A bench vise is one of the most important equipment you must have in your home or workshop.
It is very useful when you are working with wood, metals or any other materials because it locks them securely when you are working on them. By preventing the objects from moving, it increases stability and also prevents accidents from occurring.
Apart from locking objects, it can also be used to perform a wide variety of tasks such as sawing, sanding, metalworking, bending metals, drilling among others. When working, ensure that the equipment is placed on a stable surface for support.
A good bench vise should be made of sturdy materials, should have a strong gripping power, serrated jaws, good swivel base and anvil among other features, as we shall come to see in this article.
To make your search easier, we have reviewed the five best bench vises you can find today.
The 5 Best Bench Vise Units Reviewed
|Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise|
|Yost Vises 465 6.5″ Apprentice Series Bench Vise|
|TEKTON 54004 4-Inch Swivel Bench Vise|
|Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise|
1. Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise – Best OverallThis one is the best bench vise you can ever find on the market today. The equipment is one of the quality products produced by WMH Tool Group. It is made of premium strength steel which makes it stronger as compared to other bench vise which are made of forged iron or cast-iron. This vise is very easy to use and therefore ideal for beginners.
It also has a large anvil work surface and a double lock-down swivel base. The only disadvantage is that it only swivels at 90 degrees which might not be enough to some. Apart from being sturdy, this bench vice is very flexible. It weighs 15.4 pounds and measures 12 X 5.9 X6.4 Inches.
One of the reasons why most people like it is because it gives you an accurate view when working. It also has an ample space to grip big objects. Are you searching for a long lasting bench vise? This one is the best to consider. It also comes with a lifetime warranty which means no need to worry in case a problem arises.
2. Yost Vises 465 6.5″ Apprentice Series Bench Vise – Most DurableThis one is among the most long lasting bench vises you can find today. It has a 180 degrees swivel base which is able to change the direction of the jaws to allow proper placement and also locks it in place. It is made up of cast iron and a steel U-channel bar which makes it durable. The flat part acts as an anvil and provides an additional space.
Additionally, it comes with replaceable jaws and permanent pipe jaws which are joined together to provide a strong grip. It also features rubber washers which prevents the handle from sliding. When working, ensure that the lock knob is very tight on the base to secure its position. You can turn the handle either clockwise or anticlockwise to move the jaws apart or close to one another.
This tool will work perfectly when you grease the jaw with wheel bearing grease. One thing you should note is that this equipment is not suitable for heavy-duty tasks; it is only perfect for light and medium home duties. The best thing is that it comes with a lifetime warranty. Every homeowner should have this in his/her garage. It will be of great use when completing moderate or light tasks.
3. TEKTON 54004 4-Inch Swivel Bench Vise – Best For Small ProjectsOne of the best things about this bench vise is that it is made of 30,000 PS1 cast iron which makes it strong and durable. It also features serrated steel jaws which provides a steady and non-slip grip. The best thing with the jaws is that they are replaceable and allows the vise remain effective even after lots of wear and tear.
Another thing is that the vise has a 120 degrees swivel base to give you the versatility you require when working. In addition, it has 3 mounting holes which holds it firmly on the workbench. It also features dual lock down nuts which keeps the vise securely in place. This one is ideal for those with small DIY projects.
The only problem with this model is the lack of mounting bolts but that is not a big issue as compared to the advantages. It has a powder-coated finish and the polished steel anvil is excellent for bending and shaping metal.
4. Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise – Excellent Clamping PowerThis one is another quality bench vise which comes with an inbuilt pipe jaw which is able to rotate at 360 degrees. It is multitasking equipment which provides unlimited working positions. The swivel base enables it to be versatile and the three-inch contains an even anvil face.
The equipment is heavy-duty equipment which weighs about 50 pounds and measures 9 X 9 X18 Inches. All the sliding parts work fine without stopping. You can lock the jaws at a fixed position to ensure that it does not rotate. Just ensure you have tightened some few screws at the back. It also comes with two types of jaws which enables you to tackle different types of projects.
Another thing about this bench vise is that it comes with four mounting holes which enables you to attach the equipment strongly on any surface. Unlike others, this one does not require frequent maintenance since it uses lead covered screws which does not require lubrication.
5. IRWIN 226306ZR – Best For Smooth ActionThis one is a 6-inch high quality bench vise. One of the best things about this tool is that it comes with fixed jaws which are made of steel to enhance strength and durability. These jaws provide enough width of 6 inches. The vise also contains a captured safety jaw which prevents the object from slipping out when in use.
The unit also comes with anvil and pipe jaws to provide a sturdy grip. Additionally, the 30.6lbs weight provides a strong base. Most artisans like it because it offers a strong clamping pressure of up to 3000lbs which makes it suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
Apart from that, craftsmen like its smooth action and the rotating base. The smooth action is due to its long barrel and unbreakable nut which is connected to its body. The strong locking feature also makes it to be among the most preferred bench vise on the market. The main screw alignment and the nut helps in reducing wear and tear.
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Bench Vise
The main purpose of a bench vise is to lock down objects when working. If you are searching for a good bench vise, you need to consider the following factors.
1. Gripping power
A good bench vise should be able to provide a strong grip. The jaws are the most important part of a bench vise. This is because when locking an object in place all the tension is directed towards the jaws.
A bench vise with serrated jaws is the best. However, some may have serrated jaws but poor grain. Due to this, they are likely to lose the serrated feature which keeps objects secure. The metal teeth should be deep enough to provide a good grip.
2. The anvil
A bench vise with a reliable anvil is a great choice. Anvils allow you to work on the project as you use the vise. For example, you can hammer metals while clamped on the anvil or the bench vise.
A good anvil should have a flat surface. Rough surface can damage your project because of friction. Therefore, it is recommendable to check the material of the anvil.
3. Swivel base
These allows the bench vise to rotate to give you flexibility. This one comes in handy when working on different projects with lots of irregularities like unsymmetrical shapes, tight corners or weird angles. Always check the ability of the swivel base to turn.
A base that can be set at 360 degrees is the best but 120 degrees is also good. A strong base with a good swivel action enables the bench vise to be very versatile.
4. Jaw opening
If you will be working on large objects, the jaw opening should be big enough to hold the objects. For smaller objects, you just need a small jaw opening.
5. Throat depth
This one is the measurement from the top of the jaws up to the top of the slide below. A deeper throat will provide a better grip and will hold large objects more securely.
If you are searching for heavy-duty equipment, it is good to consider how it will be mounted. Look for one with a minimum of three mounting tabs though the best option would have four.
Our Final Review
Just like other products, each bench vise is different from the other in terms of features, materials, size, performance and price. If you are searching for the best equipment, you just need to consider the type of work you will be doing with the device.
For heavy-duty tasks, it is good to look for a product which is made of sturdy materials.
Feature such as swivel base, locking screws , serrated jaws, gripping power, will also help you decide on the best equipment. We recommend Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise for heavy-duty tasks. It is made of strong materials and has a strong gripping power.
For medium or light tasks, Yost Vises 465 6.5 is the best since it is durable and very easy to use. We hope our reviews will make your work easier when buying.