Bench Vise is more of an integrated mechanism than a tool. But it is widely termed as a tool.
This is an auxiliary mechanical apparatus for clamping or tight-holding a workpiece – wooden block, metal pipe, rod, vehicle parts, and may more – to shape, size, saw, and sharpen it faster, better, and safer. It is actually a mechanism to clamp your project between the tooth or jaws to perform the said task on it. Whether you are a hobbyist to shape materials in your own individual way, or a professional mechanic or woodworker to perform jobs of any orientations, you need the best bench vise.
But a tour through the home improvement tools market will give you the ground level exposure to the varieties of bench vises available to leave you extremely camouflaged. The factors active to cause these variations are the styles, components, materials, engineering, commercial innovations, and above all the purposes they have been manufactured for. These are the fundamental considerations you should not leave unexplored before buying a bench vise.
To write this article, we have made a hair-splitting analyzing on numerous videographies, blogs, and sites and come out with the affordable, exclusive, and best heavy-duty bench vise. We have discovered through the course of our thorough research that the professional woodworkers and mechanics can afford the best bench vise under $100 intended for mid-level jobs.
But the vise intended for heavy-duty tasks and the high-end ones will come in exchange of a hefty price what will be made up by the multi-purpose services they will provide. The purpose of use and the materials they are made of will determine the price. But in either case, the durability and quality materials should be the topmost priority while selecting a bench vise mechanism.
The top 8 bench vise reviews in this guide will no manner fail you whatever purpose you search a vise for. On top of that, the sections covering the components, materials, and buying factors will give the biggest hand to reach for the right one for you. Any of them can grossly be categorized as the best heavy-duty bench vise.
8 Multi-purpose And Heavy-duty Bench Vises To Go-To
The features mentionable in one breath are all industrial grade styles and designs that yield excellent end product. This is a heavy-duty multi-purpose bench vise offering forged iron construction, 65000 PSI tensile strength, 360-degree swivel base, 8″jaw width stretches up to 12.5 if reversed, a 4.75” inches throat depth, a pair of pipe jaws having capacity of .125-4.5”, two anvils for ample working space, and above all the lifetime warranty.
The hardened forged iron ensures the longest lifespan of the vise. It will pass the ordeal of pounding, hammering, and all other heavy-duty applications. The hardened steel features 65000 PSI tensile strength boasts of adapting to metalworking of any strength.
The large size 8″ jaws can hold a massive workpiece between the jaws grip the tightest bearable way. It can stretch up to 12.5 inches to trap larger workpieces to work upon. The dual anvils offer the largest flat workspace to perform additional jobs after or before vise activities are done. You can straighten out crooked nails or grooves putting the intended object on any of the anvils.
Last comes the vise base. Yost vise review will remain utterly incomplete if the extra-ordinary swivel base is not covered with due tribute. This 360-degree vise base custom fits any object irrespective of the shape, size, and length.
The throat pipes or pipe jaws are serrated and groove-shaped that can clamp circular and odd shaped objects with enhanced grip. These jaws are cut into the throat of the main jaws and shaped into v-jaw that will easily squeeze the round objects. Both the main jaws and the pipe jaws are made of the ductile rod.
What we like:
- Double working surface with two anvils
- Increased jaw capacity and orientations
- Non-slip rubber washers at the handle ends
- Highest impact resistance
- Durable materials
- Two lock knobs to steady the swivel base
- Replaceable top jaws
What we don’t like:
- No mentionable con except the hefty price
Though Tekton is cut down in some features like, 4.5” jaw-opening, 3” throat jaws, 120-degree swivel base, single anvil, a lighter weight of 38 lbs, it still features the most essential vise components that a heavy-duty bench vise mechanism presents. The cast iron construction features as high as 30000 PSI tensile strength to bear with the brute forces. This is a vise for the novice to master the work and can do away heavier jobs that merit more strength and security. You can afford this medium and serious job vise backed by an all-time customer care warranty at a great price.
The stand-out features of Tekton are powder coat finish to overcome the rugged cast iron accents. The 120-degree swivel base is strong enough to withstand the pressure of heavy-duty vibration. In addition, Tekton 8 offers a custom fit rotation of the base as per the size and shape of the object to work upon.
