Best Bench Vise – 2017 Review

Best Bench Vise Review

If you looking for the best bench vise available in 2017 then settle in and look no further than this guide of reviews will lay out the best options available. So you can choose what suits you and your workspace best. If you are a handy person or even if you are beginning to learn, and spend any time at all in a workshop then you know how useful a bench vise can be. They are incredibly an important tool that are often underutilized.

There are many options available and it can be hard to get a grip on what the best choice is, especially when a bench vise is not a tool that you can try out beforehand. So what is the criteria that a vise must possess to be a contender for the best bench vise of 2017? For a start, a good bench vise should be easy to install, either directly to the bench top or via a clamp or stand.  A quality bench vise will also not mark your workpiece while it is in use.

The Wilton is a great piece of kit. It is best suited to beginners or for smaller projects, as it opens to a 4 inch gap. It is a workhorse and being made of highly strengthened steel means it will last a hell of a long time. The anvil area is a very nice size, negating the need for a separate area to bend your metal work.

A swivel feature is something that people take for granted in a bench vise, assuming they will need a staic vise. But as soon as you use the feature you will know you made the best choice. The swivel was smooth and easy, no chattering or sticking around the curve. A fantastic vise.

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The Yost Multi-Jaw is a heavy duty bench vise. Its is a perfect all-rounder geared best suited for serious amateurs or even professional workmen. It would look wonderful on any workbench, and it is built to be used and abused.

The pipe feature is not common as standard and it suits all plumbers and even some engineers. This vise can handle any project you undertake and would be pride of place on any bench in any workshop or garage.

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The Yost LV is great value. It houses a strength that is usually lacking in bench vises of this size. It wouldn't be suitable for big jobs as the jaws only have a 3 inch opening which can be a tiny bit limiting in terms of the sizes of pieces you are working on, but for the price it is well made and will last a long time in your workshop. A great vise for beginners or even the thrifty.

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Available to buy direct from Amazon, the Yost 445 utility bench vise performs as well as you would expect from any vise from Yost. The 360 degree base is a feature that is somewhat taken for granted, until you find yourself contorting yourself around a piece of material to see the other side.

Pipe jaws are always a welcome bonus on any bench vise, as it negates the need for another vise, or replacement jaw faces.

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The TEKTON is a great bench vise available from Amazon, for medium to heavy duty work at a great price. The vise will hold up to whatever you throw at it, within reason and can hold you over from the transition to light work to projects that require a bit more strength and security.

The TEKTON is a great vise that can be a firm point as your skills improve and you take on more projects.

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The PanaVise 301 is a fantastic mini vise. Perfect for smaller precision work including jewellery making, electronics and so much more. The versatility of the jaw placement and movement is invaluable to any project that works with precious or semi-precious materials.

One of the PanaVise's biggest draws here that should be noted is its resistance to heat. Mini vises are sometimes made of inferior products such as cheap plastic, as they can relegated to the notion that they are only for crafts or little hobbies. Whereas, the PanaVise is a very serious and technical piece of kit. It is capable in assisting with various tasks such as soldering, light welding and grinding.

That is what makes the 301 such a versatile vise, it can turn its hand to anything and withstand so much more than is initially evident by its size.

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As with other reviews on Amazon, the Grizzly is an absolute mammoth of a vise. The dual function and rotating jaws with a swivel base are features that you need in a heavy duty vise. It is a substantial vise and it can handle any small, medium or heavy duty work you throw its way. This product is built to be big and strong and to weather any storm.

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The Wilton 14500 4500 is strong and sturdy and perfect for medium to heavy duty work. The two anvil areas are perfectly primed for a pounding and are great for metalwork of all shapes and sizes. The reversible jaw feature is great and allows you to work with larger pieces of material than it the norm this 2017.

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Made from iron, this HFS vise has as much strength and function as you would expect from a vise that you paid double even triple for. Suitable for all mill work, this is a fantastic vise. It is unlike many other bench vises as it has a more singular purpose.
It is a great vise for milling and drilling but wont be suitable for all the ad-hoc projects that pop up in the workshop.

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Buyers Guide Questions

How Does a Bench vise Work?

A vise is a mechanical device that is used to hold whatever you are working on still, because lets face it, no one wants to drill a moving target! Bench vises, are quite obviously, vises that attach directly to your workbench and hold the workpiece, keeping you hands free to drill, file, sand or plane the piece.

The vises themselves are of course designed to hold your work. They use adjustable jaws that clamp whatever you are working on together. The jaws are attached to a large main screw that runs through the vise. As you turn the handle, the jaws move further towards each other or further away by moving along the main screw.

How to Install a Bench Vise?

A bench vise works by attaching to your workbench. There are two ways this can happen, the first being a clamp on bench vise. These vises have an adjustable clamp that clamps underneath and above the bench top to keep the vise in place.

While this method of attaching a bench vise is easier, it is not universally preferred as it can feel less secure. An upside of this method is that you and move the vise and keep changing its placement on your workbench.

The other method is to fix the vise directly onto the bench top by way of good old nuts and bolts. This is usually preferably as it affords you more security and little to no chance of the vise flying off while you are banging away on a piece of metal.

There are also stands and baseplates available, that can increase the height of your vise. These are especially useful if you are doing detailed work, i.e. marking out measurements or soldering and are seated. Mini vises are usually installed on a stand as they are primarily being used while seated. Bench vises need to be kept stationary so any tool or tools can be used safely.

What are Bench Vises used For?

