I've mentioned in a previous post that I worked in the picture framing industry for about 16 years. During that time I've stretched every type of canvas and fabric that you could imagine. In fact, for one employer I managed the stretching department that had crews of people stretching hundreds of canvas edition prints everyday, so I've used just about every type of stretching device that you can think of, from pneumatic machines to cheap art supply store pliers. For high volume work, you really can't beat the big machinery, but for hand stretching these are the best tools on the market.
I personally use the "Three Inch Side-Tack Pliers" because I prefer the traditional side stapled approach where my paintings are stretched on standard bars and are finished with the picture frame, rather than the gallery wrap approach where the painting is on taller stretcher bars, stapled on the back and hung without framing. I've used all three versions and they all work great for their intended uses. The main difference between these and other canvas pliers is that stronger gripping and leverage can be achieved with considerably less effort which makes the process faster, more controlled and with less hand fatigue. Their website says it best...
"All three of our canvas plier designs now fit in your hand even better. Our new comfortable handle grips are ergonomically-designed with a soft rubber top where the force of your hand engages. Plus a slightly longer handle gives you more leverage and more room to comfortably position your hand. The fulcrum is what really gives you the power, the lever action helps you really pull tight. You can maintain even tension with much more ease. When you release pressure, our pliers still spring open the machine-textured jaws. The jaws are also angled toward the front edge, leaving a gap at the back of the jaws for excess fabric. Plus some people have requested a locking mechanism, now all three models have one available."
I guarantee that you'll love these canvas pliers, and that they are guaranteed to last your whole lifetime." - John Annesley
Agreed! They are a must for anyone who stretches their own canvas.