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About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger


My Engineering Web: RF Cafe

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Airplanes And Rockets Copyright 1996 - 2026

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

My Main Modeling Websites

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and RocketsAcademy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg

How to Recondition Vise-Grip Pliers

How to Recondition Vise-Grip Pliers - Airplanes and RocketsMy Vise-Grip pliers have performed a lot of hard duty over the decades. Many rusted nuts and bolts would still be unremoved if it weren't for their sharp, corrugated locking jaws. I have 10" w/cutter (10WR), 7" w/cutter (7WR), , 7" w/o cutter (7R), , 4" w/cutter (4WR), and 6" long nose (6LN) models. These are all manufactured under the Petersen Manufacturing Company name, before they bought Irwin, who now manufactures Vise-Grips. Even high quality tools eventually show signs of wear after decades of use and abuse. A few of mine had jaws worn down to the point where they no longer would "bite" into the bolt head or nut being clamped.

I was about to buy a couple new pairs of Vise-Grips, but then wondered if I could recondition the jaws to put the pointed shape back on the jaws with a triangle file. Being hardened steel, a lot of times a standard file will barely scratch the surface, but in this case I managed to dress the jaws of four pairs of Vise-Grips before the file (Nicholson 6" double taper triangle) got dull. It will probably dress a couple more if I hunt for sharp areas left on the file. The faces of the file are still good so it's not a total loss. Trading off a $10 file (which had a lot of previous use) for about $50-$60 worth of Vise-Grips is a good deal.

As you can see in the photos, the jaws were clamped in a bench vise and the the triangular file was used to shape the teeth into sharp points. I don't know whether the original "V" groove was 60° as was created with the triangular file, but it is certainly better than the blunt edge.

This Vise-Grip sharpening tip is good not just for performing some preventative maintenance on your pliers, but if you get into a situation where you desperately need a working pair of Vise-Grips for an in-process job, now you have an option. "Necessity is the mother of invention," as the saying goes. My necessity came when trying to remove a drain plug from an oil pan that the previous "professional" mechanic must have put in with an air impact wrench.



Posted December 3, 2018

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets