Parallel Pliers

Has anyone bought parallel pliers recently? Are they anything like
the quality of the Maun English pliers of 20 years ago? Where did
you buy them? I recently ordered a pair from Stuller and they were
shoddy, light metal and very poorly finished. I ordered a second
pair from Frei and they were the same low quality. I would
appreciate knowing if anyone knows where to get the good ones.

Thanks, Carol

I’m not acquainted with the Maun pliers…

I’ve two pair of Sargent (6") parallel pliers…one with the
built on top wire cutter, and a little 4-1/2 pair…

These are not pretty, Re: finish…
Think…more like vise-grip finish…

They are definitely not flimsy, jaw lineup is perfect…

The wire cutter one isn’t even bothered by music wire…

An aside…the standard vice grip (the real McCoy) that has wire
cutters, will also cut music wire without being damaged…learned
that from a lead guitar back when I played roadie for a
bit…watching him replace some strings…

The jaws on the 4-1/2 have been smoothed and thinned…work nice
for prongs on pre-sets…

As far as I know…Sargent pliers do not come with smooth
jaws…but they do have a v-groove on one jaw, and if you’re dealing
with long stuff you can feed though them…

They’re more for heavy-duty things you want to do to…them…

The Rio Tool catalog I have shows some nice looking parallel
pliers…English make… Though, since I already have me old
standbys…haven’t seen any in person…

Not sure if Sargent still makes the little one…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)

Good question, Carol. We also bought a pair from Stuller that were
definitely inferior to what I bought 20 some odd years ago. These
were the chain nose and the ends did’t match up. I finally stuck the
jaws in a vice and put a wrench on the handles, gave a good twist,
and now have proper alignment.

It seems that as so many items of tooling head for high tech the
traditional tools are all inferior quality Indian or Chinese
replicas of the real thing.

On the high tech front, we bought, less than three months ago and
from Stuller, the Mini Mag tumbler. We’re light users so it seemed a
good choice. We are now returning it for repair because it has
developed a significant rhythmic vibration and won’t hold speed. It
keeps going to super fast creating a vortex and plastering pieces and
media against the wall of the bowl.

I’ve read enough on this discussion group to keep away from ABI
equipment and I’m leary of any and all new technology now purely on
the durability issue. Apparently there has been a lot of problems at
Stuller’s with the PUK stuff as well (info from an insider).

As I have no solutions other than suggesting we complain long and
loudly whenever we receive shoddy goods I’ll just view this post as
theraputic expression of my own frustrations.

Les Brown

The original plier is called a Bernard- now sold by Sargent. see:

The side cutters are widely used by sportfishermen particularly for


All suppliers that I am aware of carry the made in england aluminum
parallels in three styles with lightly knurled handles. there are
also some less expensive Indian made ones on the market, from online
auction 'stores"-While I generally don’t promote specific
wholesalers or retailers,nor on line auction servers, Finding King on
Ebay has the Indian made lesser quality pliers available in flat,
chain nose styles. But Maun Are readily available from Contenti
jewelers supply in Rhode Island via the www around 16 bucks for flat
and chain nose and possibly the serrated groove down the middle ones

Santa Fe Jewelers Supply has a line of parallel pliers, one of which
I have and like. You can find them at

I had to align them ( smack them with a three pound sledge) so the
sides were even.

Richard Hart