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Locking Plier MTs? 695

No Life Club Posts: 4,144
Locking Plier MTs?
« on: May 27, 2020, 03:33:43 AM »
I am thinking about buying a locking plier multitool.  What I am familiar with are the Schrade Toolbox MTs, Kershaw A-100, and Leatherman Crunch.  The newer ones from Irwin are utter garbage. Tried it, and it sucked at everything I threw it at. Floppy bit adapter, hard to release, and blade made out of cheese.  I'm gonna need some help, as there are a few models (both new and discontinued) out there.

The Crunch is the only one still being made. My local knife shop carries them for about a hundred bucks.  Prices used to be around $50 for good condition ST-6 Toolboxes, but it's ever-rising to around $75 or more. A-100. Fuggetaboutit.  Prices for used, but treated well examples are $25-50 more than a NEW Crunch.

Ease of use. Well, Crunch is out in that regard as I have to assemble and disassemble it. The Toolbox/Tough Grip uses the same locking mechanism and many of the same internal components as the Tough Tool.

Durability. The plier part of the Tough Grip/Toolbox family was made in the Vise Grip plant in Dewitt, Neb. using the same steel and methods as regular Vise Grips. Thus, they aren't gonna break unless I do something incredibly stupid.

Choice. Only the Tough Grip/Toolbox had variations. There is the 5WR-based version that has a bit driver and the standard jaw.  There was the ST6 and ST6H that had needlenose; and then there's that version with the huge pipe jaw.

Features. Crunch has a serrated blade, file, and three screwdrivers. Bit driver too when the adjustment screw is taken out. No openers whatsoever. Except for the 5WR, the Tough Grip/Toolbox has that sucky 2.5D Phillips as on the Toolbox. It's not that great on my Tough Tool. The Schrade does have a partially serrated blade.

Ease of carry. Crunch folds up to standard size.  Tough Grip--better have a belt holster (which I do; in fact, the correct one; but I use it for a Petersen 6LN Vise Grip; on which the ST6 is based).


I am a little stuck here.  I am personally leaning towards the Crunch--sometimes used, they are half MSRP (despite that being rare); and it is still produced, and thus has a warranty.  And then I keep leaning towards 6LN plus SAK or MT. I already have it, and find it works.


What about the Crunch and A-100 copies from companies such as Silverline? I know that quality is pretty, well bad. But, if I can find them for MSRP, worth trying out?
Hero Member Posts: 907
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 03:41:17 AM »
Gerber Grappler ...
But has been discontinued for a while. Good luck. :facepalm:
No Life Club Posts: 1,976 Without POL, pilots are pedestrians
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2020, 05:02:42 AM »
I tried ordering one of the Crunch clones a few years ago but got an email after the fact stating that they had ceased making the tool. It seems the best option is a Crunch

"I wanna introduce you to a very personal friend of mine. This is an M41A pulse rifle. Ten millimeter with over-and-under thirty millimeter pump action grenade launcher." - Cpl Hicks
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,007
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 05:38:12 AM »
Cody, I have only used Crunch and could only comment on that.  It may not be the most durable tool, but for the purpose it serves, I think it is a good and unique offering from LM.  It really does compliment well with a SAK or even other plier based MT.

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No Life Club Posts: 4,535 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 07:29:28 AM »
I'd go for a Crunch.  I have a few Crunch and A100 copies, but the quality is less.

Unless you are using it constantly the assembly time to use a Crunch isn't that big a deal, and they are surprisingly robust for their size. You are aware, but people often forget about the built-in 1/4 hex driver slot (hidden in the adjustment screw hole)

If you really need needle nose or pipe pliers your choices are very limited.

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."
No Life Club Posts: 1,554 4x4 since '74
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 03:40:49 PM »
Alternatively, consider using an SAK or Leatherman Free T4 teamed with a small Vise-Grips.  That combination affords the flexibility of gripping a stubborn nut while removing the mating screw.

Retired engineer, author.

A man with one multitool always knows exactly which to use. A man with many multitools is never quite sure. - parnass
No Life Club Posts: 2,154
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 05:16:08 PM »
Alternatively, consider using an SAK or Leatherman Free T4 teamed with a small Vise-Grips.  That combination affords the flexibility of gripping a stubborn nut while removing the mating screw.

