No matter what project you are working on, it seems there is almost always the need for an extra hand. A pipe may need to be held in place for it to be cut. Items that are freshly glued may need to be held together while the glue dries. Wood boards may need to be held upright while you use a router or sander. The possibility for scenarios is endless. Enter the bench vise. To make sure you have that extra “hand” when you need it, invest in the best bench vise for your garage.
Vises – A Brief History
Vises have a long history, probably dating back as far as man himself. Early vises were controlled largely with hammers and wedges and no doubt were rather clumsy and cumbersome. The more common vise design that most people are familiar with today was developed in the mid-1700s. The parallel-jaw concept made vises more useful and stable. However, most were made of wood and had limited durability.
Cast iron vises were first manufactured by the English beginning around 1830. Much still needed to be learned about the processing of liquid iron. Many of these vises were unreliable and often fragile. Forged steel was the answer to those problems, and once that solution was discovered, vises have changed little in the last 100 years.
How We Chose Our Ratings
The need to choose the right tool is an important one. That is why men like to spend hours browsing in the local hardware store – at least, that is the excuse they use. You want a tool that will last a lifetime while giving you the best functionality at a competitive price. With that in mind, taking the time to compare tools can be time consuming and sometimes confusing. Never fear, the hard part has been done for you.
To determine the top 10, an analytical staff of writers carefully reviews products in a given category looking for the facts that are relevant to you. They compare product descriptions, customer reviews and online ratings to see which items truly stand out in their class. This honest appraisal also considers brand reputation and testimonials. Much time is spent making sure the final recommendations are completely accurate.
In reviewing vises, the key areas that they looked at were the strength of the metal making up the vise, the clamping power, vise versality and the manufacturer.
All items are rated on a five-star scale.
Top 10 Best Bench Vises
- Extreme-Duty Casting Clamp force: 13,400 lbs. and Torque rating: 316 Ft-Lb
- Made from heavy duty 65, 000 PSI Ductile Iron castings, 3x stronger than cast iron vises
- Jaw Width: 5" (12.7CM) x Jaw Opening: 5" (12.7CM) x Throat Depth: 4" (10.2CM) x Pipe Capacity: 0.125”D x 3.5"D (0.32CM...
The product developers at Yost had your toughest jobs in mind when designing the 750-DI. The industrial-worthy vise features a full-swivel base that easily locks into place. Manufactured from 60,000 PSI ductile iron, this heavy-duty vise has a rotating head with three built-in jaw sets. All jaws are replaceable if they become worn. With 12 preset positions, the head easily locks into place with a hardened steel pin.
Adding improvement to an already great design, the 750-DI has a specially reinforced nut that reduces stress points. The main screw was enlarged from previous models to create greater clamping forces. Clamping pressure rates at over 9,000 pounds.
Weighing 63 pounds, the 750-DI is one of the heavier bench vises available. The extra weight provides the best stability and anchoring for any project you might be working on. Weather resistance is provided by the blue powder-coat finish.
Yost Vises have been produced since 1908 and are distributed throughout the world by both large distributors and individual craftsmen. Yost covers all their products under their Quality Guarantee.
Product dimensions: 10 x 20 x 10.5 inches. Item weight: 63 pounds.
- This multi-purpose bench vise does it all jaw rotate 360 degrees for unlimited work piece positioning and holds flat...
- Jaw rotate 360 degrees for unlimited work piece positioning and holds flat stock as well as round stock with the...
- Base swivels for greater versatility and there-Inch even an anvil face to top it all off
The heavy-duty Grizzly G7062 is prepared to tackle your hardest projects. This versatile, multi-purpose vise features full 360-degree jaw rotation which provides unlimited positions for your workpiece. The jaw design features both flat stock and pipe jaws built in. An anvil is part of the vise design, giving you even more functionality. The base offers full-circle swivel capability to give easier access to the item held in the vise. The red finish makes this vise an attractive addition to any workbench. This vise has a one-year warranty from the original date of purchase.
Grizzly has been a leader in vise manufacturing since 1983.
Product dimensions: 9 x 18 x 9 inches. Item weight: 42 pounds.
- Jaw Width: 4" (10cm); Jaw Opening: 3" (7.6cm); Throat Depth: 2" (5cm); 2.5"x2.6" (6.3x6.6cm) smooth polished steel anvil...
