It happens far too often for our liking – you’re working on a delicate new project when suddenly, your hand slips. One of two things mostly result – either you damage a section of your project (that’s the good news) or you injure your hand. Whatever the outcome, both happen far too often for your liking.
Want to avoid these inconveniences from arising altogether? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled together a list of the top ten Bench Vises on the market to ensure that yourself and your projects won’t come into harm’s way again. Read on to find out what high-quality products we’re just itching to promote.
The Best Bench Vise
Ladies and gentlemen… prepare to be amazed by Irwin Tools’ Clamp-On Vise. This blue-steeled light-duty beauty is ideal for those small jobs that need completed on the go or for onsite construction. Only weighing 4 pounds, this vise is wonderfully lightweight and subsequently, easily portable. However, its weight doesn’t detract from its overall quality – this vise is able to be fitted on to table tops up to two inches thick.
Very popular among gunsmiths and professional woodworkers alike, this vise is made from cast iron and steel and even has an anvil and pipe jaws incorporated into the design. Worried about clamping pressure? Irwin Tools’ product is able to clamp products up to 1250 pounds. If you need a light-duty portable vise, then look no further.
Includes simple clamp-on feature for mobility
Optimal clamping pressure up to 1250-pound
Portable and lightweight 4-pound vise
Able to attach to tables with 2 inches of thickness
Incorporation of Anvil shaping horn into design
- BrandIrwin Tools
- Weight4 pounds
Since 1908, Yost has been in business providing clamping tools for all. And now, we know why they’ve been so successful. Their LV-4 Home Vise – painted with a durable blue powder coat – is being sold at a pittance according to how useful buyers deem it to be. Let’s start with it newly-improved base. Working with oddly-shaped products has never been easier due to the 240-degree rotation this vise offers. And don’t worry about mounting – the base already features four pre-created mounting holes. Now all you need is the 3/8″ bolts (sold separately) and you’ll be good to go!
The Acme Threaded Main Screw is zinc plated and highly durable. One feature which we love is the locking C collar, which handily provides quick engagement and disengagement of the main screw. However, the Pipe and Machinist Jaws cannot be beaten and are a commendable 4.5″ in width. Considering Pipe Jaws aren’t usually found on inexpensive models, we recommend purchasing this vise now.
Four mounting holes to insert bolts when mounting vise to the workbench allows for easy installation
Durable zinc plated main screw uses an Acme Thread and equipped with a locking C collar
Ideal for working with oddly-shaped objects due to rotating base of up to 240-degrees
4.5 Jaw Width with 3″ Jaw Opening available
Able to hold small pipes and tubes thanks to pipe jaws
- Brand Yost Tools
- Weight10.6 pounds
Purchase a formidable addition to your woodworking bench by treating yourself to Wilton’s Bench Vise. Why do we insist that this vise will be worth your hard-earned cash? Manufacturers know that their product will last and offer a lifetime warranty. Durability is provided by the grooved steel jaw inserts which will be sure to hold any object in place. The body of the vise is also constructed from high strength steel.
Featuring a large anvil work surface, this vise is even able to rotate 120 degrees and open up to a capacity of 4 inches. Buyers rave about the two locks to prevent any unwanted swiveling on the base and the three lug nut holes which secures the vise to the work table. You’re not likely to find many vises like this around!
Manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty
Inexpensive vise ideal for light duty use and weekend work
Double lock down swivel base of 120 degrees
Equipped with grooved steel jaw inserts to provide a strong grip on any object
Large anvil work surface
- Weight15 pounds
Now we’re finally venturing into the realm of heavy-duty vises which can resist a little more wear and tear. Performance Tool’s 8″ Machinist Vise may look intimidating with a sheer-black durable power coat finish but in reality, this product is ideal for DIY beginners who wish to amend larger items.
