It’s an unwritten rule that you’ll need a proper tool for a job. It does not matter if you’re into DIY, or into woodworking or metalworking, if you’re into assembling parts or vehicles, bench vise is something you won’t be able to work without. In this article, we will present you the best bench vises 2020 has to offer. You’ll read about good and bad sides of them, we will provide links for them in case you decide to spend your well earned money on one or more on them, we’ll introduce you to FAQs and buyer’s guide. When you’re done reading this article, you’ll have enough information about bench vises to form an opinion about them and to choose the best for your needs.
- Best Bench Vise Reviews of 2020
- Bench vises – Buyer’s guide
- Types of Bench Vises
- How to install a bench vise?
- What are the basic parts of a bench vise?
- Is a swivel base important?
- Is it worth, a bench vise that has been welded?
- Can a broken bench vise be fixed?
- What should I look for in a bench vise?
Best Bench Vise Reviews of 2020
Before we start speaking about best bench vises, we prepared a small comparison table. In this table, we will present important facts about bench vise. After it, you’ll have facts about best bench vises market has to offer. So, buckle up, because we’re off to an adventure called top ten best bench vises of 2020.
|Product Image||Product Name||Infomation||Details|
5.9 x 12 x 6.4 in
|Buy on Amazon|
|Yost Vises 445 4.5"||Weight|
6 x 8 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
22 x 11.5 x 6.5 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
|Yost Vises 750-DI 5""||Weight|
20 x 10 x 10.5 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
9 x 18 x 7 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
|HFS 5" Heavyduty Bench||Weight|
11 x 5 x 5 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
8x 16.6 x 8.4 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
10.8 x 5.3 x 6.8 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
9 x 18 x 9 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
|Yost Vises 865-DI 6.5"||Weight|
22 x 10 x 14 inches
from 7 to 11 inches
|Buy on Amazon|
This little guy is average. Average weight and dimensions, average jaw opening and width, but that does not mean he’s completely average. Going by the experience of the users, it is one of the better bench vises on the market. The reasons for that are that this bench is easy to install and it’s sturdy. Being easy to install will play a role when it comes to it, because you don’t need a tool you’ll install for hours and maybe failing at the end.
It has a 4 inch jaw opening and width, which makes it good for general usage and purpose. But, depending on your needs, maybe 120 degree swivel won’t be good enough for you and can be uncomfortable to work with. It has a double lock and large anvil work surface. Because it is supposed to be placed on top of a workbench, it maybe won’t be suitable every woodworking need. There’s no latching when you open or close the jaws, which can only be a plus.
Based on users’ reports, this is a fine piece of tool. Being affordable and easy to install, it makes it highly desirable for people to purchase it. The only gripe there exists among users is the 120 degree swivel and the uncomfortableness that comes from trying to use it like that.
This bench vise is, according to users, very versatile. It's built to last and it's a good value for the money. One of the advantages among users is that is inexpensive and pretty affordable, which usually puts things high on lists. Jaw width is 4.5 inches and it's generally enough for most of the jobs you'll be doing with it. It's not made for professional jobs but for more moderate, DIY duty.
Swivel can spin in 360 degrees, and it locks in place easily, there's no need for some extra strength or pushing. Once it’s set up, it’s very easy to use. Users generally say that this product is something all DIY-ers should have because there’s hardly better thing to expect for the money. Also, even though this has nothing to do with technical specifications, some users said that the blue color is very pretty. Who knows, maybe there are women who are using this?
It is very sturdy and durable, but even given those facts, there are users who reported that the handle is not of the best quality and that if you apply too much pressure, it will bend. Admittedly, it’s not something you want to happen when you’re working because it can lead to injuries, especially when you’re not paying attention. When you’re concentrated on what you’re doing, it’s the least you want to happen.
Being affordable, this bench vise is something, like the previous one, that will attract a large sum of people who have a workshop or are into DIY. The thing is, not a lot of people are informed about the product and being attracted with the price, they’re rarely paying attention to the specifications. This bench vise is good for paid money, and you should not expect a miracle. Users do say that they are satisfied, but those users are generally regular people, not professionals. Thing that they did complain about was the bendable handle, which is a problem no matter the price.
As it's written in the very description, it is made for general purpose. So again, it's a tool for moderate load and moderate skill. Professionals can use it, but to some extent and without too much expectation. One of the things that make this product different is that the jaws are replaceable. So if you’re not satisfied with them or if they stop being functional, you can always unclamp them and start using new ones, when you replace the old ones.
The swivel is 120 degree and you can manipulate the parts with ease. It has dual lockdowns which will keep this piece of tool called bench vise put in one place, without moving. It’s not uncomfortable to work with this once you get used to it.
