By Robert Robillard on Uncategorized

CHANNELLOCK Pliers Provide Value, Performance and Reliability

I just returned from a trip to Meadville, PA and a fantastic tour of the ChannelLock Brand  manufacturing plants.

To me ChannelLock is an American success story, it is a fifth generation, family owned company with history that is a century and a quarter long of perseverance, innovation and follow though in good times and bad, and in an economy when everyone else was outsourcing their tool manufacturing process.

The company was not always called ChannelLock and started out in 1886 as the Champion Bolt Clipper Company, making Farrier tools,   then changed to include the family name Champion-DeArment Tool Company.  After the company develop their very popular ChannelLock slip-joint pliers they later changed the name of the company to ChannelLock to protect the ChannelLock brand name.

Impressive Innovation:

ChannelLock makes a complete line of pliers and related tools and several things impressed me about their ChannelLock pliers line.   First and foremost all of their pliers are made in the U.S.A and the folks behind this product work  hard and really focus on developing and manufacturing tools that exceed consumer expectations, ANSI and competitor standards.   For 126 years they have been setting standards of quality and innovation in the hand tool world.

The Birth Of An American Made Tool:

From the beginning of a ChannelLock tool, ChanneLock uses premium materials such as C1080 North American steel from Nucor and Eaton steel companies.

During my tour of the facility it was apparent that the die forged manufacturing process that ChannelLock employs is both done hydraulically and pneumatically which allows them more quality control of their manufacturing process.

ChannelLock also employs precision machined knife / anvil cutters for proper tool mating and full body and laser induction heat treatment to achieve a tool hardness of 4oC on the Rockwell scale. [not all tools are at or need this rating]

ChannelLock, Water-Pump, Tongue and Groove or Adjustable Pliers:

I used to call these pliers “water pump pliers” because that is what I used them for as a kid, as I got older and cars started using fuel injection carburetors I used the term  “ChannelLock pliers,”  what did you call them?

One thing I learned that I was not aware of is that ChannelLock Tongue and Groove pliers have 90 degree that  are induction hardened with lasers which allow the tools teeth to be strong enough to be used multi-directional.

ChannelLock believes that this is a better design and that it allows the user to use their pliers upside down which increases functionality.  The laser hardening process increases tool teeth strength and grip.   Some competitor adjustable pliers will simpl;y slip when placed upside down resulting in a stripping or marring of the material being worked.   Because of this laser process and the 90 degree design ChannelLock enjoys a tool return rate of less that 1/4%.   That’s impressive.

Another improvement to these pliers is the tools grooves are under cut which ensures  a self locking fit.  As a result the grooves will not separate or slip during use.  The undercutting of the grooves allows the rivit  that holds the tool together to function as  non-load bearing  and as a result the tool actually still works without the rivet in place.

Quality Counts:

The visit to ChannelLock in Meadville, PA assued me that making a tool in the United states is still possible.  Not only a U.S. tool, but a tool that has value, can perform better than  industry standards and can provide consistent and reliable performance.

The old saying, “you get what you pay for” rings true here.  You can pay less for a tool and replace it two or three times in a lifetime or you can buy a quality tool made here in our country that will last a life time!   By the way I still use my grandfathers ChannelLock pliers today… still going strong!

Over ther next few weeks I will write more about a few of my ChannelLock favorite pliers and cutters.

ChannelLock News Alert:

For our friend across the pond and elsewhere stay tuned for some exciting new Euro pliers coming our soon.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob If you have a building or remodeling question you can have rob respond to your answer via video. Click here for more information. Invite code: x22r2

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