Vampliers Pliers | MC TESTED

While a normal pair of pliers can be had for a couple bucks, the VamPLIERS cost $34.95. At first, I was skeptical that they’d be worth the steep price, but since adding the VamPLIERS to my toolbox a few months ago my other pliers have gone mostly unused. Moreover, I’m ready to buy a few pair to gift to friends.

Precision-made in Japan from hardened steel, the VamPLIERS have molded elastomer handles that feel good in your hand and won’t slide off like the rubber-sleeve grips on lesser tools. Spring-loaded jaws make for easy one-handed operation. I use the VamPLIERS for everything from grasping fasteners and cutting wires to crimping electrical connectors.

Nothing there sounds very special. But their most satisfying use is extracting stripped screws, in particular ones securing carburetor float bowls. The VamPLIERS turn what is normally a frustrating procedure into an easy, grip-and-twist affair. They’re simply the best way to grip round-head fasteners that won’t come out the usual way.

That capability is due to the VamPLIERS’ curved jaw tips with horizontal and vertical serrations. These let the VamPLIERS securely grasp stuff that normal pliers or Vise Grips would simply slip off of. Inboard of the VamPLIERS’ specialized jaw tips are deeply serrated concave clamping surfaces ideal for holding larger items. And further inboard are wire-cutting blades, which I’ve used to cleanly sever stuff as robust as steel throttle and speedometer cables. The VamPLIERS have replaced everything except my needle-nose pliers, circlip pliers, and wire strippers. Add a pair to your toolbox and you’ll be amazed how often you reach for them.