Featuring a 360-degree swivel base for difficult tasks and a polished anvil, you can’t go wrong with this vise. Manufactures are so confident of their products success that they offer a lifetime warranty. And with this vise being steel jawed and featuring magnetic meaning soft pads,, it’s a product that keeps on giving.
360-degree swivel base incorporated
Comes with a lifetime warranty
A 7-inch Jaw Opening with 3-inch Throat Depth
Designed to withstand heavy-duty work with durable powder coat finish and chrome plated hardware
Polished built-in anvil of 4-1/4″ x 4
- BrandPerformance Tool
- Weight42 pounds
TEKTON’s 4-Inch Swivel Bench Vise is the kind of product which instantly makes you question what you’ve been doing without it all these years upon first usage. Regarding its durability, this product is practically indestructible. Considering its constructed from 30,000 PSI cast iron with serrated steel jaws, we really can’t see your vise breaking anytime soon.
Whether you’re using this vise for woodworking or smaller household work, it will be sure to work wonders with the smooth T-bar handle moving without any bother thanks to the Acme-threaded screw. TEKTON have ensured this vise is simple to install by creating three mounting holes which will anchor the vise smoothly to your workbench. What’s not to love?
Replaceable serrated steel jaws ensure non-slip grip
Durability provided by vise body manufactured from 30,000 PSI cast iron
Dual lock-down nuts prevent accidents by holding 120-degree swivel base into place
Commendable Anvil Size of 2-5/8 inches by 2-5/8 inches
Sliding T-bar handle moves easily with adding of Acme Treaded main screw
- Weight13.23 pounds
Do you have a small project to complete which requires a secure hold yet cannot seen to find an affordable vise to help along the way? Well, look no further. PanaVise’s Vise is ideal for small home repairs and hobbies such as jewelry making and circuit board wiring alike. Its most commendable feature is, of course, the single knob – which offers three different head movements of 90-degree tilt, 360-degree turn, and 360-degree rotation.
The jaws themselves can even be used with heated products to 200° F and operates with intermittent heat of up to 300° F. What we just love about this vise amongst other glowing features is its comparability with all PanaVise base mounts and the addition of three bolt circle, meaning it can be installed without any problems.
‘Split-Ball’ adjustment holds items securely into position and allows for maneuverings along three separate planes
Removable nylon jaws offer gentle holding power and exemplary electrical insulation with heat tolerance up to 200° F
Base can easily be secured to flat surface with three countersunk holes
Wide range of mobility available with die cast zinc base
Can be used for delicate tasks such as gluing, circuit board wiring, and jewelry making
- Weight2.78 pounds
Yost’s Heavy-Duty Forged Steel Bench Vise is both beautifully manufactured and innovative at the same time. This bright-red power-coated vise screams longevity; its attachments are oxidized and the body of the vice itself is made out of 75,000 PSI Forged Steel. If you frequently work with tricky, misshapen products, the vise features a 360-degree swivel base with two lock downs to keep items in place when necessary.
Need to bend or shape some metal? The durable and highly practical Anvil work surface is composed from beautiful forged steel, standing out from the crowd of traditional cast iron vises. The guide rails are even adjustable for smooth operation. A phenomenal vise for an affordable price.
Forged steel vises are both replaceable and provide excellent grip
Large durable forged steel Anvil work surface designed for metal shaping or bending
Includes 360-degree swivel base with two lock downs
4-inch jaw width and 0.5-2 diameter pipe capacity
Full lifetime warranty on both units and assets
- BrandYost Tools
- Weight22 pounds
Say hello to Grizzly’s Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise. This must-have product is an essential for our workbench. Let’s start off with our favorite feature; the degree indicator on the 360-degree rotating jaws which allows its user to view how far they’ve already turned the vice. Why don’t more vises offer this ingenious feature? We absolutely love it.
Incorporating five-inch jaws with an average depth throat, the levers are fantastic for tightening whatever you’re working on and is therefore ideal for users who constantly switch items on the job. The versatile swiveling base comes in handy and truly allows a worker to own their laziness – no need to walk around your work now!
