well, from my experience, here is a difference: Your normal wrench, whether open-ended or not has to have some clearance in order to fit the bolt or nut. Usually, it's quite a bit actually, especially with cheaper ones IME. So when you tighten with it, you end up putting all the stress on the very corners of the hexagon, which is of course why they can end up rounded off. That's especially true of items made of softer material like brass. With the Knipex Pliers wrench, you tighten the jaws so they stay in full contact with the full flats of the bolt/nut, not just the corners, so there is much less chance of rounding them off. And there usually is no mark at all to be seen. Amazingly, if you position it the correct way around, you don't even have to squeeze the handles. And you can even "ratchet" with the Knipex too. Another very nice feature is that you can see that compared to regular "pliers", the Pliers Wrench has much more leverage built-in, look at the little actuator knob at the end of the RHS handle in the pic above, and compare its distance to the pivot to the length of the handle.
Conversely, if you have to remove a nut/bolt that has already been rounded off, and the regular wrenches can't do it because the corners are gone, the Knipex will still grip the nut tightly on the remaining faces, and is likely to get it off.
Then, of course, there is the nice benefit of always having the correct size tool for any bolt. Strangely, I usually end up having to try 3 or 4 wrenches each time before I find the correct size one, but that's just clumsy me, of course. Sure is nice to only carry one tool instead of a whole bunch of regular wrenches. Plus I bet most folks only have wrenches that go to 1" or so. Even my small Knipex (180) can do 1 3/8".
And, no, sadly, Knipex has not yet reached out to sponsor me... But, eh, I'm willing if you're listening, Knipex!!
Somewhat related, I keep a pair of their tiny 4" pliers in my framing tool belt, they are amazingly useful. Unjamming the nail guns, pulling bent nails and staples, straightening flashing, and so on. Very handy.
yup. I have a bigger Cobra that I have used fairly hard. The teeth are still just as new, very sharp, they seem extremely hard. Unlike some of my older Crescent etc slip wrench-like tools. The Cobra will put a mark on pipes but it won't slip.
(Have to add, that the pic in KLF's thread shows a Cobra with terrible adjustment teeth. What's with that? Not very german-like, sadly. Fortunately, mine are not like that.)
I have their "high leverage" wire cutters. They are amazing! I don't know if you have tried other German tools but once you have used Gedore or Stahlwille or Hazet sockets or wrenches you won't want any thing else. Their precision really helps not rounding corners and my Stahlwille 3/8" drive ratchet fits my hand like a surgical instrument, really incredible the first time you use them. I am going to order some of the cobra pliers later this week. Anyone, best size for work on LC?
likely unneeded, but just so there is no confusion guys: the Cobras will work on hex bolts and nuts or square parts, but I believe the Pliers Wrench are way better for those. OTOH, the Pliers Wrench will be completely worthless on round pipes but the Cobras shine there. Just be prepared for some fine marks on the pipe with the Cobras, they do dig in, but there should be no slipping marks. So I suppose you could say that the Cobras are better in the sense that they will work on both sides, whereas the Pliers Wrench only on one, but the latter is way more fizz-producing for me.
I got the 250mm (10") and 180 (7") IIRC, I like the sizes, they work well around the shop and house for 99% of what I need to do. I could get by with the bigger one only but it is a bit unwieldy for tight spaces.
I also remember being impressed that when shopping for wire cutters, there was a choice based on the hardness of the wire you need to cut. Good Engineering, that.