In our many decades building (wrenching on) airplanes, we’ve run into our fair share of stripped and buggered up screws. Getting them out has always been a challenge – especially since the typical “EZ-Outs” tend to be for bolts and fasteners larger than #6 or #8. So we were excited to give the VamPLIERS a try when an evaluation set showed up in the mail. We were impressed with the units (we got a large and small one) robust and finishes appearance, and they felt solid in the hand – a good sign for any tool. The secret to these pliers seems to be flat-cut edges and corners, curves in the right places, and teeth inside the jaws – the look mean and ready to go to work!
In the box were a couple of demo blocks – thick aluminum cubes that had been drilled and tapped, with screws inserted – and the Phillips heads stripped out. Chucking them up in the vice, we found that even the thin pan-head screw was easy to grab with the VamPliers. The pliers grab just about any protruding fastener better than anything we have ever used.
One thing they won’t do, of course, is to grab a countersunk screw that is set tight with a stripped out head – you need to have something protruding for the VamPliers to grip. But I have often run in to cases where I have had to drill out a countersunk screw and then remove the rest of the shank from a nut plate from the front or back side – and the VamPLIERS did a great job of gripping the remains to get it out.
We think these are a very useful addition to the tool box, and worth a look if you have stubborn or stuck fasteners that need to be wrestled into submission.
More information: Aircraft Tool Supply Company.