The anvil is flat and sturdy enough to put up with the hammering and pounding your tasks require. You can conveniently flatten any metal piece putting on it and straighten out curved and bent pegs. Moreover, Tekton is very easy to mount on the workbench. The simplicity of the construction has made it the most effective and efficient both for lighter and heavier projects. And you can dare to work on materials of any size and shape as this vise is featured with removable steel jaws. That will save you from investing for a complete vise as replacement of only vise jaw surfaces will do.
What we like:
- Simple and easy to install and use
- Replaceable steel jaws
- Sturdy but lightweight
- Provided with anvil and swivel base
- Considerable impact resistance to fight brute force
What we don’t like:
- Single anvil
- Cast iron material
- Lack a 360 degrees mounting base
This is the second among the Yost bench vise reviews but not a copy of the identical features. The very brand stands for high-end, professional grade design and style backed by the most heavy-duty and impact-resistant ductile rod construction material. This 759-DI Yost emerges as the distinct one with a swivel base 0f 360-degree featuring 12 locking positions that are a towering opportunity over the previous Yost model. On top that the 9000 lbs of giant clamping pressure, a sturdy weight of 63 lbs, and 60000 PSE ductile strength has enabled to challenge any metal working vise in terms of versatility. The company assures of customer service for any issue but no duration is given from their side.
This is not the end of amazement as it comes with three premium grade sets of jaws – serrated main jaws, the pipe jaws, and the V-indent clamping jaws for other round and odd shaped projects. It is actually a tower among the crowd surprising the woodworking and metalworking industry with the highest standard material, the most innovative design, and convenient style. It claims a hefty price but the features, designs, and durability just do far more than makeup. Comparing with the price statement of other brands, it is a gift for the astounding attributes Yost 750-DI offers.
We need not be verbose at all as the first bench vise review of this guide very neatly manifests the benefits the users can derive if he goes for this outstanding tool leader. Unlike 880-DY Yost, it comes with a reduced opening of 4″ and depth of 4″ too. But endowed with the custom align pipe jaws, pivoting pull pin locking, the most versatile clamping capacity; it will cross the feature-richness of the previously reviewed version.
The high impact resistance is a nominal less than the above Yost and stands to beat, hitting, and pounding of any applications and orientations of any projects. This is too engineered with the hardened steel jaws with serrated face coating and highest strength and weight material. What more to expect from a bench vise.
What we like:
- Most durable, efficient, and versatile
- Highest strength of 60k PSI and weight of 63 lbs
- The fiercest ever clamping strength of 9000 lbs
- The most versatile locking mechanism and clamping capacity
- The sets of clamping jaws with detachable surfaces
- Varied pipe capacity
- The price reasonable against the high-end features
What we don’t like:
- No mentionable cons or upside
Other Yost Vise Reviews
Yost has been in the tool building industry for more than 100 years and serving users with time-befitting productions endowed with the latest design, style, and innovations. For the trust, it has built and the dependency it has inspired among the people, all the Yost products are in the fav-list of the customers. You can check the following bench vise from the same manufacturer. The first one is identical to the above 750-DI Yost other than the reduced jaws opening of 5″.
The bench vise falls directly to the category of a multi-purpose and heavy-duty vise. That can give you both precision work and works done by repeated hammering. Grizzly innovatively features a dual function, pivoting jaws having 5” opening, additional workspace, 360-degree swivel base, a 9*18*9 inches dimensions of 42 lbs weight, and other fundamental style and designs frequented with the best bench vise. The 1-year bold warranty from the manufacturers’ side speaks volume for the quality construction.
The dual function is an absolute stand-out feature enabling you to hold project materials between the main jaws grip and at the same time clamping a circular pipe in the pipe jaws grip. Because unlike the go of the industry, Grizzly cut the pipe jaws into the bottom part of the main jaws. You can make a precision pipe cut more than ever by rotating the pipe jaws up. This is a signature design of Grizzly.
