Do you want to buy a bench vice but can’t decide which one? Do not worry, in our buying guide you will find a wide description of the various types and the most important characteristics based on the type of use for which the accessory is intended. If you do not have much time to devote to the insights, however, you can jump directly to the review of the models currently most requested on the market. The Brockhaus Heuer 140mm , a professional bench vise with excellent value for money, and the Maurer 80072 125mm , a low-cost model appreciated by both hobbyists and professionals , are at the top of our ranking regarding the best-selling models. less demanding.
The 10 Best Woodworking Bench Vise- Ranking 2020
And here we are at the in-depth review of the products sold online most appreciated by buyers: seven different vise models and a particular accessory.
Rank # 1: Eclipse Quick Release
The one produced by the German company Brockhaus Heuer, according to the opinions of the buyers, is one of the best bench vises of 2020 currently on the market, both for its structural characteristics and for the price, which compared to the average of the products belonging to the same market segment is very competitive.
It is in fact a high quality professional bench vise, entirely made of forged steel and guaranteed by the manufacturer as unbreakable. The clamping jaws are 140 millimeters long and are also equipped with the standard pipe jaws, the useful opening, however, is 200 millimeters.
The base for fixing to the workbench is also adjustable and allows you to extend the vice beyond the edge or retract it, according to the needs and the type of piece to be worked on. There is even a rear jaw with an anvil top, and is entirely powder coated.
At first glance it may seem expensive, but compared to the other top-of-the-range professional bench vises, the Brockhaus Heuer has an excellent quality-price ratio.
High quality :
It is entirely made of forged steel, with perfect assembly and free of play or friction; perfectly finished with a blue powder coating that helps protect the steel from wear and tear over time.
The jaws are also complete with recesses intended for clamping the tubulars and a rear surface to be used as an anvil; the support base also allows you to adjust the extension by bringing the vice over the edge or inside the bench.
You won’t find a fault with this vise even looking for it with a microscope; materials, assembly, mechanics and finishing: everything is of excellent quality
Rank # 2:Wilton - 78A, Pivot Jaw Woodworkers Vise
In second place among the best-selling products, there is the bench vice in steel 80072, produced by the Italian firm Maurer, which is a professional model but belonging to the range of products sold at low prices, therefore with lower characteristics and performance than to those offered by vises such as the Brockhaus Heuer or Ariex.
Despite being entirely made of steel, in fact, the Maurer 80072 is roughly finished and the painting, especially on edges and edges, tends to peel off with wear and the passage of time, exposing the metal to oxidation. The jaws are fixed and non-adjustable in extension as in the top-of-the-range models, they are 125 mm wide and have a useful opening limited to 150 mm.
Even the fixing to the bench is reduced to a minimum, two pins instead of the four canons; but it is still in great demand because it is solid, functional and decidedly economic.
Solid and robust :
Although it is a bench vice belonging to the economic range, it is entirely made of steel, therefore it is very solid, also suitable for intensive work.
The price is the best that the most careful buyers could want, and in fact it is this particular aspect that has made it so popular and in demand on the market.
Ideal for hobbyists :
Given the characteristics, the Maurer 80072 is especially recommended for hobbyists, who with a reduced expense will have a professional, solid and functional bench vise.
The finishes are certainly not excellent, and also the versatility is not exactly at the top, but given the cost of the tool it is also understandable.
Rank # 3: IRWIN Woodworking Vise,
The Stanley Fat Max is certainly a good vice, which is distinguished by a good quality-price ratio and features that make it very interesting from the point of view of applications and versatility.
Although presenting itself as a professional 150mm bench vise, the jaws are hollow and consequently do not offer a high yield in strong clamps, moreover the assembly presents play and friction in some points, so its use in the most demanding professional jobs, or which require high precision, is definitely not recommended.
On the other hand, however, it is solid and resistant, made with good materials and with a good level of finish. The swivel base also makes it quite versatile. Overall, therefore, the Fat Max is the classic vice that falls into the basic segment of the medium-high range, and as such it is recommended above all for hobby and craft use.
Swivel base :
The Fat Max is interesting above all thanks to the presence of the swivel base, which allows you to orient it 360 degrees and make it extremely versatile in applications.
Good materials :
The main body is made of cast iron, so it is massive and heavy and needs a nice robust workbench, it is also chromed, in order to resist corrosion and oxidation.
On the rear jaw there is also a flat side with a small protrusion, which acts as an anvil for the processing of small pieces of iron.
Unfortunately it is not perfect, so some components tend to play, or too much friction, also the jaws are hollow.
