Cool Tools: Create clamps in a pinch

This clever little tool forms clamps from stainless steel wire. As a commercial pilot in Alaska, I have used this many times over the years in emergency situations. I often operate in remote areas, away from any kind of support. You have to take care of yourself if something goes awry. Fuel lines, brake lines, air ducts seem to let go at the least opportune time. My Beach Truck used in commercial fishing has benefitted from a beachside radiator hose repair using the ClampTite. The hot water system made of Pex tubing in my log cabin has a few wire clamps on it because I didn’t want to endure a leak while flying 160 miles to the nearest hardware store.

The fact that you can customize the size of the clamp to fit pretty much anything makes it invaluable. With a few feet of wire you can quickly replace hose clamps for quick fixes. The tool is tiny, compared to most in my tool bag, and the stainless safety wire that it uses to form the clamp is something I always have on hand anyhow, because it has a million uses as well. -- David McRae

$30 for aluminum model, $70 for stainless steel and bronze

Available from Amazon


  1. The video is a masterclass in taking something new and cool and making it mind-numbingly dull.  By all means take 8 mins to do a thorough tutorial video, but if you want to market the damn thing (which judging by the interminable commentary is what he was aiming to do), 45 seconds would have been a bit less depressing.

    1. I love that one of the videos in the grid that pops up at the end is a 3:57 piece on how to make a hose clamp yourself with a strip of sheet metal, featuring bonus commentary on the sub-prime mortgage scam as he works.

  2. This doesn’t appear to do anything you can’t already do better with with swipes or even a basic pair of pliers.

    Plus, their prices for safety wire are atrocious.

  3. I hope Cool Tools does the leatherman micra. I always, always have it in my pocket, and I use it nearly every day. It contains:

    Scissors (strong enough to cut nails, wire, or blister packages)
    Nail file/nail cleaner (useful for your nails… and the file can be used on plastic in a pinch)
    Bottle opener/thin flathead screwdriver (good for opening bottles, undoing small flathead screws, or scraping away at mineral buildup in your humidifier)
    Tweezers (great as a roach clip, tweezing unsightly facial hair, or in a pinch as a fork)
    Phillips Screwdriver (perfect for minor computer repair work)
    Large flathead screwdriver (great for prying open paint cans and larger flathead screws)
    Knife (great for slicing open packages, cutting tape and paper, and I’ve even sliced a dry sausage with it)
    Ruler (I’ve never really used this honestly)

    All this in a tiny package that weighs only 1.8oz

    1. I 2nd that and I’ve actually used the ruler.  I’ve also used the thin flathead as a chisel for things like scraping up old glue.

      1. The only thing missing on the Micra is a square drive. All my rack equipment is held in with #2 Robertson screws.

      1. I didn’t realize they’d already done the Micra! Neat! Well, anything to raise awareness for this amazing little multi-tool. :) 

      2. I’m always being asked to use my micra by people trying to open packages.  I’m the hero!

  4. This tool has been on my wish-list ever since I first saw it on Cool Tools seven years ago. Haven’t bought it yet, though.

    The version above looks like a little bit of an upgrade from that version. Has anyone tried both, or know if there’s much difference between them?

  5. I’ve owned this for about 4 years now, bought it for assembling some homebrew soda equipment and fell in love. It works amazingly once you get the hang of it and I’ve found uses for it far more often than I ever expected. It’ll replace your bag of hose clamps any day.

  6. I’m working on an old vw bus and the conventional wisdom is to NOT use regular hose clamps on fuel lines. They cut into the hose over time and can cause the bus to catch fire.
    There are better hose clamps that are recommended but they’re more expensive and I don’t know where to get them locally.

    Does anyone know if this tool would work instead and not cut into the hose?

    I may get one regardless, it just would be nice to use it for the fuel hoses as well.

    1. I was kind of thinking along the same line as Nagurski.  I believe most of the old VW fuel lines are just barbed push on and crimp designs so nothing with an actual end so to speak.  You could still just get some stainless steel braid and cover your existing (or regular) fuel line in the areas that you need to clamp and use a regular screw clamp.  That would easily keep the line from being damaged by the clamp.

  7. Oh my god, shut up! How do I get the boredom out of my head? That is absolutely the longest explanation of nothing I’ve ever seen. Could have been done in 30 seconds, takes over 8 minutes.

  8. It looks interesting, but I might have to make my own, because I refuse to buy anything sold by someone who uses that god-awful right click blocking script on their site (even though it only took one click of a bookmarklet to kill it.)

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