Written By
Published Mar. 18, 2019

In recent years, work in various industries has become increasingly easier and less demanding. This is often due to equipment and machinery that has been designed to ensure that the tasks we carry out are done more efficiently and effectively. Tasks that include extensive hole boring, reaming, or countersinking can cause an accident if the right equipment is not available. That’s why a drill press vise is an excellent mechanical tool. It keeps the material you want to work on in place. There are different drill press vises that are suitable for the specific tasks you want to carry out, or for the materials you would like to work on, and this list is here to help you decide which one is most suitable. It offers information on some of the best drill press vises for the kind of tasks and materials you work with.

The Best Drill Press Vise

The Irwin Tools Drill Press is a great grasping tool that works well at securing your workpiece steadily and firmly, enabling you to drill into it. This drill press vise is reinforced with appropriately textured jaw clamps that hold your workpiece securely in place during drilling. With a 4.5-inch jaw capacity, you can use this drill press vise for almost any suitable drilling task as it is wide enough to accommodate most workpieces. It offers a strong and durable build made with forged iron, ensuring that it can be used for diverse drilling tasks without worrying about damage to the tool.

Regardless of its durable build, it’s surprisingly very lightweight and portable allowing you to carry it around and set it up with ease. The jaw clamps are generously equipped with 1,000-pound grasping pressure that ensure your workpiece will be firmly held in place and also making it suitable for any lightweight drilling task you need to carry out.

Key Features
  • 4.5 inch jaw capacity
  • Appropriately textured jaws for firm gripping
  • Produced with Forged Iron for durability
  • Slotted base design for easy installation
Specification
  • Brand Irwin Tools
  • Model 226340
  • Weight 7 pounds

One of the benefits of a drill press is its capability to assist with accurate drilling, making them more beneficial than a standard handheld drill. For easy drilling into your workpieces, the Performance Tool W3939 Hammer Tough 2-1/2 inch Drill Press Vise is a great option. As opposed to using your hands to hold material in place, this drill vise can sturdily hold things in place thanks to its etched jaw smart design. The jaw faces are duly imprinted to ensure that the texture enhances its ability to grasp workpieces, thus preventing them from slipping out during drilling. Due to the amount of pressure that is exerted during operation, the strong and sturdy build of the Performance drill press vise helps to stabilise the workpiece and prevents unnecessary damage, ensuring that neat and precise drilling work is actualised. The featured pivot handle permits easy turning, while the slotted base enables easy installation via the mounting holes. Its 2-1/2-inch jaw width is enough space for most sizeable workpieces to fit in, and the capacity is suitable for various small work materials.  The performance tool vise can also be used for milling, tapping, grinding and other tasks.

Key Features
  • Imprinted Jaws for a firm grasp
  • Pivot handle for easy turning
  • Easy installation with mounting holes
  • 2-1/2 inch jaw capacity
Specification
  • Brand Performance Tool
  • Model W3939
  • Weight 8 ounces

When it comes to choosing the best drill press vise, the correct size has to be taken into consideration. As there a myriad of sizes available, finding a suitable drill press vise for your milling machine can be a challenge. However, with the Wen 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press Vise, you can be rest assured that it will be compatible with most drill press and milling machines, making it a high contender and enviable work vise tool. Its universal, functional design makes it quite suitable for an array of drill press machines. The volume between the jaws is three inches and has the capacity to open up to about 3-1/10 inches when pushed to the limit. And with a one-inch throat depth, this allows the jaws to easily and firmly clinch wood, metal and plastic pieces among other materials.

This strong and sturdy mechanical tool is built with cast iron, which is great for providing stability and protecting the workpiece from slipping or getting damaged due to the vibrations and vigorous movements from the drill press. When drilling a workpiece, you expect the holes to have a good finish, but luckily the Wen drill vise has four mounting slots that can easily be fixed stably to your work table. This enables a stable grip on the workpiece between its able jaws while you drill through effortlessly and create those finely finished bored holes you desire. Overall, the Wen Cast Iron Drill press machine is good quality and is set for optimum usage and all-round precision.

