Removing a KMC 'missing link' without KMC's tool
I tried to remove the 'missing link' on my last KMC chain but failed: it would slip out of needle-nose pliers, my fingers couldn't grip it tightly enough (?), I tried squeezing it in the middle with needle-nose vise-grips, no amount of cleaning and lubricating and manipulation helped. KMC sells a specialty tool but I hate specialty tools when I should be able to do without.
Does someone know a good trick? I'm thinking of a buying a bulk box of KMCs so may want to get serious about their 'missing link'.
Of course I have a regular chain tool. I hope this will be easier enough to make it worth asking.