Multi-purpose vise manufactured from durable cast grey iron
Versatile swiveling base allows for greater ease while working
Useful degree indicator making the user aware of how far the vise is turned
Covered lead screws allow for low maintenance and infrequent lubrication
Large Anvil allows for the straightening of sheet metal without any surface damage
- Weight42 pounds
This stunning baby-blue Lockdown Vise is durable in every way. Not only that, you’ll never get injured again due to a slippage. The horizontal force created by tightening the handle pushes the semi-sphere within the movable jaw and so, thrusts the movable jaw downwards. Pretty ingenious, if you ask us.
Want to move your jaw plates? This vise allows for them to be positioned with four different settings, providing the user with high clamping power. Alongside the perfectly aligned precision gowned jaws on offer, it’s a product hard to beat.
Unbreakable ductile Iron composed from 80000 PSI
Flexible jaw plates are available in four settings and provide high clamping power
Equipped with Acme screws
Piece is held in place by horizontal force
Swiveling Milling Vises featuring precision gowned jaws
- BrandHardwareFactory Store
- Weight30.3 pounds
This product may be the last on our review list, but it’s certainly not last place in our rankings. Its rotating abilities are what we consider to be this product’s top feature. Both the head and the base of Capri Tools’ vise can rotate 360-degrees – the head locks with a pull pin at twelve different points while the base can move wherever you desire.
Manufactured from the finest of ductile iron, a ten-year warranty is offered. No surprise there considering buyers view this product to be indestructible. One additional benefit of this material is the 90,000 pounds of clamping force, allowing your item to be securely placed. To sum up, this rotating vise puts other products to shame with its adaptability and versatility.
Optimal rotation ensured by 360-degree rotation with 12 different set points
Manufactured from 60,000 PSI high-quality ductile iron
Extensive work space for fabrication provided by anvil
Offers a ten-year warranty
360-degree rotating base allows more control
- BrandCapri Tools
- Weight57.2 pounds
Best Bench Vise Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying a Bench Vise
You've finally decided to take the plunge and look into purchasing a Bench Vise. Good for you - now you're one step closer to obtaining greater precision in your work. Yet so many prospective buyers give up at the last hurdle due to there being so much to consider. Don't let this dissuade you! By informing yourself about the top features, you'll be sure to purchase a quality product.
- What size and shape of object will you be working with?
Depending on the size and shape of the object at hand should largely alter your choice of vise. If you typically work with larger and heavier objects, consider opting for a vise with a larger jaw, ranging from size 4"to 8". Likewise, if you often work with peculiarly shaped items, look into purchasing yourself either an offset or rotating vise.
- How often will you be using your vise?
The amount of money you plan to splurge on your new gadget should correspond to the amount you'll use it. There's no point in flinging your hard-earned cash at a model which will sit about in your garage gathering dust. On the other hand, if you plan to use your vise every day, ensure it includes features which enhance its durability, such as replaceable serrated jaws chrome-plated which resist corrosion.
- Will you be removing and inserting several work pieces in fast succession?
You want a vise which generates no additional hassle, especially when it comes to removing and inserting different work. Vises with quick opening features are available if you frequently work with several products at once.
What Can You Use a Bench Vise for?
The benefits of working with a vise are numerous. Here's our top three we consider to be the most useful:
- Using a Saw
Do you have work-working project that needs completed? By holding the wood between the vise, both hands can be used, reducing the risk of hand fatigue and overall injury.
'But using sandpaper is simple, right?', non-DIYers state. Unfortunately, no. It can be incredibly difficult to apply sandpaper to a piece of wood without damaging your product. By securing the item into place, you can now add finer detail to your project without any consequences.
- Operating a Drill
To use a drill effectively, it is vital that you do so on a surface that won't move an inch. Working with a vise will guarantee accuracy when operating a precise tool of this type.