Key Features
  • Cast Iron construction
  • 3-inch Jaws with a capacity of 3-1/10 inches and 1-inch throat depth
  • Four on-board mounting slots for easy installation
  • Great design and compatibility with most drill presses
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 423DPV
  • Weight 4.1 pounds

The Wilton 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise is an X-Y vise that enables the tool to slide across 2 axes, allowing increased drills on a workpiece. It moves your workpiece precisely along vertical and horizontal planes to ensure that the material is positioned in the exact place you need it. The featured sturdy v-grooved jaws work great for clenching workpieces firmly in position without concerns of them slipping out or moving during the drilling process.  They secure round-shaped objects safely in place whether placed horizontally or vertically. The 4-inch, easy-to-replace capacity jaws are made of hardened steel to ensure this tool is long lasting and durable and will not be damaged during drilling processes. It is finely designed with quality grain cast iron casting and features cast side knobs that are precisely dialled in at .1mm increments, which ultimately makes it more compatible with most drill press machinery. The design also features a pivot handle that helps you exert extra pressure while clamping objects and mounting holes that help you easily install and set up the cross slide drill press vise on your work table using bolts.

Key Features
  • Sturdy V-grooved jaws for a firm grip
  • Long lasting and strong construction
  • Cast side knobs    
  • Pivot handle design
Specification
  • Brand Wilton
  • Model 11694
  • Weight 20 pounds

The Delta 20-621 4-inches Drill Press Vise has the ability to hold work materials in its 4-inch jaw capacity which is quite accommodating for the various workpieces whether wood or metal. During drilling operations, it is very risky to use your hands to hold your workpiece in place, and in situations where you do not have a strong and durable mechanism to firmly secure the workpiece you would like to drill into, it can easily end up chipping off the material or harming your hands. The Delta drill press vise helps you to bore precise holes into your workpiece hands-free; now you will not need to hold the material in place thanks to the easy option of setting up the Delta Vise on your work table or factory floor. All you would need to do is watch the procedure due to the thru-holes design on the jaws.

This work tool is constructed with cast-iron to ensure its overall strength and sturdiness, and ensure that with prolonged use of the tool to clench work items, it will not damage the jaws or tool as whole due to the vigorous vibrations or tension that is exerted through the drilling process.

Key Features
  • Cast Iron construction for increased durability
  • Built-in groove that supports dowels up to 1-1/2 inches
  • Quick release button
  • 4-inch Jaw capacity
Specification
  • Brand Delta
  • Model 20-621
  • Weight 6 pounds

The HFS ™ 3-inch Metal Milling 2 Way X-Y Cross Slide Drill Press Vise is a great mechanical tool for milling, designed with premium quality ductile iron 80000 PSI to ensure that it will not easily bend due to exerted pressure during milling operations. During a milling process, it removes metal, wood and other solid workpieces that are not needed via a rotating cutter and accurately machines the material into the desired form; this process knowingly requires that the milling machine is placed horizontally or vertically so they can finely carve out the expected form from a previous design. The process entails that the milling machines carry out multi-axis machining and for such a refined and dynamic set of movements, a cross slide vise is highly needed.

The 3-inch capacity jaws of the HFS cross slide vise ensures that there is enough width to accommodate most workpieces that need to be carved, hence the jaw faces have been properly aligned and reinforced with serrated steel to ensure accurate precision making certain that the grip on the workpiece is tight, firm and concise during the vigorous milling process.

Key Features
  • 3-inch capacity jaws
  • Top quality ductile iron 80000 PSI for minimum bending
  • 4 inches Horizontal and 4.5 inches cross travel features with adjustable gibs
  • Properly aligned jaws
Specification
  • Brand HFS
  • Model FBA_16020
  • Weight 13.67 pounds

The Shop Fox D4082 4-inch Cross-Sliding Vise is another brilliant X-Y vise that can be used for light milling operations and with its strong and durable build you can be assured that this mechanised cross slide vise will not be subjected to easy damages any time soon, it weighs a whopping 22 pounds which may be a bit heavy for some but it gets the job done. It will not be a bother once you install it securely and notice how easy and less strenuous it is to carry out your drilling and some milling operations without the exerted pressure overly getting to you. The jaw volume measures about 4 inches in width and has the capacity of 4-inches which is quite advantageous as it will be able to take on larger metal, wood and other solid workpieces between its sturdy jaws which clinch tightly to workpiece between their teeth allowing for an accurate and precise drilling or milling operation.

