A drill press vise, or drill press vice (if you’re in England), is an apparatus used to secure an object to a bench to allow it to be worked on. The best drill press vise will be light-weight, have textured jaws, and will be made from forged iron.
A drill press vise has two parallel jaws, one jaw is movable and the other is fixed. The movable jaw is threaded in and out by a screw and lever. The object being worked on is placed between the jaws, and the screw and lever are tightened so that the jaws firmly clamp the work-piece in place (Source).
A drill press is an invaluable tool for a metalworker. These tools are quite useful for reaming, tapping, grinding, or drilling, among other operations. It will allow you to keep small objects in place and will ensure a consistent work-flow.
With the wealth of options available on the internet, choosing the right drill press vice can be rather confusing. Before you purchase your drill press vice, consider the weight, clamping force, and build materials. You should also consider its price and maximum opening width, among other top factors.
In this review, we will scour the internet for the top-rated drill press vises. All of the vises in this list will securely hold your work-piece to your drill press, whether you are performing regular and precise multi-hole drills or just performing a one time repair that requires precision drilling.
What is the Best Drill Press Vise?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Best Drill Press Vise?
- 2 What Is a Drill Press Vise?
- 3 What are the Different Types of Drill Press Vises?
- 4 Comparing The 5 Best Drill Press Vises
- 5 1. Irwin Tools 4-Inch 226340 Drill Press Vise – Best Overall
- 6 2. Performance Tool W3939 – Best Small Drill Press Vise
- 7 3. WEN 423DPV 3″ Drill Press Vise – Best Universal Drill Press Vise
- 8 4. DELTA 20-621 4-Inch Drill Press Vise – Large-Capacity Jaws Drill Press Vise
- 9 5. Wilton 11753 3” Cradle-Style Angle Drill Press Vise – Best Angled Drill Press Vise
- 10 What All Can You Do With a Drill Press Vise?
- 11 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Drill Press Vice
- 12 Drill Press Vise FAQ’s
- 13 Ready To Buy The Best Drill Press Vise?
The best drill press vise is the Irwin Tools 4-Inch 226340 because it is the most lightweight and portable model among other brands. Additionally, its forged iron build guarantees long term durability. Finally, this table vise tool has a textured jaw for secure gripping.
What Is a Drill Press Vise?
A drill press vise is an equipment used for holding an object upon which some other machine operates. This clamping unit keeps an object steadily in position.
After that, you can use a drill, welding machine, etc., on the object without the need to hold it with your hand. These press vises are usually mounted onto a workbench.
They have a clamp to hold the bench, which can be screwed/unscrewed if you want to mount it on a different position or table. If you are a craftsman or have a hobby of working on DIY projects, then you will need a drill press vise. With the help of a vise, you can quickly drill, polish, sharpen, sand, weld, or do other similar crafting chores.
The clamps, which hold the objects in place, are protected by a layer of rubber. The rubber layer ensures to grip the object in place, without causing abrasion or distortion on the surface of the item being operated.
What are the Different Types of Drill Press Vises?
Two types of drill press vises are available for crafting operations. Both units have different procedures and features that are suitable for specific applications. Let’s take a look at each one:
- Tilting Drill Jaw Vises – This drill press vise is a capable unit, whose one jaw has a tilting mechanism. This feature is useful for clamping objects that do not have a parallel built. Irregular shapes are often problematic to clamp, as they cannot be gripped comfortably in a standard drill press vise. Thus a fastener with a tilting jaw was invented to take care of this problem. It further ensures that the pressure on the object is not partial when it is held in place. This means that it can even work to grip circular objects with ease. Therefore, a tilting jaw is an ideal tool that will give you the freedom to hold almost all types of objects.
- Quick-release Vises – These jaw vises are quite capable of clamping objects without taking too much time. Unlike manual drill jaw vises, quick-release ones have a pressure mechanism that automates the process. Therefore, it quick-grips an object on the push of a button or lever. Similarly, when you want to release the hold from an object, then releasing the pressure causes the jaws to release instantly.
