Which locking pliers do people recommend?

MrGreedy

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Hi fellow MBclub forumites

I'm looking for a recommendation for some quality locking pliers to assist in my continued journey into Mercedes DIY and repair.
I'd be particularly interested in any Mercedes Specialist experiences with these, and brands that have lasted well.
I've got a cheap set with rubbish plastic coverings over the handles. They've lasted okay, but haven't been much pleasure to use. The jaws don't align in the plane of jaw movement. On the bigger set, at the tightest setting there has always been a 1mm gap between the end of the teeth, that means 4mm(ish) or less can't be gripped because the jaws twist and separate. They're okay for grabbing massive bolts that don't need monumental amounts of grip. They are hardly precision engineered absolutely 100% trusty workshop material. By way of example, I've managed with a handful of those cheap silver adjustable wrenches in various sizes that seem to accumulate in various tool boxes, but I got a set of Bahco adjustable wrenchs last year for Christmas, and oh boy are they the nuts. Very precise. No movement in the head. Easy to use. I want a similar experince from a set of vice grips (happy to buy them individually if this is required).

After trawling many reviews, the Stanley Fatmax seem very good, with barely a bad word said. Good jaw alignment and strong teeth and gripping ability.
The standard Stanley seem to be hit-and-miss, but can be had for a good bit less if you shop around. Occasional reports of mis-aligned jaws and poor quality jaw teeth disintergrating. I would buy these expecting to carefully inspect them and the possibility of sending them back for better luck on the next pair.

I've also come across a few reviews of the Irwin vicegrips with soft teeth. But then others have rated them highly.

So, has anyone had any recent amazing experince with some locking pliers?
I'm less interested in 20 year old grips, as the march of capitolism has inevitibly meant that products that were awesome in the past might well be less awesome now (due to cost cutting).
Oh, and budget. I don't mind paying for decent pliers, but I'm not going to spend £100 per tool. Something like the Stanley Fatmax is what I'm hoping for top budget.


250mm Stanley Fatmax Locking Pliers

225mm Stanley Locking Pliers


220mm Stanley Fatmax Long Nose Locking Pliers

215mm Stanley Long Nose Locking Pliers


This Sealey Locking Plier Set has a lifetime guarantee


What about Snap-on. Obviously strong money, but are they worth it?
I've heard in the past of Snap-on lifetime warranty, but does this still exist and how easy would it be for a member of the public to call on this warranty if needed?
And what is the difference between LP series, and Bluepoint?

Interesting to see this LP set is £108 on snap-on website (inc VAT) or £135 on eBay 😅

 
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MrGreedy

MrGreedy

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Just found this on the Snap-on website regarding warranty:

Warranty – Professional Use for Products. Snap-on warrants to Customers who purchase Product from authorized Snap-on distribution channels for use in their profession that Snap-on® brand Products and Blue-Point® brand Products will be free from defects in workmanship and materials for a duration described in each Product's warranty code. The warranty duration depends upon the nature of the Product. If the Product information for purchased Product does not include a warranty statement with the applicable duration or prior to a Product purchase, Customer can obtain the Product warranty code and warranty duration from a selling Snap-on dealer or representative or by writing Snap-on at the address provided at the end of this warranty statement. Consumable Products are warranted, at the time of sale, only against defects in workmanship or materials that prevent their use. Consumable products are goods reasonably expected to be used up or damaged during use, including but not limited to drill bits, saw blades, grinding discs, sanding discs, knife blades, files, O2 sensors and batteries. This warranty only extends to the original Customer and cannot be transferred or assigned.


Worryingly, this sounds like if I buy this as a non-professional, and use it in my non-professional, light home use situation, it might not be covered by any warranty they offer. Or at least Snap-on have given themselves unreasonable wiggle room on this.
Plus, they don't list the warranty for a lot of products on their website, so you have to write to them to find out how long the warranty is.
 

pmcgsmurf

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Wouldn't worry too much about some molegrips.
I usually end up kicking these or hitting with a mash hammer or bigger.

Got lots around here and have never paid much attention to the make, just buy what I need.
 

Dichtung

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As Ted`s post. Vise Grips everytime. Had mine for years. Were made in USA.
 
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MCFastybloke

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23 years ago i got a set from the Snap on Van, they were expensive but i rate them.
 

Bellow

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I've had a pair of Stanley (34-303) vice grips for 4 years. 170mm from the tip of one jaw to the end of the threaded section they've been nimble, strong and reliable. I'd have no qualms about buying the same again. Can't remember the price - a good sign.
Ted's linked ones look worth thinking about.
 
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MrGreedy

MrGreedy

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Yeah, the Visegrip were the original, I assume acquired by Irwin, and preceded the famous Welsh "Mole wrench" by a few decades. At the very reasonable £13 I can afford to give them a bash! 🔨👍
 

Martin 1

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Stanley kit has always been good, you might be surprised how useful the long nose grips ate, I'd be very tempted by that Sealey set, good gear and a reasonable price. The original Molegrip were American and I think you'd be extremely lucky to find any. Good luck.
 
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MrGreedy

MrGreedy

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I've had a pair of those for Donkeys. 👍
I think they stopped making the Mole Wrench ages ago too

Molegrips is, I believe, a generic term? Maybe?
 

Martin 1

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Sorry, not generic, "Molegrip" like Hoover and Biro etc. The only bit of decent kit I had in the '60s lost them ages ago, they were unbreakable and could do anything, expensive, but you gets what you pays for. I've had some cheap grips bought on a whim but they always wound up breaking and twisting as MrGreedy has described.
 

Abcan

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Hi

I was an aircraft technician for 20 years and we only ever used Bluepoint locking wire pliers. Never saw a broken pair in all those years and they would grip even the thinnest gauge wire.
A few friends who are still in the trade say they’re still the ones most use.

 

Abcan

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Whoops sorry. I miss read your original post. 🙈 I was wondering what was wire locked on Mercedes!

Not sure if Bluepoint do locking pliers.
 

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