Is Knipex Better than Klein Pliers?

It is a rule of thumb that Knipex is a superb German brand and a market leader in the world of pliers. Even on Google Trends, you will see that Knipex is heads and shoulders above other popular brands such as Klein Tools and Channellock.

You can also read: Knipex vs Channellock pliers

Knipex Tools has earned its place because of producing some of the best quality and ingenious types of pliers. As a matter of fact, most Knipex pliers are considered the gold standards by professionals.

klein vs knipex pliers popularity in USA
Google trends for Knipex vs Klein pliers for the last 5 years in the US

Knipex vs Klien Pliers, which is better?

But is Knipex really better than Klein? The short answer is no. Instead, I would like to put it this way, “some types of Knipex pliers are better than Klein and the other way round”

See, I use various types of pliers in the garage. And from experience, I have found pliers that are a cut above the rest, those that are average, and those below average. But trust me, my best pliers set includes a variety of brands including Kleins, Knipex, Channellock, NWS, and some Japanese brands such as Fujiya and Tsunoda. However, I am more inclined to Knipex pliers because of the consistency in quality.

If you are a handy person like me, you will agree that a good collection of pliers is decorated with different brands. But of course, there are some outstanding brands. For most handymen in the United States, Klein and Knipex are some of the dominant pliers brands.

Why Knipex Pliers?

knipex pliers
Knipex cobras

For the longest time, Klein pliers have been a favorite for many until Knipex took over with some outstanding pliers designs and quality. Now Knipex Cobras and Knipex pliers wrenches, for instance, are indisputably the gold standard for water pump pliers and pliers wrenches, respectively.

The same applies to many other types of pliers including wire strippers, and the most recently released innovative style of slip joint pliers known as the Knipex twin grip.

You might be interested to learn how the Knipex slip joint pliers compare with the new style Stanley slip joint pliers to understand why it is the G.O.A.T.

Why Klein Pliers?

klein pliers
Klein side cutters

Similarly, Klein Tools produces some of the world’s finest pliers. In fact, the company provides one of the widest ranges of pliers and hand tools. In fact, on its website, Klein claims to be:

the only major tool manufacturer worldwide focused on electrical and utility applications.

Klein Tools Website

For most electricians and handymen, Klein Linesman pliers and Klein diagonal cutters reign supreme. There are so many varieties to choose from. For instance, you will find side cutters for cutting everything including those with hardened cutters for cutting steel such as the series 2000.

Klein Tools also offers a variety of top-of-the-line wire strippers from automatic wire strippers to a range of regular strippers. All these so that electricians can have endless options to choose from.

I recently purchased the Klein 11061 self-adjusting wire stripper for a home wiring job and the tool does extremely well stripping different types of wires and cables including Romex.

I also did a video review of the self-adjusting stripper pliers from Klein Tools which you may be interested to watch.

Conclusion: Klein vs Knipex Pliers

In conclusion, Klein Tools is equally as competitive as Knipex Tools. But Knipex is more dominant in the pliers world because of its really high-quality pliers and impressive technical innovation around pliers.

But it does not mean you will like everything Knipex makes. Some Knipex pliers don’t tick all the boxes, especially regarding cost. Most knipex pliers come at a premium price that is out of reach for some people. And this gives Klein pliers an advantage.

Klein Tools is a USA brand but has moved part of its production to China. Although the company denies it, you will often see “Made in China” on some Klein Tools packaging or casing. US-made Klein tools, especially pliers are expressly stamped “Made in USA”.

Klein Tools makes some top-of-the-range pliers, which are not as expensive as Knipex. The company also offers a wide range of other tools besides pliers. Therefore, Klein Tools is a big brand in its own right. It is likely the largest hand tools company in the USA, especially for electrical and utility tools.

However, with the transfer of part of the manufacturing to China, some Klein tools have experienced considerable quality-related issues. Made-in-China Klein pliers are undeniably lower in quality than US-made Kleins pliers. This quality deterioration has turned away many loyalists and it is actually one of the reasons Klein Tools has lost part of its market share in pliers to Knipex and other German and Japanese brands.

That being said, you can never go wrong with Klein pliers for electrical works just like you would never go wrong with Knipex pliers for plumbing. For me, the best Klein pliers for electricians are the different versions of Linesman pliers and Side Cutters. And the prices for them are quite reasonable but not dirt cheap.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. A blog that informs and educates you about different types of pliers and their uses. Julio is a handy person and has used a variety of pliers including general-purpose and specialty pliers to accomplish tasks. He holds an electrical engineering degree and has previously worked as an O&M manager for minigrids where his love story with pliers and other tools began.