We've reviewed several TEKTON tools in the past and one thing we've been consistently satisfied with is the value they offer. If for no reason other than their fantastic customer service, it's hard not to consider them when you need an affordable solution. I have never heard anyone who called TEKTON about an issue not comment about how positive the experience was. Look around on Amazon and you'll find more than a couple instances where a TEKTON Rep has sought out a customer with an issue to make it right. In an era where excellent customer service seems like something of a by gone era, that means something to me.
I'm a hand tool nerd. I spend more hours than I care to admit talking about tools. I study old catalogs, follow new releases, the whole 9 yards. Naturally, I'm a Made In USA kinda guy. While I will admit that the quality of Asian made tools has drastically improved over the last decade or so, one area they still lag behind is pliers. I can spot crappy pliers in a crowd. I'd just about bet you could take a bucket of pliers, grind the names off, and I could pick out the USA made ones 95% of the time. Most Asian pliers still have that Chintzy feel. The handles usually suck, the teeth don't bite right, and the adjustments are either too loose or too tight. So, when TEKTON said they were sending these over, I was instantly intrigued.
When you pick them up, the quality is immediately evident. They have a wonderfully thick, robust, grip, perfectly machined teeth, and an attractive, brushed satin, finish. I've always been a Channellock user, but the “anti-corrosion coating” is sometimes annoying and looks terrible over time. This finish will allow you to clean them up with a wire brush every now and then and have them looking like new.
The handles are a thick, red, rubber type handle. I prefer these personally as they are a good balance of comfort and durability, and are much easier to clean oil and grease from than textured handles.
The pivot joint is of the adjustable variety. It's a matter of personal preference, but I like the ability to tighten them up in the years ahead, or take them apart to run them over the wire wheel when they get nasty.
A quick inspection reveals these are Wilde made pliers.
You may remember Wilde from a few weeks back when they ranked #2 on our “10 Hand Tool Brands That Don't Get The Love They Deserve” article. In no way is this a bad thing! Rebranding is done by virtually every tool company on the planet, and Wilde is a fine source. Wilde is a reputable manufacturer with a reputation for proven quality and has been the OEM for many high quality manufacturers over the years, and still is. Here's the great thing about the TEKTON versions, they're CHEAPER! Looking through online prices it becomes clear that you can put TEKTON branded versions of the same pliers in your box cheaper than any other brand I can find. They're even a little cheaper than their Channellock equivalents. Unless I'm missing something, TEKTON allows you to put high quality, USA made, pliers, in your box for a cheaper price than any other brand. Add the fantastic customer service and no questions asked lifetime warranty, and you're looking at a truly exceptional value.
In a day when it seems more and more products say “Made In China”, it's awesome to see another USA made option to choose from. It's a winning combination for TEKTON, for you, and for America. Order one pair and I guarantee you'll order more! Check them out on Amazon