I know you like to have pliers with hardened and well-tempered jaws. But not always these types of hardened pliers will be useful for your project. Sometimes the extremely hardened jaws can be very tough on your stock, causing more damage than good. That’s where moderately hardened jaws come in handy. The Engineer PZ-58 screw extracting pliers are one of those.
These screw extractor pliers have hardened jaws but are not extraordinarily hard to extract large stuck alloy steel bolts and screws. The jaws are just not hard enough for such kinds of screws. Instead, they are perfect for small screws that will not require your entire weight to budge. I learned this the hard way.
Initially, I used my Engineers PZ-58 pliers to remove stripped and stuck screws on electrical equipment and vintage clocks and radios without a problem. But when I tried them on tapcon screws and other heavy-duty screws, they only gripped once and began slipping.
Upon inspecting the jaws, I was literally greeted by a “toothless grin”. Almost all the vertical serrations were flattened out, meaning that I could no longer use them to remove stuck screws. That is how I learned that the Engineer PZ-58 screw extractor pliers are not meant for rough and crude work.
The vertical serrations on screw extractor pliers provide the grip on screw heads. So, when they are flattened out, they do not provide a strong grip and thus cannot extract screws anymore.
Despite the disappointment, I did not throw away the damaged PZ-58 pliers. Instead, I use them as regular combination pliers since they have cutters and horizontal gripping jaws. But since I like how the PZ-58 engineer pliers look and feel in the hand, I had to buy a second pair. This time around, I restrict the pliers for electrical works only and any other tricky situation involving a small or soft stuck screw. For example, I use them to unscrew glued screws on delicate electrical appliances and power supply units.
For removing heavy-duty screws, I have the new Knipex TwinGrips pliers. They are the new badass screw extractors in the block and they work better on bigger screws.
Outstanding Features of Engineer PZ-58 Screw Pliers
Despite a frustrating encounter with my first pair of Engineer screw pliers, I still chose to keep them. Here is why.
First, the Engineer PZ-58 screw removal pliers are perfectly designed for removing small screws. The screw extractor teeth are intermeshed to allow a firm grip on the thinnest of materials. Second, the handles have a rubber overmold that is soft and makes the pliers comfortable in your hands. Thirdly, the pliers are lightweight and have a slim profile for getting in fairly tight spaces.
When you look at the Engineers PZ-58 pliers, you see a lot of similarities with Vampliers. The reality is that both of these pliers are from the same company; Engineer Inc. That is why they are nearly identical twins except for color and subtle changes in the handle design.
The PZ-58 pliers have other uses besides removing stubborn screws. They have side cutters for cutting wire and regular serrations on the jaws for gripping. Therefore, you can use them as ordinary combination pliers when you are not removing screws.