Despite being a cast iron bench vise, Grizzly claims to be the sturdy, durable, and efficient bench vise. With a mammoth weight of 19kg, it offers the steadiness to accomplish all the lighter, medium, and heavy-duty tasks you impose upon it. On top of all these amazing feats, the weight and materials invite no report that calls it cumbersome. Grizzly is a premium quality bench vise with 360 degrees swivel base and no downside to being put off by.
What we would like:
- Strong enough to put up with any vibration
- Rotating jaws are amazement
- Can handle any level work
- Decent jaw-opening of 5″
- Pipe jaws can be turned upper
What we may not like:
- Cast iron material and single anvil
Olympia offers quality, durability, functionality, innovation, and precision. So Olympia bench vise review would be an energizing tour through the high-end vise features. The features cover 6 inches jaws opening, a horny and polished anvil, pipe jaws, replaceable jaw surfaces endowed with diamond serration, conveniently large spindle handle, powder coated accents, 270-degree swivel base, and heavy-duty 4 lug base. And the medium dimensions 7.5*8.8*15 inches leading to 34 lbs weight has made it a handy bench vise backed by 1-year warranty. Isn’t it an excellent trip to the exclusive bench vise features?
The anvil will not only let you flatten and straighten materials out it will help you shape the project as well backed by a horn. This is something very effective for handling jeweler precisions. The spindle coating over the handle will prevent it from being dusty. On top of that, the extra-length lets you maneuver the rotating jaw grip.
The 270-degree swivel base offers the facility to reposition it as per the object shape and size requires. That adds to the smoothness of the functionality. This mold iron bench vise presents 20000 of tensile strength to serve the purpose of lighter and medium tasks with ease. And the sturdy 34 lbs weight along with the large size can very ably put up with the heavy-duty works too. The 6″ jaws opening is fairly enough to hold heavy and bulky materials in the jaws clamp.
What we would like:
- Wide opening jaws and permanent pipe jaws
- Sturdy weight and size
- Steel jaw surfaces are removable
- Strong spindle handle
- Powder coating to address the rugged cast iron finish
- A spacious anvil with horn
- Four reinforced lug base
What don’t like:
- Ductility is not up to the mark
This is a multi-purpose and multi-jaw bench vise with a pivoting mechanism. It offers all the high-end and upgrades features of a metalworking bench vise. A rapid read of the excellent features go – 5 inches opening main jaws with 6 inches width, pipe jaws, 360 degrees swivel base with lock knobs, an anvil to provide an additional work surface, and a sturdy cast iron building. All those features with the sturdy construction reward you with an extended bench vise life and a pars wise warranty.
It comes with a medium size jaw-opening and pipe jaws set at the other end of the main jaws. When a pipe or irregularly shaped object is due to work upon, the piping jaws rotate up to enjoy a precise pipe cut. And the main jaws with 5″ opening can trap workpiece of moderate size that can be shaped, polished, and designed as per the requirement.
The superbly convenient 360 degrees swivel base provides them with the custom position to match the workpiece shape and size. On its top, the base is locked firmly by two lock knobs that facilitates the vise with the steady sitting to withstand heavy-duty beating done on the anvil and pressuring the clamped object. It is a total combo of intelligent design, upgrade features, and durable metal substance. Moreover, it is compact and lightweight to reposition and install with ease.
What we like:
- Lightweight and durable
- Shock-resistance to withstand medium hitting
- Feature-rich and upgrade designs
- Custom fit swivel base with two lock knobs
- Firmer grip with diamond coated jaw tooth
- Sturdy cast iron construction
What we don’t like:
- Minimal throat depth
- Weak Assembly and finishing
- Base drilling are not proper
Shop Fox is the best amateur and medium-duty projects. But this very well alternates the industry-grade professional vises with its 6” opening and depth, pipe jaws, an anvil to perform hammering on, 360 degrees swivel bottom, and a one year warranty on customer’s request. Along with those numbers, Shop D325 features a medium dimension of 15*9*8 inches weighing 31.6 lbs.
It has already earned the admiration of professional woodworkers and gunsmiths to be the nicely functional jaws, the professional-grade jaw depth, and the assembly. Despite intended for lighter and mid-level working, it can fill the gap of a heavy-duty bench vise for a considerable while.
