Would a cheaper, but solidly-built alternative suit you?
How about a vintage BMC plier? Unfortunately, they are no longer
made, which is a crime, because they are a wonderful, well-designed,
quality tool that have no peer in today’s market as far as I know. At
my bench, I have one set with bare steel jaws, another with leather
epoxied on the jaws, and another with copper jaw wraps (my
modifications). Best of all, instead of shelling out $150+ for the
Bergeon pliers, I bought my BMCs for about $10 apiece.
Basically, the BMC plier is a locking plier that functions much like
traditional Vise Grips, except that, I dare say, it is far superior
to its more common, and clumsy, cousin. In functional terms, it has
much more in common - and is nearly identical to - the high-priced
Whereas the Vise Grip jaw pivots - and therefore closes at various
angles (depending on the size of the object to be gripped), the BMC
jaws always close and lock parallel, just like the Bergeon pliers.
Also, instead of the concave jaw profile of the Vise Grip, the BMCs
have flat jaws, which I find more useful (again, like the Bergeon
pliers). The only downside to the BMC plier is that the jaws are
heavily serrated (the Bergeons are also serrated, though not so
heavily). On the plus side, however, the first 1/4" or so of the lip
of the jaw on the BMCs is NOT serrated at all. Finally, the distance
between the jaws is infinitely adjustable (up to 1 inch) with a
barrel screw located in the body of the plier (in the Bergeon, the
adjustment screw which serves the same function is located above the
jaws, but the Bergeon plier does not open nearly as wide, I
Check eBay or any other used/vintage tool source for a BMC #7
locking plier/wrench (if eBay, try search terms such as "BMC plier"
or “BMC wrench” or “BMC vise” - usual diclaimer here…I’m not
selling pliers on eBay). The “7” is a designation of its overall
length, 7 inches, which is best suited to most of our uses as
jewelers. BMC also made a #9 and #11, 9 and 11 inches long,
respectively. I liked my #7 so much I bought a 9 and 11 too (I’m a
Good luck on your search. I hope this helps.
John de Rosier