Thing that the users are reporting is that this vice is too small. Going by dimensions of 22 x 11.5 x 6.5 inches it does make it rather small and it is lightweight (15 pounds). The weight shouldn’t be a problem once you mount it on your surface, but instead of four holes for screwing your vise, there are only three, that can make it less stabile.
Again, this product is very affordable and it depends on your needs. If you’re someone who likes to indulge into DIY and some housework, go for it, this is the product for you. Being small, these bench vises are perfect for moderate working, and if you need it for something more serious than house chores or DIYs, buy a heavier model.
Okay, we're moving onto a heavier lane. This bench vise is a more rugged than the pieces we've already presented in this article. It's made of ductile iron, which is known for its strength and impact resistance. It makes the bench vise extremely durable and stronger. One of the things that have been improved is the main nut and screw. They’ve been made bigger and it will make clamping forces bigger.
Unlike other products, this one is produced for heavy duty jobs and projects and you won’t make a mistake if you buy it. The main difference about this bench vise is that it can be used by both hobbyists and pros. It’s big and heavy and it takes a little manhandling, but once you set it up, you’re good to go. The head can be rotated for 360 degrees, and it can be locked in 12 positions. It will ease up your projects.
It has self aligning pipe jaws that will adjust to the thing that’s clamped, securing tightness and reducing damage. Apart from them, it has two more sets of jaws, three in total, top and V jaws and they are all replaceable. But, the man jaws are the biggest disappointment for some users. They’re not square and are of poor texture.
Users are generally satisfied with this bench vise because it’s made for both pros and hobbyists. The price is a little higher, but that’s what you get when it’s not made only for amateurs. From the users’ experience, it’s durable and hard, the only problem making those main jaws that are square and not totally even which is a big flaw.
This bench vise is made of grey iron cast, and the main attribute of it is that it will distribute heat evenly. Apart from its brother 750-DI, which is made for heavy duty, 750-E is made for medium duty. It is generally well made, and it is made for home use, mostly for DIY and hobby, not for professional work. And even being made for moderate duty, it is still heavier that most of the vises of this type.
The head can rotate a 360 degree, making it easy to manipulate and work with. The base can also rotate 360 degrees, managing optimal placement. It has three sets of jaws for your endeavor: V, Pipe and Machinist jaws and they are aligned properly and when set in place, they keep things in place allowing work without problems.
Some users reported that the base swivel can get very loose, and it would require some manhandling to get it back to its proper position. It is affordable, and not too big, making this bench vise very good for its price range. It can be easily mounted on the top of the surface, there are four holes for attaching it securely. Once securely set, you’re good to go.
A lot of users share their good opinion about this bench vise, because they did their homework, apparently. Like most of the bench vises presented so far, this one is also made for medium duty and not for heavier jobs, and it won’t stand long while under heavy pressure. Although affordable, it depends on your needs what you’ll choose. Loose swivel is not something you want to have when you decide to invest into a tool that you’ll probably use a lot.
We’re still in a moderate to light duty lane. Even though this bench vise even has a “heavy” in its name, it is not made for heavy duty. It is made of cast iron like most of the tools presented in this article, so that doesn’t make it any different. It is very affordable, making this bench vise popular among ordinary people. Even pros use it for jobs that don’t require too much beating and force.
It has three mounting holes instead of four, a thing that people are complaining about because it doesn’t give off enough security. But given the fact that it’s used for jobs that are not very heavy, we figure that it’s not necessary to apply too much force, thus stability shouldn’t be an issue.
Jaws are made of steel and they are replaceable. Which is probably a good thing, because a lot of users are reporting that they are not parallel and level. They were parallel before users started using them for real, but after a while and pressure, jaw plates just became unusable because they weren’t parallel anymore.
Being a bench vise from moderate category, it is mostly used for lighter applications. Maybe it’s understandable because it’s quite cheap and a lot of people can afford it. Because of it, those people are probably very disappointed when they discover that they should have paid more for a solid piece of bench vise. This, by all means, is not a bad tool, it’s just that there are better.
Users reporting about jaw being unparallel is alarming, because it’s not safe to work with them than. Three holes instead of four are not a flaw, because this bench vise is not made for heavy beating.
This bench vise is described as „affordable quality“. It’s made for medium duty jobs, but will handle 85% of jobs you throw it his way. It’s, again, affordable, not in the pricey lane so it makes this bench popular. One of the things a lot of people have been asking is it made in America. The answer is not, it is not, it is imported from China. But however, it is very well built and is of fine quality that is affordable.
