This pocket tool replaced a whole set of open-end wrenches for me.

5 inch Knipex mini pliers wrench

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I am a big fan of Knipex tools. Made in Germany, these are some of the best tools you can buy, and at prices that won’t break the bank.

Recently, the Knipex Cobra XS water pump pliers they have replaced the ever-popular multitool as my go-to pocket EDC (everyday use) tool.

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I’ve always wanted a pair of pliers that are compact enough to fit discreetly in a pocket, but strong enough to, well, do what I expect pliers to do.

And this is exactly what the Knipex Cobra XS water pump pliers do.

But I’m the first to admit that these have a couple of problems.

First, the handles are not the most comfortable. They are raw metal, and this might not be good for everyone. I’ve been using tools my whole life, one of my earliest memories is using a hammer with my grandfather, so while they don’t bother me, even I find they’re not the most comfortable hand tools I’ve ever used. .

Those plastic-coated handles on the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench (below) are definitely more comfortable than the bare metal ones

Those plastic-coated handles on the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench (below) are definitely more comfortable than the bare metal ones

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A second problem is the jaws on the Cobra XS water pump pliers. They’re super grippy, which is nice when you need to bite, but they can chew through bras, which isn’t ideal.

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Is there a tool that combines the power, performance, and compact size of Cobra XS Water Pump Pliers, but with more comfortable handles and jaws that won’t bite into fasteners?

Yeah.

He 5 inch Knipex mini pliers wrench.

Knipex 5-Inch Mini Collet Wrench Technical Specifications

  • jaw capacity: 7/8 inches
  • adjustment positions: eleven
  • Length: 5 inches
  • Weight: 3.7 ounces
  • Do you drive: Plastic lined

First of all, the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench is larger than the Cobra XS, an inch larger to be precise. While you can get a 4-inch mini plier wrench, it doesn’t have coated handles.

4-inch Knipex Cobra XS (left) vs 5-inch mini pliers wrench

4-inch Knipex Cobra XS (left) vs 5-inch mini pliers wrench

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The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench features a knob to adjust the size of the jaws. The plus side to this is that they lock into place during use, but the downside is that they can’t be easily adjusted with one hand.

The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench features a knob to adjust the size of the jaws.

The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench features a knob to adjust the size of the jaws.

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And operating the jaws is a cam action, multiplying and amplifying the power of your hand several times over.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You’ve probably also noticed the handles: plastic-coated for comfort and heat/cold insulation (note that this layer does not provide electrical insulation). This makes the grips much more comfortable than those of the Cobra XS, especially when it comes to extended use.

One thing I really like about the Cobra XS is that the handles have been designed to be pinch-free. what do I want to say with that? Well, with a pair of pliers, it is possible for the handles to grip onto the skin of the palm of your hands.

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And this hurts.

A lot.

The handles of the smaller Cobra XS are totally pinch-proof, and I like this, but the handles of the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench are a little different and can, on rare occasions, catch your skin. I haven’t had this happen to me during real life use, but it’s certainly possible.

Possible pinch point

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The jaws are also very different.

They are smooth and parallel, compared to the curved jawed jaws of the Cobra XS.

Comparison of the jaws of the Knipex 4-inch Cobra XS wrench (left) and the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench

Comparison of the jaws of the Knipex 4-inch Cobra XS wrench (left) and the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There are pros and cons here. On the plus side, those biting grips on the Cobra XS are great for gripping fasteners, especially if they’re rusted in place or damaged.

The bite jaws of the Cobra XS offer excellent grip on a fastener

The bite jaws of the Cobra XS offer excellent grip on a fastener

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The downside is that those jaws can easily mar or damage a fastener.

The Cobra XS easily munched on this nut

The Cobra XS easily munched on this nut

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The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench’s jaws on the other hand are great for holding nuts and bolts that are in good condition and shouldn’t damage anything, but have a hard time holding badly damaged fasteners.

The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench is ideal for nuts and bolts in good condition.

The 5-inch mini-clamp wrench is ideal for nuts and bolts in good condition.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Interestingly, the jaws of the smaller Cobra XS open significantly more than the jaws of the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench.

The 4-inch Knipex Cobra XS (left) has a significantly larger bite than the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench

The 4-inch Knipex Cobra XS (left) has a significantly larger bite than the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This means the 5-inch mini-clamp wrench struggles with things, like spring-loaded hose clamps, that the smaller Cobra XS has no problem with.

5 Inch Mini Pliers Wrench Had Problems With This Hose Clamp

5 Inch Mini Pliers Wrench Had Problems With This Hose Clamp

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

So which one is better?

It depends.

If you want a tough, dependable little tool designed to hold fasteners and loosen them no matter what, my vote goes to the Cobra XS. They’re pointless, and those jaws will grab and remove fasteners, no matter how worn or chewed they are.

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But, if you want something a little more civilized, a little more comfortable, and something that won’t break your bras, then the 5 Inch Mini Pliers Wrench it’s a great choice. This wrench has earned a place in my tool kit as a great pocket tool that replaces a full set of open-end wrenches or sockets. It’s powerful, it’s very well made, and it’s a tool that will last a lifetime.

That being said, I also recommend that you get a decent socket set and spannersBecause there’s nothing better than having the right tool for the right job.



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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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