The main jaws are properly angled to clamp an object of any size with the fiercest grip. The 6″ size is an industry-dictated mid-size but practically the lion share of heavy-duty and massive projects can be very ably handled with this size.
The V-indent pipe jaws have contributed to its versatility and anvil attached to the main fixed jaw on the body offers a stable space for lighter and medium pounding. The flat and polished space presents enough convenience to straighten out curved and crooked materials.
The cast iron construction is resistant to slightly heavier hitting and beating backed by two locking levers to firmly mount the vise on the bench top.
What we like:
- Sturdy and compact built
- Featured with throat jaws and replaceable main jaw surfaces
- Steady base with two lock application
- Dedicated anvil backing
- Serrated jaw surfaces a premium-grade feature
What we don’t like:
- Not intended for heavy-duty professional grade job
- Reported to be a mass-production
Wilton Model bench vise another general and medium application tool with all the professional-grade vise features. This is a multi-purpose and multi-jaw bench vise and top surface jaws are replaceable. The vise base is a standout featured with its 363 degrees rotating base backed by two locking knobs, a large dimension of 28*28*14 inches weighing 76 lbs. It is strong, massive, and sturdy to handle a project of any size and shape. Wilton offers parts wise warranty of 1 year.
It is made of high ductile cast iron rod featuring 25000 PSI tensile strength. This much impact resistance has earned the positive Wilton bench vise reviews from the user’s side. The veteran woodworkers and mechanics to admire this to be an emergency alternative to a heavy-duty professional-grade bench vise.
The main tasks are done excellently by the main jaws and the pipe jaws show versatility by holding circular and irregular shaped materials with the extreme clutch. Moreover, if the jaw faces get dull by overuse and abuse, only a pair of serrated jaws will endow the vise with virginity it came with at purchase.
The solid cast iron construction backs the anvil to bear with the hitting and pounding, but an extended period of hammering can cause damage. The affordable price is the steal as it makes up for the versatile accomplishment of hobbies, lighter mending, and assembling of machined tools.
What we like:
- Construction surpasses higher-end vises in some cases
- Massive workspace with on a polished square anvil
- Custom position rotating vise base
- Two base lock knobs
- Can do ably away with medium welding
What we don’t like:
- The only weak side is the material
Components of a Bench Vise
A bench vise is an assimilated mechanism of two jaws, a lead screw, a handle, and the body. Preferably, it might include some other components depending on the level and purposes of the work. They are the anvil a flat rectangular space on the body to hammer and shape an object, a swivel base that mounts on the workbench and enable you to handle projects of irregular shape, curved saws to grip a pipe or other circular project, lock knobs to clamp the base tightly, rubber or plastic saw-jacket used to protect softer workpiece from the bite of the serrated jaw and not lead the jaw tooth to early dullness. Let us go for a brief detailing of each component.
The most essential components of a bench vise are the jaws that keep the project clamped to perform whatever tasks required. This is a mechanism of two clamping chin forcing the object to the opposite direction and thus trap the object in the tight grip. There are four jaws used in metalworking and woodworking vise. They include:
Fixed jaw is one of the two jaws of a bench vise attached to the main body of the vise. It remains static in the clamping mechanism. The moving jaw forces the material forward so long the workpiece is not pressed against the fixed one to the limit. Thus how it serves the best part of clamping by remaining stationary against the inward force of the dynamic jaw. And this is the part of the vise body what anvil is attached to.
This is the jaw moving backward and forward to fasten the object tightly or to increase the opening of the jaws to clamp a wider or thicker object. It is carried on one end of a machined bar that slides with the clockwise and counterclockwise rotating of the lead screw protruded through it. This dynamic jaw is crucial both for clamping and releasing the workpiece.
Most of the jaws now- moderate or high-end- presents replaceable jaw surfaces. Because jaws tend to grow blunt or dull with time and their grip too become weaker then. So, replaceable surfaces are both convenient options and money saver. They save you money by preventing the installation of a new vise. The tendency to grow dull can significantly be reduced by using a jaw cover made of rubber or plastic.
