Channellock's E326 6” XLT long nose plier and E336 6” XLT diagonal cutting plier are thinner/sleeker than conventional tools of their kind.
The long nose plier above is an older model from Crescent. The one below is a Channellock E Series tool. Note the location of the rivet on the E Series plier; to increase leverage the pivot is set as far forward as possible—almost all the way up to the cutter
About a year ago Channellock sent me some of their new E Series tools, an E326 6” XLT long nose plier and an E336 6” XLT diagonal cutting plier. My electrician's pouch was crowded so I stuck the box containing the pliers on a little-used shelf and forgot about it. A few months back I “rediscovered” the box and put the tools out where they’d be easy to get at. I quickly discovered I liked using them; they are small and handy, and like other tools in the E Series, sleeker and lighter than traditional pliers.
Both tools have Xtreme Leverage Technology (XLT), which is a fancy way of saying the rivet has been shifted towards the jaws to provide better leverage. They cut more easily than many tools of their kind. It's subtle difference and I could easily have missed it had I not made a point of using them side-by-side with similar tools of conventional design.
The nose of the E326 long nose plier is extremely sleek, making the tool easier to maneuver in tight quarters. For that reason alone I find myself using it more frequently than my other long nose pliers. The cross-hatched jaw surfaces make for good gripping, though they’re really no better at this than similar tools from other manufacturers. One thing that is different and better is the toothed notch between the cutter and tips. The notch can be used to grasp and turn small nuts and bolts—which tend to slip when you grasp them with the flats of the jaws. It's one of my favorite features and I'm surprised Channellock doesn't mention it in their literature.
The E336 diagonal cutting plier is sleeker than the average 6” diagonal cutting plier. The rivet is close to the jaws (XLT feature) and the tool cuts very well for one of its size. It’s a smaller diagonal cutter than I normally carry. I use it mostly on electronics; it's great for diameter wire and nails—though it’s capable of cutting thicker material. The E336 is a handy size and I could see it being used by repair techs and people who do control wiring and the like.
There 18 tools in the Channellock E Series: long nose pliers, bent long nose pliers, diagonal pliers, and linemen’s pliers. Half of the models have dipped handles and half have over-molded grips. I prefer the dipped handles because the over-molded grips make the tools bulkier—which works against the slim design.
The E326 long nose and E336 diagonal pliers sell for about $20 and are made in the USA. Click here for a tour of the factory where they are made.