Park Tool AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert - Tool Time

Grab vulnerable surfaces without damage.

Park Tool AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert

Park Tool AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert

If you think you've seen this tool here before, that's because you have—sort of. This is Park Tool's (www.parktoolmotorcycle.com) AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert ($34.95), which is a more-versatile variation of the Park AV-4. Both of these tools are designed to securely hold axle, transmission, shock absorber or any other steel shafts in a vise without damaging the shaft's surface or threads. It's also pretty good at holding threaded bolts and studs firmly without flattening their threads.

The AV-4 had just three jaw openings that could accommodate shafts between 7 and 15mm; the AV-5 can accept 5, 9, 10, 12, 14, 20, 25, 30 and 36mm shafts. There also is a 1-in. hex in the middle of the tool that can hold various diameters of tubing without damage. Two rubber-tipped tabs and two magnets on each half of the Insert hold the tool in place in a vise.

Like so many specialty tools, the AV-5 would seem to have limited usefulness. But with a little imagination, most home mechanics can find quite a few other applications for a tool that can grab vulnerable surfaces without damaging them in the least.

Park Tool AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert in use

Park Tool AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert in use