Best Bench Vices 2021

A bench vice is a must-have tool for any DIYer or professional.. in this guide, we would be looking at the best bench vices to buy. If you need one for your workshop, then go through this guide to find out for yourself.

Whether you’re welding in a workshop, sawing in your shed, or gluing in your garage, having a bench vice will undoubtedly make the task in hand easier and quicker.

A bench vice is a relatively inexpensive, multi-purpose workshop tool, which is a must-have piece of kit for any professional or amateur DIY enthusiast.  A bench vice is often referred to as a tradesman’s “second pair of hands” due to the support and assistance it offers in a range of DIY scenarios, including sawing, sanding, chipping, drilling and finishing.

A bench vice is fixed securely to a solid, flat surface (usually a workbench) by a clamp or bolts, and is designed to hold a workpiece firmly, keeping it stable and in a fixed position, with minimal movement and vibration.

A bench vice can also be used to stabilize multiple parts of a workpiece to ensure an even finish, for example when planning wood or gluing plastics.

The beauty of a bench vice is its simplicity – basic, heavy-duty engineering at its best. However, shopping for a bench vice is slightly more, shall we say, demanding!! Size, materials, jaw options, PSI, swivels, different names, which is also same for vacuum pumps

What Can We Use This Bench Vise For?

First, one should know what exactly can we do with a bench vise. So, here we came up with a list of a few tasks, a bench vise will perform.

  • Sawing / Cutting

Unlike a metal file, a bench vise will let you cut through the material (either metal or wood) easily, quickly, and effectively. When the material is firmly held in place without moving, then you can use a saw to cut the material with more power.

  • Drilling

Like pushing a garden cart, a few tasks like drilling requires precision and stability, especially while working through specific marking or measurements. The bench vise will fix the material stable in a place and let your work easily without any mess.

  • Sanding / Filling

In general, this project requires some time but with the usage of a bench vise, you can make it easier and quicker. It provides stability while you’re applying pressure and thereby reduces the chances of accidental damage. This will let you perform the sanding project smoothly.

  • Gluing

A bench vise is quite helpful while gluing a material. One can easily apply glue to the material in a particular area when it is fixed in place. Complete the whole project after the area has fully dried.

Types of Bench Vise

Like the jumper cables, most people think that bench vise is only one type but no, they are different types of vices available to hold the different materials. Woodworkers vise and mechanic’s vise are commonly used, popular models. Have a look on its types.

  • Woodworker’s Vise

It holds the wood firmly with its wooden jaws and allows you to plan, cut, or sand it. It acts as a carpentry tool designed to hold either soft or ligneous material while drilling, sawing, or manipulating. Used in special workshops to accommodate large carpentry pieces.

  • Engineering Vise

It is specially designed to hold metal objects with its metal jaws. This type of vises is a little heavier than woodworker vise. The jaws can hold either delicate workpieces like plastic, wood, copper, or aluminum (or) hard materials like iron and steel.

This mechanic vises can’t be installed onto the workbench but can be easily mounted either permanently with bolts or temporarily with a clamp, as per your requirement.

  • Pipe Vise

It is designed for a plumber and used to hold pipes and tubes for performing threading, cutting, or welding. It can either be fixed on the table or simply used as a mobile tripod. It holds the pipes with diameter that range from 0.11 – 2 inches. A few high-end models come with a higher capacity and hold the pipe with a diameter of up to 8 inches.

Apart from these three popular models, manufacturers designed all-purpose vises – similar to mechanic’s vises but can hold wood and other materials effectively.

BENCH VICES BUYER’S GUIDE

Jaw Width

The jaw width is the size of the jaws in inches. One can find jaw width options like 5-inch or 6-inch in the market, in which a 6-inch bench vise is considered to be better. The reason is that the larger size of the jaw will offer a better grip and even holds a larger object without any issues.

Throat Depth

The throat depth will let you know the available space between the jaws. Simply, it is the distance between the top of the jaws and the base of the bench vise. As a result, you can choose the throat depth of the bench vise as required for your project.

For instance, if you’re dealing with a large object then look for the bench vise with large throat depth and vice versa. A few options offer a low throat depth of 3 inches while some others have a 5-inch throat depth. This means you can easily place an object/workpiece 5 inches inside the bench vise for optimal grip.

Jaw Opening

It is the horizontal space between the two jaws of the bench vise and its distance is variable, differ from one vise to another. So, check the maximum width of the jaw opening in a bench vise. This will ensure that you can easily fit a wide object inside a bench vise for working easily on it.

