Bench vises, also spelled “vices”, are mechanical tools that are meant to secure various objects that need to be worked on. These tools can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as woodworking, engineering, plumbing and many more. One of the most popular vises that are available on today’s market is the bench vise. Its name speaks for itself and unlike other vise types, this one does not need to be attached to a work bench, unless the working surface is not stable.
Bench vises are useful and practical. They can help you work accurately and efficiently and they are those kinds of tools that can be kept for life. Being built from heavy duty materials such as iron, bench vises rarely break or become useless. These mechanical devices haven’t been through many changes since they were first invented, so their basic components remained the same.
A bench vise is usually comprised of the following components: a fixed base, a swivel base, bolts, a swivel lock, an adjusting screw, a handle, a movable jaw and a fixed jaw. The handle always rotates 360 degrees. Modern bench vises mostly feature 360-degree swivel bases or 180-degree ones. Such a tool is a must for DIY experts, as well as professional woodworkers or amateurs who need to craft various objects.
Although not many people would know what to do with a bench vise, this device has a multitude of applications. When you own one of these, you can work with wood, metal and plenty of other materials, as its purpose is to provide a stable position for the object while you are working on it with precision.
Most bench vises have the same design and abilities, but some of them are better than others. Why? It’s simple: some vises are more durable than others, include practical accessories, have a huge clamping force and range, as well as an incredibly large support capacity. Portability is also an important factor in the process of choosing the best hand tool for your needs.
It is easy to buy the best bench vise when you have an unlimited budget or your expenses are covered by your employer. But when you don’t, the vise’s price is also an important factor that will influence your final decision. The market offers plenty of models for all budgets, but it is important to choose carefully, as this is supposed to be a durable tool with a long life span.
Giving the wide variety of manufacturers that bring bench vises to the market, we decided to review some of the best-selling products out there and see what their advantages and disadvantages are. While reviewing them we looked at the materials’ type and durability, at the product’s weight, size, warranty, price, adjustment ability and more. After reading these reviews you should be able to decide which bench vise is suitable for your needs. Also, this article is meant to show you whether some of the most popular products are worth the money or not.
A perfect vise for amateurs, DIY enthusiasts and workers who occasionally need a bench vise. This product comes in blue color, it weighs 19.2 pounds and has a 4.5 inch jaz width. Its pipe capacity ranges from 0.125 to 2 inches. It is made of cast iron and it has a sturdy construction. It is stable and can be attached to a workbench, but it is comfortable to work with it even when it’s not attached to one.
This is one of Yost’s most inexpensive bench vises but buyers should be careful when choosing the product. If you are looking for a Yost vise that is manufactured in the USA, you should double check, as there are plenty of identical models that are made in China.
Is suitable for DIY projects
Is made of cast ironSet featured image
Some customers complained about the quality of the handle, which seems to bend easily
If you are looking for a workshop vice for home use, this might be the ideal product for your needs. It is affordable, has a sturdy construction and it is made of high strength steel. Also, it has a double lock swivel base and a large anvil work area. It only weighs 15.4 pounds and it comes with lifetime warranty.
The Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise has a 4-inch jaw opening and width and is meant for general purposes. Although it is an easy-to-operate bench vise, its 120 degree swivel might not be suitable for everyone.
Is built to last
Is suitable for home projects and general purposes
Is easy to operate
It’s 120-degree swivel might be uncomfortable to work with
Unlike the product above, this bench vise’s cost is higher, but it comes with more appealing features. Its 6-inch jaw, 3.5 x 3.75-inch anvil, 360-degree swivel and sturdy construction turn it into a great tool for homeowners who need a light duty bench vise. It comes in blue color but its coating is light and thin.
The Irwin 226306 bench vise weighs 32.2 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty. It is made of forged iron and is easy to operate. Although it looks sturdy and is advertised as able to hold up to 3000 pounds, its cosmetic flaws such as coating damage here and there.
Has a 6-inch jaw
Is suitable for home use
Has 360-degree swivel
Is made of forged iron
Is more expensive than other similar products with the same capacity
Might come with cosmetic flaws
This red-colored, multi-purposes bench vise stands out of the crowd thanks to its flawless design and great features. Even though some people might find it a bit expensive for a general purpose tool that is meant mostly for light duty, it comes with plenty of advantages. It has a 360-degree jaw, a 5-inch opening and is one of the best options for welding support, holding pipe or flat work.
The Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise weighs 42.2 pounds and has a versatile design. The only inconvenience is that it cannot be locked until you lock the jaws, so your assembly rotates left and right a bit.
