Since we only have two hands, handling certain projects can be a challenge. At other times, holding a workpiece using your hands may not be safe. This is why a vise is a staple in every workshop. Whether you are handling metalworking, woodworking, or automotive work, a workbench can help to clamp your material in place. For the best results, you will need to choose the best bench. However, making the optimal buying decision is entirely dependent on the information you have about vises. To help you make an informed purchase, here are the best vises in 2021. Our team has carried research on the best bench vises out there and chose the following top 7 best options. We have also presented a complete buying guide that can help you find a vise that is best-suited to your needs.
When choosing the best vise, there are a few factors you must consider. These include:
First, you will want to consider how you will be using the vise. Whether you are a woodworker, welder, or machinist, you will need a work-specific vise. Do you plan to use it as an anvil with a hammer over it? If there will be hammering, choose an option that has a big rear anvil and is made of strong material.
One of the materials that are commonly used to make vises is cast iron. This is because it is very tough, and allows the user to put enough clamping pressure. Steel vises can also be very popular due to their strength and are more durable than the ones made of cast iron. However, if put under extreme pressure, they may deform.
Width of the jaw
This refers to the clamping surface of the vise. Vises with small jaw widths of 3 inches may be suitable for lighter duties. On the other hand, vises with a bigger jaw width of 10 inches may be suitable for clamping large and heavy-duty projects. A good vise should have a jaw width of 5 to 8 inches. Vises used in woodworking projects have a bigger jaw width so that they don’t put a lot of pressure on bigger areas.
It can be hard screwing a vise into and out of a workpiece. You may need over 20 urns to open the jaw of the vise enough for a big piece. Instead of spending a lot of time twisting the vise in position and out of position, you should choose a model that has a rapid action capability.
This is the space between the top jaw and the base of the base. You should therefore choose the throat depth that is best suited for your project. If you are dealing with a bigger object, choose a vise with a bigger depth of the throat and vice versa.
What are the different types of bench vises?
There are several types of bench vises:
Also referred to as a machinists vise, the benchtop vise is mounted on top of your workbench. Some models may clamp on the surface of the workbench while others bolt through the table to provide a strong attachment. This type of workbench is usually a multipurpose one. Its jaws are very strong and it puts a lot of pressure on the clamping bench. It also holds the workpiece on the surface of the table, and is, therefore, a great choice for wrenching or welding. While it can work well for metalworks and mechanisms, its use in woodworking is usually limited.
This is usually mounted at the top of a workbench. It’s commonly used by woodworkers as it allows them to carry out tasks such as routing, planning, and dovetailing without causing longboard pieces to protrude into the middle of the work surface. Some of the front vises have a quick-release mechanism enabling the user to adjust the vise to fit a workpiece before snagging it in place at the turn of a handle.
This vise looks like the front vise but is usually mounted at the end of the workbench. It’s also used differently from the front vise. It’s a great choice for woodworkers who perform a lot of surface planning and flattening, two tasks that require total stability from the workpiece. You can place a boar at the benchtop and turn the dog (a small metal peg inside the jaw), put another dog in the opening on the work surface, and tighten the vise to hold the board well.
What can we use the best vise for?
Before you buy the best tabletop vise, you need to know exactly what you would like to do with it. Here are some of the tasks where a vise will come in handy.
When cutting or sawing a material, a vise will help you to hold the material firmly so that you can cut the material easily and quickly.
This is a project that may take time. But when the material is held in place with a vise, it can become faster and easier. This is because the vice will provide the necessary stability when applying pressure and therefore, minimize any chances of accidental damage. It will then be possible to prevent any accidental damage.
A bench vise can be very helpful when gluing a material. It will be easier for you to apply glue to the material when it’s held well in place. You can then complete the whole project after the area is fully dried.
What safety precautions should I observe when using a vise?
Vises are used for a wide range of tasks. You should ensure that you have chosen the right vise for your job. Follow the following safety measures.
