Photo: Ted Morrison
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Gentle Jaws

For all-around ease of use, it's tough to top this Knipex plier-wrench, which gets the editor's nod for its versatility. Its slim, satin-smooth jaws can reach nuts inaccessible to other tools, or put the squeeze on plated plumbing fixtures up to 2 inches in diameter without damaging the finish. The unique cam-action design multiplies grip strength tenfold.

12-inch, about $45;
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