Rank # 4: Pony 27091 8-Inch by 7
The one marketed by the Zerone company is also an excellent quality rotating bench vice, but it is characterized by compact dimensions and an opening of only 110 millimeters.
The positive characteristics of this bench vice are represented by the manufacturing materials and the finish, both of excellent quality, by the 360-degree swivel base that makes it very versatile, and by the price easily accessible even for a novice hobbyist. In addition, the base is equipped with three lugs with 8-9 mm holes, so that it can be securely fixed to the workbench.
Its applications can be varied, from wood and metal working to tubulars, as well as for clamping pieces to be sawn, drilled or glued; the limitations, on the other hand, are given by the compact dimensions and the reduced opening of the jaws, which do not make it suitable for the processing of large pieces.
Excellent quality :
The manufacturing materials, the assembly and the finishing are of quality and consequently this bench vice has absolutely nothing to envy to the larger and more expensive models.
It can be safely used for different types of processing and with different materials: wood, plastic and metal, also in tubular form, and as a stable support for sawing, drilling, gluing or welding.
Swivel base :
The upper part with the jaws and the anvil plane can be easily rotated 360 degrees, in order to further increase versatility and adapt to the needs of the case.
Limited opening :
The compact dimensions, but above all the not particularly wide opening of the jaws, make it suitable for processing only small pieces.
Rank # 5:Olympia Tools 38
If you are passionate about DIY and woodwork and are looking for where to buy a new set of pipe clamps, then you should take a look at the one marketed by the Essort company.
This bench vise for pipes is made up of two distinct parts: a screw clamp and a carpenter’s vise with lever locking, both made of cast iron and soft steel and painted with red enamel, in order to resist rust, corrosion and to the wear of time. The set consists of two vices, therefore four elements in all, which are compatible with standard ½ inch threaded pipes; the latter, however, are not included in the package.
The latter can be easily purchased online, or at any plumbing, hardware or DIY store. They are especially designed to tighten and hold the wooden strips to be glued together and then subject them to further processing.
Ideal for carpentry :
Essort clamps are specific for carpenters and hobbyists with a passion for wood, as they are designed to tightly tighten and keep the strips to be glued together.
Good materials :
They are made of cast iron and soft steel, and are also painted with enamel in order to make them more resistant to corrosion and oxidation. The lever locking system is well made and simple to operate.
Ergonomic handle :
The steel screw is equipped with an ergonomic T-handle, which makes tightening and opening easier and more efficient.
The threaded ones are not included in the package, so if you do not have them you will have to buy them separately and add them to the total expense.
Rank # 6: Shop Fox D4328 9
The Ariex bench vice model Tirex 173/150 is entirely made of forged steel, solid, resistant, heavy and particularly suitable for intensive professional use and for demanding jobs, such as bending metal for example.
In comparison to the other products examined in our guide, the Ariex Tirex can be considered the best bench vise in many aspects, starting with the materials and the assembly up to the technical characteristics, such as full jaws and their opening, which reaches up to to 173 mm.
The only flaw, however, is represented by the decidedly high cost, especially in relation to its compact measures, which makes it uncompetitive on the market and hardly accessible for hobbyists. In fact, the Ariex bench vise is required only by professionals who have particular needs for use and are willing to face the expense, however significant it may be, just to buy a high quality accessory for their workshop.
That of the Ariex vice is very high in all aspects, both as regards the materials and finishes, and for the assembly and possible applications, which are ideal for the most demanding jobs.
Solid and resistant :
Its structure is extremely robust and will allow you to use the vice without problems also for bending iron and steel sheets, as well as for tightly clamping the pieces.
The Ariex vice is ideal especially for mechanical workshops and locksmiths who work iron, as it is a professional model in all respects.
The only limitation is given by the decidedly high cost, so if you don’t have specific needs, it is better to fall back on a cheaper model.
Rank # 7:Woodstock D4648 Cabinet Maker's
And here we are at the cheapest of the products examined in our guide, a practical and comfortable mini bench vice with dimensions so compact that they fit in the palm of a hand.
It is entirely made of aluminum alloy, light but very resistant, extremely functional and easy to use; it is equipped with a vertical screw for fixing to the worktop and a horizontal screw to adjust the opening and closing of the jaws.
The latter have a width of 35 millimeters and a maximum opening of 30 millimeters, moreover they are shaped so as to be able to tighten even metal wires up to about 3 millimeters in diameter.
The YOU + mini vise is recommended for hobby use, especially by model makers; as regards professional applications, on the other hand, they are possible in the field of precision mechanics, goldsmiths, jewelery, optics and dental technology, but always for uses that are not too demanding.
