Last Updated on September 15, 2020
The bench vise is the centerpiece of any wood or metal workshop. It not only makes your work easier but also safer.
To the untrained eye, all bench vises might look the same, but they aren’t built equal. This means that the quality of your work might improve or degrade depending on the specific vise you go for.
So, which one is the best bench vise of them all? The answer to this question might not be straightforward, as different vises suit different needs.
However, do not fret because we have done the heavy lifting for you. The following are reviews of the best bench vises on the market today.
|Best Overall||Yost Vises 880-DI 8" Heavy Duty Reversible Bench Vise||
|Best Value||Tekton 54004 4-Inch Bench Vise||
|Premium Choice||Yost Vises Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise wit||
|Yost Tools Vises Heavy-Duty Combination Pipe and Bench Vise||
|Yost Vises Austempered Ductile Iron Bench Vise||
The 880-DI vise is a good example of why Yost has earned its reputation for making the best vises available today. For starters, the 8-inch wide jaw on the 880-DI allows you to utilize this vise for all kinds of projects, especially in the medium and heavy-duty categories. Additionally, its front jaw – which is reversible – allows you to extend its width from 8.5 inches to 12.5 inches. You will also love the 360-degree swivel base to allow you to adjust the direction of the jaws to suit your needs.
The 880-DI also has plenty of workspaces, as it comes with two flat surfaces that can both be utilized as anvils. You will also love that the design of the 880-DI’s jaws allows you to work with materials of various strengths. They have a serrated surface on one side to enhance grip when dealing with tough materials, while the other side has a smooth surface for handling delicate materials.
And that’s not all. The 880-DI also one of the toughest bench vises on the market today, thanks to its 65,000-pound per square inch (PSI) ductile iron construction. Weighing in at a hefty 69 pounds, this big boy will not budge under pressure.
But its handle might feel stiff in the beginning, meaning that you might have to make some adjustments to get it working smoothly. Nonetheless, everything else about the 880-DI is exceptional, which is why we have it as our top pick.
You are always advised to give a wide berth to products whose price seems to be too good to be true. However, Tekton products should be an exception to that rule, as, for years, the company has been offering exceptional tools at incredibly pocket-friendly prices. Made from 30,000-PSI cast iron, the 4-inch 540004 bench vise by Tekton is a durable unit.
It comes with serrated steel jaws to allow you a firmer grip, while their replaceable nature allows you more freedom with the tool. To make your work simpler, it features a 120-degree swivel base, polished anvil, and lockdown nuts for securing the unit to the bench. Additionally, the handle turns without a lot of effort.
Nonetheless, its limited jaw opening capacity means that this bench vise might not be ideal for projects involving large workpieces. However, it will more than likely meet the needs of most DIYers. And don’t forget; it has a compact size and is therefore practical in a small workshop.
If you are looking for a quality bench vise to handle your small to medium projects, the Tekton 54004 is one of the best bench vises for the money.
If you are looking for the ultimate vise for your larger projects, the Yost 750-DI is an industrial-strength beast that welcomes any challenge you throw at it.
This unit features 60,000-PSI ductile iron construction with a clamping force of over 9,000-PSI, making it one of the sturdiest and most powerful vises on the market today. To ensure that its jaws stay in place during operation, the 750-DI comes with a hardened steel pin.
To enhance its grip on materials further, this vise comes with 5-inch serrated jaws with a 4-inch throat depth. The jaws feature hardened steel construction for increased durability.
Thanks to its self-aligning pipe jaws, the 750-Di can also handle pipes ranging from 0.125-inch to 3.5-inches in diameter. The self-aligning nature of these pipe jaws allows them to clamp harder without marring the material thanks to the increased contact points.
While the Yost 750-DI favors heavy-duty applications, this unit can also handle medium-level projects just as effectively. Nonetheless, due to its hefty nature (63 pounds), this unit’s swivel base can be quite exerting to turn.
