Best Product – Irwin Launches Improved Vise-Grip Locking Pliers

Irwin Fast Release Locking Pliers IRHT82573

Irwin, now under Stanley Black & Decker ownership, has come out with a new line of Vise-Grip Fast Release locking pliers, featuring some changes and improvements compared to previous models.

The most significant improvement is made to the 10″ and 11″ Vise-Grip locking pliers, which have a “reduced hand span design,” which means that the handles are closer together and easier to grip when open. Irwin says that smaller spread makes it easier for gripping, squeezing, and releasing the locking pliers.

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Irwin Fast Release Pliers Hand Grip Distance Difference

The reduced opening width is said to be 20% narrower, with their example showing a 5.32″ opening span with one of the new pliers, compared to 6.98″ with the previous generation of Irwin Vise-Grip Fast Release locking pliers.

The reduced span allows for one-handed operation, which frees up the user’s second hand to hold work, or to support themselves on a ladder or when working underneath a vehicle.

Next-Gen Vise-Grip Locking Pliers Features

  • Best-in-class strength
  • Steel handle texture for better grip
  • Hex key adjusting screw
  • Fast release mechanism
  • Reduced hand span design in 10″ and 11″ models

Irwin says that the new pliers provide more comfort and control than their previous locking pliers.

Sizes and Styles

  • 10CR, 10″ with curved jaws, IRHT82573
  • 10R, 10″ with straight jaws, IRHT82576
  • 10WR, 10″ with curved jaws and wire cutter, IRHT82578
  • 7WR, 7″ with curved jaws and wire cutter, IRHT82580
  • 9LN, 9″ long nose with wire cutter, IRHT82582
  • 11R C-Clamp, IRHT82584
  • 11SP C-Clamp with swivel pads, IRHT82586
  • 2pc Set (10WR curved jaws + 6LN long nose), IRHT82588

Irwin Vise-G

Additionally, the pliers have a new minimalist lower grip design, which Irwin says is less susceptible to welding splatter, allowing them to be used in more welding and metalworking applications.

Irwin’s Vise-Grip Fast Release locking pliers are designed for automotive mechanics, welders, contractors, metal framers, MRO professionals, and DIYers. They’re great for work holding and clamping applications, bolt and fastener removal, automotive repairs, welding, and soldering pipes.

Buy Now (via Lowes):

First Thoughts

I bought Irwin Vise-Grip Fast Release locking pliers a long time ago, and while they are easier to use than traditional locking pliers, I never felt compelled to buy a whole set of them. My standard Vise-Grip locking pliers still see regular use, although I prefer the unlocking lever of my Grip-On pliers.

See Also: Milwaukee Quick Release Locking Pliers

There’s more going on with the handles than is immediately apparent. From the looks of it, there’s a new compound pivot, which is what reduces the spread of the handle. 20% might not seem like a lot, but I’d bet that welders and other repetitive users will feel the difference, especially those with smaller hands.

Do we really need updated Vise-Grip locking pliers? Sure? My use tends to be periodic and in short bursts, and so I can’t answer for someone that uses locking pliers in long sessions. Even so, I can appreciate one-handed opening and closing, as I’ve been known to brace against something to close wide-spreading pliers handles when my second hand was busy holding or holding onto something else.

Perhaps more importantly, it seems that Stanley Black & Decker is looking at their still-new tool brands’ product lines and asking “can we make this better?”, and that’s definitely a good thing.