In this guide we’ll look at the best mole grips.
We’ve compared weight, range of sizes, construction material and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Mole Grip?
More Detailed Mole Grip Reviews
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Knipex 41 04 250 mm Grip Pliers Review
Knipex are one of the World’s most trusted tool manufacturers, and make the best locking pliers that we have ever tested. The parts have all been properly machined and fit together perfectly, with no lateral wobble.
We really liked the attention to detail on the knurled bolt handle and the spring action lever. Knipex Grip Pliers were easy to operate one-handed and allowed for great accuracy in setting the jaw diameter of these vice grips. The red detailing on the release lever is a nice touch as well.
Our favourite feature of the best mole grips on this list is the wire cutting section. Sharp enough to cut heavy gauge wire using the lever action, we can see this being useful in plenty of situations in the future.
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Irwin 10WRC Visegrip Curved Jaw 250mm Locking Plier Review
Irwin are considered to be the original US locking plier manufacturer with over 100 years of experience making a huge range of capable tools. The Irwin 10WRC pliers are no exception. Using heat-treated alloy steel and chrome plating, these adjustable grips are as tough as you’d expect.
The adjusting bolt felt smooth and secure, and there was no sideways movement in the jaws when clamped. The jaw grips come together at a point, which helps when you need to grip odd shapes or small objects.
With an excellent span of nearly 50 mm, they’re the best locking pliers that you can buy from Irwin right now in this size.
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Stanley FMHT0-74886 Fatmax 250mm Locking Mole Grip Curve Jaw Pliers Review
Stanley’s Fatmax curve jaw pliers are innovative in their design and offer an excellent set of vice grips that have advanced geometry, to make the grip even and stop slippage. The black coating makes these locking pliers stand out from traditional mole grips and will stop them from ever rusting.
There were two features that made these the best locking pliers we’ve seen from Stanley so far. The first is the eyebolt adjuster. This was easy to grip on its own, but you could also use a screwdriver for extra torque or turning speed.
The second feature that makes this set of jaw grips stand out against the rest is the patented Trulock button on the side. With this engaged, the jaw grips will not spring open in your tool box or come loose when gripped onto the workpiece.
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Milwaukee MIL48223420 250mm Locking Pliers Review
This Milwaukee Torque Lock line of tools are well suited for the job, with chrome vanadium plating and aggressive Maxbite teeth inside the jaws themselves. The handy wire cutters made an appearance here as well, making these mini mole grips a more versatile tool.
We liked the red adjuster eyebolt feature the most; it gives the adjuster the leverage it needs when you really need to grip something tight. And as the lightest set of vice grips on this list, we think they’re the best small mole grips in this price range.
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Irwin Visegrip 4 inch Long Nose Plie Review
If you’re looking for the best long nose mole grips, then look no further than these excellent Irwin Vise-Grip pliers. When you need to get into tight spaces, the long nose is hardened and won’t bend due to the heat-treated alloy steel used in construction.
With Irwin’s customary well-knurled adjuster, it’s easy to clamp down with accurate force, and the thin body on these long nose mole grips means they can get into places that the other locking pliers on this list just can’t reach.
They’re light, but still apply as much force as locking pliers much larger. They’re the best small mole grips for fine work, and we think these long nose mole grips will stand up against the hardest bolts in the tightest spaces.
Mole Grip Buyer’s Guide
Whether you refer to them as mole grips, vice grips or locking pliers, this tool is useful in a range of applications, and allows the user to apply great force in a controlled manner.
As with most tools, the core strength in the best mole grips comes from high carbon steel. In order to protect them, they are often plated with chrome or nickel to avoid rust.
Mole grips are available in a wide range of sizes and jaw shapes. The more basic versions such as the Irwin Visegrip Long Nose Plie have straight jaws for gripping flat objects or bolt heads, but curved and serrated jaws like the ones in the Milwaukee MIL48223420 are much more versatile when it comes to gripping obscure objects.
The lever action when closing the best locking pliers are where the strength in grip comes from. Unlike regular pliers, you are applying a mechanical advantage to your hand strength, and can clamp things together securely.
The other brilliant feature of mole grips like the Irwin 10WRC Visegrip or Stanley FMHT0-74886 is the ability to leave the pliers locked onto the work piece without holding on. Acting like a “third hand”, they are vital tools for the solo worker.
By setting mole grips to a slightly smaller diameter than the workpiece that needs clamping, you can grip parts tightly, but with not so much force that they will break.
How do I use mole grips?
With the locking pliers closed, turn the bolt on the back side of the adjustable grips until the jaw grips are open enough to take the workpiece. Test fit them and the workpiece and take them away again.
Now, turn the bolt to close the locking pliers slightly and open the mechanism. When you close the pliers onto the workpiece, they will grip firmly and stay there. When you want to release them, pull the lever and they spring off.
After testing the five best mole grips side-by-side, we have decided that the Knipex grip pliers are top of the list. The German construction, attention to detail and superior build quality set them apart against the competition.