Generally, this jaw opening will vary in between 2 – 10 inches and this determines the ability of the tool to accommodate thicker or thinner materials. For instance, a bench vise with a 4-inch jaw opening can fit a workpiece that has a width of 4 inches.

Rotation Angle

A few bench vise models will allow you to rotate the jaws respective to the base. This makes the tool more flexible and practical, as you can easily work at different angles. As you would expect, all bench vises have a limit to this rotation angle.

Some vises might offer a maximum rotation angle of 240-degrees or 300-degrees, while some others won’t even have rotation capacity. So, you should buy a bench vise according to your work requirements.

Bench Vise Materials

Whatever the material used for making bench vise, the tasks remain the same. But you need to consider its durability and ease of use. Have a look at these bench vise materials.

Cast Iron:

  • Cast iron is the most commonly used material in manufacturing this tool.
  • It is lightweight, durable, and suits best for light-duty tasks like cutting metal pipe or wood, but not suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
  • The cast iron bench vises have welding spots, the weakest part in the vise. So, you should avoid the bench vise which has more welding spots.
  • There is a chance of getting cracks and fall apart if you clamp it hard or hit with a hammer.

Forged Iron:

  • It is the best quality bench vises which don’t have any welding spots.
  • It is heavier and one should choose this high-quality bench vise material for a hard working or heavy-duty tasks.
  • It is specially used while working with hard materials and using a lot of anvil space.

Plastic & Rubber:

  • This suits best if you’re working with weak materials like a watcher, soldering, or other small tasks.
  • Although, they are lightweight, cheap but not durable.
  • One can just use it to hold the workpiece in a place without any movement.

Mount Type

Bench vise has generally two mount interface types – Bolt-on type & Clamp-on type. Let’s know about them in detail before selecting the bench vise.

  • Bolt-on Type

It has 4 bolts in which you can screw this type easily to either wall or desk or any place you want to fix it. This will help to secure the bench vise in the workplace.

However, it is essential to tighten the screw why because there is a lot of tension on the mounting bracket while tightening the jaws. It is meant for a heavy-duty way of fixing the bench vise.

  • Clamp-on Type

It is mounted for desks or for small jobs where one can’t screw them. It is easy to install but lacks security. Suitable for lighter applications and for those who work outside the home or move around.

Size

One should always select the size of the bench vise as per their space availability and project requirement. Large vises will occupy more space in your workplace and won’t allow you to move or work comfortably.

while the small vises will take less space and allows you to use the rest of the worktable for other projects as well. Also, the smaller vises are lighter and easy to move from one place to another.

Other Features

  • PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI), refers to the strength where they clamp down on the workpiece. So, always select the one which comes with higher PSI for effective performance.

  • Rotating Base

With this feature, the user can adjust the workpiece position to have a comfortable operation. This rotates the vise to 360-degrees and a few models have a protractor for precise rotation, while low-end models have a stationary base or limited rotation.

  • Quick Release Jaw

It allows you to work quickly and easily without having to twist the spindle every time manually, to release the workpiece from its jaws. But remember that not all bench vises have this feature. So, check for this option while purchasing this bench vise.

Weight

Getting the right weight bench vise is always a tricky thing. The heavyweight vises are stable but the worktable unable to bear this tool’s heavyweight. The lightweight vises are not suitable for all projects. So, select the heavy vise which your workbench is capable to bear.

Durability & Build Quality

Make sure that the bench vise you’re buying is durable. Since you are working with power tools and this bench vise may undergo a lot of beating. As a result, you should always look for a bench vise that comes with strong cast iron construction.

Some models come with a lifetime warranty, which allows you to use them for a long time without any issues. While some bench vise options have an inbuilt anvil for hammering objects if needed.

Price 

One has to access the price to quality ratio while selecting any device, including bench vise. In general, the expensive product may come with various features along with quality material construction, but it is not for all the time.

So, you can choose the product with the essential features and overlook some add-ons. In case, if your work environment involves high humidity, like that produced from a steam cleaner, then go for outdoor bench vises with powder coating to prevent rusting on the bench vise.