All in all, however, the Yost 750-DI bench vise is a premium product designed for people looking for a reliable vise to handle their heavy-duty applications, with its price reflecting that.
This is yet another vise from Yost that is equipped to meet a broad range of clamping needs. It comes with a 360-degree swivel base, a wide anvil to provide a large work surface, diamond-serrated jaws for a superior grip, as well as pipe jaws. Additionally, it also features a U-channel steel bar to increase its sturdiness.
While this particular model comes with a 4.5-inch jaw width and 2.62-inch throat depth, there are larger variations of this unit that can open up to 8 inches with a throat depth of 3.25 inches, in case you have larger projects.
The 445 is also remarkably easy to install and safe to use, thanks to the swivel locks that hold it in place. This unit is best suited for medium-level projects, thus making it a good choice for hobbyists or DIYers. For its quality, its price is quite pocket-friendly. The only drawback to this unit is its base, which feels wiggly.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty bench vise on a budget, the ADI-6 by Yost should be one of your top considerations. Thanks to its austempered ductile iron construction, this unit can withstand a force of up to 130,000 PSI, thus making it one of the strongest bench vises in existence.
Despite being such a sturdy unit, this vise is remarkably light at only 42 pounds. With a 6-inch jaw width that can extend to nearly 8 inches, in addition to 3.7-inch throat capacity, the ADI-6 is more than capable of gripping larger-sized workpieces.
The ADI-6 also features a 360-degree swivel base, replaceable pipe and machinist jaws, and a large anvil to ensure that you have an easy time handling heavy-duty projects. The adjustable guide rails also facilitate smoother operations.
The base is equipped with teeth to ensure that the unit stays in place during operation. Unfortunately, the finishing on this unit is not as great as we would want. Nonetheless, it is a great heavy-duty vise for its price.
This unit by Irwin is a reliable 5-inch bench vise. With its incorporated anvil, rotating pipe jaws, and 360-degree swivel base, this tool can handle a wide variety of clamping jobs. It also comes with a fused steel handle to allow for easier adjustments.
The jaws here have a width of 5 inches and a 3-inch throat depth. And with their superior grip and alignment, it is no wonder that they offer such smooth action.
Made out of cast iron, the 4935505 Irwin bench vise can take a beating. However, it is best suited for medium-duty projects and can be used both commercially and at home. Nonetheless, while this unit is sturdy, the screws that hold the jaws can be brittle, meaning you might have to replace them with case hardened bolts.
The 14500 Reversible Mechanics by Wilton is a bench vise that caters to those who work with larger materials. In its standard setting, this bench vise allows you 6 inches of jaw width. However, its design allows it to extend it to 9 inches, thanks to reversible mechanics.
Another great thing about this product is the dual-anvil feature. It ensures that you have a surface to work on when you use the reverse configuration.
Unfortunately, regardless of how hard you tighten the jaws, they still tend to wiggle a bit, which might affect your precision.
This unit by Grizzly Industrial is a great choice for those looking for a medium-duty bench vise. It features a unique design that allows you to swivel it both vertically and horizontally, thus allowing you unlimited control over your workpiece.
The G7062’s jaws have a 5-inch width and a 3-inch throat depth. Additionally, they have a rubber coating to allow you to work on materials that are susceptible to scratching.
It also comes with built-in pipe jaws for greater versatility. Unfortunately, this product is it does not come with mounting bolts.
This is another small to medium application bench vise with an attractive price tag. The Wilton 11104 especially comes in handy in situations where you require a tight grip with easy movement. It has a moderately large anvil work surface, as well as a double lockdown mechanism on its base to allow you more control over your work.
This unit is quite durable as well, thanks to its solid steel construction. The jaws on the Wilton 11104 have a width of 4 inches and a throat depth of 2.3 inches. Therefore, it is best suited for light-duty work.
The Wilton 11104 might be a little stiff in the beginning, but it loosens up with use.
