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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-26-2005 09:39 AM
modas Wow,

Thanks for all the replies. I happened to see some non Irwin vice grips at a tool sale this weekend. I tried them out, and I couldn't even get them to lock with nothing in the jaws.

I think Irwin will definately be the route I'm going to take. I'll just have to take away the kid's lunch money for a while....
09-26-2005 03:17 AM
Jake_Dragon The little pads are good for sheet metal work. More is better, the less your parts move around the better.
I welded in a dust control shop for 6 years and we welded everything from 16 gage to 3/8 steel.
A 30 foot seam on a 16 gage dust hood would move all over the place if you didn't get enough clamps on it.
09-25-2005 07:37 AM
Neil Hochstedler Yeah, I guess 2 of those would be enough, unless you were into cows...
A simple 4 sided angle iron frame clamped to a welding table needs 8 ViseGrips just to weld the corners. Something like a three shelved tool cart can use more than 30. I'm working on a roll cage for a Jeep right now that's using at least 20 (I haven't counted).... I'd like to own more of the 11" but ain't gonna pay retail.
09-24-2005 12:33 PM
gROCERYgEtteR unless they are nipple clamps ....I mean really how many pairs of those can one person need? c-clamps work too and you don't have to be as brand picky.
09-24-2005 05:52 AM
Neil Hochstedler Agreed that the real Vise-grip welding clamps are worth buying. I've bought offbrands a couple times and regretted it.
I use mine for mostly structural welding- 1/4" thick and up and have found that the most usefull size is 11", followed closely by the 6". Never used the 9" so don't know about those. The 18 and 24" aren't great tools, even the real ones are springy and tend to twist, but when you need the reach, there's just no substitute for them. I have a couple 24", about 20 of the 11" and 6 of the 6", all regular tip. The swivel tips are pretty useless, IMHO, and just a gizmo to extract more wampum from the wallet.
If you've got the time to look and aren't using them a lot, C-clamps might work for you. They're not nearly as fast to use as Visegrips, but are way cheaper, especially used.
There's no such thing as owning too many clamps!

09-24-2005 04:36 AM
gROCERYgEtteR Even me old red you have to go Vise grip if you don't you'll try to clamp something the damn lever will fall out of the back and and then you'll have to use two hands to put it back together, your piece will have moved and then you get to start the whole cycle over. Come over you can barrow a couple of mine but if you don't bring them back......... I'll sick red on ya.
09-23-2005 09:29 PM
oldred Hey you guys make me feel better, I thought maybe I had given bad advice at first, maybe not.
09-23-2005 08:48 PM
skeeveman Yeah, stick with the actual vise grip brand. Another cool trick to do with them is to weld a 7/8's nut....or some other nut of that the thumbscrew on them. This saves your fingers, and when you manage to get them so tight you cant get them can just put the appropiate wrench on there, and bam....removed with no blisters.

Maybe that should of been a tip of the day, hehe.
09-23-2005 08:47 PM
Bee4Me Yes. VISE GRIP for SURE.
I have the harbor set of 3 and they are CRAP!!!!!
Did I mention they are CRAP??? YES,They are.Twist off and BEND like they were made from CHEAPainium. Bigiest POS I ever got from harbor.

I have a couple of pair of real vice grip's with the swivel "pod's" on the end's and they RULE!!!
Like Brian stated,Get a couple at a time and before you know it,You got a good set to clamp with.
09-23-2005 08:00 PM
rrmccabe VICE GRIP. Period.

Its not just one weld you will used them on. You can use them forever on everything. Not just body sheetmetal. Need to discipline the kinds Oh better not go there.

If you have ever had a pair twist or pinched your fingures trying to latch/release a pair you will wish you had the real ones.

MARTINSR, I like your brothers saying
09-23-2005 07:28 PM
IROC100 The one tool that I will not skimp on are Vise Grips, don't buy the cheap off the wall brands. I bought a pair once and when I went to tighten them they twisted and I was unable to use them, I gave them to some one I didn't like. Spent the couple of extra dollars and buy Vise Grips. You should start out with a pair that are at least 5"-6" deep and then as time goes on you will find what other sizes you will need. Also one pair of one size is never going to be enough once you start doing body work. I don't even know how many pairs I have, I just know that when I started my brother in laws Chevelle, I didn't have enough, so he went and bought some more. Good luck.
09-23-2005 12:58 PM
oldred No reason to spend $35 on a tool for two welds-That makes sense, Sometimes I tend to get a little carried away when it comes to tools I use every day and I guess I assume everyone else intends to use them as much as I do What would not make sense is to spend the 200 bucks on the craftsman set to use them only a couple of times so you guys are right, I spoke up without really looking at the whole situation
09-23-2005 11:08 AM
MARTINSR Red, I am stonch (sp?) anti HF, 90% if what they have out and out garbage. The problem is it is a crap shoot. I bought a couple small locking pliers one there one day. One I use every day, the other I tossed in the garbage can the first day I TRIED to use it. It wouldn't even hold it's own weight!

My brother has a very profound staying, "I have never said Damn I wish I would have bought the cheap tool".

Modas, this isn't brain surgery. Just take your time, look at the rocker and see what pliers would be needed to hold it together. Go to the store, see what makes sense. I personally like the little tiny ViceGrips to hold "pinch welds" where you have two pieces of metal welded together right at the edge. Then, "C" clamps for the deeper welds that can't be reached. And listen, there is no reason to buy a thirty five dollar 24" deep ViceGrip for two welds. Use a small self taping screw and then after doing your plug weld remove the screw and weld up the hole.

09-23-2005 10:28 AM
oldred I meant the HF brands and I was not thinking about them having the genuine ViseGrip, which they do at a good price , but as far as the el-cheapo brands being ok for welding and clamping work I still have to disagree because my experience with the things is that they poorly made and tend to come apart, twist under the slightest pressure and bend out of shape when you need them to apply heavy clamping force which is sometimes needed.
09-23-2005 10:19 AM
Originally Posted by oldred
This is one item I would recommend not buying at Harbor Freight or any off-brand since you would find your self replacing them quite often and they will fall apart when you need them most. ViseGrip is THE way to go.
Depends on which one's you are getting. If you need jaws like for turning something, I would only stick with Visegrip. If you are just need the C type clamps, then I have used the Harbor Freight ones with no problems. If you are just using them to clamp something and not expecting to torque anything with them, they should be just fine.
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