What’s Included With The Best Bench Vise
A typical vise will include the main body of the tool, the mechanism to grip to the workbench, the jaw, and methods to adjust the amount of pressure being applied in the jaw and at the base.
Depending on the manner that the vise base is positioned and gripping the bench or table, it may use a suction base or merely a screw-type mechanism to screw the clamp in place.
The jaw is adjustable usually with a bar that can be rotated and slotted through 180-degrees to turn it from one side or the other to either loosen or tighten the jaw. The jaw itself will have grips that are made of softer material and fit onto each side. These jaw grips are necessary to avoid damaging the surface of whatever items placed in the vise.
These bench vises are not full-size garage vise models, but more like vises for personal use on home projects. Once fitted into position, the jaws act as a third hand to hold an object securely, which leaves both hands free to use tools to work on the item inside the vise.
What To Know Before Making a Purchase
Vises are manufactured from a variety of materials including plastic, aluminum, forged iron, steel, and die cast parts. The more robust the material used, the longer the vise is likely to last. These vises are only designed for indoor use and shouldn’t be left outside in varied weather conditions.
The stronger the component materials, the less likely the vise itself will break. It is possible that the bar that is turned to tighten or loosen the jaw or the clamp parts that help the vise clamp grip to the workbench could become worn, loose or damaged over time. For this reason, it is important to buy a quality product from a respected manufacturer that has been in business making these kinds of products for years. Replacement parts will be easier to order from established brands than lesser known ones that may no longer be in business when the time comes to order spare parts from them.
The vises reviewed are for home use on small projects. There are larger, commercial use vises that have wider jaws and are better able to apply greater pounds of jaw pressure than a personal vise. A commercial-grade vice offers other benefits suitable to a heavy-duty work environment, instead of a vise intended for personal use.
Sona Enterprises makes vises, emergency preparedness kits, woodworking tools, and watch repair equipment.
Irwin Industrial Tools is a power tool specialist and part of the Newell Rubbermaid conglomerate. Irwin’s most well-known product is their Vise-Grip pliers.
Bessey Tool & Co. KG, founded in 1889 in Germany, remains one of the most successful hand clamp manufacturers globally.
Olympia Tools make bench vises, Turbofold camo folding knives, tool sets, smartphone repair kits, and much more.
Wilton Tools, trading since 1941, makes power tools for the adventurous person. Their Wilton All-Terrain Vice and Dead Blow Hammers are two good examples.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Vacuum base fixture: For a vise to gain proper suction to a surface, the surface needs to be completely flat, free of impediment, and lack a textured finish that could interfere with the suction base. If having to place a vise occasionally in an inappropriate place, then a more standard bench vise that doesn’t use a vacuum base would be a good idea.
Gunsmithing: These types of smaller bench vises are perfect for making minor adjustments to weaponry, like adjusting sights or further customization.
Rubber protectors: Look for a clamp system that includes a pliable material stuck to the clamps that won’t damage the bench or table where the vise is attached.
Can be tightened: Most parts of these vises can be taken apart, tightened and put back together again. The parts will come loose over extended use, so it is useful to have a vise that can be adjusted.