A bench vise is an essential tool, attached to a bench or a table, although it is mostly attached to the former. This piece of equipment is used to hold an object firmly, while someone is working on it. Essentially, it is composed of two flat jaws that are brought together through a screw mechanism. There is a fixed jaw, while the other is movable.
The bench vice is certainly a very versatile tool, although many of its types or applications are left unnoticed. This tool is widely used when working with metal, wood, and many other materials. It is highly capable of providing stability, while performing with precision.
Today, there are several brands of the best bench vises on the market, offering different impressive features and reasonable price tags. Finding the right one could be a daunting task, but, this article will help you find the most reliable one through the following bench vise reviews and a comprehensive buying guideline.
Best Bench Vise Reviews
1. Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise
- LARGE ANVIL: Accommodates a wide range of striking needs
- BUILT TO LAST: Crafted from 30,000 PSI ductile iron
- STABLE BASE: Swivel base rotates 120° and has double lockdowns
- SECURE GRIP: Hardened steel replaceable jaw inserts are machine serrated for a safe and secure grip under maximum torque
- LIFETIME WARRANTY: This bench vise is built to last and backed by Wilton's lifetime warranty
The Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise is among the most reliable pieces of equipment ever manufactured. It is made from premium strength steel with a double lock-down swivel base. It also features a large anvil work surface, allowing superior comfort and flexibility.
The Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise measures at 12 x 5.9 x 6.4 inches and weighs at 15.4 pounds. Made by the prestigious WMH Tool Group, this equipment garners an average 4.5-Star rating on Amazon. Rest assured that this is a good bench vise, considering the credibility of its manufacturer that has been committed to producing and designing cost-efficient tools for several years now.
Furthermore, it can be mounted on the firearms workbench, providing impressive weight and stability at the same time. It is indeed an excellent workshop device. The Wilton 11104 can do more than clamping parts to a work bench. Hence, it is perfect not just for carpentry or woodworking-related tasks, but also with plumbing, vehicle repairs, and a whole lot more.
The Wilton’s larger anvil than other bench vises is much-loved by a lot of owners, giving them an accurate view, while they’re working. It can perfectly fit on a workbench or a table. Moreover, this Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise can be used even those who are not professional mechanics or tradesmen.
Hence, this is the best bench vise for the money, providing high quality and small footprint. The Wilton performs flawlessly for almost all duty tasks, ranging from light to medium and heavy-duty tasks. In all, this exceptional piece of equipment from Wilton is highly durable with a larger anvil work surface than other cheap bench vises on the market.
It has a very reasonable price tag without sacrificing the quality, functionality, and overall design all at the same time. Read detailed Wilton 11104 review.
2. Yost Vises 465 6.5″ Apprentice Series Bench Vise
- COMBINATION VISE: The Yost Vises 465 6.5-inch utility combination pipe and bench vise is made from a 30,000 PSI cast grey iron with a steel U-channel bar. Equipped with a large anvil work surface, it also has replaceable hardened steel serrated top jaws and a large permanent serrated pipe jaw.
- TECHNICAL SPECS: Jaw Width 6.5" (16.51 cm), Jaw Opening 5.5" (13.97 cm), Throat Depth 3.75" (9.525 cm), Min Pipe Capacity .125" (0.3175 cm), Max Pipe Capacity 2.5" (6.35 cm).
- SWIVEL BASE: 360-degree rotatable swivel base with 2 lockdowns
- HOW TO USE: Make sure vise is securely mounted to the workbench and the swivel base lock are secure. Open the vise by turning the vise handle counterclockwise. Place item between the serrated jaws. Close the vise by turning the vise handle clockwise until the item is snug in the serrated jaws, continue to tighten until you can no longer move item. Don't over tighten as this may damage item and or the vise. When finished working on the item, turn screw handle counterclockwise to release the item.
- YOST VISES QUALITY: Every Yost Vises tool is engineered to have high standards of quality, strength, and durability. We value quality over quantity and manufacture products that are safe and easy to use. We offer lifetime tech support to back our quality guarantee.
