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Vampire Tool’s patented VamPLIERS are advertised as a multipurpose screw remover, and they’re very good at it. The jaws have vertical serrations as well as the standard horizontal ones, making it much easier to grip and remove screws. I was able to remove the round head screw from the simple demo block Vampire Tools sent with my trusty Leatherman, but the truss head proved more difficult. I encountered a lot of slip during the process, and had to put a ton of pressure on my tool to get the truss head removed. With the Vampliers, I didn’t have any problems removing both screws while holding the tool vertically, and met little resistance in the form of slip.

One of the minor downsides to the VamPLIERS is the small gap left between the jaws upon closing. It measures in at a measly 0.025″, but that’s enough to prevent you from grasping anything much thinner than 1/32″. Thankfully, grasping thin materials isn’t what the VamPLIERS are meant for, so this should be easy to overlook. The wire cutters do close flush, meaning you won’t find a wire too small to snip.

Unlike a lot of sprung, hinged hand tools, the VamPLIERS spring is of high quality, and embedded deep into each handle, and extremely unlikely to get loose or damaged. If you prefer tools that take up as little space as possible, like me, you may be a bit disappointed to find that these pliers will stay open in your toolbox. A simple lock would’ve been great, but the overall high quality of this tool makes that pretty easy to overlook.

As Sean found with theĀ PH-55 Scissors, the VamPLIERS designers have given into the temptation to “sexify” the handles with highly stylized moldings. Nevertheless, I think they look fantastic, although they definitely aren’t “cushioned,” as the packaging claims. Thankfully though, they aren’t uncomfortable, and there’s no way you’ll set them down because of their lack of “cushiness.” Another neat aesthetic feature of the VamPLIERS is the option to get one of the jaws custom engraved for that special handyperson in your life.

The $35 price tag is definitely extreme, but overall these pliers are rugged, great to look at, and perform a useful and unusual function very well.

VamPLIERS Screw Extraction Tool

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Product Development Engineer at MAKE. He creates kits and sources products for sale in the Maker Shed, focusing primarily on manufacturing. Occasionally he writes about cool things for the blog and magazine.


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Comments

  1. $35 is “extreme”? Man, look at jewelry-making pliers – $50+ are “bargain basement” – easily $150+ (and worth it) for good ones!

  2. Adam says:

    I’d like to see them remove a pan-head screw. Actually any type of screw recessed below the surface. Why not just a screw removing bit?

  3. Adam says:

    A pair of Klein Lineman’s pliers will do the exact same thing. Not to mention, are useful for stripping and splicing wire.

  4. Chris W says:

    I have PZ-56 screw removing pliers made by the “Engineer” brand. They look like regular slip-joint pliers except the end which looks like these. They don’t damage the inside of the screw head, so if it wasn’t previously damaged you can re-use it. Lineman’s pliers don’t have the vertical teeth so unless there is a lot of clearance to the side you won’t be able to grip the screw as securely. I have used them many times to remove pan head screws which co-workers were about to drill out. Of course, countersunk screws require other methods.

    1. Chris W says:

      It looks like the Vampliers are made by Engineer Inc. They are sold under a few different brand names.
      BTW, these are spec’ed up to 5mm pan head screws, but I have used them on 6mm/0.25″ screws without them slipping.

  5. I bought a pair of Engineer screw extraction pliers the other day. I’ve put some photos on Flickr, which I think show the similarities with the Vampliers:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/8112026312

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/8112016713

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/8112025130

    The handles on my version are green instead of the red handles of the Vampliers.

  6. [...] Posted by Eric Weinhoffer | Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 4:06 PM [...]

  7. Bob says:

    This is of doubtful use,…notice that these pliers would be more or less useless for any other use due to the ‘mutilated’ jaws. A ‘vise-grip’ type of locking pliers are far better for the job and already in any reasonably comprehensive tool kit.

  8. practical says:

    or just get a vicegrip

    1. practical says:

      Vise grip* /tired

  9. [...] response to Tool Review: VamPLIERS Screw Extraction Tool, Chris W [...]

  10. Drew Peacock says:

    These pliers are indeed just rebranded Engineer Inc (Japan) PZ-58 neji-saurus screw pliers. For those in Europe/UK etc (& don’t want to suffer high P&P sourcing from Japan or the States), I sourced mine from here….

    http://www.precisionhandtools.co.uk/screw-pliers/engineer-pz-58-neji-saurus-gt-multi-purpose-pliers-with-screw-extractor-jaws

    Nice tool

  11. Thomas Heekin says:

    You can find them here http://www.thetoolpeople.com/product-p/vmpvt-001.htm for $31 although its not a ton cheaper every little bit counts

  12. Richard Andrews says:

    I purchased another brand — also from Japan; perhaps an Engineer offshoot? — a few years ago and have been very happy with them. Invaluable when the need arises. The ones I purchased came from here http://www.screw-pliers.com/index.php?pr=Product_Detail

  13. Richard Andrews says:

    Follow-up note: Just checked the website I mentioned above and it says the pliers are indeed made by Engineer, Inc.

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