Wear goggles and use a shield to protect your eyes and face
Attach the vise securely on the work table and ensure that the bots are attached in the right order. Ensure the table or workbench is well secured to the base
Ensure that the vise is mounted in a way that the stationary jaw protrudes slightly above the edge of your workbench. This will ensure that long work is clamped in a vise without interference from the workbench edge
Check if there are any cracks, damages, or other structural damages to the workbench before trying to clamp it to a workpiece
Ensure that the vise and the material are kept in a compatible range to prevent vibration during operation such as documenting and sawing
Ensure that the moving parts are oiled and have no chips
What should I avoid when using a vise?
There are several things you must not do when using a vise.
Don’t try to widen the vise’s jaw more than they can handle
Avoid tightening the vice more than necessary
Avoid applying a lot of pressure on the corners of the vise
Never weld or braze a weld when repairing it. This can compromise the warranty
Avoid using the vise with the smallest split
Don’t hammer the handle to tighten more
Avoid using the vise jaw as the anvil
Avoid using a vise if it’s cracked
A vise is, without doubt, a key addition to your workshop. It makes it easy to keep power tools stable. However, if you need good results, you will need to choose the best bench vice. You can choose one of the above options for a solid grip of your materials.
If you are searching for a lightweight but affordable vise for small DIY projects around the home, you may want to consider the YOST VISES LV-4 Home Vise. The vise is made of cast iron, making it tough and durable. All its elements such as the crank arms for the swivel base and jaw are also sturdily made. The jaws of the vise are 4.5 inches and have ample grip. To help position your work better, it has a 240 degrees swivel base.
The Irwin Tools vise is a well-built unit that can endure heavy jobs. It has a slotted base that makes it easy to install and position. It’s made of forged iron with a clamping pressure of 100-pound for extra durability. With a 4.5 inches jaw, and parts that move smoothly. It’s a good choice for light-duty tasks. The vise has a flat milled surface and an iron body providing a quality look. Overall, the design, casting, and machining of the unit are good.
The Fasmov Swivel vise features rubber jaws that ensure firm clamping and prevent it from scratching your workpiece. If you would like to use it on rods, you can remove the rubber jaw. The unit has a stiff swivel bell, allowing you to move the unit as needed. It also has a rubber foot that prevents scuffing of your table. The rubber foot also helps to keep the unit sturdy, without having to clamp it down too hard.
The Workpro bench vise is a great option for use in your basement or workbench. The 4.5 bench vise is made of gray iron, making a heavy-duty unit that clamps tightly on the material. It also features a multi-jaw component that will fit flat material, pipes, or tubes well. It has anti-slipping jaws that reduce the risk of injury. The vise has jaws with a 240 degrees swivel design and a swivel base providing a greater degree of accuracy.
The TEKTON swivel bench is made of cast iron with a tensile strength of 30,000 PSI, making it suitable for heavy-duty use. It has a polished anvil made of steel, ensuring a smooth work surface. It features 3 mounting holes that allow you to secure it well to a workbench. The unit has a tight screw mechanism that turns well. Also, the nonslip serrated steel jaw works well and doesn’t bulge.
The Forward DT08125A 5-Inch Heavy Duty Bench Vise is a well-made unit that features a 360-degree swivel base, an anvil, and a rotating head. It’s sturdily made and has a meticulous gear system that ensures long-lasting durable operation, providing exceptional value for money. It’s made of a high-strength ductile iron that has a PSI of 60,000. Also, the pipe holder works well and can come in handy.
The Bessey – BESSEY BV-VB BVVB Vacuum Base Vise is a well-built unit with all-metal construction, apart from the jaws and suction. It has an easy-to-use tilting mechanism and holds materials securely. It swivels 360 degrees and can be pivoted 90 degrees. You can rotate the head of the vise to work on opposite sides. The unit comes with a vacuum base that attaches securely to any smooth surface.
Sturdy and durable
Easy to use tilting mechanism
Locks materials safely and securely
Doesn’t have a good suction
Rails are sloppy
Q: What is the right size of the gunsmithing vise?
A: For gunsmithing, you will need a vise with a jaw size of at least 4 inches.
Q: Should I grease my vise?
A: Vises have moving parts and therefore, it would be important to lubricate them with lubricant occasionally.
Q: What features should I look for in the best heavy-duty vise?
A: Since you will be using a heavy-duty vise for heavy and commercial applications, choose one with features such as a 360 degrees swivel base, quick release mechanism, and changeable jaws.
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