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Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm

7
£79.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Clever, high-quality adjustable spanner with a great high-leverage grip, but expensive for its niche use
Great quality
Impressive leverage
Easy to adjust
Useful hand vice
Expensive
Rarely vital
Weight: 
196g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips might sound better in German – the internet tells me it's Knipex Zangenschlüssel – but none of the typically German engineering gets lost in translation. This is basically a very well-made adjustable spanner crossed with waterpump pliers, with clever sliding jaws that always stay parallel. The 10:1 leverage means you can exert some serious torque with it, both as a spanner and as an impromptu vice.

These are hardly vital for bicycle use – you can get very nice spanners for less than £80, should you even need them – but if you like to tinker and maintain things in general, they're extremely useful to have around.

> Buy now: Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips for £49.99 from Amazon

Having a ratchet for adjusting the width (press the button, slide the lower jaw, release to lock) isn't really any quicker than using an adjustable spanner's worm drive, but the plier handles do give you a much tighter fit. These are far less likely to slip and round off your bolts.

2023 KNIPEX Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm - 2.jpg

The head is smaller than an adjustable's too, if you're working in limited spaces... though the correct spanner would be smaller still. Still, you can really crank on bolts and nuts extremely hard without just levering your fingers apart – the gearing makes it very easy.

> Beginner's guide to bike tools - get all the vital gear for basic bike maintenance

One downside is that working with long threads is fiddly: you have to release and re-grip with the handles each time you reposition, and with no spring to push the jaws apart/the handles into your fingers, that requires some dexterity. An adjustable or a regular spanner is easier.

The 'M-Grip' part refers to the handles, because there are two choices: these big, shaped ones or a simpler thin plastic coating. I tested the thinly coated ones too (shown below), and while these ergonomic M-Grips are comfier under heavy pressure, I actually found the thinner ones easier to manipulate. There's more room between the handles to curl a little finger in as a return spring. The non-M-Grip version is £5 cheaper, too.

2023 KNIPEX Pliers Wrench 150mm - 1.jpg

These are excellent as a vice just for holding things you're working on, and because the jaws are smooth and sit parallel, they won't leave marks the way vice grips will (or let objects twist, the way regular pliers will). They're particularly great for holding and bending small pieces of sheet metal.

The construction is lovely: the components are very strong and don't bend, the shaping is very crisp, and the colourful handles are entirely secure – there's nothing worse than sleeves that slide and spin under pressure. You can even buy the locking mechanism as a spare. Overall quality is great.

> Essential cycling tools and accessories you need to fix any problem

As well as wishing for a return spring, I found these just slightly too small for my hands. Still, Knipex doesn't mess around (it is really German, in case you were wondering, based not far from Düsseldorf in Wuppertal) and also supplies these in 180, 200, 250, 300 and 400mm lengths. It does 100mm and 125mm versions if you want smaller.

There is also, because Knipex is nothing if not exhaustive, a 150mm version with roughened jaws if you do want grip that's more like regular pliers. And we also have the Mini Wrench Pliers on test – full review to come.

Value

At £79.99 via Knipex's UK distributor, Chicken CycleKit, these aren't cheap. You can get a decent 150mm adjustable for a lot less; the RS PRO Adjustable Spanner is £13.03, for instance, while the King Dick Black Phosphate 6in is £16.48 (yes, really... funny name, but they're British and extremely good).

Alternatively, you could buy a decent set of spanners, such as the 11-piece Draper Expert Hi-Torq Metric Combination Spanner Set, for £29.87, plus the Imperial version for £38, and still be under the asking price of this Knipex.

Obviously, you're not getting the handy vice function with these options, though you can use an adjustable to bend sheet metal. It's not nearly as secure or easy, however.

Despite this, I don't personally feel the value here is bad – this tool is extremely well made, it does what it's supposed to do extremely well, and in reality it's available for a lot less money. Plus it has the quality to last a very long time.

At the time of writing, Knipex was selling them direct for £61.50 via its UK Amazon store, then discounting that to £49.99.

Overall

Though arguably of only very occasional use on a typical bicycle – especially a modern road bike – this plier-handled wrench is a very handy tool to have in your garage, workshop or shed. It's effective, very well made and the sort of thing that, on those occasions you need it, is an absolute boon.

Verdict

Clever, high-quality adjustable spanner with a great high-leverage grip, but expensive for its niche use

road.cc test report

Make and model: KNIPEX Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm

Size tested: 150mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Knipex says: "Pliers and a wrench in a single tool.