With a cost of less than 10 euros, this mini vice is one of the cheapest models you will ever find; despite the negligible price it is well made, practical and extremely functional.
It can be safely used both in the hobby field, especially by model enthusiasts, and professionally, for high precision work on pieces with very small dimensions.
The compact dimensions also allow it to be transported very easily, in case an on-site intervention is required.
No flaw :
Shoppers have been extremely satisfied with this mini grip, and report no flaws or limitations.
Rank # 8:Yost Tools F10WW Yost 10"
We are dealing with an economic model entirely made of steel, therefore suitable both for professionals who do not have particular needs and prefer to save on spending, and for hobbyists.
The finishes leave something to be desired, especially the type of painting which is not powder-coated and which with time and wear is subject to peeling and leaving the underlying parts exposed to oxidation.
Despite the rough finish, it remains a solid and above all economic vice, therefore recommended for hobbyists and less demanding professionals.
Rank # 9: Yost LV-4 Home Vise 4-1/2"
The bench vice produced by the German company Brockhaus Heuer is a product intended for professional use that stands out for a decidedly advantageous price compared to the average.
It is also made of excellent quality materials and is well finished, so it is long-lasting and resistant to wear.
No defect to report for this excellent bench vice, but care must be taken to install it on a sturdy and resistant work bench, since its weight is considerable.
The Brockhaus Heuer bench vise is well made and is available at a competitive price; it is ideal for professionals and also for the most demanding hobbyists.
Rank # 10: WEN 453BV 3
The Stanley Fat Max is a professional vice, but of a basic level.
In fact, it has the advantage of being available at a decidedly advantageous price, and above all within the reach of hobbyists, who will therefore have the opportunity to use a professional product at a reasonable price.
Although it is a professional vice it is not at the top; there are clearances and frictions that limit the yield in precision works, moreover the jaws are hollow and therefore not suitable for the most demanding jobs.
The Fat Max bench vice is yes professional but not suitable for workshops, on the other hand it is excellent for the most demanding hobbyists, even from an economic point of view.
Rank # 11:Yost 5" Heavy-Duty Bench Vise
The jaws for bench vice Draper Expert 14178 are the ideal accessory for a carpenter.
In fact, these are professional quality aluminum jaws, equipped with high-strength magnets that allow them to be securely fixed to the jaws of the bench vice.
On the inner side they are covered with a layer of resistant soft rubber that allows you to firmly tighten the wooden pieces without running the risk of ruining their surface.
The jaws are 100 millimeters wide and are characterized by a decidedly affordable cost, especially considering that they are sold in pairs.
How to choose the best bench vises
Tool for many applications
The bench vise, and not only that, is one of the most popular tools and is widely used both professionally and by hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts; as often happens to the simplest equipment, however, their generic character makes them extremely versatile and therefore available in a large amount of shapes and sizes, depending on the intended use.
It is therefore not easy to choose which bench vice to buy if you are not familiar with this tool, especially in the case where the purchase is not personal but is for third parties or even a gift.
So let’s see how these tools are made and what they are used for, what the high-end products are and what requirements they meet, and what distinguishes the cheaper models instead, in order to understand how to choose a good bench vice according to the needs of the case.
Pipe vices and mini vices
The bench vises already represent in themselves a specific category, let’s not forget that there are also tube vices, which is an improper definition since separable jaws are defined in this way, which can be screwed onto threaded bars or fixed to metal pipes precisely, so as to reach very wide openings, and mini vices.
Given their size, in fact, these vices are not fixed to the workbench but used freely; this type of vise, in the professional field, is mainly used in carpentry and carpentry.
It is extremely popular even among DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists, including those who practice model making, therefore on the market there is a wide and varied range of models with a price between 8-10 euros and 40-50 euros approximately, depending on the quality of the manufacturing materials.
Pipe clamps and mini vices are functional tools, but are mainly designed for clamping the pieces, therefore they are good for those who work with materials such as wood and plastic above all, while for use with metal it is advisable to limit yourself to the thin photoengraved foils or similar thicknesses.
The bench vises
The real bench vice is made to be bolted to the workbench, in addition to clamping, it also serves as a support for bending sheet metal.
The first thing to pay attention to, therefore, is the manufacturing material.
The best models, also suitable for intensive professional use, are made entirely of steel and are able to withstand very strong stresses.
The cast iron models, on the other hand, are more fragile, they are good for tightening but for bending they are limited to pieces that do not require the application of excessive force; moreover, they are not even suitable as supports for hammering and beating the pieces, as the cast iron would split under repeated and prolonged impacts.