One of the durable Yost vises on the market is the Yost Vises 465 Apprentice Series Bench Vise, featuring an 180-degree swivel base. This is a bench-mount vise, measuring 6 and ½-inch nominal jaw width, along with a 2 and ½-inch diameter pipe capacity that provides clamping action for light-duty tasks.
Its 180-degree swivel base is capable of adjusting the direction of the jaws, allowing proper placement and locks in place. This equipment has a cast iron body, plus a steel U-channel bar, offering supreme durability. A flat portion acts as an anvil and an additional work surface.
Additionally, this swivel bench vice features replaceable top jaws, while its permanent pipe jaws are ridged for enhanced grip. There are rubber washers that prevent the handle from unwanted sliding.
This piece of equipment requires hand-tightening of the lock knob on its base to secure its position. To draw the jaws closer together or farther apart, the user needs to turn the vise handle either clockwise or counterclockwise respectively.
By greasing the jaw screw with wheel bearing grease, this tool will work just perfectly. However, for many owners, they do not recommend this equipment for heavy-duty workloads. Instead, it is perfect for light tasks at home or garage.
The Yost Vises 465 Apprentice Series also comes with a lifetime warranty. Certainly, a homeowner should have this tool in his garage, having a handy tool in completing light to moderate projects as this pipe and bench vice will work very fine.
In all, the Yost Vises 465 can be a helpful equipment for many home and garage tasks, providing an enhanced grip and superior durability, while preventing sliding through its rubber washers. It is also a very sensible addition to everyone’s garage and workshop. Read the detailed Yost Vises 465 review here.
3. TEKTON 54004 4-Inch Swivel Bench Vise
- Includes 1-pc. 120-degree swivel bench vise: 4 in.; Product manual; Mounting template
- Cast iron construction (30,000 PSI tensile strength) with replaceable serrated steel jaws holds work with a sure, nonslip grip
- 120-degree swivel base with dual lock-down nuts positions workpiece where you need it
- Three mounting holes anchor vise securely to workbench
- Polished steel anvil offers a smooth, consistent work surface for shaping metal pieces
The TEKTON 54004 4-Inch Swivel Bench Vise is known as an all-purpose, yet medium-duty equipment that can hold any workpiece securely, while keeping the user build, bend, shape, fasten, or sharpen it. It is made of 30,000 PSI cast iron that can be mounted to a workbench for different purposes and applications.
It has a powder-coated finish with replaceable serrated steel jaw pads. It provides a very comfortable grip, preventing slipping at the same time. Its polished steel anvil is perfect for shaping and bending metal. It also features a 120-degree swivel base that is capable of positioning a workpiece where it needs to be.
This multipurpose bench vice is sensible, while repairing vehicles, assembling parts, metalworking, and other purposes. It makes tasks safer and faster while securing the workpiece. It simply needs to be locked in, and you are ready to fasten, thread, bend, build, sharpen, or shape with ultimate confidence.
The entire equipment equates to a durable construction, considering its 30,000 PSI cast iron. Hence, dependability and durability are built-in. Projects are in sure grip of its replaceable non-slip serrated steel jaws.
Easy adjustments are also offered by this tool piece by simply rotating the vise around the 120-degree base, allowing easy positioning right on the spot. The dual lock-down nuts also keep a workpiece is a secured place.
One of the best bench vises on the market, the TEKTON 54004 is well-oiled upon arrival, pleasing every customer and owner of it, most especially considering its price range. Overall, it is snug, quality-made, quality fit and finish without suffering from looseness problems that are usually noticed in cheaper-priced vises. Hence, this piece is highly recommended by many professionals. Read the detailed Tekton 54004 review here.
4. Wilton Tools 550P, Multi-Purpose Bench Vise
- 360° rotating head for clamping material at any angle
- Indexed at 30° increments for quick set up
- Replaceable steel pipe jaws
- Large built-in anvil for forming and shaping materials
- Replaceable hardened steel jaws with a serrated pattern ensure grip and a long life
Among the most reliable workbench vices is the Wilton Tools 550P Multi-Purpose Bench Vise, which has a jaw opening that expands to 9 and ¾-inch when reversed, while a 5-inch opening and 5 and ½-inch width, and 3 and ¾-inch throat depth when in the normal position. It also features replaceable and hardened tool steel jaw faces. This equipment weighs at 48.4 pounds and also boasts an average rating of 4.7 Stars on Amazon.
