The Vise-Grip Locking Pliers were developed more than 75 years ago by Vilhelm "Bill" Petersen in 1924.
Vise-Grip (R) is a Registered Trade Mark of Petersen Mfg., Co.,'s locking pliers. Petersen is part of American Tool Companies, Inc. And American Tool is now a part of Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
Petersen Mfg. Co., Inc.
The follow are
Registered Trade Marks
of American Tool Companies:
VISE-GRIP, CHESCO, DRILLMINDER, HANSON, HORSEPOWER, IRWIN, JACK,
JET POINT, JORAN, MARATHON, PERFORMANCE PLUS, POWERPRESS, PROSNIP,
QUICK-GRIP, SPEED-LINE, SPEEDBOR 2000, SPRINT, STRAIT-LINE, TURBOMAX,
and UNIBIT .
On the otherhand Vise-Grips is not trademarked because it is not the name of the tool. The generic name for this sort of tool is "locking-pliers".
American Tool Companies also makes tools under contract for other companies.
Most Vise-Grip locking-pliers have lifetime warranties. This also includes replacement of the springs. The new web page for springs is: http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/detail.jhtml?prodId=IrwinProd100255
If you have any questions about Vise-Grip locking-pliers, you can use their feedback form to contact them. But first, try visiting their Q&A page.
In French, a pair of Vise-Grip locking-pliers are called une paire de pinces étau.
In the United Kingdom, there is a brand of locking pliers called Mole-Grips (TM).
written on one side MOLE Reg'd Trade Mark and on the other- Self-grip Wrench Newport Mon. Gt. Britain(MC)
On a recent trip to England I went searching for a pair of Mole-Grip locking-pliers, I discovered that Stanley of UK bought the Mole-Grip name.
Now there is a Vise-Grip multitool called the Toolbox ($20-$30).  Multitools with locking pliers are also make by Kershaw ($100) and Leatherman ($80 - when closed, the jaws retract into the handle). The Toolbox is not as fancy as the others, but as you'd expect from something with the "Vise-Grip" name, it's a lot sturdier (unlike the others, you can use it as a hammer :).
Something I just stumbled across is the Vise-Grip "Soft Grip Locking Plier". They look normal, except they have blue padded handles.
Vise-Grips come in a variety shapes. In addition to the conventional pliers, they also have several versions that come with a chain between the jaws for use on pipes and other round objects. Other versions have flat, paddle shaped jaws, another has has large curved jaws to grap pipes and a new version has specially shaped jaws to grab hexagonal nuts.
American Tools also make tools under contract for other companies.
Some companies like the Eastwood Company (1-800-345-1178) sell Vise-Grip locking-pliers that have been modified for shaping and dimpling sheet metal (see part #31088).
I recently saw a slide-hammer made by OTC that comes with a threaded attachement that uses the same thread as the adjustment screw of a standard pair of Vise-Grip locking-pliers. So you can replace the adjustment screw and then use the Vise-Grip locking-pliers as part of the slide-hammer. It's called a "Grip Wrench Adapter" and the part number appears to be "205378".
The French company Facom sells a variety of different styles of locking pliers. The first set looks a bit like Vise-Grips locking pliers, but they're black and the release lever is longer than the handle.
If I'm going to be one of Satan's tools, I want to be Satan's
-- Jane Yolen
Vise-Grips are the wrong tool for every job.
With a pair of Vise-Grips and a Sawzall you can solve any problem.
-- Larry Stone
A web search for "vise-grips" and "linecard" will turn up a lots of online vendors.
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Vise-Grip Table of Contents (TOC).
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I am not associated with American Tool Companies, other than I'm a happy user of their tools.