Has a great design
Has a 5-inch opening
Its jaws rotate 360 degrees
Is suitable for home projects
Only the jaws can be locked, not the entire assembly
It is a bit expensive for a light-duty vise
This Yost bench vise brings superior quality to the market, by comparison with the first reviewed product. Its price is affordable, its construction is robust and its 17 pound weight makes it easy to transport when needed. It is made of steel; it has a 4-inch jaw opening and a 360-degree swivel base. It is painted in black, but its coat is thin and comes with a few aesthetic flaws.
This product has replaceable jaws and has a protection bar for the main screw. Also, it has built-in, grooved pipe jaws. It is not the best bench vise you can find on the market, but it is ideal for occasional use and it definitely does its job.
Is made of steel
Has 360-degree swivel base
Has a few aesthetic flaws
Has low-quality coating
This is one of Yost’s hiqh-quality bench vises for home use and general purpose. Its price is a bit higher than other similar products, but the fact that it is made of iron and has a U channel bar made of steel compensates. It weighs 10.45 pounds, it is painted in blue and has a 6.5 inch jaw opening. Its 180-degree swivel base makes it comfortable to use for multiple projects.
This product’s construction looks durable. It is easy to operate and has replaceable top jaws and permanent pipe jaws. Its coating is not the best and some buyers have been complaining about the handle’s sturdiness, but overall, it is a great bench vise for occasional use.
Has a wide jaw opening
Has a 180-degree swivel base
Has a sturdy construction
Is made of iron
Is an ideal tool for beginnners
Its price is a bit high comparing to its flaws
Has low-quality coating
This product is one of the cheapest the market has to offer. Even so, it is a great tool for home use and especially for novices. At this price, you get a bench vise with replaceable jaw faces, permanent pipe jaws, a reinforced 4 lug base, dark grey finish that is powder-coated and a weight of only 5.1 pounds.
It has 270 degree swivel base which is unexpected for such an inexpensive tool. Also, it has a 4-inch opening and is suitable for all light to medium duty projects. This bench vise also comes with a small pipe clamp that is positioned under the jaws. This is what we call good value for money.
Has a 4-inch opening
Is made of steel
Has a 270-degree swivel base
Is ideal for home projects
It can be hard to manipulate sometimes
This bench vise is one of Yost’s high-priced tools. It is advertised to be a heavy-duty product and so it is. It is made of ductile iron, it weighs 63 pounds and it has a multi-jaw that is comprised of top jaws, pipe jaws and V-jaws. Its head has 12 locking positions which make it quite amazing and its 360-degree swivel base makes it easy to adjust and work with.
Its 3 sets of jaws are replaceable. It looks durable and sturdy and it comes with 4 mounting tabs. It is extremely easy to work with and it can hold over 9000 pounds. This vise’s jaw width and the opening is of 5 inches.
Is durable and heavy
Is designed for heavy-duty projects
Has 12 locking positions
Is made of ductile iron
Comes with multiple jaws
Is not as affordable as other products
It can be difficult to transport
This is a dark-grey bench vise that is designed for general purpose. It is very affordable and it comes in 3 sizes: 4 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch. It is made of cast iron and has powder coated finish. Its 120-degree swivel base is easy to work with. We tried the 4-inch bench vise and it looked easy to operate, but its swivel base rotation could have been better.
This hand tool is sturdy enough for all sorts of occasional applications and comes with a lifetime warranty. It only weighs 14.4 pounds, which makes it easy to transport if needed. The only inconvenience is the fact that it does not come with mounting bolts, so you will have to find the right ones for your bench vise.
Comes in 3 sizes
Is made of cast-iron
Comes with lifetime warranty
The package does not include mounting bolts
Its 120 degree swivel base makes your job a bit harder
This product is red, solid and multi-purpose. This bench vise comes with all the required features for all DIY projects and helps you deliver impeccable results. Its construction is solid, its coating is almost flawless and its 5-inch jaw opening is suitable for almost all home projects. Its price is a bit high for a product that is not exactly precision-made, but it is justifiable giving its features.
Its fullrotation swivel base makes it easy to work with, regardless of the object you are trying to work on. It is suitable for heavy-duty projects, too. It is quite heavy at its 44.5 pound weight, but overall, it is one of the best bench vises on the market.
Has a solid construction
Is suitable for both light and heavy-duty projects
Has good coating
Has 360-degree swivel base
Has a few aesthetic flaws