The prices, in this case, can vary from 100-150 euros for the cheaper models, up to 350 euros and beyond for models entirely made of forged steel and designed for work in the workshops of blacksmiths and mechanics.
The variants you can choose from, in addition to the quality level of the materials, also differ in shape and size.
There are vices equipped with a 360 ° swiveling base for example, while others are fixed, some are designed to be bolted to the surface of the bench, others to be fixed on the edge of the same.
What is the bench vise for?
The vice is a mechanical screw tool whose primary purpose is to tighten and hold firmly between its jaws the pieces to be subjected to various types of processing.
It is therefore used for grinding, repairing, threading, boring, milling, welding, cutting, assembly and even gluing operations, which is why there are various models on the market, some of which are specific to certain types of use.
In fact, the category of bench vises includes other models that differ according to their shape and use.
Parallel bench vises are the most common, for example, as they are versatile and lend themselves to a wide range of uses, from the clamping of workpieces to the support function during hammering and threshing.
The gooseneck bench vises, on the other hand, are designed to tighten shafts and spindles, as in the case of multifunction tools, in order to keep them in a fixed position while the operator moves the workpiece freely and with both hands.
The bench vises for pipes, on the other hand, are specific for clamping sections of pipe with different diameters.
The vice can take different shapes and sizes but its primary purpose remains to clamp and keep pieces of different nature and material immobile, without damaging them, while undergoing various types of processing, or directly tighten the tools while the pieces are processed freely .
Thanks to its extremely versatile nature, therefore, the vices are widely used both in the hobby and professional fields, in factories, in mechanical workshops, in carpentry and carpentry and also in the heavy industry field.
How to build a bench vise?
Even in the case of the bench vise, as well as for specific tools or other supplies, self-construction is an operation recommended only for those who have gained some experience of craftsmanship and are fortunate enough to have a space well equipped in a small workshop, as well as a fair number of tools and the availability to freely access various types of recycled materials.
The simplest way to make a parallel bench vice is to use steel profiles, consequently you first need an angle grinder and a welding machine, so you can cut the profiles in the desired dimensions and assemble them in such a way that they offer a degree of adequate strength for the efforts they will have to sustain.
For the screw clamping system, a threaded steel bar can be used, which will be screwed into some bolts which must be welded both to the slide and to the movable jaw.
For further information on the methods to be used and the way to proceed, it is advisable to watch one of the many video tutorials on the net, especially on Youtube, on the specialized hobby and DIY channels.
If, on the other hand, you are a fan of DIY, modeling or craftsmanship in general, and you want a reliable and functional bench vise in a short time, however paradoxical it may seem, it is much cheaper to buy a vise already made than to make one yourself, seen that those who do not have the materials and tools mentioned above, would be forced to purchase them.
The main risk, however, is represented by the inexperience and poor knowledge of the recycled materials, which would lead to the construction of a structurally inadequate and potentially dangerous bench vise during use.
How to use a bench vise
How to fix a bench vise
Fastening the vice to the bench is a very simple operation, but which takes different shapes depending on the size and type of vice.
Every specimen on the market, regardless of shape and size, is equipped with a flat support base or, in some cases, on a plate placed laterally on the back of the fixed jaw.
Table clamps, tube clamps and mini clamps are exceptions to this rule.
The former, in fact, instead of the base or plate, have an elbow arm with a clamp, so that they can be fixed to a normal table or desk, and disassembled if necessary; pipe clamps, on the other hand, are used in the carpentry shop to glue the wooden strips together, and the range of their opening can be very wide which is why they cannot be fixed to the bench.
The same goes for mini vices, but for opposite reasons; the dimensions are so compact as to make fixing to a workbench impossible and even useless.
The bench vises, therefore, are designed to be bolted to it; each model has its differences depending on the case, but the number of bolts required usually varies from two to four.
How to dismantle a bench vise
If there is a need to subject the bench vise to thorough maintenance and cleaning, it may be necessary to disassemble it in its main components in order to facilitate subsequent operations.
First of all, the vice must be removed from the bench, and in this regard, simply unscrew the fixing bolts and remove the tool.
The parts that make up a vice are few; in fact, the slide with the carry-over jaw, together with the plate or the support base, form a single block in most cases.
Simply unscrew the adjustment screw of the opening of the movable jaw until the end of its stroke, so that the relative piece can be extracted.
At this point the bulk of the work is done, as the last moving parts that can be dismantled are only the jaws of the jaws, which can be replaced at any time simply by unscrewing the screws that hold them in place.