The uses for bench vises are practically endless. They are used in workshops and home garages alike and afford people the versatility to tackle whatever project they need. From woodworking to metalwork and even plumbing, bench vises can handle anything. The key is to find a bench vise that suits your needs.

For example mini vises are vital in areas such as jewellery making and electronics are they are great for holding smell pieces without marking while you solder the pieces in place. Using  a larger, heavy duty vice in this circumstance runs the risk of not only marring the surface of something delicate but even just breaking it entirely

Who Makes the best Bench Vise?

In these reviews, there are a few companies that can be considered market leaders such as Yost and Wilton, but Yost is a front-runner in the production of the bench vise. Their vises come in many shapes and sizes and service a range of needs this year in 2017.

The prices are usually always competitive, which is always a main factor even if we sometimes wish it wasn’t. They deliver quality at a price that most people can afford. Yost make well-formed vises that work well with a variety of materials, whether its metal or wood.

Features such as swivel bases and pipe jaws seem to be standard issue, while other makers are still leaving them off the smaller or the more reasonably priced bench vises.

Conclusion

As far as tools go, the bench vise may not be something that instantly comes to mind, but it is a very necessary tool. The bench vise may seem like a simple tool, and it is quite possible that you had not intended in putting so much thought into the purchase of one but it is worthwhile. The old adage is ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’, and it is true! A bench vise of poor quality and workmanship is only going to lead to problems.

A bench vise but also suit your projects and your pockets . The quality and prices of bench vises vary drastically across the market but how do you know that you are getting what you need? Or even what you pay for? The most expensive tools does not automatically mean the best quality, and in a workshop environments with many hazards such as power tools and human error, we know you need confidence in what you are purchasing.

A bench vise is not only best used in DIY or fabrication projects, it is also useful for many other uses. Such as securing blades when sharpening, i.e. lawnmower blades or bladed tools. A bench vise must also take some abuse, as it will be knocked and banded around as the items you are working on are removed and reinserted and must also be able to take the vibrations from a drill and other tools, usually a hammer.

Whether its bending metal or just you taking out your frustrations, that is fine. So the grips on the vises jaws must be tight and not prone to movement or slipping.

A bench vise is not only useful in DIY or fabrication projects, it is also useful for many other uses. Such as securing blades when sharpening, i.e. lawnmower blades or bladed tools. A bench vise must also take some abuse, as it will be knocked and banded around as the items you are working on are removed and reinserted and must also be able to take the vibrations from a drill and other tools, usually a hammer. Whether its bending metal or just you taking out your frustrations, that is fine.

This reviews 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 persons idea of ‘best’, is not necessarily the same as you idea of what is best. So go forth, and choose the best bench vise for you.

Wilton 11104 4-Inch

Top Pick

Right now our top pick has to be the Wilton 11104 bench vise. Its sturdy workhorse construction lends itself to heavy work, and at a price that is unexpected. It isn’t overly heavy, which means it is not difficult to install. It is a great all-rounder and great for almost all projects. This fetching blue powder coated vise, has all the fixings for woodwork and metalwork with its large anvil surface that many vises are lacking and a secure double lock on the swivel for added stability.

It can also be a great stepping stone as it will be suited to a workshop that is transitioning from beginner or hobbyist to something more akin to a professional standard or even more frequent use. This pick is a stellar choice for a majority, if not all workers and their requirements. Whether you are a hobbyist that will use the vise on an infrequent basis for light work or if it will receive much heavier use, it can withstand it all. You will be extremely grateful for this toughness if or when you make a mistake.

Yost Vises 750-DI 5

Premium Choice

The Yost Vises Multi-Jaw Rotating Bench  has to be the best option for the premium choice here, as it is the only that can be described as such. This vises delivers so much more than what comes to mind when we think of a bench vise. The jaws are of fantastic design and the vise itself is of an almost peculiar design. The pull-pin feature of locking the mechanism is inspired and lends an easiness to working that you won’t realise you were missing. Almost all the other vises I have ever seen employ a handle or knob to control any tilt or swivel feature. These can stick or ‘gum up’, which makes it difficult top operate one-handed. Having a free hand may seem like something that is unimportant, but a free hand can be more than useful.

Adjusting the vice position whilst securing the material is a lot simpler than constantly removing and replacing the piece at a different angle or position, as this leads to unnecessary wear on the and the increased likelihood of making a mistake.  The build quality is second to none.  The jaw placement is perfect for either horizontal or vertical placement of your material. When working with pipe or longer work pieces, vertical placement of the material is so much easier, and stops damage to the piece and to yourself. Many vises don’t compensate for the need for the jaws to clear the edge of the work bench. This vise does without sacrificing stability or design. Hobbyists and professionals alike will be pleased with this choice.

Yost LV-4 Home

Great Value

There could be no winner for our great value pick, other than the Yost LV-4 Home Vise. The price is simply amazing for a mounted bench vise. Sporting a cast iron design with a stability that was utterly unexpected in a vise this size. For something this well made, with the features such as the swivel feature and the static pipe and tube jaws, you would certainly expect to pay more, a lot more. You can buy cheaper bench vises, but not of this calibre and honestly there isn’t many that exist any cheaper. The LV-4 is a great offering from Yost, and really rounds out their range.

The vise is perfect for your home workshop or garage at a price that cannot be beat. Many vises available at this price as cheap knock-offs that will only snap when put under any slight strain. Many cheap vises are made from hollow, alloy casts that will break ridiculously easily, and which are of no use at all. The Yost LV cannot be lauded enough. Any beginner or ‘weekend warrior’ should start with the Yost LV. It is the perfect starter vise to gauge your interest and your needs for your workshop and your intended projects.

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