Similar to most small vises, this product does not require any battery, and with a lifetime warranty. It has a large screw mechanism, two anvil areas, and wide jaws that are very easy to operate. Overall, it has great construction, both the design and functionality.
Many owners of this essential tool came in satisfied as the superior quality is very apparent, considering Wilton as its manufacturer. This Wilton bench vise works great, especially its reversible feature that comes in very handy with regards to wider clamping needs.
Known for quality tools, Wilton made sure that this item will certainly meet the customer’s expectations. Its quality is heavy-duty, smooth, and reliable all at the same time. The equipment’s rotation base is saw-like, while its twin locking handles works very great. It does not rotate or slip, allowing comfort and ease of use.
Also, the twin anvils are very impressive, as the overall device can do everything that needs to be done. The same is true when working on large surfaces while pounding steel or doing minor shaping.
For sure, this amazing piece of equipment is very useful for both the beginners and the professionals in the workshop. It is a great addition to any garage, having a very helpful tool in accomplishing lots of workloads, making tasks easier, faster, and more comfortable all at the same time. The Wilton 550P is made with quality, durability, and affordability in mind. Read the detailed review of the WWilton Tools 550P here.
5. IRWIN Tools 6-Inch Heavy Duty Workshop Vise (226306)
- Captured safety jaw prevents slide from falling out during heavy-duty use
- Swivel base maneuvers into position quickly and easily
- Anvil and pipe jaws incorporated for a sturdy grip
- Aggressive steel jaws maintain a secure hold on clamped materials
- Weighs 30.6 lbs. to provide a reliable base
The IRWIN Tools 6-Inch Heavy Duty Workshop Vise is an epitome of craftsmanship that is designed for those craftsmen at heart. Garnering an average of 4.5-Star Rating on Amazon, this quality vise has 6-inch jaw width, 4 and ¼-inch throat depth, and 8 and ¾-inch clamping capacity.
From its name, it is a heavy-duty vise made from premium quality gray iron cast, machined to withstand distortion under extreme pressure. It can accommodate over 3,000 pounds of clamping pressure, which is certainly perfect for heavy-duty tasks. It also offers a smooth action because of its long barrelled and unbreakable nut dovetailed into its body.
Furthermore, the IRWIN Tools Workshop Vise features a safety stop, preventing a slide from being separated from the body. The nut and main screw alignment are highly capable of reducing wear, while giving a long-lasting and trouble-free service. Thus, it is among the best bench vises designed for the professional metal worker or woodworker.
The Irwin’s swivel base provides easy positioning, while securing the vise with just moderate tightening. There is no need to over-tighten the locks, unlike other bench vises. It is a well-built tool as its jaw moves smoothly without any wobble or slop. It is a great addition to any workshop.
An excellent vise, according to owners. While the picture is not that accurate, buyers are pleasantly surprised once the product arrives. Hence, it is an excellent buy, although some say that the stand was built for a grinder. Nonetheless, it is a great vise, considering some small modifications to meet personal preferences.
The IRWIN Tools 6-Inch Heavy Duty Workshop Vise is a perfect gift item for a husband, friend, neighbor, a father-in-law, or anyone who is into woodworking or metal works, either for the upcoming Christmas season or simple birthday celebrations. Read the IRWIN Tools review here.
6. Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise
- This multi-purpose bench vise does it all jaw rotate 360 degrees for unlimited work piece positioning and holds flat stock as well as round stock with
- Jaw rotate 360 degrees for unlimited work piece positioning and holds flat stock as well as round stock with the built-in pip jaws
- Base swivels for greater versatility and there-Inch even an anvil face to top it all off
When thinking of a quality vise, the Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose Bench Vise is sensible. It is multi-purpose equipment with a built-in pip jaw that can rotate 360 degrees, offering unlimited workpiece positions, while holding flat and round stock. The base swivels provide versatility while the there-Inch features an even anvil face.