BEST BENCH VICES

NAMES FEATURES WHERE TO BUY
Yost Tools 750-DI 5″ Bench Vise

B00CBL62HQ

Meets NSN 5120-01-520-9328

Made of Heavy Duty Ductile Iron

The vise is equipped with (3) three sets of replaceable, hardened steel jaws

Parallel serrated jaws, pipe jaws and V-jaws for holding both round & flat stock

Vise head rotates 360° with locking at every 30° or (12) twelve different locking positions

GET IT ON AMAZON
TEKTON 8″ Bench Vise 5409

B000NPT6O8

360-degree swivel base with dual lock-down nuts positions workpiece where you need it

Three mounting holes anchor vise securely to a workbench

Built-in serrated pipe jaws hold up to 1-1/2 in. diameter pipes and tubes

Polished steel anvil offers a smooth, consistent work surface for shaping metal pieces

GET IT ON AMAZON
IRWIN Tools 5″ Bench Vise

B009TOCZEC

5-inch jaw width

9-inch jaw opening

3-inch throat depth

Lifetime warranty

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Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise 4-Inch

B00101V1S8

Made from 30,000 PSI gray cast iron

Double lock down swivel base

Large anvil work surface

Grooved steel jaw inserts

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Yost LV-4 Home Bench Vise

B00YS401X0

Home workshop vise

Swivel base allows rotating the vise 240-Degree for versatility

Holds 0.6” D to 1.85” D pipes and tubes

Jaw width 4-1/2”

Jaw opening 3”

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Olympia Tool 38-604 4-Inch Bench Vise

B000VJLY00

6-inch jaw width

6-inch jaw opening

75-inch throat depth

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Yost Vises 445 4.5″ Utility Bench Vise

B009ACC7GY

30,000 PSI Cast Grey Iron with Steel U Channel Bar

360° Swivel Base with (2) Lockdowns

Replaceable Hardened Steel Serrated (Top) Jaws

Permanent Serrated Pipe Jaws

Large Pipe Jaw Capacity

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PanaVise 381 Vacuum Base PanaVise

B000B63276

A single knob controls head movement through 3-planes: 90° Tilt, 360°Turn and 360° Rotation

Jaws are 2.5″ (63.5mm) wide, 0.5″ (12.6mm) tall and open to 2.25″ (57.1mm)

Base accepts all 300 series Heads and any 5/87quot; (15.9mm) diameter shaft

Pad footprint measures 5.125″ x 4.25″ (130.2mm x 108mm)

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Wilton WIL11128BH

B00WH6JIEO

120-degree turning feature

Nice finish and Color

Comes with a hammer

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Yost Vises ADI-8

B00G2QXKCQ

Replaceable hardened steel serrated Machinist and Pipe Jaws, zinc plated

Large anvil work surface

Adjustable guide rails for smooth operation

Interlocking (geared) 360° Swivel Base with two lockdowns

ADI base with three mounting holes

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Yost Tools 750-DI 5″ Bench Vise

B00CBL62HQ

The Yost 750-DI is perhaps the best bench vise for heavy-duty use on the market. It’s characterized by a classic 5-inch wide steel serrated jaws strong enough to exert over 9,000 PSI clamping pressure. Suitable for a wide range of professional and amateur tasks, the unit also boasts a robust construction that adds strength and stability. The 750-DI is engineered in heat- and corrosion-resistant 60,000 PSI ductile iron.

PROS CONS
Pull pin locking mechanism none
Best for heavy work
Multi-jaw function
Strong iron construction

TEKTON 8″ Bench Vise 5409

B000NPT6O8

Whether you are repairing vehicles, metalworking, or assembling parts, you can work better, faster, and safer knowing your workpiece is properly secured. Just lock it in and thread, fasten, build, bend, shape, or sharpen with confidence. The vise is made from 60,000 PSI malleable steel, so durability and dependability are built-in. The replaceable nonslip steel jaws deliver up to 8,800 pounds of clamping pressure so your project won’t budge.

PROS CONS
Strong but lightweight none
Replaceable steel jaw grips
Super easy to install

IRWIN Tools 5″ Bench Vise

B009TOCZEC

The IRWIN 4935505 is a solid multi-purpose bench vise characterized by its heaviness, a feature that makes the unit suitable to handle tasks that require considerable strength and jaw pressure. Constructed with the casual user in mind, the unit comes with an incorporated anvil designed to prevent the vise from moving while you work. Like our best-value pick, the IRWIN 4935505 comes with a 360° swivel base that allows perfect alignment with the workpiece. A machined steel main screw designed for wear resistance and smooth operation adds value to the unit, while the possibility to replace the hardened steel jaws and the internal nut when worn skyrockets the unit’s value.

PROS CONS
Better quality than it’s competitor Yost 750-DI Made from cast iron, so not so durable
360-degree turning feature The swivel base is hard to turn sometimes
Multiuse vise
Replaceable jaws

Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise 4-Inch

B00101V1S8

If you are looking for strong and sturdy in a vise, which you obviously should be, then the Wilton ticks all the boxes. The blue powder coat finish of the Wilton is a standard color in the world of bench vises but is finished to a very standard. This vise is every inch a workhorse, perfect for beginners and experienced craftsmen alike. It is made of strengthened steel that makes it an almost invincible vise, but not at a cost of its weight, at 7kg it isn’t a mammoth to install or to handle. The best vice placement is a simple choice as the unit isn’t static thanks to a clever design.