The Shop Fox vise features an exceptional quality as it includes a unique slide bar that effectively stops the vise jaws from bolting up or sideways when you are tightening it and you can also conveniently change the gibs to prevent any slack on both the top and the bottom of the vise. The top slide travel is 4 inches while the bottom slide travel is 4 inches too, enabling accurately aligned jaw faces to ensure proper and concise movements for any light milling work you may want to carry out. Overall, the shop fox vise is great for all types of drilling work that also includes cutting keyways.

Key Features
  • 4-inch Jaw width with 4 inches capacity
  • Well-aligned slide travels
  • Unique slide bar that prevents jaws from tilting
  • Great for light milling operations
Specification
  • Brand Shop Fox
  • Model D4082
  • Weight 21.6 pounds

Started in Chicago 1941 by Hugh W. Vogl, the Wilton brand has grown to be one of the most reputable manufacturers of drill press vises and the Wilton 11753 3-inch Cradle Style Angle Drill Press Vise certainly lives up to their high standards. If you have been looking for a premium quality, functional and affordable vertical vise, look no further. Its spectacular design and sturdy build make for a functional eye-catching tool that has been well constructed and toned to perfection. The cradle design features a 90-degree vertical length whilst the body is appropriately indexed with 1-degree increments so you can easily set it to the angle you need for your precise and diverse operations. What’s more, the jaws are well aligned to ensure accurate and concise clenching functions.

The Wilton angle drill press vise also features a side Tommy bar that has been able to ensure that the locking features and movements are smoothly and precisely controlled anytime you increase it from 0-degrees to 90 degrees. It can be used to drill accurate dowel holes in workpieces and is perfect for drilling angle holes. Moreover, this multi-purpose drill press tool can also be used for reaming and tapping operations that require an angle setup and has also been designed to ensure that it is easily adjustable by users for their concise use; it can be adjusted in two ways to secure the angles to your precision.

Key Features
  • Great design and sturdy build
  • Can be used for drilling, milling, tapping and reaming operations that need angle setup
  • Cradle design with a 90-degree vertical indexing
  • Secure locking features
Specification
  • Brand Wilton
  • Model 11753
  • Weight 12 pounds

The Palmgren 4-inch Drill Press Vise is a unique and top quality multi-functional vise, with a well thought out and spectacular design. It has is very well constructed, sturdy and solid guaranteeing a strong and durable mechanism. The jaws are well aligned and do not tilt during tightening or clamping, the jaws open to about 4-inches wide and are grooved to ensure that they hold round workpieces firmly and securely. With a height of 3-1/2 inches and throat depth of 1-3/4 inches, it can be used for diverse applications such as drilling, spot-facing, counterboring, reaming and countersinking. The Palmgren drill press vise can be set up multi-dimensionally depending on the operation you need to carry out; it will clamp and hold firmly to workpieces when placed upright on any side or set down flat on your work table. It features one vertical T-slot with three transverse 3/8 inch T-slots.

The body of the vise has the capacity to hold work with its strong and sturdy build, it may be very compact and portable but this does not take away its durability and functionality as it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Key Features
  • 4-inch jaw capacity
  • One longitudinal T-slot with three transverse 3/8 T-slots
  • Grooved jaws for clenching round workpieces
  • Used for counterboring, reaming, drilling, etc.
Specification
  • Brand Palmgren
  • Model 14 (AmazonUs/ERCT9)
  • Weight 18 pounds

Last on our list is the Universal 4-inch Cross slide Drill Press Vise. This well-constructed device has been composed of a top quality metal for added durability and sturdiness. The pressures, vibrations and workpiece bits that would naturally wear a tool down have got nothing on this mega cross slide drill press vise mechanism. The jaw capacity is 4 inches which enables this vise to hold most sizeable workpieces and be largely compatible with most drill press machines. It ensures a grounded and stable platform for the precise positioning of your workpieces in between the jaws and suitably places it under the drill press machine for easy and accurate drilling.  The cross-slide design has two axis that are perfectly aligned to ensure accurate precision and can easily be adjusted whenever you need to replace workpieces or just change the settings to suit your desired task.

