Hose Clamps are something that no one likes, and they all have to deal with. Good or bad, we all run into them & normally they are in a position or location that is next to impossible to easily remove them.
I have tried needle-nosed pliers (straight, 45 degree, 90 degree — even double-jointed!), slip-joint pliers, and many others. Normally I end up reaching for a set of the cable-actuated ones…but they can be very costly and clearance issues still come into play.
Knipex recently built the Cobra Hose Clamp Pliers (an entirely new style based on the hugely popular Cobra series) — and they hit a home run. These have pivoting jaws that will allow you to lock onto both sides of the clamp, keep pressure applied, and then move/rotate the pliers along the hose with the clamp securely clamped.
Looking back at the alternative methods that I used to rely on — and the constant failures — these are a welcomed addition to the toolbox. Normally with needle nosed pliers for example, a slight twist (or even the clamp dragging on the hose) will cause it to pop off and the pliers slam shut — typically pinching your fingers. I can honestly say that I wont miss those days.
Adjusting them is very easy. Simply press in on the large button to open them up, place the top jaw on one side of the clamp, and press the bottom jaw up until it contacts the other side. This is a quick-adjust feature, and makes using them very simple. Unlike standard tongue-and-groove pliers, these have a ratcheting tooth design that allows adjustments almost instantly.
The specs on these are :
- 10″ Long
- Dipped grips
- Made in Germany
- Lifetime Warranty
- Boxed Joint Design
Keep in mind that these wont work in all situations, but if they fit — they work great! I recently had to replace the radiator, oil-cooler, and transmission return line on a SUV….the only clamp where these wouldnt fit was behind a frame rail attached to the side of the transmission (I had to break out the cable hose clamp for that one). For regular top-of-the-engine work, these excel. Best of all, since they easily pivot around obstructions & do not allow the clamp to pop out of the jaws — you literally clamp one ONE TIME and you can go — no more constant battles like what you are normally experiencing with needle-nosed pliers!