Replaces the need for sets of metric and imperial spanners

Smooth jaws for damage free installation of plated fittings - working directly on chrome!

Also excellent for gripping, holding, pressing and bending workpieces

Zero backlash jaw pressure prevents damage to edges of sensitive components

Push the button for adjustment on the workpiece

No unintentional shift of the gripping jaws and no slipping of the joint

Parallel jaws give a more solid grip; its design allows flexible adjustment of all widths up to the specified maximum

The ratchet type principle allows quick and easy tightening and release of all bolted connections

Lever transmission greater than 10 : 1 for strong gripping power

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Pliers: chrome-plated

Head: chrome-plated

Handles: plastic coated

Weight: 175 g

Dimensions: 150 x 50 x 25mm

REACH compliant: does not contain SVHC

RoHS compliant: not applicable

Jaw thickness (joint) (B2): 7.0 mm

Joint thickness (B3): 10.5 mm

Tips thickness (B1): 4.7 mm

Adjustment positions: 14

Capacities for nuts: Ø 1 Inch

Capacities for nuts: 27 mm

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10

This chunkily-gripped version is worth the extra £5.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well - these bite down securely and with considerable force on fasteners or anything else, and don't leave marks.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The quality and leverage.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Could use a return spring.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

We haven't reviewed many adjustable spanners or pliers, but this is expensive compared to most typical versions of either.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes - at the current discount.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This spanner is very well made and does what it's supposed to do very well. Really the only things going against it are the price, its slight ungainliness if you're winding a long bolt in or out, and – in our case – just how rarely you'll need it on a road bike.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

Add new comment

55 comments

Avatar
brooksby | 10 months ago
1 like

It's a "Knipex grippy tool thing 150mm".

End of discussion yes

Avatar
David9694 | 10 months ago
3 likes

forever to be known as Spannergate

Avatar
Steve K replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
4 likes
David9694 wrote:

forever to be known as Spannergate

Pliersgate.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Steve K | 10 months ago
1 like
Steve K wrote:
David9694 wrote:

forever to be known as Spannergate

Pliersgate.

Pliersspannergate.

Avatar
David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 10 months ago
2 likes

Wrenchgate 

Avatar
brooksby replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
2 likes

I saw a reference to this on another thread so thought I'd come and see what all the fuss was about.

People, do you ever think we have too much time on our hands?  3

Avatar
David9694 replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
3 likes

Rim vs Disc, clincher vs tubeless are mere Sunday school outings. You're either a plier man or a spanner man - pick a side. 

Avatar
Steve K replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
2 likes
David9694 wrote:

Rim vs Disc, clincher vs tubeless are mere Sunday school outings. You're either a plier man or a spanner man - pick a side. 

Not if someone could invent an adjustable combined plier/spanner/wrench.  But I can't see that happening anytime soon.

Avatar
David9694 replied to Steve K | 10 months ago
1 like

Looking forward to RCC's 2024 feature "10 most controversial bike tools" 

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 10 months ago
4 likes

I'm just gripped by this thread, following all the twists and turns.

Avatar
Woldsman | 10 months ago
0 likes

I look forward to Road.cc reviews for decent bike tools, but not for the first time we're a little late to the party.

David Rome, writing for Bike Radar yonks ago, brought our attention to the way that downhill racing mechanics - and others - had repurposed these smooth jawed plumber's pliers and made them a #toolboxwars staple.  (Some handy mechanics ground down the thickness of the business end and used them as adjustable cone spanners.) I bought mine - the 250mm version - a few years back when I was building up a tool roll.

I wanted something that could tighten a old school headset without marring the surfaces - and worked backwards from there.  So I don't regret buying them (although I think I might have got away with the 180mm version) but back then they were around half the price quoted here. 

Avatar
KDee | 10 months ago
0 likes

This might be a really stupid question, but does this thing adjust in 1mm steps? I didn't see it in the article. I assume it does otherwise it would be useless. And what is the range? I just see something about nuts capacity (must be a squirrel thing).

EDIT: Watched the video on Amazon, now I see how these work!

Avatar
Steve K | 10 months ago
2 likes

I was wondering how a review for a [insert tool name here] could have got so many comments...

Avatar
David9694 replied to Steve K | 10 months ago
2 likes

Because some posters could start a fight in an empty room. 

Avatar
Steve K replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
4 likes
David9694 wrote:

Because some posters could start a fight in an empty room. 