- Medium-duty cast iron construction (30,000 PSI tensile strength) with a blue powder-coated finish, 12.1 pounds weight...
- 120-degree swivel base featuring dual lock-down nuts allows rotating the vise to position workpieces, 3 mounting holes...
Model 10519 from Capri Tools is another vise designed for heavy work. With a 5.7-inch jaw opening and a throat depth of 4.2 inches, it’s a powerhouse among vises. Built from 60,000 PSI heavy-duty ductile iron with a clamping force of nearly 9,000 pounds, it is not intimidated by even the most difficult of jobs. The unique feature of both the base and head having full 360-degree rotation makes it one of the most versatile vises on the market. The vise comes with a 10-year warranty.
With more than 30 years of experience in the tool industry, Capri Tools centers all their decisions around the key areas of quality, passion and people.
Product dimensions: 19.9 x 7.8 x 13.7 inches. Item weight: 57.2 pounds.
- Jaw width:165.1mm(6.5"), Opening: 150mm(6"), Throat Depth: 97mm(3.8")
- More Durable and Sturdy: Material updated, all made from high strength ductile iron, PSI 60,000, bench vise can...
- Multifunctional: Mounting vise on the workbench, then you could do the work of grinding, cutting, and etc. Tapping work...
The Wilton Bench Vise model 63302 is manufactured with 30,000 PSI cast iron. It is an ideal choice for many regular shop functions. The swivel base stays put with two pivot locks. Pinch points are protected by rubber safety guards. The base is easily mounted with the 4-lug design. The easy-glide U-channel provides smooth operation. Warranty for this model is two years.
Wilton has been manufacturing vises since 1941. The company took its name from its original location in a building on Wilton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.
Product dimensions: 8.7 x 9.7 inches. Item weight: 4.58 pounds.
- Mounts to workbench for general purpose garage or shop applications
- Malleable steel construction (60,000 PSI tensile strength) with powder coated finish
- Replaceable non-slip steel jaws deliver up to 8,800 lb. of clamping pressure
This heavy-duty vise is manufactured with 60,000 PSI malleable steel. The jaws are made from nonslip steel and are replaceable if they become worn. The 360-degree swivel base is held in place with dual locks. The anvil is polished steel, giving you the consistent and smooth work surface that you need for metal shaping. The jaw provides up to 8,800 pounds of clamping pressure. Tekton states their products are always guaranteed.
Tekton is a family-owned business headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company philosophy revolves around achieving one quality level – exceptional.
Product dimensions: 21.5 x 9.5 x 9.8 inches. Item weight: 39.7 pounds.
- Bench-mount vise with 6" nominal top jaw width and 1/2"- to 2"-diameter pipe capacity provides clamping action for...
- 360-degree swivel base adjusts the direction of the jaws for proper placement and locks in place
- Cast steel body is painted black for mild protection against corrosion and has flat portion that acts as a reinforced...
The Palmgren P746 is a standout vise with its custom straight-line pull system that is unique from other vises. The straight-line pull comes with a lifetime guarantee because its design removes all wear and tear from the nut and spindle. The base has a dual lock system for secure placement and swivels a full 360 degrees. Clamping pressure weighs in at 2,000 pounds with a throat depth of 3.75 inches.
Palmgren has a full history dating back to 1919. It has been an industry leader in the areas of durability, efficiency and reliability. Founder Clarence Palmgren is credited with some of the first machine vise designs. The company was purchased by C.H. Hanson in October 2013.
Product dimensions: 10 x 8 x 5 inches. Item weight 43 pounds.
- BENCH VISE: This vise features a heavy reinforced 4-lug base, polished anvil & anvil horn for shaping, swivel lock...
- CAST IRON CONSTRUCTION: With its 270-degree swivel base & powder coated finish our product is perfect for your heavy...
- MADE TO LAST: Our durable and long-lasting tools help you with home, garage & industrial projects. With...
This 6-inch vise from Olympia Tools is more competitively priced than some other options. The base has a 4-lug reinforced foundation with a 360-degree swivel. The vise contains both replaceable hardened-steel jaw faces and permanent pipe jaws. It is manufactured from 20,000 PSI iron. Protection from chips and dirt is offered by an extra-strong spindle handle with a spindle guard. Warranty information was not listed.
