February 24, 2009

Irwin Announces Finalists of Vise-Grip Contest

irwin_logo.gifOver the past few months, we've let you know about the Irwin "Tell Us Your Vise-Grip Story Contest." Now here is a contest we can get behind; solicit stories of vise-grips in action and have the people vote on them. Sort of like American Idol for the fix-it crowd, minus the erratic behavior of Paula Abdul.

The contest is now at the point where the three finalists have been announced and they are now being reviewed by a panel of judges to determine the winner. The finalists are...

Paul Schraps San Rafael, CA Story: In 1980, I was taking my Mother to a Cancer clinic in Mexico. After crossing the border, our truck hit a bump in the road -breaking a bolt on the exhaust system. I walked into town to discover the $600 part was not in stock. I used my favorite VISE-GRIP locking pliers to clamp the corner of the manifold and the exhaust together - stopping the leak completely. I was able to get my mother to the doctor for her treatment. 28 years later, I have the same truck with the VISE-GRIPS still holding the exhaust to the manifold.

Paulie Smith
Valley Center, CA
Story: The Baja 500 is one of the most grueling races in the world. Many years almost half the teams who take the green flag, fail to cross the finish line for the checkered flag. A "Did Not Finish" is every team's haunting nightmare. I remember one Baja 500 race I participated in was almost cut short when a brake line failed. However, I was able to use my Irwin Vise-Grip to crimp off the faulty line and maintain pressure on the remaining three brakes. Our team was able to rally and finish that arduous race!

Bryan Fox
Chesapeake, VA
Story: As a US Navy spine surgeon, I routinely deal with dozens of different types of screws, rods and bolts that have been implanted into the spine. Each manufacturer has their own unique tools to insert and remove their specific hardware. While deployed to the Middle East in support of operation Iraqi Freedom, I did not have access to these specialized tools. I did however have some Vise-Grips that could be sterilized and used to emergently remove the screws and rods from this infected soldier's spine. Photo shows an intraoperative xray and shot of the tool in use.

We like them all and can see why they made the finals, but we have to say that our favorite is the one about the exhaust manifold. How can you not like a guy who leaves a Vise-Grip attached to his truck engine for 28 years (and who owns a truck for 28 years?).

There is more information about the contest and pictures of the finalists at Irwin.

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 24, 2009 5:04 AM

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