This tool weighs 50 pounds, with a 9 x 18 x 9-inch dimension and not requiring any battery. Overall, the Grizzly G7062 is heavy-duty, well-made, and attractive. All its sliding parts work perfectly without a stop, but with high clamping power. The jaws can be locked in a fixed position, contrary to other comments. This ensures that the equipment will not rotate, just make sure to tighten a couple of screws on the back side.
This workshop bench vice is a package of amazing features, like no other vise, could ever do. The jaws tend to clear the bottom of the base, making it a great advantage and allowing all works to happen around it. Though it is a very different kind of equipment, it is cost-outstanding and could be shipped quickly in certain locations without a distorted box, making the entire tool arrive in an excellent state.
When it comes to its multi-purpose feature, the Grizzly G7062 is the best value you’ll ever find on the internet. It has many ways in holding an object, solid as a rock, but the rubber jaws keep the user to be gentle when necessary.
In all, the Grizzly G7062 Bench Vise is an excellent bench vise that is worth it, offering unlimited work positions through its built-in 360-degree pip jaw. It is made from highly durable materials, and indeed, it is another specialized work of art from Grizzly, which has been committed to creating and designing cost-efficient tools for several years now. Read the detailed review of the Grizzly G7062 here.
Bench Vise Buying Guide
While there are already promising bench vises on the market, there are still guidelines to keep in mind, before placing an order or making a purchase.
Bench Vise Using Purposes
A good bench vise can be used for many purposes, not just for wood and metal works. As it can hold something firmly and steadily, it is very versatile when mounted on a bench or table.
- Working with Glue – While working or using glue throughout a woodworking task, a vise can come in very handy, instead of simply relying on gravity in holding the project together until it dries up. By simply using a vise, the workpiece can be positioned perfectly until the glue dries up completely. Projects that involve precise measurements, along with gluing will surely need a mini bench vice.
- Metalworking – Moreover, having a vise is a big advantage when working with metal as it can hold such material in place when needed to be cut or modified.
- Working with Saw – Vises are exponentially helpful when working with a saw in cutting lumber for woodworking projects. It is the most reliable piece of equipment in making precise measurements, instead of doing the freehand. Hence, it is the best solution for such a daunting task.
- Drilling – A drilling project will certainly benefit from using a vise as it requires stability and serious precision. The equipment will allow the user to drill holes with better accuracy.
- Working with Sandpaper – Using sandpaper in completing a project requires lots of time, regardless the conditions. But, with proper planning and equipment, the work time can be minimized, while maximizing the efficiency of the sanding process. A bench vice tool is significantly helpful in doing such projects, reducing accidental damage throughout.
- Cutting Conduit – While cutting electrical conduit, a vise is useful in securing the conduit in the right place, before cutting it.
- Serves as Work Bench – A quality vise can serve as any regular workbench does.
Bench vices are created in a variety of sizes such the designs for the blacksmith or the jeweler. Nonetheless, each one is designed to hold something in a firm and secure manner. Furthermore, the nature of the workpiece determines the vice size, and it also determines the specific construction of the tool’s jaws.
Types of Bench Vise
There are two main types of this equipment – the woodworking and the engineering vices.
- Woodworking Vice – This type is specially designed for holding wood, while it is being planed or carved. Usually, this type has wooden jaws to protect the piece being worked on.
- Engineering Vice – On the other hand, this type is designed for holding metal objects, and are typically heavier than its counterpart. It has rough metal jaws.
A vise comes in a variety of sizes, in fact, in all sizes. The pin vice is the smallest, holding stickpins or broaches by the pin as the jeweled portion is being worked on.
There is also a mini bench vice that is typically used by homeowners in their minor projects of carpentry and metal works. But, among the largest of its kind is the legged vice or known as the blacksmith’s vice. It is likewise attached to a bench, although it has an additional, supporting leg.