If you have no time for browsing through hundreds of reviews, then check out our list of top-rated drill press vises. That will help you in choosing the best drill press jig around. Let’s have a look!
Comparing The 5 Best Drill Press Vises
|Irwin Tools 226340 Drill Press Vise (Editor's Choice)|
|Wilmar Performance Tool W3939|
|WEN 423DPV Drill Press Vise|
|DELTA 20-621 Drill Press Vise|
|Wilton 11753 Drill Press Vise|
1. Irwin Tools 4-Inch 226340 Drill Press Vise – Best Overall
That means it can be used for projects that require vertical hole-making of electric wires. It also comes in useful when you need to clean the gun cylinder.
What makes this vise very reliable for drilling is that it can hold objects in place without difficulty. The throat depth of 1/2 inch provides reliable pressure and functionality for extremely precise operations that include thin projects.
The vise is quite effortless to use thanks to its small size and low weight so that many use it for light-duty drilling tasks. This also ensures accurate and safe drilling, especially when using the best stud and joist drills.
It offers much-needed flexibility for fixing different items to the worktable. Not only does it’s easy to hang but also preservative as it protects your fingers against injury while drilling.
- Ideal for drilling applications
- Made from forged iron for high durability
- Slotted base for easy positioning and installation
- Textured jaws for enhanced traction
- Very lightweight
- Turning handle a little loose
- Only good for light-duty jobs
2. Performance Tool W3939 – Best Small Drill Press Vise
It’s a perfect choice for anyone who does not require a large heavy-duty drilling machine but wants a device that fully complements a big press vise. That’s why many people use it in tandem with a medium-sized drill press.
Weighing 2.75 pounds and being equipped with a pivoting handle, this press vise from Wilmar is very easy to operate. Given the small size, that doesn’t come as a surprise. So if you’re after something very small and lightweight that’s suitable for keeping tiny objects in place, then this press vise is a safe bet.
One of the most important facts about this product is that it’s built for the long haul. It boasts an impressive build quality and durable construction. This ensures both full performance and smooth operation.
The mounting holes feature etched jaws and slot design. That doesn’t only eliminate slipping traits but also improve the functionality of the vise.
- Easy alignment with mounting holes
- Pivot handle allows for hassle-free turning
- Etched jaws prevent slipping
- Extremely mobile
- Tough and durable
- Poorly cast sides
- Rough near edges
3. WEN 423DPV 3″ Drill Press Vise – Best Universal Drill Press Vise
The Wen 423DPV vise is compatible with a wide range of drill presses available today by virtue of its universal design. Whether you are working with metals, woods, or plastics, the vise in question will clench any workpiece tightly in place all the time.
Machined almost to perfection and created from cast iron, this vise provides reliability and functionality during operation. The heavy iron base is responsible for stability. There are also 4 mounting slots that are positioned in such a way to fit the majority of standard table holes.
Note that the vise has three-inch jaw capacity and one-inch throat depth. It is intended for ordinary drilling operations. For more specialized applications, there’re another two versions: a cross-sliding and tilting vise.
- Sturdy cast iron construction
- Comes with four slots for mounting
- Nicely shaped
- Universal design
- Affordably priced
- Thin sheet metal on back bent
- Not suited for very small pieces
4. DELTA 20-621 4-Inch Drill Press Vise – Large-Capacity Jaws Drill Press Vise
Cast-iron construction makes it strong and durable, while the jaws can hold workpieces up to 4 inches wide. It can be used with either metal or wood.
Most features are standard, both in terms of dimensions and design. It weighs 6 lbs and is 1o inches long. There are four slot holes, which considerably facilitates installation.
What makes this model stand out from the rest is the inbuilt groove that can support dowels up to 0.5 inches in diameter. That is very helpful throughout drilling operations.
