Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers Review

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers panel
PTR Review
  • Build Quality 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Ergonomics 10.0
  • Value 8.0

There are more than enough upgrades on these Milwaukee Gen 2 combination pliers to make them a worthy addition to your electrical tool kit.

Overall Score 9.0 (out of 10)

When we reviewed the original Milwaukee 6 in 1 Combination Pliers and the Milwaukee 6 in 1 Long Nose Pliers several years ago, we felt they were adept tools that offered a lot of features most electricians would find extremely useful. Indeed, our own Ben Parker who does this kind of work for a living, agreed wholeheartedly once we put them into his hands. Now, the revamped Milwaukee Gen II combination wire pliers offer even more capabilities and ease of use.

While the new Milwaukee Gen II combination wire pliers are technically a complete redesign, users of the existing pliers won’t be dealing with something completely unfamiliar. Instead, Milwaukee tweaked enough features (likely based on feedback from Pros) to give this tool a better edge and to make it even more flexible and usable for electricians in the field.

If the original 6-in-1 was a compelling hand tool for electricians, the new combination wire pliers are even more so and reflect a maturity of the hand tool that we can really appreciate. Plus, at just around $20, it’s an easy call to simply grab one at your local dealer and stick it in your electrician’s bag or tool kit.

Milwaukee 48-22-3079 Features and Enhancements

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers opening

The new Milwaukee 6-in-1 wire strippers have a wider open then the first generation product–by a full 1/8-inch. On top of that, this wider open is possible with the same handle opening width. Milwaukee pulled this off by adjusting the way the handle angles out from the central pivot point.

The handle spring has also been decreased in size, so it closes a bit easier (for less hand fatigue), and the locking mechanism is a much more robust one-handed metal latch instead of the two-handed plastic slide clip. Previously you had to grasp the tool in one hand and use your other hand to raise or lower the locking slide. I love the ease of use with this new system.

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers lock

The jaws of the new Milwaukee Gen II 6-in-1 wire strippers maintain their width now—all the way down to the tip, and there’s a larger but less aggressive reaming angle for the ridges on the sides of the cutters.

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers jaws

The wire strippers now handle down to 8 gauge solid and 10 gauge stranded, and the cutters are arced–more like try cable cutters. This gives you a lot more cutting capability and cables cut with much less force required. The shape also holds cables in place so they don’t ride up the blade as you cut.

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers AWG

Lastly, the new Milwaukee Gen II combination wire pliers and strippers have holes in the base of the handles, so they’re ready for tethering—important if you’re working up in the air and need to secure your tools from falling to the ground when dropped.

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers Details

  • Reaming head (from 1/2″ to 1″)
  • #6 and #8 bolt cutter
  • Wire stripper (8-18 AWG solid; 10-20 AWG stranded)
  • Locking
  • Curved cutting blade
  • Forged alloy steel
  • Tether-ready handle loops
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 0.67 x 2.03 in.
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs

Using the Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers

This week one of the projects we had on our plate was to wire up a 30A 220V circuit for a washer and dryer. That involves cutting and stripping back 10-gauge wire for both the washer and dryer end as well as the 30A breaker in the electrical panel. As I expected, the Milwaukee Gen II combination wire pliers cut our wires cleanly and easily. The gauges for cutting solid wire are quite accurate, and there were no nicks or scratches to the copper when we were finished.

Milwaukee Gen II Combination Wire Pliers stripping

For some other applications, we grabbed the Milwaukee 48-22-3079 cutting pliers and did some manual inside pipe reaming for 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch EMT conduit by inserting them within the pipe. For the outside we just used the ample opening space between the jaws and twisted them around the outside edge.


There are enough upgrades on these cutting pliers to make them a worthy addition or upgrade to your kit. Obviously, first-time buyers will be advantaged as it may be hard to justify an upgrade at around $20, but for those looking for a great multi-use tool, the price is just about perfect.

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