The slide is the crucial part of the vise mechanism at play and it is made of hardened steel. It moves in or out if needed to widen the jaw opening and to bite the workpiece tightly. The slide determines the grip as it bears the dynamic jaw that forces the project to push towards the fixed jaw.
This is a long metal screw bearing threads on its surface. That is the critical part of the vise that causes the slide to move in and out. The threads are acme style in most of the case as this thread shape is wider and so can exercise greater strength. The strength of a screw is important as it carries the combined load of the slide bar, the dynamic jaw, and half the project weight. This is connected to the vise body with a nut to keep it static so long the clamping is active. To the outer end, a long, narrow but stable metal rod is inserted through a whole to control the vise movements.
This is the part of the vise to maneuver the jaws activity. It is a premium -grade steel made thin rod protruded through the lead screw whole. It is sized on par with the screw hole to stay tightly attached to the outer screw end to have maximum leverage. These acts as the lever to tighten the grip so far the workpiece allows and purpose required. At its two ends, two thick nuts are set to enjoy increased hand control and prevent slipping at tougher clamping. Depending on the need, you can move it clockwise and anti-clockwise to widen the opening and closing to press the project together.
The base is another important part of the vise that rests on the workbench tightly nailed by 4 or 6 lugs. Bases come in various types including fixed, swivel, and clamped based. A vise that mounts on the workbench without a base is called vacuum base vise. Bases are critical to keeping the vise steady while heavy-weight vise activities are ongoing. Swivel vises are more convenient as they feature different base angle to reap a custom fit of the vise jaws and the project.
Preferable Components That Only The Best Bench Vise Features
The components focused above are the root components without any of those the vise mechanism will be disturbed or remain incomplete. But as days pass by, manufacturers are introducing improved versions of the vise with innovative styles and designs. These have far crossed the line of being called as features or style only. They have occupied the place of a component as they increase convenience and leverage in vise performance. This is the reason I evaluate them to be preferable rather than optional. The vise featured with those said components are preferable to the bench vises that lack those. The preferable vise components include the anvil, pipe jaws, jaw-jacket, and lock knob.
Anvil has far earlier has become integrated as a vise component. It is an even and rectangular space on the vise body attached to the static jaw half. It provides you with space to hammer or hit any object to shape or straighten a bent or curved nail. The multi-purpose vises very often come with two anvils – bottom and the upper one.
There is another pair of jaws called throat jaws or pipe jaws besides the main jaws. Most of the multi-purpose jaws come with a pair of jaws cut into the main jaws – a bit below the main jaws. These jaws are like V grooves set to enhance the grip while fastening circular pipe or other oddly shaped objects. The main jaws being the flatter one will give a weaker grip or can scratch the project surface while clamping a round pipe. These jaws are maneuvered as the root jaws are done by the pivoting of the handle. It has made an arrival as an additional feature but the preference of the hobbyist and the pro mechanics has established it as a must-go component of a bench vise.
The metallic and toothed surfaces of the main jaws feature diamond serration now a day to provide an even stronger grip on the object. This prickly serration becomes blunt because of overuse or abuse. That is why multi-purpose and high-end vise manufacturers have emerged with jaw-jacket to cover the sharp jaw surface. This jacket is applied only when a fragile material is due to work upon as flimsy materials can’t bear with the serrated jaws. But if clamped with a rubber or plastic covered ones, you can leverage firmer grip and the object will keep safe from the bite of the jittery jaws.
Lock Knob/Locking Pin
This is not very common with the vise industry still now but metalworking and multi-tasks vises feature those knobs to lock their swivel base to set it steadily on the surface. One is common but 360 degrees swivel base comes with two at times.
Materials Commonly and Preferably Used In Bench Vises
A bench vise is a tool that made its advent in the mid-nineteenth century in Europe. Those early vises were made completely of tough woods. Though wood has kept its ingredient-space till date, metalworking vises for versatile tasks are reigning in the field now. So the main components of vise machinery comprise two materials – wood and iron. It is the orientations of the iron that defines the quality and durability of the metalworking vises. Two types of iron are used to make vises – cast iron and forged iron.