Obviously, the main advantages that every bench or table vice offers are stability and grip. At times, stability is sacrificed, while the grip is given more importance, and vice-versa. However, with this piece of equipment, both grip and stability should always be ensured.
Additionally, the faster completion of projects is made possible by using such equipment. As it is capable of holding and securing an object, the craftsman can do a whole lot of additional work as his material is positioned securely, allowing him to move freely.
Also, the use of a bench vice makes working safer than making use of a hand in gripping, holding, or stabilizing a material that needs security and stability.
Working Safely and Securely
Workbench vices are sometimes regarded as the ‘third hand.’ This is so because it works as a person’s third hand, keeping an object steady while he’s working on it. Thus, it is an essential tool in any home, garage, or workshop. Acting as a third hand, it always ensures that a workpiece is held securely while adding a safer working surrounding.
This amazing tool can certainly provide a helping ‘third hand’ to anyone working on something very important, whether a small or a large project, ranging from woodworks to metalwork, vehicular repairs, and much more.
Watch this 1-minute clip for wood vise safety tips:
Hand Tools Institute Guidelines
Based on the Hand Tools Institute (HTI) guidelines, there are seven primary classifications of this tool, including a variety of special-purpose vises. The HTI is a coalition of American manufacturers of high-quality hand tools. According to HTI, it is always best to pick the most suitable types of bench vises by the original application, ensuring that the tool is reliable enough in handling the required work.
The HTI guidelines also identify the primary types of this equipment as well as its chief functions of it. Primarily, the machinists’ vise is designed for heavy-duty industrial work. The workshop or utility vise is used for home workshop and light tasks.
On the other hand, the mechanic’s vise is used in service stations and for garage works. The woodworker’s vise is ideal for carpentry and overall woodworking projects. The pipe vise is for plumbing, while the drill press vise is for drill pressing purposes and the milling machine vise for milling machine works
The most commonly used is the utility vise, which is a lighter version of the machinist. Typically, it has pipe jaws situated below the flat jaws facings with between 3 and 5-inch jaw widths. The screw or Acme thread that draws the jaws together could be or not be exposed.
Furthermore, the vises are mounted on a workbench or any similar firm support for that matter, holding the materials to be worked on. Bolts are essential in mounting, and never screw to keep the tool in place. Today, well-equipped shops may have a metal-working vise mounted on the side of their workbench while a woodworking vise on the other end.
While learning about the types of bench vice, the primary function, purpose, and other essential information, there are still more important things to keep in mind.
- It is not advised to make use of the jaws of the vise as an anvil.
- It is also crucial to wear safety glasses, goggles, and other protective eyewear when pounding or hammering a material held by the vise.
- Using jaw liners is highly recommended if there are possibilities of damaging the work.
- It is not advised to pound on the vise handle.
- It is better to use a cheater pipe in tightening beyond hand pressure.
- Never perform a heavy work in a light bench vice as it could break substantially.
Today, there are several manufacturers of handy tools and equipment across the globe, ranging from Grizzly to Yoast, Wilton, and Tekton. Hence, doing a thorough research and comparison between these providers is crucial. It is always best to purchase an essential and functional piece of equipment from a trusted provider, ensuring not only an attractive design, but more especially the safety, durability, quality, and functionality of these life essentials.
Indeed, choosing a cheap device does not always equate to efficiency. The same is true with a very expensive tool. The reliability of a good bench vise highly depends on the construction, ease of use, and safety of the entire equipment. It is also helpful to make sure that such item is certified by respective associations, organizations, and trusted agencies that inspect and approve world-class quality products.
Also, reading about bench vise reviews comes in very helpful as many customers and owners can testify about the durability, functionality, and safety of an item. Being clingy on what the professionals have to say is likewise sensible as they are more skilled and knowledgeable in the field of woodworking or metalworking projects.
Reading about product reviews, product specifications, customer reviews, and recommendations is equally useful, while in search of the best bench vice in the market.
In a nutshell, having the most reliable bench vice with premium construction, safety features, and world-class quality is equal to accomplishing projects in a faster and safer manner. Keeping in mind the most crucial buying guidelines will lead to finding the best bench vises ever made.