Best Product – Stanley FatMax DiamondGrip Pliers

Stanley Diamond Grip Pliers

I was not terribly surprised when Stanley FatMax came out with simulated diamond-coated ball hex key sets. The diamond grit part has been done before, and the locking folding hex key design isn’t new either.

But simulated diamond-coated pliers jaws? That’s new to me.


I’m stressing the simulated diamond part because it’s unclear as to what material Stanley FatMax is using as the abrasive. DiamondGrip and simulated diamond are sort of at odds with each other.

Synthetic diamond is well, lab-grown diamonds. But simulated diamond? There are a number of things it could be. Don’t worry, though, there are a number of different materials that Stanley could use to provide near-diamond hardness. I wish they were clearer about this, but realistically it doesn’t really matter.

The industrial-grade simulated diamond-coated jaws are said to provide up to 40% greater grip against steel surfaces vs. an uncoated steel plate. They say it’s per ASTM G133, which Google tells me is a test method for simulating “sliding wear.”

5.1 This test method is designed to simulate the geometry and motions that are experienced in many types of rubbing components whose normal operation results in periodic reversals in the direction of relative sliding. The wear resulting from this mode of movement may differ from that experienced by the same materials sliding continuously in only one direction (unidirectional sliding) even for comparable durations of contact.

I’m hesitant to try to interpret how sliding wear testing can contribute to conclusions about grip. I guess you get greater sliding wear when pliers are slipping, and less wear when they hold stronger?

The new FatMax pliers set comes with 8″ linesman pliers, 8″ slip joint pliers, and 8″ long nose pliers.

Price: $29 for the 3pc set

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First Thoughts

Although it might be simplistic, I see these pliers as regular pliers with super-fine sandpaper abrasive bonded directly to their jaws. Maybe I’m wrong.

To be honest, these would catch my interest if I were a DIYer or homeowner shopping for my first set of pliers. The bimaterial handle grips do look pretty comfy.

But the critic in me is wondering about how much contact area there might need to be to see the improved gripping power benefits. Do the pliers have to be biting into your workmaterial deep enough to leave significant marks?

I’m intrigued and curious.

Part of me is thinking “ooh, I could use that!,” and the other part of me is crying “gimmick I don’t need!”