The Unofficial Vise-Grip Locking Pliers Web Page

Last Updated: 2-Apr-2003
News Flash:Rubbermaid (NWL) bought American Tool Company. (April 11 2002)
Newell Rubbermaid's press release.

75 Years and counting!

The Vise-Grip Locking Pliers were developed more than 75 years ago by Vilhelm "Bill" Petersen in 1924.

Vise-Grip Corporate Information

Vise-Grip (R) is a Registered Trade Mark of Petersen Mfg., Co.,'s locking pliers. Petersen is part of American Tool Companies, Inc. And American Tool is now a part of Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

The text of the trade mark is:
"Hand tools and instruments-namely, pliers and workholding clamps with or without a cutting edge; wrenches, wrenches with wire cutter and welding clamps; and sheet metal bending tool."
First use: 1922-11-06.

Vise-Grip Logo (2KB GIF)

Petersen Mfg. Co., Inc.
108 S. Pear St.
DeWitt, NE 68341
402 683-1525
Established 1913

American Tool Companies, Inc.
Suite 400
8400 Lakeview Parkway
Kenosha, WI 53142
Tel: (414) 947-2440
Fax: (414) 947-2441

On the otherhand Vise-Grips is not trademarked because it is not the name of the tool. The generic name for this sort of tool is "locking-pliers".

American Tool Companies also makes tools under contract for other companies.

Most Vise-Grip locking-pliers have lifetime warranties.  This also includes replacement of the springs. The new web page for springs is:

If you have any questions about Vise-Grip locking-pliers, you can use their feedback form to contact them.  But first, try visiting their Q&A page.

European Locking Pliers

In French, a pair of Vise-Grip locking-pliers are called une paire de pinces étau.

In the United Kingdom, there is a brand of locking pliers called Mole-Grips (TM).

	written on one side

	   Reg'd Trade Mark
	 and on the other-

	   Self-grip Wrench
	     Newport Mon.
	     Gt. Britain

On a recent trip to England I went searching for a pair of Mole-Grip locking-pliers, I discovered that Stanley of UK bought the Mole-Grip name.

101 Uses for a pair of Vise-Grip Pliers

Vise-Grip Variations

Now there is a Vise-Grip multitool called the Toolbox ($20-$30).  Multitools with locking pliers are also make by Kershaw ($100) and Leatherman ($80 - when closed, the jaws retract into the handle).  The Toolbox is not as fancy as the others, but as you'd expect from something with the "Vise-Grip" name, it's a lot sturdier (unlike the others, you can use it as a hammer :).

Something I just stumbled across is the Vise-Grip "Soft Grip Locking Plier". They look normal, except they have blue padded handles.

Vise-Grips come in a variety shapes.  In addition to the conventional pliers, they also have several versions that come with a chain between the jaws for use on pipes and other round objects.  Other versions have flat, paddle shaped jaws, another has has large curved jaws to grap pipes and a new version has specially shaped jaws to grab hexagonal nuts.

American Tools also make tools under contract for other companies.

Some companies like the Eastwood Company (1-800-345-1178) sell Vise-Grip locking-pliers that have been modified for shaping and dimpling sheet metal (see part #31088).

I recently saw a slide-hammer made by OTC that comes with a threaded attachement that uses the same thread as the adjustment screw of a standard pair of Vise-Grip locking-pliers.  So you can replace the adjustment screw and then use the Vise-Grip locking-pliers as part of the slide-hammer.  It's called a "Grip Wrench Adapter" and the part number appears to be "205378".

The French company Facom sells a variety of different styles of locking pliers. The first set looks a bit like Vise-Grips locking pliers, but they're black and the release lever is longer than the handle.

Vise-Grip Code Numbers Explained (and images)

Vise-Grips Quotes

If I'm going to be one of Satan's tools, I want to be Satan's Vise-Grips.
Jane Yolen

Vise-Grips are the wrong tool for every job.
-- Anonymous

With a pair of Vise-Grips and a Sawzall you can solve any problem.
-- Larry Stone

Vise-Grip Stories and Other Gripping Tales

Major Stores That Carry Vise-Grips

More stores will get added to this list as a I get a chance to visit them (or people tell me about them).

A web search for "vise-grips" and "linecard" will turn up a lots of online vendors.

Vise-Grip Web Links

To return to Ben's Home page, click here.
Vise-Grip Table of Contents (TOC).

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I am not associated with American Tool Companies, other than I'm a happy user of their tools.