It has a set of replaceable jaws, which we saw is important for various reasons. They open wide and they are properly built. They’re quite sturdy and especially good when it comes to holding metal. What’s really good is that it’s made from steel, making this bench vise very durable. It won’t crack easy and it should last for a while, not for few years. Although, some users report that the handle broke or became crooked after applying heavy force.
It has three holes for mounting, again, maybe not a good choice when it comes to security and safety, but users didn’t report any accidents, so all is good.
Even though this is described as affordable quality, it is still made for moderate duty jobs, and users report that you should not apply too much pressure whatsoever. We would like to point out that domestic production is very important and that we support it 100%.
Handle that can be broken or that can become crooked is never a good thing, and while it’s not a common thing to happen, users did say that after applying more pressure, they’ve noticed the difference.
One of the first things you'll notice is that it’s not blue but gray, which is rather refreshing. Price, again, is affordable so it’s suitable for lots of people. It’s made for light to moderate duty jobs, not for heavy duty jobs and it makes it perfect for a home shop or for hobbyists. Even though you’re not going to apply too much force while working with it, it will hold the things you put inside its jaws.
It’s sturdy, all right. But, the problem with this bench vise is that a lot of users are reporting that it’s not durable at all and that it’s a cheap replica of better bench vises. Users say that it has no holding power at all and that it’s weakly made. Probably it’s the same problem like with all light and moderate duty bench vises. People are just overusing them, and not using them for the things they’re made for. But still, it’s alarming when you have more than one review saying that the vise is of bad quality.
Swivel base can rotate up to 270 degrees, but again, users are reporting that on some pieces jaws are not parallel, thus making holding items sometimes impossible. Also, our users are reporting two more things: finish is rough and edges are sharp. Ouch, not a good combo and surely a bad thing.
Boy oh boy, where to begin? It seems to us that this product has a lot of issues. First things first, no holding power is a problem only some users reported, and that is probably something that doesn’t happen often. It’s a problem worth investigating, but it can surely happen. Second, jaws not being parallel. This is an occurring problem with more than one model, and one of the worst things that can happen.
Lastly, sharp edges are never okay, because you can be injured in various ways, you don’t need your tool to hurt you too.
Again, one of the first things that will poke you in the eye is the color. It's red, not blue. It is heavy and made for heavy duty, and that being said, it’s extremely affordable for a piece of tool that is capable of making hobbyists and pros happy. It’s a multi-purpose bench vise and it generally has great reviews because of its versatility.
Jaws can rotate for 360 degrees, but thanks to the two screws in the back of the vise, you can lock the jaws at 45 degree angle. Or, if you prefer it that way, don’t tighten the screws so you can rotate it freely how you want. It has a 5 inch opening making it versatile in the means of usage. While we’re speaking about the jaws, you can lock them, but not the entire thing which is not good. These jaws are actually great, because you’ll get 2 types of jaws: one is for flat surfaces and the other one is for tube-shaped things.
It is not made in America. As we pointed out earlier, domestic production is important and we should try to encourage it as much as we can.
Most of the users’ discontent is placed in the fact that this bench vise is not made in America. Apart from being popular because it’s generally affordable, the fact that it’s a foreign product is something that makes this product less desirable. But people generally don’t have a problem with buying things that are not a product of domestic production.
Flaw with the jaws is taunting, and while you can lock them but not the entire thing, it’s not as safe to work like that. It would be a great improvement if the manufacturers can think of a way to solve this problem.
Finally, the last product we're reviewing today, and needless to say, we did leave one of the best for the end. One of the first things we’ll say is that this is manufactured in America and that only makes it worthy of reviewing. It’s made out of ductile iron, and as we said it before while reviewing another product, ductile iron is known for its strength and impact resistance. That makes this bench vise durable, reliable and sturdy, and made for heavy duty.
It’s not as affordable as others, even though that is a sketchy category. But it will pay off to buy this bench vise. This tool comes with two pairs of jaws, top and pipe jaws. Top jaws can be replaced and reversed, and pipe jaws can also be replaced and also, they are serrated. Swivel base is 360 degree.
This vise has two anvils and increased jaw capacity, meaning the jaws can expand from 7 to 11 inches. That ability makes this vice very versatile and capable of doing all sorts of dirty work and oversized projects.
So far everything sounds very remarkable, but we need to spoil that statistics. Users are reporting that the handle can be stiff and thus hard to use. Also, there were users that said that the vise looks worn out and not new at all.
This bench vise probably has it all. From domestic manufacturing to all components needed to make a good product, it was really tough to find a distinguishable flaw. From several reports of our users where they complained about the stiffness of the handle, that would be the only technical problem that existed among them. The looks are not a technical problem, but it’s worth mentioning it if that is important to you.
