliers Wrench because of the smooth jaws.  The Cobra's aggressive teeth are good for rounded-over bolts, etc., but I tend to find more utility with the Pliers Wrench.  SVL that's a good idea about the shrink wrap.

No Life Club Posts: 1,598 4x4 since '74
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2020, 04:02:50 AM »
I would hate to see the teeth ground off from Cobra pliers.  The sharp teeth are great for gripping rusty nuts, shafts etc.  I have both the Knipex Cobra and Plierwrench, but I carry the former, based on the types of situations I encounter.  YMMV.

Back to the original topic, how about refashioning a nail clipper into wire cutter by squeezing it between the jaws of a pliers?

Retired engineer, author.

A man with one multitool always knows exactly which to use. A man with many multitools is never quite sure. - parnass
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2020, 04:53:58 AM »
I would hate to see the teeth ground off from Cobra pliers.  The sharp teeth are great for gripping rusty nuts, shafts etc.  I have both the Knipex Cobra and Plierwrench, but I carry the former, based on the types of situations I encounter.  YMMV.

Back to the original topic, how about refashioning a nail clipper into wire cutter by squeezing it between the jaws of a pliers?

It should work. I’ll dig out some old nail clippers and try. Though I would prefer less stuff to carry.
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2020, 03:49:40 AM »
I guess my earlier post didn’t go through. Sorry. Appreciate the nail clipper idea.  I do carry a nail clipper with me but for nails.
I did figure out a solution. Sorta. Still have to carry an extra tool.

But I was cleaning up my old squirt P4 as it had rust on the file, needed oil etc. and my wife wanted me to open up some sand bags I had laying around to use around the garden to help get rid of the flies buzzing around. The bags were zip tied and rather go back inside the house to look for a wire cutter I used the P4 that was in my pocket.

Then it occurred to me I’ve always used it as a pocketable pliers and wire cutter.  :facepalm:

So we’ll see maybe I’ll carry the Knipex, maybe I won’t. I’ll give it a shot.

Thanks everyone for the ideas!!!

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,740
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2020, 03:58:43 AM »
Let us know how it works for you  :popcorn:
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2020, 06:12:04 AM »
Will do
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,640
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2020, 12:23:43 PM »
Cobra 125 is my daily carry with a SC. Probably use both equal amounts. Cobra extremely versatile for the size.  :salute:

I don’t get much need to snipping wire and the wire cutter on the SC is very small, but I like the pliers on the SC as they are sprung and work like oversized tweezers.

Education is a journey that starts when you realize that knowing a little about something opens the door to the universe.
Hero Member Posts: 654
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2020, 06:31:19 PM »
Gotta love SAKs.
I saw a turtle rescue video once years ago where they extracted a plastic straw from it’s nose using the SAKs pliers. I remember thinking back then they should have used a LM MT with its full size handles and long nose pliers.

When the pandemic hit I switched from carrying a LM to a SAK. Easier to clean and almost rust proof. Which made me think that the volunteer in that video picked the perfect MT for ocean rescues.

Funny how you get older your mindset changes. Nowadays I try to be respectful of people’s views. You won’t know until you walk in their shoes.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,640
Re: Modifying the Knipex Cobra Pliers
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2020, 09:05:27 PM »
True words  :salute:

Education is a journey that starts when you realize that knowing a little about something opens the door to the universe.

 

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