A year or two after Kershaw and Leatherman came out with their combination locking pliers and multitools, American Tools has come out with the Vise-Grip(TM) Toolbox(R).
This is a nice little multitool. It has two blades and a magnetized 1/4" hex bit holder that comes with a #2 Phillips and a 6-8 Slotted bit. Currently there are two variations. The 5WR (curved jaw) and the 6LC (large capacity). These multitools are identical to the conventional Vise-Grip locking pliers, except that the handle with the release lever has been replaced with a Toolbox.  And like most Vise-Grip tools, the Toolbox comes with a lifetime warranty.
The drop-point knife blade is 2 inches long.  The last 3/4" of the blade is serrated.  The maker's name is not on the blade, but the back of the "Toolbox" says "Schrade" and the packaging says "Schrade Tough Knife Blades". The other blade is has a straight edge that can be used for scrapping.  The base of the scrapping blade has a small 'V' that can be used for stripping wire.
The hex-bit holder locks in place at 90 and 180 degrees, the knife at 180 degrees.  Pressing on the back of the stripper blade allows you to close the two locking implements
The blades are riveted into the handle, so they can't be changed if they break or replaced with other types of blades (unlike the Kershaw Multitool).
It feels a bit weird to hold the the Vice-Grip Toolbox backwards to use the blades, but with a bit of practice you can get used to using it as a screw-driver.
The biggest drawback to the new Vise-Grip Toolbox is the absence of the release lever found on conventional locking pliers. Without it, you may have to struggle to open the handles of the locking pliers, if you've locked them tightly. However, this is also a flaw in the Kershaw and Leatherman multitools. But it's more noticeable with the Toolbox because it's a sturdier tool and you can apply more pressure with its jaws.
If you can only carry one tool, I'd recommend the Vise-Grip Toolbox. But for now, I think I'll continue to carry the standard 5WR and a Swiss Army knife. I like having one tool to hold the nut, and another to turn the bolt. On the other hand, the cost of the Vise-Grip Toolbox ($20-30), a Swiss Army knife, and a pair of belt pouches, can be significantly less than the cost of a locking pliers multitool from Leatherman ($80) or Kershaw ($100).
Return to The Unofficial Vise-Grip Locking Pliers Web Page.
Vise-Grip Table of Contents (TOC).
Return to Ben's Home page
Please send any comments, suggestions, complaints to email@example.com