By Rob Brown
I would forgive you if you thought this was just a glorified one-handed clamp. Although it looks similar, the Viking Arm Installation Tool is its much more powerful distant cousin. Used mainly in the installation and home improvement sectors, this well-made tool has a wide range of applications. Oryx Tools is the exclusive Canadian retailer of the tool, which is made in Norway.
From the moment I squeezed the handle I knew I was dealing with a quality tool that works very smoothly and can produce a lot of power. I used to make and install custom kitchen cabinets professionally, and I could have used a pair of these to help level and position base cabinets, and level upper cabinets so they could be fastened to a wall. But installing kitchen cabinets isn’t the end of the road for these power jaws. Built-ins, vanities, workshop storage cabinets and many other household fixtures could be installed more easily and quickly with this tool.
Home improvement folks would also benefit from having an extra, super-strong hand around while doing many jobs. Ensuring floorboards butt up nicely to each other, lifting drywall off the ground during installation, positioning large windows or interior / exterior doors during installation, and bringing deck boards into position for screwing could all be done quickly and easily with this installation tool. Even when extreme strength isn’t needed, it would offer much-needed assistance.
Professional contractors will quickly realize that many jobs could be handled by a single installer if they had a Viking Arm Installation Tool in their toolbox. Time is money, and the amount of time to take care of countless tasks every day will be reduced, which boosts the bottom line.
Grasping the large hand lever causes the jaws to easily move away from each other. There are also a pair of levers near the user’s thumb. The left lever allows the user to bring the jaws back together by up to about 3/16″, depending on how far the lever is pressed. This is for fine-tuning the exact position of the object you’re lifting or positioning. The right lever will release all tension on the shaft and will allow you to move the upper jaw wherever you want.
The movement is smooth, and the amount of grip needed to lift a heavy object is surprisingly little. Even my nine-year-old son could lift a box weighing about 75 pounds 3″ off the ground with a single hand in about five seconds. The jaws have bevelled front edges, allowing them to be positioned between two objects, then taped into place if need be. There are also a few holes in the base to allow the user to fix the installation tool to another fixture, enabling more specific tasks to be taken care of with ease. All in all, this is a solid product that will stand the test of time.
Smooth Action – The inner workings of the Viking Arm Installation Tool are high quality and work well under heavy loads.
Two Lowering Options – When under load, there are two options for lowering the upper jaw. The thumb lever on the left offers very controlled lowering by any distance up to about 3/16″ per press, while the lever on the right releases the upper jaw’s grasp on the shaft entirely.