How to Install a Bench Vise
Those DIYers who endlessly complain about how difficult it is to mount and install a bench vise haven't followed the right instructions. In reality, all you need is a little determination combined with a little strength and you'll be good to go! Just ensure you ask yourself the right questions beforehand.
- Placement of Your Vise
Are you going to be installing a bench top vise? Where can you work quietly without being disturbed? These are all questions which must be considered before installation can take place.
- Drill Bolt Holes
If you've decided to install a bench vise like most DIYers, mark where the vise holes will be before drilling though the bench top. It's important to allow for half to three-quarters of an inch below the top of the bench and the jaws to make room for the wood face.
- Bolt Vise
Now it's time to place bolts in the holes provided within the mounting bracket. One top tip is to place lock washers/add glue to keep the vise in place. Now, you're ready to go!
Best Bench Vise FAQ:
Q: How does a bench vise work?
A: The beauty and downfall of bench vises is that they all work differently depending on which model you opt for. In general, bench vises are used to hold down an object in a secure manner so it can be worked on and decreasing the likelihood of the operator becoming injured. Likewise, the operator's job is made easier due to the bench vise holding down the object being worked upon rather than their hand, increasing overall quality and decreasing work time.
Q: What are the main parts of a bench vise?
A: Sliding or Dynamic Jaw - This feature is arguably the most important part of any bench vise. A sturdy dynamic jaw will provide precise clamping on any object you wish to adjust or amend. Without a durable jaw, you'll be buying a new bench vise in no time.
Fixed Body or Static Jaw - This is where things start to get complicated, so bear with us! The static jaw is usually the heaviest of the two jaws and remains stationary during work, unlike a Sliding or Dynamic Jaw described above. Typically, you'll find the static jaw fixed to the body of the vise itself.
Handle - Do we really need to explain this component? The purpose of a handle on a bench vise is to act as a lever that turns the lead screw, which then moves the dynamic jaw. Simple, right? We recommend purchasing a handle with changeable anti-pinch rubber rings to protect yourself against any injuries.
Warning - Never add a cheater bar to a handle! Although this will extend the handle of your vise and therefore generate greater force, the warranty of your vise runs the risk of voiding the warranty.
Main or Lead Screw - This part of the vise is attached to the handle through the nut and rotates and moves the dynamic jaw open and closed. You'll often find Acme threads to be the most reliable, due to allowing for precise operation and longevity.
Jaws - These are located at the top of both the dynamic and the static jaw and hold the work piece in place. Ideally, these should be hardened and serrated for maximum durability. In high-quality vises, it's often possible to attach snap on jaws if working with a tricky product.
Q: How important is a swivel base?
A: The importance of incorporating a swivel base really depends on the job at hand. If you're working with an oddly shaped object then we'd recommend this feature, as this allows for adjustment of the vise position on the bench. A quality swivel base will include a side clamping screw, which will stop any unwanted rotation from occurring by keeping it fixed with this locking arrangement.
So, what are the advantages? As well as being versatile as you're able to adjust the vise, there's no need to constantly open and close jaws to reposition your workpiece. You'll be saving time and keeping yourself safe from injuries. However, many critics argue that despise these benefits, a fixed bench is a lot sturdier, can withstand more pressure, and guarantees less risk of the vise moving during work applications. Unfortunately, in comparison to a fixed base, the models incorporating a swivel base are a lot more expensive! As always, we cannot make this decision for you but ensure that you know your priorities before opting for a model containing a swivel base.
Our Top Pick
We know what you're all thinking. What vise, out of the multitude of high-quality products we've pitched today, would we install into our own workshops? It would have to be Irwin Tools' Clamp-On Vise. As well as being lightweight and portable, it can be installed on tables two-inches thick. This vise offers a high clamping pressure up to 1250 pounds with a 2-inch capacity jaw ideal for general project work. If you need a light-duty vise, then look no further!