General Purpose Tools

Vampliers Screw Extraction Pliers

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Remove stripped/rusted/stuck screws, nuts, and bolts

I received these Vampliers Screw Extraction Pliers ($27) as a Christmas gift last year from my son who uses them at work. They are the best thing I’ve ever used for extracting stripped screws, nuts, or bolts. They also work great on all varieties of security screws and to pull pins.

The 5-inch size (actually 4.75 inches) is ideal for personal electronics work such as fixing cell phones, DIY electronics projects, etc. The jaws have serrations running both vertically and horizontally that allow you to grab the outside of a screw (bolt, nut, pin, etc.) and turn or pull it.

The downside is that, of course, they won’t work on recessed fasteners or those against the side of a cavity. You have to be able to get the jaws around the outside of the fastener.

On all but the most hardened fasteners, these pliers are definitely going to leave a mark on the outside rim. If you are trying to get out a stripped fastener, you probably don’t care. But if it is something you want to use again (e.g. those pesky security screws), be careful how much pressure you apply with the pliers.

I’ve also found these to be incredibly useful for putting IN small screws, nuts, etc. Because you can grab the fastener with the end of the jaws (as well as the side), it makes quick work of putting in those tiny little screws and getting them started. Then you can finish the job with a regular screwdriver.

Vampliers are well constructed. I don’t feel like I’m going to break them every time I pick them up. The handles are very sturdy and the jaws are hardened steel. Nothing I’ve done to them has damaged the serrations on the jaws at all. Vampire Tools makes several sizes and styles of Vampliers, including an 8 inch “lineman’s pliers” version. After using the 5″ version I put the lineman’s pliers on my Christmas list this year!

-- James Brown 12/21/18