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Think of Strong Hand Tools’ Expand-O pliers like a pair of Vice-Grips (or Vice-Grip knock-offs) in reverse — squeezing the handles spreads and locks the jaws rather than clamping them down. The “jaws” can exert 500 lbs. of spreading pressure and, just like your Vice-Grips, a lever quickly releases them when you’re finished spreading.

Strong Hold Tools uses heat-treated steel in the construction of the Expand-O pliers and nickel/chrome-plates it to resist corrosion. They sell two versions: the 6-1/2″ PE6 and 10″ PE10. The jaws of the PE6 have a 3/4″ stroke and the PE10’s have a 1-3/8″ stroke. One of the jaws has a threaded hole, 5/16″-18 for the PE6 and 3/8″-16 for the PE10, so you can use a longer or shorter bolt depending on the spreading application. The other jaw swivels to keep it flat against whatever you’re spreading.

Pricing for the 6-1/2″ pliers starts at $15. The 10″ pliers will run you at least $22.

Expand-O Pliers [Strong Hand Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Expand-O Pliers [Harbor Freight]

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13 Responses to Vice-Grips From Bizzaro World

  1. Toolhearty says:

    Interesting, but I can’t think of any instance where I had something that was already apart by an inch or so and needed to spread it further. If I had these in the toolbox, I’d probably still reach for the prybar (and a block).

    The heavy-duty L-handle adjuster is pretty cool, though (so long as it doesn’t get in the way).

  2. fred says:

    Might come in handy as a light-duty “sky-hook” – shove it in the right sized hole in a wall – squeeze the handles then hang your coat off of the end of the clamp. Seems pretty limited.

  3. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    The design looks so specific, it must be useful for something. The layout, with the special adjusting bolt on one side and the heavy duty swivel pad on the other, and the funny detail around the part of the jaw that the bolt threads through all make me think it has a specific purpose.

    The more I look at it, the more it doesn’t work as a general purpose tool – the swivel pad is nice & sturdy, but the head of the adjusting bold would be damaged in no time at all under the regular use (abuse) like Vice-Grips see.

    Then again, their web site says they are general purpose.

    Somebody must know more about this one!

  4. Mike47 says:

    I have one of these. I bought it because it seemed so nifty and cool, and I had never seen one before. I’ve never found a use for it yet.

  5. Ted says:

    I’m with MeasureOnce, looks like someone is trying to get some extra mileage out of a specialty tool. This one looks pretty fancy but you can find tons of simpler specialized grippers, pliers and toggles in a DeStaCo or Carr Lane catalog. This one looks like it would be useful to welder/fabricators for taming tubes that want to move around when they get hot.

  6. Dave P says:

    Is that a copper-clad screw I see? Because that would indicate it’d be useful for welding setups, which if you think about it makes sense. “The hooded ones” use all kinds of weirdo locking pliers.

  7. george says:

    i could see it in some situations that need some pushing while welding and ya need both hands. i’ve been looking at one for years but havn’t needed it yet but i know where i can get one.

  8. browndog77 says:

    How ’bout this? You need to weld on a length of pipe & need a way to secure a ground without contacting the outside surface of said pipe.

  9. Bruce Caldwell says:

    Stronghand tools are designed primarily for the welder/fitter in mind & I have a pretty good collection started, including these, which i’ve found useful in my job already. They’re actually priced decently & better quality than similar Irwin vice grip stuff.

  10. David says:

    I immediately imagined a welding application where two pieces of sheet under compression (probably from being joined at the ends) needed to be precisely spaced apart. You can’t rely on wedges to get you to <1mm easily, nor is cutting lengths of tube or bar stock going to do it either, so you get these set, spread the sheet apart and weld in the spacers.

    Something like that. Work with me here, it’s late.

  11. Ryan says:

    Would’ve been useful the other day for taking a stuck rotor off a hub… although looking at the amount of stripping (from a box wrench!) that occurred on the reversed bolt’s nut, 500lbs might not have been enough.

  12. Jeff says:

    Used these the other day to help twist out an old corroded drain from a bathtub that was missing the crossbars. Worked like a charm!

  13. Caleb says:

    I need these to open up the receiver on my AK where I crushed it with a bench vise.

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