- Cast-iron construction
- Strong and durable
- Good jaw capacity
- Comes with a built-in groove
- Suitable for both wood and metal
- The jaws do not align parallel enough
- Not for precision work
5. Wilton 11753 3” Cradle-Style Angle Drill Press Vise – Best Angled Drill Press Vise
This Wilton vise is constructed with hardened steel jaws and a strong cast-iron body. Additionally, the screws are reinforced with a black oxide coating to provide steady pressure. With such a construction, you can expect a relatively long service life.
The vise is designed for different types of applications such as tapping, drilling, and reaming that requires angle setup. A cradle design allows it to tilt anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees. Even though the vise is scaled in one-degree increments, the secure locking is actually only possible with increments of 15 degrees.
Keep in mind that the vise comes with 4 shoulder slots. This will enable you to position it easily and quickly on the machine table.
- Scaled in one-degree increments
- Cradle design for up to 90° turns
- Durable cast iron construction
- Great for different applications
- Good locking controls
- The angle pointer feels cheap
- Not so precise
What All Can You Do With a Drill Press Vise?
A drill press vice has multiple uses. Some of the common ones are:
- Sanding – Sanding is a procedure where you need to use sandpaper to smoothen the surface of an object. The issue with this operation is that you need to hold the item steadily in one place. With a drill jaw vise, the object can be held in place, so that you can do the sanding operation with ease.
- Screwing/Unscrewing – Some metal objects have bolts screwed in place very tightly, or they might need to be screwed in place correctly. Jaw vises can keep the item in place to let you screw or unscrew the bolts manually or with drills.
- Positional Gripping – Some items might need to be held in a particular position steadily, which is impossible with hands. With drill jaw vise, it can be quickly done without tiring your hands.
- Cutting – Metals need powerful grips to hold them in place when there is a need to cut them. Without a jaw vise, this would have been challenging.
- Boring and Countersinking Operations – Some operations, such as countersinking and boring, need precision. For which a table vice can offer a steady position for the object to be operated upon.
Surely, you can see that so many operations can be carried with the help of a drill press vise.
Things You Must Know Before Buying a Drill Press Vice
This all-inclusive guide will tell you just about everything you should know before purchasing a drill press vice.
A lot of different factors come into play in making the purchase decision if you want to find the most reliable offerings on the market.
Here are the most important aspects to look out for.
Purpose & Type
Your choice will depend on what you plan to do with a vise and the type of work you’re doing. That’ll give you a better idea of how small or big the press vise should be, and what features it should have.
The purpose will aid you in deciding what is the most important feature for you – flexibility, centering, tilting, or precision. It eventually determines the type of press vise.
Let’s take a look at a few different cases:
- You may want a self-centering press vise that can tilt to 90° for special milling or drilling applications where a precisely centered workpiece is required. If so, your best choice would be an angle press vise that comes with a 90° vertical tilt. That’s because it allows you to position the stock so that it forms an angle of 90 degrees with the worktable surface. These tools come with 2 movable jaws that fully center themselves on the stock.
- There are also any-angle precision vises for extreme flexibility. They offer up to 45° tilting in different directions.
- A pin vise drill is best suited for small DIY projects or lighter drilling applications. However, if you run a workshop, you’ll need a more powerful tool like a drill press so as to perform heavy-duty drilling on a regular basis.
- For operations that involve variable angle milling and drilling, a cross slide drill press that can move on 2 axes would be a perfect choice. It is ideal for applications where the stock must be accurately centered.
- For inspection or grinding applications, you’ll need a high precision vise. Such a device usually has a steel body as well as one smooth and one grooved jaw. Make sure it can be attached to your workbench.
The Materials You Want to Work with
Keep in mind that not every drill press vise is intended to accommodate wood or metal. So, make sure a vise is designed specifically for the material you’re going to work with before buying it.