To add to its durability, the Cross Slide drill has been manufactured with heavy duty cast steel and comes with machine cold-rolled steel screws and a chrome handle for easy manoeuvring. This, along with the mounting lug ensures that it can easily be installed securely on your work table. The vise handles also drop all the way down to guarantee the safety of every user and allow free movement and a peaked user experience. 

Key Features
  • Cross-slide design with two well aligned axis
  • Heavy-duty cast steel construction
  • Easy installation via multiple mounting lugs
  • 4-inch Jaw capacity
Specification
  • Brand Universal
  • Model CV042-C
  • Weight 16.75 pounds

Best Drill Press Vise Buying Guide & FAQ

When picking out a suitable drill press vise, there are so many things you have to take into consideration in order to get the best out of the one you choose.

Things to Look Out for When Buying a Drill Press Vise

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of work you do, and what you would be using the vise for. This will help you determine what size and features to look out for. For instance, some drill press vises do more than just drilling, they work great for milling, cross drilling and other applications.

  • Jaw capacity and texture

When you work with different types of materials like wood, metal and so on, it is important to know the jaw width so you understand the size of materials the vise is able to hold on to. It would also be wise to find out the texture on the jaws; some are imprinted so they hold round objects better, while some have grooves to ensure the jaws can perfectly grip irregularly shaped workpieces.

  • Weight

When checking the specifications, you will notice that some vises are larger in size than others and relatively weigh much more. It is also important to note that while smaller vises would need mounting holes to be installed on your work table using bolts, a larger and heavier work vise does not need to be bolted in since it is heavy enough to withstand the vibrations and pressure exerted during the drilling process.

  • Throat depth

The throat depth of your work vise is ascertained by measuring from the top of the jaws to the base. In cases where you are working with lengthy workpieces, it is important to know how deep the jaws go; however, if you will be working with regular seized bits this may not be so important.

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Benefit of Using a Drill Press Vise

  • A drill press vise will firmly hold your workpiece in place while carrying out your drilling operations. It is perfect for securing the workpiece while boring holes through it neatly and concisely.
  • The days where we used our hands to secure a workpiece are quickly getting behind us, not only can it prove hazardous for your hands and the workpiece altogether, but it may also not allow you to stand back and watch carefully and creatively while you adjust and work the material to your precision
  • For more complicated tasks such as cross side drilling, it is best to use a vise so it easily moves and swindles harmoniously in the directions the drill press or milling machine is going.
  • Different types of drill vises work better for different sizes of workpieces. You can easily install the vise and work on materials on your factory table, garage table or even on the floor.

Types of Drill Press Vises

There are different types of vises that serve diverse purposes; it is vital to know the class each one belongs to so you can enjoy using a vise more suitable to what your work requires. There are:

  • Metalworking Vises

These vises are mostly used for holding metal pieces in place, however, they are not solely limited to metals. They can also clamp wood or plastic quite efficiently. Jaw pads or vises with soft jaws should be used with a material such as wood so the hard textured jaws do not end up damaging the workpiece.

  • Woodworking Vises

These vises are perfect for woodworking and have smoother jaws in comparison to metal vises and are suitable for clamping wood pieces and are designed to be mounted under a work table.

  • Machine vices

Machine vises are clenching mechanised tools that help to hold workpieces securely in place during drilling or milling procedures. They are attached unto a work table thereby relieving the users’ hands during drilling operations.

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Best Drill Press Vise FAQ:

Q: What is a drill press vise and how does it work?

A drill press vise is a clamping mechanism used to securely hold a workpiece in place during drilling, milling and other similar applications. It is installed on a working table and metal, wood or plastic workpieces are placed between the jaws so they are firmly held in place during a drilling process

Q: Can I use a normal bench vise for a drill press?

It is best to use a machine vise for any drill press application.

Q: How do I attach a vise to a drill press?

Depending on the size of the vise, you can either install it via the mounting holes using bolts through the provided holes to secure it on your work table or for a larger vise. You can easily prop it on the table if its weight is enough to withstand the pressure exerted from the drilling process.

Sources:

  1. How to Use a Drill Press – DIY Network
  2. What Does Drill Press Do and Why Do You Need It? – Tool Nerds

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