I actually agree with parnass.. Sometimes we are here too long and forget that dedicated tools works best.. But if I were to chose a locking MT, Crunch is the way to go..
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,009
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 11:17:12 PM »
Crunch is a technical marvel of engineering, but for EDC the opening and closing sequence gets a little tiresome.  :(
No Life Club Posts: 2,944
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2020, 06:21:29 PM »
If you can live with the quirks of the Crunch, its a great tool.

I knew my wife was a keeper when she transitioned from calling it a knife thingy to a multi-tool.

I might be crazy but it's kept me from going insane- Waylon Jennings
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 06:03:57 PM »
I have Sheffield Crocodile, which is a copy of the A100. I also have the Crunch. I don't know about a real Kershaw A100, but the Sheffield is of far less quality and durability than the Crunch. It's more akin to the construction and materials of a regular pair of vise grips. The Crunch, on the other hand, has precisely machined jaws and is made to far tighter tolerances.

The breakdown of the crunch is easy-peasy, and it is extremely pocketable because of that. It's really a very small tool when stowed. I love mine.

Charles.
Full Member Posts: 164
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 08:56:54 PM »

Alternatively, consider using an SAK or Leatherman Free T4 teamed with a small Vise-Grips.  That combination affords the flexibility of gripping a stubborn nut while removing the mating screw.


I think this is the best way to go.  A 4" Irwin vicegrips out-performs everything else mentioned in my opinion.  I polished a pair with my Dremel and they looks quite nice actually.  I also drilled a small hole in the handle and with a split ring with a pocket dangler, it carries easily.  It also works well when clamped onto a LM bit extender as a screwdriver. And pretty inexpensive.
No Life Club Posts: 1,201
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2020, 09:16:41 PM »
The Crunch is the multiest of mult-tools ever created. If you don't have one you are deficient.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2020, 09:48:44 PM »
Does anyone have pics or info of the crunch copies? I've never seen one, so I'm curious.

Charles.
No Life Club Posts: 1,467
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2020, 10:56:36 PM »
I have Sheffield Crocodile, which is a copy of the A100. I also have the Crunch. I don't know about a real Kershaw A100, but the Sheffield is of far less quality and durability than the Crunch. It's more akin to the construction and materials of a regular pair of vise grips. The Crunch, on the other hand, has precisely machined jaws and is made to far tighter tolerances.

The breakdown of the crunch is easy-peasy, and it is extremely pocketable because of that. It's really a very small tool when stowed. I love mine.

Charles.

I have an A100 and a Crunch and aside from the just pure odd dimensions and layout of the A100 it is certainly well made but I think the Crunch is superior unless I need a Needlenose plier which is what the Kershaw is.
The A100 is not an easy carry really and it didnt have to be made that way either?

I would not carry a Vise Grip EDC and that is exactly the reason I carry a Crunch!
The whole idea of a Vise like grip in a pocket makes me nervous really and the fact that I have to assemble the Cruch is actually a feature I kind of like and not a problem!

With practice I can get the thing out and ready with one hand and it is so compact and strong it is hard to believe really and I carry a Pocket Wrench II along with mine to back the bolt or nut opposite the Crunch and together they work every time and the PW really takes almost no extra space especially considering the utility it provides when needed.

I can not believe how long I waited before getting a Crunch too,it is an amazing tool!
No Life Club Posts: 1,976 Without POL, pilots are pedestrians
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2020, 04:09:41 AM »
Does anyone have pics or info of the crunch copies? I've never seen one, so I'm curious.

Charles.

https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,13593.msg256414.html#msg256414

Just search "crunch copy" in the main forum. Several threads with pics and comparisons. They were the same tool

"I wanna introduce you to a very personal friend of mine. This is an M41A pulse rifle. Ten millimeter with over-and-under thirty millimeter pump action grenade launcher." - Cpl Hicks
No Life Club Posts: 4,535 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2020, 02:28:14 PM »
Does anyone have pics or info of the crunch copies? I've never seen one, so I'm curious.

I have the Silverline & Fosco Crunch knock-offs.  I can't do photos, but what exactly did you want to know ?  (aside from the fact that they aren't anywhere near as good as the real thing)

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."
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2020, 04:35:04 PM »
Okay, I found the pics and such. i have a crunch already, I was just curious about the copy, what was the same and what was different. Mostly I kinda want one to experiment with a clip idea and not damage my real Crunch in the process.