Take the time to go through the product specifications of the vise you’re looking for. Otherwise, you may end up with something that’s not created for what you need to work with.
Jaw Capacity, Grooves, and Pads
Jaw width is either 3 or 4 inches in most cases. But you can also find the models with lower or greater jaw capacity. That all depends on the vise construction.
Those who work with extremely delicate workpieces should consider buying a vise with built-in jaw pads. It keeps dents and scratches out of the workpiece. You may also come across vises whose jaws have vertical or horizontal grooves. These are very helpful for holding pipes and clamping irregularly shaped objects.
Throat depth refers to the distance between the base of a vise to the top edge of its jaws. This measure gives you a feel for the stability of a vise and how deep the jaws are. It is particularly important for those who work with long and narrow pieces.
Drill press vises come in many different sizes so that their weights go from 1 to 50 pounds and above. Apart from the size, this also depends on the materials used and the application a vise is employed for.
Smaller vises are typically fitted with bolt holes to get securely fixed in place. Bigger, weighty vises generally don’t have to be bolted to the drill press since they neither wobble nor vibrate. So make sure to choose one that best suits your needs.
When a tool combines several extra features, it becomes a specialized tool for a particular application. The same goes to drill press vises.
Cross sliding, for example, is a valuable extra feature that lets you position your workpieces in different directions – forward, backward, left, and right. Another worthy extra feature when it comes to flexible mounting is a multiway base. It enables you to put your vise in three positions on the worktable: normal, upright, and sideways.
Drill Press Vise FAQ’s
What to Consider When Installing a Drill Press Vise?
Even though mounting drill press vise is quite easy, there are certain things you need to take into consideration. First of all, take into account the vise weight when carrying out the mounting. If the vase is heavy enough, you will not have to bother fastening it with the bolt.
The next thing to consider is the drill press table you work on. Instead of a fixed table, you should consider using a rotary table that swings in different directions. It will let you easily drill holes at just about any angle. It’s also convenient for screwing, especially when using the best ratcheting screwdrivers.
Apart from this, you will need to choose an optional position before fastening your vise. For a fixed vise and fixed table, it’s best to attach the vise right under the chuck. If you want to attach a cross-slide press vise to a rotary table, then you’ll have a lot of options in terms of installation.
Make sure that your vise is placed directly over the holes on the drill press table. While four bolts would be enough to secure the vise to your table, you may use five or more bolts as well. At last, you need to test it after securing to be sure it does not shake.
What Practices Do You Need to Avoid When Using a Drill Press Vise?
- Don’t wear rings, bracelets, gloves, or watches while you’re working with the drill press.
- Don’t wear ties or loose clothing. Roll up long sleeves above your elbows to prevent revolving parts from catching them.
- Avoid holding your work with hands while you’re drilling holes; Instead, use vices or clamps to keep the work secure.
- Don’t set or adjust speed till the machine stops completely.
- Don’t force the drill press vise by putting extra pressure on it.
- Make sure there is no chuck key left in your drill press.
- Don’t leave your drill press operating unattended.
How Much Power is Required for My Work?
It will depend on what you’re going to use a drill press for. When choosing a drill press, think about whether you will be using it for wood or metalwork. The power of a drill press is measured in ‘horsepower’ (HP).
So, how much power is enough? Make sure the drill press comes with a 1/3 hp motor. While it is enough for most jobs that involve drilling using the greatest cordless drill, you will need a machine with more horsepower for larger projects.
Ready To Buy The Best Drill Press Vise?
Now that you know the key considerations for selecting the best drill press vise, you probably have a clear sense of which drill press vice would be a perfect fit for your machine. Different people look for different features, such as quick release, tilting, and cross sliding based on their type of work.
So be sure to consider the needs of your particular kind of work when making a purchase decision. That will help you find a table vise that suits both your personal preferences and project requirements.
A drill press vise is imperative for tasks that require precise drilling of multiple holes, especially when using different top drill bits for wood.
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