Tool Review: C.H. Hanson Automatic Locking Pliers

July 5, 2012
Simple setup and easy release win this tool reviewer over.

C.H. Hanson introduces its Automatic line of locking pliers, groove pliers and clamps. Developed from the Lockjaw line of tools the company acquired in 2009, these tools automatically lock on any size without having to adjust the tool via a knob. The "Set & Forget" feature allows users to set the desired clamp pressure from slight to extreme, and the jaws of the tool automatically adjust to any size with equal grip pressure.

The review

Lou Fort, lead technician at K.A.R.S. Inc. in Huntingburg, IN, used this set of pliers at his shop. Lou liked the ease of use with the C.H. Hanson pliers, only having to use one hand to use the pliers when applying pressure or clamping force.

"Using this pair of pliers at the extreme end of its pressure limits doesn’t require two hands, or another tool, to pry them back open," says Lou.

"I was able to adjust the clamping force one handed while in use, I didn’t have to free up my other hand or remove the tool from it’s position like I would have with other types of locking pliers."

Lou also mentioned that the pressure screw was easy to use as well.

"Setup is simple," says Lou. "All you have to do is turn the pressure screw, located between the handles as opposed to on the end of the pliers."

Lou's two favorite features included the easy release mechanism on the pliers, and the adjustment screw.

He liked how easy it was to release the locking mechanism on these pliers, which is located at the end of the handle. "This lever makes for effortless releasing once locked on."

With the screw force adjustment mechanism, Lou said, "The screw is mounted in a way making one-handed adjustment while in use."

He used these locking pliers to make toe adjustments and "to hold studs while removing nuts that didn’t want to let go."

On a scale of one through 10, Lou gave these pliers a "10."

"They are very well-built, have excellent holding power, are easy to adjust and easier to unlock than any other locking pliers I own."

About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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