Charles.
Newbie Posts: 33
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2020, 04:44:29 AM »
I have always thought that a Leather Crunch with bits + Vicky Spirit X is the ultimate combo in terms of utility and portability. A true  "you don't need to have a traditional toolbox at home" combo . I have those two tools for my "at home EDC" and they can do ANYTHING you throw at them. They really complement each other, very little redundancy in terms of tools set and they even match each other in size and weight. Hell, they are so meant to be together that they even fit perfectly on each other's branded sheaths.
So go for the Crunch and pair it with a Spirit X and you'll see you really do not need anything else.


VICKIES I own:
CLASSICS: Techno ( lost it ) , Edelweiss Green &  Black Alox
91MMs: Cybertool Lite ( My #1 fav EDC) , SoftTouch Climber RT, SoftTouch Desert Digital Camo Huntsman & StayGlow Spartan Lite.
111MMs AND BEYOND: One Handed Forester MWC ( My #4 fav EDC), Soldier 2008, Master RT, Hunter XS, TrailMaster MWC Desert, Rescue Tool Swisstool Spirit ( My # 2 fav EDC ) & Hunter Pro Alox Red.

LEATHIES I own:
Crunch ( My # 3 fav EDC) , Signal, Style CS & Style PS.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,773 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2020, 12:03:34 PM »
Did someone say a photo might be helpful? Here are most of my locking pliers without the sheaths shown. Feel free to zoom right in. Flickr eliminates the 800x600 Photobucket restrictions.

IMG_8561A by Chako, on Flickr

First row left to right:

1. Leatherman Crunch
2. Crunch clone
3. Gerber Grappler.

Second row left to right:

1.Vice Grip ToolBox 5WR
2. Vice Grip ToolBox 6LC
3. Vice Grip Shrade tough Grip ST6 with hard plastic sheath (most common to find over the other ToolBox models)
4. Kershaw A100 with nylon sheath
5. Kershaw A100 with leather sheath
6. Kershaw A100 Craftsman branded with nylon sheath
7. Sheffield Crocodile
8. Sheffield Crocodile with nylon sheath
9. Irwin Vice Grip SWR with nylon sheath

Hope this helps for size comparison.

In regards to the Leatherman Crunch clones...I say go for it if you can find one cheap. They look almost the same as the Leatherman with lower quality. The Crunch is still the compact design king out there. With that said, the tool is somewhat annoying to open and stow away, especially if you plan on using it a lot. The Gerber Grappler is hard to find I think, and the jaws hardly opened at all due to the design restraints because the pliers are of the sliding type. The various ToolBox tools are very nice. More a dedicated pair of locking pliers with added functionality, and are not much more bulkier than a stand alone pair of locking Vice Grips. However, these tools do not fold for carry convenience. The Shrade Vice Grip appears to be the most common tool of this style. Not bad quality, but I do believe the other ToolBox models are of slightly higher quality. The Irwin Vice Grip is a larger tool that lacks the ergonomics of the rest. It only features a knife blade in a piggy back pontoon, and a full size bit driver in the handle. The Kershaw A100 is a very refined and well made tool...but I think they are getting hard and expensive to acquire these days. Mind you, up here in Canada, most multi-tools tend to be hard and expensive to acquire compared to the US. The Sheffield Crocodile is not made to the quality of the A100s, and is equally hard to find these days. With all of that said, depending on what your uses are, the pliers shape is everything, and of course production availability is a factor. Many of these tools are now out of production.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 12:31:14 PM by Chako »

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 47,325
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2020, 01:41:14 PM »
 :like: :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Locking Plier MTs?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2020, 05:46:52 PM »
Don't forget this Sheffield model of the Crocodile. This one is more of a copy of the A100. However, it originally came with scissors that were almost unusable (handle had to be open). I replaced them with a scraper blade from a Schrade tool.

Note my copy was heavily used before I even got it. I had to replace the pivot for the handle and used a rivet for the tools because the stock pivot stripped out when removing it. (I'm not convinced it was ever threaded, actually. I think it was just press-fit).

Not the best quality for a multitool, but easily on par with small vise grips like this. I use it for welding, and it's nice to have a few tools in there handy.

Charles.

 

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