Hi. I'm Peter of Keynston Services and I'm just going to talk about this little set applies that I was sent; I've been asked to give a few review points on.
Well, it comes from KNIPEX and it's called, variously, a KNIPEX combination pliers or needle-nose pliers. So on one advert I found here, it's called both: needle nose combination pliers. Elsewhere, it's just called combination pliers and the wrapping that came with them just has the part number on.
Now, when they arrived, they're rather a lot smaller than I imagined from the photograph and they don't really compare with what I normally carry as a pair of needle-nose, which are quite long; they've got a good reach. I rarely use them, but when I need to get inside somewhere, I can get in and pull things around with those. If there's a danger, I do have some fully insulated ones as well. So these, when I open them up, they're more of a stubby nosed thing to me, definitely not needle-nose. But there you are; that's what they're sold as. And they're sold as combination because they supposedly have a number of features.
Well, what are they used for? The picture that comes on the little card, and what I saw on the KNIPEX website, show that these are used for getting into small, tight areas. On their website, they showed one of these round European enclosures that you can use over here. I do have them over here and sometimes they fit; they're just right to go behind a ceiling rose, if there's some problems with space and wiring. These little boxes actually also work very well with these brush face plates that, again, the screw holes just line up with those, so I do use these. And indeed, they are small and dinky and do reach into those that are a small space.
It does say on KNIPEX's website that it's got pointed jaws. It's what they call them on their own website and they say that because of there's a slight angle here in the gripping area, you've got improved gripping, and I couldn't really tell that. It does have an interesting feature that if I can show you, it may show up, that there is a groove partway down. You see the nose there? They say that's used for pulling pins. Now, I did actually find that was useful, having that groove there. When you got to pull out a pin, it does work and you can remove that. So, one small feature, maybe that's why they call it a combined unit.
And then, they also say on the KNIPEX website that you get easy cutting due to the size and something about the jaws. Well, that is where I have had a problem. I'll just show you now. I used these on a couple of jobs last week. I was dealing with some normal twin and earth 2.5. When it comes to cutting it, the jaw is smaller. If I look at a... Well, if I trying to show you against a normal pair of side cutters, or even that needle-nose cutter there, the length of the cutting blade there is insufficient, so I ended up having to hack off the wire. So, when they say easy cutting... Well, if I take a piece of one mill flex, yes, it cuts that easy. Again, on their website, it does show quite a lot of the round cable that they use over on the continent rather or twin and earth, which is wider, so that was quite a disappointment there.
When it comes to features of the device, they call it combination. Well, combination means trade off and, as I've said, this cutting jaw is just too short to deal with 2.5 twin and earth. It was okay for the one mill flex and also, it is fine, as I said, getting into small enclosures, getting into a back box. You can get in there, but compared to a normal set of pliers, it's a good 10, maybe 15mm, shorter on the reach in there. And as I showed before, considerably shorter than a standard set of needle-nose pliers. So, there's a bit of a trade off there within the features.
Does it improve my work? Well, I said I used it for a couple of days on two jobs and the dinky size of it... Now, look, it fits in the palm. It's such a small set. If a couple of times I had to reach in somewhere a little bit small, it's small size is an advantage. If I compare it to the normal side cutters I use, it's slightly shorter, as you can see. Slightly shorter at the end, so if there was any problems getting in somewhere that was good.
Cutting cable, well, as I showed you, cutting anything larger than 1.5 twin and earth or round flex was difficult. I was impressed with the nail pulling. Here we are; there's another. See, that was quite good although, again, other pairs of pliers will also pull out the nail, but they did what it said on the tin.
But where I was surprised, and this is something I discovered, when it comes to doubling over cable, often when you're running a cable, especially a single cable, into a connection, you want to double over the cable. We'd often take a pair of pliers, double it over, faff around squeezing, what I found here almost accidentally is that because of the very small rounded end, I could roll the cable over, which if you see there is now a loop. But then by putting it in those grooves that KNIPEX say are intended for pulling nails, I found I could squeeze that up very quickly and double over the cable, so that was an unexpected discovery I made.
What was my favourite feature of this? Well, it actually had to be the small groove because getting nails and pins out is something we do occasionally, but it's not something that occurs on every job, but doubling over the cable was a surprisingly good feature that I discovered. But as for the rest of it, the reach was not enough for other work, so my gut feeling over this is that, overall, this is too small. It's too bespoke for general use with these tiny little features. Maybe suits European electricians suited to work on rounder cables and these smaller enclosures in the wall.
If I hadn't discovered the doubling over, I'd actually be saying, "No, it's not worth it." But that one little accidental discovery, for me, means it's going to have a place, probably low down, in my toolbox; maybe in my pocket. I'll keep that for a while and see how much I use it. But overall, it has not replaced the individual items of side cutters, big pliers, the long needle-nose pliers. So, all in all, it's a no for me and I'm out.