Wrenches, Drivers, Pliers & Socket Reviews

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier


Pro Review

Build Quality
Feature Set
Ergonomics
Performance
Value
Final Thoughts

I'd love to see this in a 9-inch version for more leverage as well as a crimper but that would only improve upon an already excellent tool, especially for residential electrical work.

Overall Score 4.3 Multi-Function Pliers
Readers Rating
6 votes
3.9

Any tool that can successfully combine several functions is worth considering: it means a lighter load, more space in the tool bag, and fewer things to lose! But merging tools can sometimes compromise the utility of the individual functions, so manufacturers must walk a fine line. Fortunately, Southwire’s been in this business for a while so I’m hoping they can thread the needle. Today I get to tell you about the Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier and how it performs on the job.

First Impressions

These Southwire pliers are on the lighter and shorter side. This compact design can certainly be a benefit as well as a challenge: it doesn’t take up much room, but does it possess the leverage to cut easily?

We’ll find out soon enough! In any event, the rubberized grip is quite comfortable.

The tool can ream conduit, cut wire, strip 8-14 AWG solid and 10-16 stranded wire, shear 6-32 and 8-32 screws, crimp (though it lacks a dedicated crimper), and of course, be a regular pair of pliers. It’s been drop forged and features a what Southwire claims is a high-leverage joint.

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If you’ve done both commercial and residential work, or if you just look at the wire stripping gauges of the Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier, you’ll realize that this tool is best suited for residential work. Even so, part of this review will be performed at a large commercial installation to push its limits and see how it performs.

Pliering My Trade

This installation is part of the restoration of a building long neglected in our downtown area that’s undergoing a revival thanks to the local economic development council and new businesses. The shell of the building is pretty much all that remains – everything else is or will be new. I’ve been hard at work installing an 800-amp meter bank.

So with the understanding that I brought this seemingly fine tool to a jobsite that might challenge it at every turn, I set out to give it a fair examination. Before the review was over, I loaned the tool to a fellow electrician to get his take as well and considered his input in this review.

Cutting Wire

I can really only ask this tool to cut the largest gauge wire that it’s designed to strip. In cutting 8 AWG and 10 stranded, it does just fine but of course, there’s a trade-off with the compactness: less leverage. Other things equal, it’s easier to cut wire if the handles are longer. Some reviewers complained that they didn’t like the cutting force but for the length, it’s actually satisfactory. It’s just an 8-inch tool’s leverage. Now all these features wrapped into a 9-inch plier?

I’m interested! Southwire does have 9-inch side cutting pliers but the tool lacks the multi-function of the Linesman’s, so leverage is a limitation.

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman's Multi-Tool Plier

 Reaming Conduit

The Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier does well reaming conduit between 0.5- and 1-inch. So far the tool is doing a fine job combining at least two functions into one satisfactorily.

Shearing Screws

The multi-tool shears 6-32 and 8-32 screws with ease. The holes are threaded to make shearing a little easier – tapping these was a nice touch. Again, these tasks that rely on leverage would be easier with longer handles, but it’s acceptable for the 8-inch length.

Stripping Wire

I stripped several sizes of wire of both AWG and stranded variety without a problem. The Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier handily removed the insulation to expose the metal beneath.

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman's Multi-Tool Plier

General Plier Tasks

The pliers have ample teeth and a broad surface to provide a strong grip on whatever you tell it to bite. I wouldn’t refuse more leverage, of course, but it’s not as critical for this function.

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman's Multi-Tool Plier

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The Bottom Line

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman's Multi-Tool Plier

It’s not easy to combine tools without compromising the utility of some or all of them. But Southwire has really pulled it off with the Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier that is at once a wire stripper, screw shearer, side cutter, conduit reamer, and general plier.

Wire cutting is satisfactory, although the trade-off for the compact size is less leverage than I’d like. It reams conduit, strips wire, and shears screws with ease. As a general plier, it works exceedingly well, too.

I’d like to see this model come out in a 9-inch version to offer more leverage. For a plier in this category, I’d also suggest adding a wire crimper, perhaps just above or below the stripper section.

Overall, I was quite impressed with these compact pliers and can easily recommend them. Coming in around $34, it will save your tool belt and tool bag a lot of weight and space plus the cost of several individual tools!

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier Features

  • Drop forged construction
  • High-leverage pivot joint
  • Strips 8-14 AWG solid wire and 10-16 stranded wire
  • NO. 6-32 and 8-32 screw shearing

Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier Specifications

  • Model number: MPSCP
  • Height: 8 inches
  • Width: 3.75 inches
  • Depth: 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $34.10

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5 Comments on "Southwire 8-Inch Linesman’s Multi-Tool Plier"

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Kevin
Guest
Looks like they almost got this right, I would much rather have the extra inch in length to reduce a days full of effort for the sake of compactness (and weight) not a good trade off for the professional. I’m probably in the minority but sometimes these “compact” tools fall to the bottom of my tool belt pouch because they’re short enough to fit, where the longer ones tend to stay more upright and negate the need to “go fishing” when they’ve settled to the bottom. I could be wrong but the last picture clearly shows threads in the 6-32… Read more »
Adam Spafford
Member

Good catch on the threaded shearers, Kevin – thanks! The cutting edge is roughly a half inch and the stripper is only labeled on one side. The opening on the side you see is the same on the other side of the plier. Thanks again.

Kevin
Guest

So you’re saying there is no opening on the backside of the cutter? I can see a glimpse of a rounded cutout in one of the pictures in the article so I’ll assume its round, but some designs can be cumbersome if they don’t offer a broad/wide enough opening, that’s why I ask, of course a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words…

Kenny Koehler
Admin

Hey Kevin, I just added a reverse photo to the bottom of the review for you to see. It’s from a stock photo since our Electrician has it in the field, but I hope it helps answer your questions.

Thanks for your feedback!

Kevin
Guest

That’s very helpful, thanks.

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