The LV-4 by Yost has been designed for users looking for an affordable bench vise for their home workshop. It comes with a 4.5-inch jaw width and a 240-degree swivel base, which should be adequate for most DIY projects. It is also quite durable as it is made out of cast iron. The Jaws, however, are made from steel.
You will also love its versatility, as it comes with built-in pipe jaws that can handle diameters ranging from 0.6 to 1.85 inches. However, this unit is not built to withstand heavy-duty work or regular use.
In addition to preventing the risk of your workpiece falling and being damaged, a bench vise can also enhance your accuracy while working on a material.
However, there are different types of vises on the market, and they differ in use and quality. Therefore, it is important to know what you are looking for in a vise before you purchase one. This will not allow you to find the best tool for your needs, but also prevent you from losing money to a bad investment.
The following are some of the important factors to consider when looking for a bench vise.
Bench vises are of different types. Depending on your craft, you might find yourself using one of the following vises:
This refers to the size of the jaws. It is a measure of the surface of the jaws that comes in contact with the material and is usually measured in inches. Different vises have different jaw widths.
Bench vises with larger jaw widths are typically considered to be better since their larger size allows them to have a firmer grip on the material. As such, they are ideal for heavy-duty projects utilizing large workpieces.
For most DIY purposes, however, a vise with a jaw width of 4 to 6 inches should be sufficient. Nonetheless, the size of the materials you are looking to clamp is ultimately what determines the ideal jaw width for you.
As the name suggests, it is the measure of the distance between the top of the jaws and the top of the slide below it.
The size of the material that you are working with also determines your ideal throat depth. If you are working with larger pieces, you will require a deeper throat depth to secure them firmly.
This is the distance between the two jaws, and it varies between vises. Just as with width and depth, the ideal opening for your vise will depend on the size of your workpieces. If you are going to be dealing with wide pieces, you will obviously require a bench vise whose opening accommodates that size.
Bench vises with swiveling bases allow you to rotate the jaws so you can work on your material from a variety of angles. However, this rotation angle differs between vises. As such, depending on the degree of flexibility you want to have while working on the bench vise, your options range from 0 degrees to 360 degrees.
Standing for “pound per square inch,” PSI is a measurement of the force that the jaws of vise apply on an object when clamping down on it. Therefore, a model with a higher PSI has more grip strength than that with a lower PSI.
The material utilized in the construction of a bench vise is what determines its durability and, in some cases, use. The following are some of the materials that are used to make these power tools:
There are two main mount types in bench vises: bolt-on and clamp-on.
The nature of your project, as well as the available space that you have in your workshop, are what should determine the ideal size of a bench vise. Most bench vises that can handle heavy-duty projects tend to be larger and, therefore, occupy more space.
Therefore, if you are looking to embark on such projects, ensure that you have enough space in your workshop to accommodate a large vise.
While price is an important consideration, it is not what you should look at first when comparing bench vises, or any other products for that matter. This is because high-quality tools tend to be expensive, thanks to their superior designs and durability. Cheap products, on the other hand, tend to be of inferior quality.
It is only after identifying a few potential bench vises that you should price as a factor of elimination.
The bench vise is the cornerstone of most workshops. It acts as an extra pair of sturdy hands to help you with your projects. However, depending on your needs, the ideal bench vise for you might be different from that of another person. Moreover, the ideal vise might change from project to project.
As such, you want a model that is versatile enough to accommodate the varying needs of your different projects. It should also be durable while not breaking the bank. The Yost 880-DI fits that bill perfectly; it has 8-inch jaws to allow you to work on all types of projects, a dual-anvil design for more workspace, and 65,000-PSI duct iron construction for assured durability.
If you are looking for a compact yet powerful bench vise that won’t break the bank, the Tekton 54004 4-Inch Bench Vise is out pick for the best value.
The other products listed in these reviews are great options that are worth considering, too. We hope you have come away with a better understanding of bench vises on the market today.
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Featured Image: Yost Vises 750-DI Combination Bench & Pipe Vise with Swivel Base, Amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!