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Vise Grip Pliers


This pair of vise-grip pliers has been with me for about 20 years and were old when I got them. Vise-grip pliers were first patented in 1924 and have been made in various configurations ever since. Sometime in the 40's the patent expired and a bunch of knock-offs were created, but in my opinion, none of the cheap ones can rival the original. Generally the copies don't clamp as smoothly or feel awkward in the hand. The original Vise-Grips are contoured to fit your hand well.

I find that this seve inch pair works best for most things. They are small and light enough to fit in the toolbelt easily. The larger size is OK, but for bigger work I'd usually reach for channel-locks or lineman's pliers or a wrench so the smaller ones get more use. They also make a variety for clamping things while welding and for bending sheetmetal. The welding ones are OK, but the sheetmetal working ones are kind of a waste. I get better results beating on the tin with a block of wood.

The picture shows the only real problem with them - the plating is not that robust so they tend to get rust spots and corrosion and start looking bad. This doesn't affect their function much, and to be fair, these are quite old, but I have other old tools which don't look like this.

A small pair of these should be in every toolbox to hold and pinch things and even cut wire. Just don't use them on any fasteners you want to reuse.

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    This is a single article from STUFF dated February 28, 2006.

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