Bench vises – Buyer’s guide
Here we are, next step in our journey. After our small comparison table and presentation of bench vises, you are packed with needed knowledge to be able to decide which bench vise would be suitable for you. We will cover some main points, like what are dual anvils and what is a durable construction, we will speak about grip and stability and how to adjust a bench vise.
Strap on your safety goggles, we’re moving onto a next chapter.
Bench vise is used to hold pieces you’re working on. Main role is to provide firm and tight grip so you can work on your work pieces safely and without fear of injury or even breaking a tool. There are more than one feature that will make a bench vise good, but among the most important ones is the material from which a bench vise is made. The stronger the material, it is more likely that the vise would be sturdier and more durable.
Now, the thing we spoke about frequently and it’s probably the most mentioned thing. Jaws of a vise are important, because without them you wouldn’t be able to use the vise at all. Jaws are there to clamp and hold tight the thing you’re working on, but with one important remark. The jaws shouldn’t leave a mark on the piece you’re working on. So, the jaws should hold your piece tightly but not to crush it or disrupt the aesthetics of it.
Swivel is also something we mentioned but not explained. It is used, simply put, for rotation. The wider the angle, the better the rotation. Most of the vises come with a swivel base of 360 degrees which means you can roll it all around, and in the end, it will depend on what you need, but it’s always a safe bet to buy a vise that has a swivel of 360 degrees.
Dual anvils are not something you’ll find on every bench vise. In most of the cases, the anvil on the bottom is something like a shelf. Anvil’s surface is flat and in most of the cases, vises have only one anvil. Those models with two anvils are usually high end vises, and the extra anvil acts as extra workspace.
Even though everything seems like it’s the most important part when we’re dissecting tools, durability really is, if not the most important part, one of the most important parts. When a machine is durable, you know that you invested your money good and that you probably won’t have to buy another tool/machine in a long time.
When we speak about vises, durability is crucial. Vises are usually made of cast iron, a material that is highly durable, but there are some models that are made of ductile iron, material that is even more durable. Because bench vise is used for holding things while you’re supposed to work on them, and in some cases, work on them hard, durability is an ability that is highly desired and necessary.
Bench vise got its name because it’s supposed to be mounted on top of a surface, usually a working table. Most of the vises have three or four mounting holes, depending on a model. Generally, it’s not hard to mount a bench vise, it is important to mount it tightly so it wouldn’t be loose. The surface is supposed to be flat for easier and safer usage.
Grip and stability
The reason why we use bench vise is because we need a tool that will hold a workpiece for us, while we’re working on him. It is important that the grip on the workpiece is tight, so it will be stabile and that it won’t budge even a fraction of an inch. That’s why it’s important to have jaws that are level and firm, along with the swivel that is not loose. Two of them combined are supposed to provide enough stability for safe working and good grip so that the workpiece is stabile.
Types of Bench Vises
There are 4 types of bench vises, and they are:
- machinist vise
- mechanic vise
- post vise
- woodworker vise
Machinist vise is also known as engineer’s or metalworking vise and its main purpose is to work with metal and not wood. They are usually made of cast iron and for heavy duty jobs. The jaws are separate and parallel, and in most cases, replaceable. Jaw width is the same size as the jaw opening and in some cases bigger. This type of vise has a swivel base and is usually bolted instead of just placed on a work surface.
Mechanic vise is supposed to be the most durable one, because they’re mostly used for heavy duty jobs. The jaws are not replaceable, but are hard and have a strong grip.
Post vises are generally used for blacksmithing, and because of that, they are supposed to withstand high temperatures and quite the hammering. Post vise is in a standing position where the legs are bolted to the table. Because it’s connected directly to the surface, it has a role of an anvil.
And lastly, woodworking vise is attached to a working space or a workbench. The material used for the construction of the jaws is either wood or metal. If they’re made of metal, they will probably have a layer of wood on them so there won’t be any traces on the working piece.
How to install a bench vise?
What are the basic parts of a bench vise?
Is a swivel base important?
Is it worth, a bench vise that has been welded?
Can a broken bench vise be fixed?
What should I look for in a bench vise?
Here we are, at the end of our bench vise journey. After our table and presentation of bench vises, you sure have all the facts to know which one will suit your needs the best. No matter if you’re only into DIY or are you a real pro, you can always learn something new. In case we missed something and you think it’s important, feel free to write it in the comments.
Now you have the knowledge about best bench vises on the market, you know o which thing you should pay attention to when you make a decision and you know more about different types of bench vises. We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as we enjoyed writing it.