Olympia Tools has stood for innovation, expertise and quality in the tool arena since 1973. In addition to vises, they produce many tool accessories, specialty tools and outdoor equipment. Every effort is made to provide product pricing that is competitive in the marketplace, along with stringent control over quality. This commitment has made Olympia Tools a leading partner with many major retailers.
Product dimensions: 7.5 x 8.8 x 15 inches. Item weight: 34 pounds.
- EXTREMELY DURABLE. This vise grip is manufactured with high-grade cast iron, strong enough for any project you take on...
- SMOOTH OPERATION. The chrome-plated spindle and nut provide easy use and quick release while working with wood, pipes,...
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. You can rely on this table clamp to withstand harsh conditions because it’s powder-coated for...
The heavy-duty build of the W3903 is designed for long life. The 5.25-inch maximum jaw opening has a 2.37-inch throat depth that is much shallower than its competitors. The base has three holes for mounting and two lockdowns, with 360-degree swivel capability. The built-in anvil is slightly larger than other vises, measuring 3.6 x 3.5 inches. Warranty details were not included with the product information.
Performance Tool is part of the Wilmar Corporation which was founded in 1972. Wilmar is one of North America’s leading professional tool distributors and is headquartered in Renton, Washington.
Product dimensions: 14.3 x 7.3 x 6.6 inches. Item weight: 46 pounds.
- Bench vise with rotating pipe jaws and a 5-inch width
- Fused steel handle makes adjusting a cinch
- Swivel base allows for 360-degree rotation
This 5-inch vise should be more than adequate for any home project. The rotating jaw will easily fit most project materials. The swivel base turns a full 360 degrees. The weight of the built-in anvil keeps your materials steady as you work. The vise is manufactured with hollow cast iron, making it lighter than many similar options. The lighter construction does restrict this vise from many industrial uses. Product descriptions for this vise did not contain warranty information.
Irwin Tools was originally founded in Martinsville, Ohio, in 1885. The company had a few homes along the way before being purchased again in 2016. Irwin Tools is currently a subsidiary of the tool giant, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
Product dimensions: 18.8 x 9.9 x 9.1. Item weight: 33.1 pounds.
- Rubber bumpers, aluminum body
- Head rotates 360° and tilts 45°
- Clamps onto surfaces up to 2" thick
The SE 8436MVC is a light-service table vise for all your hobby and craft projects. This affordable table vise has an aluminum body with rubber bumpers and a head that rotates a complete 360 degrees. It can quickly be attached to any sturdy surface up to 2 inches thick. Crafted from materials of high quality, this tool will fill many small metalworking and woodworking needs. Padded rubber soles provide secure placement without damage to the material being held. The 3-inch jaw opening will accommodate most craft and hobby needs. The manufacturer did not list warranty information.
SE stands for Sona Enterprises. This family business was started in their garage in 1989. The company’s ideals revolve around stellar customer service, product value and competitive pricing. The company is now located in Santa Fe Springs, California.
Product dimensions: 19.8 x 17.1 x 11.6 inches. Item weight: 1.4 pounds.
Best Bench Vise Buyer’s Guide
Ultimately, the decision of which vise to purchase centers around how you intend to use it. If you need to hold wide boards or pieces of metal, a throat with more depth may be the most important feature you look for. If you need exceptional clamping strength, one of the models constructed of higher PSI iron should be your choice. For a shop environment, safety should be number one, so you will want a vise that can be nearly permanent in its mounting and that will provide the most secure hold.
Consider, too, the composition of the materials your vise will hold. Materials that are more delicate will need less clamping strength. A rubber covering for the jaws will help to protect soft materials from dents or markings. Some vises are specially designed to hold pipes while others might have some difficulty with round surfaces. Smooth surfaces such as metal should be gripped with jaws that have nonslip engravings.
Finally, consider where you will be using your vise. A heavy vise is ideal for a shop or garage if it will not need to be moved. If you want a vise that is more portable, consider a lighter model. Humidity is another factor. For outdoor use or garages with high humidity, powder-coated vises will generally not rust.
Are you still having trouble deciding which vise you should buy? Take a little time to contemplate your current and future needs and then choose the best bench vise for those needs. Each of the vises reviewed here are well constructed and should easily last a lifetime.
Last update on 2021-05-08 at 16:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API