Choosing the right bench vise is an important part of setting up a home or commercial shop. There are many choices and while most share some features, there are some things to look for to make sure you get the best vise for your intended job. Size and shape are obviously important. Construction quality, mounting method, jaw width, and features like quick release capability and rotation are also important to consider. As you look for the best bench vise for your purposes, keep in mind that you won’t be dissappointed if you buy a quality tool from a reputable manufacturer. These choices are a good place to start your search.
Yost Vises 250 2.5″ Clamp-On Bench Vise, Made in USA
Yost Vises makes a clamp on vise that is a good choice for non-permenent solutions. The clamp on vise uses a c-clamp type attachment to securely attach to a work bench top that can be anywhere from 1/2 to almost 2 inches in thickness. This is great if you have limited space and need to get the vise out of the way when not in use. This vise has a 2.5 inch jaw opening and a solid steel body that can be used as an anvil for light shaping duties. The lack of swivel, and smaller size limit this vise but it is a quality tool for smaller spaces and light duty use.
Wilton 11126 674 4-1/2-Inch Jaw Width by 4-Inch Opening Utility Workshop Vise
Wilton Utility Workshop Vise is a quality choice with some great features. A fully swiveling base, four inch jaw opening and throat with various pipe shapes makes this a great home or light commercial-use vise especially if you work with pipes. This vise has a larger anvil area and bolts permamently to the work bench for added strength. Also, Wilton vises come with a lifetime warranty.
TEKTON 5409 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise
For heavy duty use, the Tekton 8 Inch Swivel vise is a great choice. Made with 8 inch wide jaws that open 6 3/8 inches and come with built in serrated pipe jaws, this vise will hold your job with almost 9000 pounds of clamping pressure. It bolts to the bench and swivels 360 degrees with two lock-down nuts to keep your project in place no matter what. This is a great choice for metal working and automotive or farm shops.
Yost Vises 445 4.5″ Apprentice Series Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise
Another offering from Yost is the Apprentice Series 445 vise. This vise has a 4 inch jaw opening with pipe serrations and replaceable jaws. This is a bolt down model with a single lock-down 180 degree swivel. It has a larger anvil area. This is great compromise between price, size, strength and features. A swivel is nice, even if only 180 degress and four inches of jaw opening will handle most jobs.
Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise
A vise with some great features and a reasonable price is the Grizzly G7062. This model has some standard features like a 5 inch jaw opening with pipe clamp, an anvil area, a swiveling base and a bolt-to-bench attachment. What makes this vise unique is it’s tubular slide which allows the work piece to be rotated vertically. A scale along the body allows you to tilt the work piece a measured number of degrees. This tilt feature makes this a very versatile vise that allows for unlimited workpiece positioning.
As you can see, most vises are variations on some common themes. These examples show some of the various mounting methods, sizes, and additional features that you should consider when selecting a vise. Hopefully this will simplify your search for the perfect vise for your shop. Whichever vise you choose, work safely and take care.