PROS CONS
Best for metalwork none
Cost-effective, as you would expect from a Wilton vise
Sturdy Construction
Larger square inch anvil surface

Yost LV-4 Home Bench Vise

B00YS401X0

The Yost LV4 proposes itself as an inexpensive solution for homeowners. This unit won’t withstand heavy-duty use but is versatile enough to hold a wide range of materials in a hobbyist’s workshop. It’s perfect for arts & crafts and is designed to hold pipes and tubes with a diameter from 0.6 to 1.85 inches. Its solid construction in cast aluminum provides wear resistance while the blue powder coat protects the tool from corrosion. You’ll also like the 4.5-inch jaw width and the 3-inch jaw opening. The base brings swivel versatility, rotating to 240°

PROS CONS
4 mounting tabs none
Small and compact
Swivel base with the 240-degree rotation angle
Decent build quality

Olympia Tool 38-604 4-Inch Bench Vise

B000VJLY00

The hardened steel jaws of the Olympia 38-604 open a respectable 4 inches. The jaws are also removable, allowing them to be easily replaced for grippier or in the case of wear. They are extremely durable, so the time to replace them may never come. The throat depth is about 2 inches, which is ideal for the majority of building work done at home.

PROS CONS
Feature pipe jaws none
Great price
Swivel base

Yost Vises 445 4.5″ Utility Bench Vise

B009ACC7GY

A popular bench vise among specialists, the Yost Vises 455 is a dependable tool designed for light-duty applications. It comes with a nominal jaw width of 5.5 inches and a swivel base designed to ensure proper placement of the workpiece. Rotating to 360°, the swivel base also locks in place and is recommended for work with iron and hard metals. Durability is ensured by the robust construction in cast iron and steel. Furthermore, solid diamond-serrated jaws exert sufficient pressure to hold your workpiece tight and are easy to replace if needed.

PROS CONS
Cast pipe jaws none
360 degree swivel feature, best suited if you are using a hand tool
Large anvil area

PanaVise 381 Vacuum Base PanaVise

B000B63276

The Vacuum Base PanaVise is widely used for portable applications. Simply flip the lever to activate the rubber base and attach the unit to any smooth, flat, non-porous surface. The PanaVise 381 is a fantastic mini vise. Perfect for smaller precision work including jewelry making, electronics and so much more. The versatility of jaw placement and movement is invaluable to any project that works with precious or semi-precious materials.

PROS CONS
Heat resistant none
360-degree rotation, 360 turns and 90-degree tilt (best used for stability for when you are using a tool with both hands)
Strong but light

Wilton WIL11128BH

B00WH6JIEO

Wilton WIL11128BH is quite an interesting bench vise. It’s a special edition and comes with a hammer. It features a 180-degree swivel base with a quick lockdown.

It’s made from the heavy-duty cast but comes with a price – you can’t change jaws, the tube clamping is not very well made and it’s not as good as old American made bench vises. But it also comes with a great market price and you get a 4lb 12-inch hammer with it.

The anvil space is quite large and the vise is well made, the color looks premium and they did not save money on internal parts.

PROS CONS
Super-smooth operation and adjustments It does not turn 360 degrees
Excellent strength for its size Jaws are not changeable
Price is more than good Some people broke them in a second usage
Quality build
Limited, but a lifetime warranty

Yost Vises ADI-8

B00G2QXKCQ

The Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) series of professional-grade bench vises are constructed out of 130,000 PSI Tensile Strength Austempered Ductile Iron and is at least 45% stronger than the Yost FSV (forged steel) vise series. ADI castings are (1) continuous cast, precision machined, whereas the FSV series was forged then welded together.

PROS CONS
Made from ADI If this would be made in the US, people would buy it 10x more
Replaceable jaws Not the cheapest vise in the market for this size
Nice finish and color Some vises come with not so good color quality
Limited, but a lifetime warranty
360-degree turning feature
You can get many sizes

CONCLUSION

This review guide has detailed the 10 best bench vises on the market to aid you in your purchase, but the choice is inevitably up to you and what serves your needs best. One person’s idea of ‘best’, is not necessarily the same as your idea of what is best. So go forth, and choose the best bench vise for you, using the buyer’s guide.