No they couldn't.

Avatar
mark1a replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
3 likes

It's my opinion that there are more horses's arses in the world than there are horses. 

Avatar
David9694 replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
2 likes

Where do you think the problem lies mark? 

Avatar
mark1a replied to David9694 | 10 months ago
2 likes

What problem?

Avatar
Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like

The ONLY thing I ever ever used a set of pliers for on my bikes either building or maintainance was for pulling through brake/gear cables. Since my bikes no longer have either I can't think of any reason why I or anyone else would spend the best part of £80 on a set of pliers. I could buy a set of mole grips for a fiver FFS. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
0 likes

Sometimes use pliers to tweak a warped brake disc back in to true, but yes, my £6 B&Q own brand pliers seem to do the job pretty well.

Avatar
Off the back replied to Rendel Harris | 10 months ago
1 like

I did this very thing last week after I had replaced the pads as I was getting the slightest bit of disc rub, I used my £5 set of mole gribs. Best tool for that job as you can lock them at the same width and easy release. And I didnt need to remortgage the house before I bough them from Halfords

 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like
Off the back wrote:

The ONLY thing I ever ever used a set of pliers for on my bikes either building or maintainance was for pulling through brake/gear cables. Since my bikes no longer have either I can't think of any reason why I or anyone else would spend the best part of £80 on a set of pliers. I could buy a set of mole grips for a fiver FFS. 

This isn't a set of pliers. If you read the article, you'll see that it's an adjustable wrench. An expensive wrench at that, but still not pliers.

Avatar
Off the back replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
0 likes

Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm

Dude - Its in its NAME FFS

And the word PLIER is mention 6 times in the review. Did you actually read it ? 

"they won't leave marks the way vice grips will (or let objects twist, the way regular pliers will"  So even in the review they are refered to as pliers - just not regular ones but pliers all the same. 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
0 likes
Off the back wrote:

Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm

Dude - Its in its NAME FFS

Really?

Knipex Pliers Wrench M-Grips 150mm

I can't be arsed to do this again, but how about you actually read the review, or maybe if not, just the summary at the top:

Verdict:
7/10
Clever, high-quality adjustable spanner with a great high-leverage grip, but expensive for its niche use

Avatar
Off the back replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
0 likes

The word Pliers precedes Wrench ergo its a set of pliers before its a wrench! 

its even shaped like a set of plumbing pliers

Lets see what the manufacturere says https://www.knipex.com/products/pipe-wrenches-and-water-pump-pliers/pliers-wrenches-pliers-and-a-wrench-in-a-single-tool/pliers-wrenches-pliers-and-wrench-single-tool/8605150

A set of PLIERS and a wrench in the same tool. So they are still - in the words of the manufacturer - pliers. 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
0 likes

The word "wrench" is the noun, "pliers" is describing it, so therefore I would say it's a wrench or spanner with a plier type operation. "M-Grips" describes the handles in this case, so yep, still a wrench. Pliers usually have roughened or serrated jaws, these are flat like a wrench. The faces stay parallel like a wrench. The jaws lock like a wrench.

If I were looking for a set of pliers, for pliers related tasks, I would not use these. I would have considered them for wrench related tasks if I wanted to spend £80 on an adjustable spanner (which I don't).

Avatar
Off the back replied to mark1a | 10 months ago
0 likes

In all practicality, the name should really be hyphenated as its a hybrid of two different things.

It would be fair to say at first glance it looks more like pliers than it does a wrench. But tbh, the fact you draw more focus out of the naming symantics over its actual practical use shows tools don't necessarily know much about tools. 

Avatar
Wingguy replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like
Off the back wrote:

But tbh, the fact you draw more focus out of the naming symantics over its actual practical use shows tools don't necessarily know much about tools. 

Errm, this is exactly what you're doing. The practical use of the tool is primarily as a wrench, or adjustable spanner. You're insisting it should be judged against a set of pliers instead because it has the word plier in the title. In other words, obsessing over the naming semantics.

Avatar
mark1a replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
0 likes

Nicely edited, I'll quote you in future.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Off the back | 10 months ago
1 like
Off the back wrote:

The word Pliers precedes Wrench ergo its a set of pliers before its a wrench! 

Yes, and a sausage dog is clearly a sausage before it's a dog, as the first word is the most important one.

Phone box, is a box with a phone inside, not a phone that's like a box

butter knife 

Door key

etc etc

this is basic english really.

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