The Best Bench Vise to Keep Your Masterpiece in Place 2020

The Best Bench Vise to Keep Your Masterpiece in Place

Perhaps the most common tool in many workshops is one we overlook entirely: the vise. More specifically, we are referring to the bench vise; that trusted mechanical device used to keep a workpiece from slipping and to allow us to perform tasks while keeping both hands free.

While it may not get much attention, it gets a lot of use—and when upgrading your work equipment, you’ll be sure to want to get the best bench vise you can.

Comparison Table

Bench Vise FAQ

blue bench vise

image source: Pixabay

Let’s start by answering some common questions about bench vises.

A bench vise comprises several parts. The pieces that hold the workpiece are called the jaws of the vise. A set of jaws will be parallel to each other, with one stationary or fixed in place and the other movable by means of a screw mechanism.

This moves one jaw in toward the other to allow the jaws to fasten tightly on a workpiece to prevent it from slipping while being worked on. Bench vise jaws can be made of metal, wood, or even hard plastic, depending on the type of work being done.

2. What Are Bench Vises Used For?


A bench vise is used to fasten a workpiece to allow it to be hammered, drilled, sanded or otherwise worked on while the individual doing the work has both hands free. Bench vises can also be used to hold two or more workpieces that are being glued or otherwise fastened together, though most commonly clamps are used for this purpose.

3. How Do You Determine the Size of a Bench Vise?


Bench vises can be measured in different ways. Jaw-length refers to the length of each individual jaw from one end to the other, and this measurement provides you with the size of the maximum contact amount your vise can place on a workpiece.

Generally, the larger the jaw-length, the more stable a workpiece will be when being worked on. The throat depth of a vise is measured from the top of the jaws to the top of the screw that’s used to move the non-stationary jaw in and out. It is this throat depth that determines the maximum width of a workpiece that can be placed in the bench vise for work.

4. What Kind of Threading Is Used in a Bench Vise?


You may have heard that bench vises use a special kind of threading to keep the jaws from slipping. This type of threading is called a buttress thread, and it allows the vise to be held tightly in one direction while allowing it to be unscrewed with much less force in the opposite direction.

5. What Material Are Bench Vises Made Of?


The answer to that question generally depends on the type of work being done. The best bench vise is generally made from hardened steel, sometimes with plastic protective guards over steel jaws so as to not mar or damage the work piece.

Bench vises can also be made entirely from wood, most commonly when used for woodworking. Some specialty vises are even made from mostly plastic parts when a great deal of force is not required to keep a workpiece from moving or slipping while being worked on.

The Best Bench Vise for You: How We Reviewed

We looked at the following products to give you an idea of the range and quality available in order for you to decide which might be the best bench vise for you. We reviewed based on features, pros and cons, price, and durability.

Overall Price Range

Bench vises in general can run anywhere from around the average price on the lower end all the way up to right around the premium rate on the higher end. Although you can easily spend several hundred dollars on a vise, the best bench vise for the job may not be the most expensive.

What We Reviewed

clamp catch tool placed wooden plate

Image Source: Freepik

  • TEKTON 6-Inch Swivel Bench Vise
  • Yost Vises 750-DI 5″ Heavy-Duty Multi-Jaw Bench Vise with 360-Degree Swivel Base and Head
  • IRWIN Heavy-Duty Workshop Vise
  • Wilton 63302 6-Inch Shop Vise
  • Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise
  • Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise
TEKTON 6-Inch Swivel Bench Vise | 54006
  • Cast iron construction (30,000 PSI tensile strength) with replaceable serrated steel jaws holds work with a sure, nonslip grip
  • 120-degree swivel base with dual lock-down nuts positions workpiece where you need it
  • Three mounting holes anchor vise securely to workbench
  • Polished steel anvil offers a smooth, consistent work surface for shaping metal pieces
  • Acme-threaded screw glides smoothly without binding

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise with Swivel Base
  • Extreme-Duty Casting Clamp force: 13,400 lbs. and Torque rating: 316 Ft-Lb
  • Made from heavy duty 65, 000 PSI Ductile Iron castings, 3x stronger than cast iron vises
  • Jaw Width: 5" (12.7CM) x Jaw Opening: 5" (12.7CM) x Throat Depth: 4" (10.2CM) x Pipe Capacity: 0.125”D x 3.5"D (0.32CM x 8.9CM)
  • Vise head rotates 360° with respect to the vertical, locking at every 30° or (12) twelve different locking positions and equipped with a large 3.5" x 2.7" (8.9CM X 6.9CM) anvil work surface;
  • 360-degree interlocking (geared) swivel base with (2) lock downs adjusts the direction of the jaws for proper placement.No-pinch main screw handle

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

IRWIN Table Vise, Heavy-Duty, 6-Inch (226306ZR)
  • Captured safety jaw prevents slide from falling out during heavy-duty use
  • Swivel base maneuvers into position quickly and easily
  • Anvil and pipe jaws incorporated for a sturdy grip
  • Aggressive steel jaws maintain a secure hold on clamped materials
  • Weighs 30.6 lbs. to provide a reliable base

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

Wilton 63302 6-Inch Shop Vise
  • DURABILITY: Have castings with a 30,000 PSI gray cast iron body built for rugged use and extended life.
  • SECURE HOLD: Capable of mounting to the bench with 4 mounting posts providing more stability and secure hold
  • 360 DEGREE SWIVEL: Base can swivel 360 degrees with double lockdown for quick and easy positioning
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: Product is built to last. Wilton warrants every product they sell against manufacturers’ defects.
  • PERFORMANCE: Has built-in pipe jaws handle various pipe sizes and rubber pinch safety guards

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

Eclipse - EWWQR9-NA Quick Release Woodworking Vise, Gray Cast Iron, 9" Size
  • Quick release trigger allows you to quickly adjust the opening to either release or clamp a piece you’re working on
  • Fitted with an adjustable front stop (dog) to provide a normal vise and a tail vise in one tool
  • Vise comes with two predrilled holes for quick sturdy mounting to your workbench
  • To increase safety, the fused tommy bar will bend before the vise can become over-stressed
  • 9" jaw width, 4" throat depth; 34.2 lb. net weight; Voted #1 Woodworking Vise as seen on Wiki Video

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise, 6"
  • Contains 6" wide jaws, 5.7" jaw opening, and 4.2" throat depth
  • Made of heavy-duty ductile iron (60,000 psi) and boasts 6,600 lbs. of clamping force
  • Head rotates 360 degrees and can be locked in w/pull-pin at 12 points, each within 30 degrees
  • Base rotates 360 degrees and makes it easy to place and lock jaws where needed
  • Includes a 10 year warranty

Features

Pros & Cons

Where to Buy

Durability

The Verdict

Ultimately, the best bench vise for you depends on the kind of work you intend to do. If you’re woodworking, then the best bench vise would be the Eclipse Quick Release. If you’re only doing light or medium work, the Tekton four-inch vise may be enough for you. But our choice for best bench vise is the Capri Tools 10519.