Cart iron is the common and moderate cost vise material. Despite being cost-effective, cast iron is not suitable for the extended period of heavy-duty tasks. The procurement process of cast iron involves impure ingredients rendering it weaker and breakable at heavy metal dealing. That type of iron offers lesser tensile strength and impact resistance than the forged type iron offers. But this can conveniently bear with the lighter and medium strength metal working.
This is the best quality iron and most costly of all. Forged iron offers the highest tensile strength and the greatest impact resistance. That is why heavy-duty woodwork or metal work requires vises made of forged iron to stand against higher pounding. Vises made of superior strength and ductile iron can stand the hammering and pound unlike the one made of cast iron.
Rubber and Plastic
Rubber and plastic are not common and essential vise materials as iron and wood are. Only the jaw surfaces wear rubber or plastic cover only when materials vulnerable to serration bite are to work on. Because metal serration is crucial to fasten tough project and so is abused or overused in clamping materials that can be dealt the other way round. These materials are preferable but optional and are very inexpensive.
If You Are Ready to Act
After you have explored through the entire bench vise scene in this article, you are probably now ready to act. I mean you are now clear how to single out the best bench vise from myriads of faulty ones in the market. In case, you are still not confident enough to make the successful bench vise deal, I am summarizing the long story again.
If you are encountered by the question what is the right bench vise type you should opt for. You require reconsidering just three factors just before the purchase and they embrace –
- The tasks you will be performing;
- The budget you can afford;
- And the search whether you can buy the better or safer one with the same investment.
The multi-purpose, high-end design and the highest impact resistant vises are the ones you can accomplish any tasks with. To avoid repetitive details, we can say that you will be able to perform both the precision works and accomplish the heavy-duty projects with the help of that vise. Most of our recommendations in this review article share the said capabilities. You can meet them in the Yost vise reviews – both the professional grade and Apprentice Series of Yost manifest these versatile bench vise aspects. Secondly, I will prioritize the Olympia bench vise reviews over other recommendations so far versatility and maneuverability are involved. These are the exclusive tools and deserve an expensive investment but for once and longer. Professional woodworkers and mechanics should go for only those as their prime bench vise option.
Rest of the bench vises suggested in this guide are not recommended for heavy-duty projects but they can act as an in-charge for a short period. So you can opt for those as an auxiliary bench vise in your workshop or garage. But hobbyists and individuals intending to do precision work and medium-duty hammering and pounding can go for this vise without caring a fig for others. These are perfect bench vise options in this regard. Surprisingly enough, several of them are available at an affordable cost and they are the best bench vise under $100. Our FAQs will further clarify you regarding the bench vise features and selection.
Is Ductile Rod essential for professional grade and the best bench vise?
Ans: A big YES is the first response. Professional grade bench vises go through ceaseless works and sometimes nearly around the clock in peak seasons. And they are required to stand the heavy hammering and pounding on the anvil. Nothing less than a ductile rod material can bear with the heavy-duty impact for long. Ductile rods are sized and shaped to present the greatest tensile strength – 90000 PSI to be the highest. On the contrary, the cast iron rod is melt and cooled to offer flexibility and they tend far lower PSI.
What is Impact Resistance and Why Crucial?
Ans: Impact resistance of bench vise means the shock-absorbing ability of the material used to make it. A ductile iron can absorb minimum hitting of 7-foot-pound whereas the cast iron can stand up to 2-foot pound.
What are the preferable heavy-duty bench vise features?
Ans: The preferable features mean the upgraded features. They are the latest to mention – rotating jaws, three sets of jaws, 360 degrees swivel base, multi-positioning clamping ability, and quick release jaws opening other than the time-consuming lead screw unwinding.
What are the size varieties of a bench vise?
Ans: The opening length of a bench vise refers to the size of the tool. The bench vise size commonly ranges 4-8″. Most often, a bench vise features the identical jaws opening and throat depth.
You have by far become clear that the best bench vise is a relative term. There is no specific standard for this. Your bench vise preference will and should vary with your need. Extremely crucial is to pre-determine the purpose to be served by that tool. Then only you can make the right choice.
And yes, it is the right bench vise you should be after. The entire recommendations in this guide will relate to any purpose and level of performance. So find your match here.