Tool of the Month

North American steel forged in the USA isn't a claim most tool manufacturers can get away with. For Channellock, Meadville, Pennsylvania, has been their home since 1904 and that's exactly where they forge all of their pliers. The fifth-generation familyowned business changed its name to Channellock in 1963 because so many mechanics, tradesman, and professional workers knew of their most popular tongue and groove plierssimply called channellocks. An iconic name in the tool industry, channellocks are used for removing rusted and stripped nuts, holding tubing while cutting, and tightening pretty much anything you need tightened. As great as the tongue and groove pliers are, that's not the only tool from Channellock you and your toolbox need.

Besides the aforementioned tongue-and-groove pliers, Channellock also has a full line of other pliers Made in the USA, including slip joint, cutting, long nose, linemen's, retaining ring, wire strippers, and crimpers. For the automotive enthusiast, Channellock manufactures several oil filter wrenches designed to make DIY oil changes a breeze, and they have a new flush cutter, which is perfect for those pesky zip ties. Recently launching an expanded line of handtools, Channellock now makes metric and SAE ratcheting wrenches, screwdrivers (Made in China), adjustable wrenches (Made in Spain), and metric and SAE nut drivers (Made in China).

After testing several Channellock tools over the past year, their patented Code Blue handles are among the best on the market. Comfortable, easy to clean, and easy to see in a crowded toolbox, these grips transform a very good tool into a great tool. During this evaluation, we tested several different pliers, wrenches, ratchets, and driversall with impressive results. A must-have for the home mechanic, the oil filter wrench had more bite than others we've used and it didn't slip once. If the higher-end ratcheting wrenches from other tool companies are too expensive for you, the Channellock 4-in-1 ratcheting wrench is a solid choice with four different sizes per wrench and has an online price of less than $30. Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention the namesake. The Code Blueequipped tongue and groove pliers are as good as they get in the plier world.