Best Drill Press Vises 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
You want to squeeze a good deal out of your next drill press vise, but if you’re like most people shopping online today, you may get the feeling that dealers are putting the squeeze on you, instead. Between misleading product descriptions and the fact that manufacturers always gloss over any problems that their equipment may have, it can be hard to shop for tools online.
If you don’t want to get burned on your next purchase, you’ve come to the right place. Our reviews are designed to help you navigate the world of drill press vises and find a model that does a great job, at a price you’ll love. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, which can help you learn everything you need to know about drill press vises so you can make a great decision when it comes time to buy.
HealthyHandyman’s 2020 Favorites:
|Best Overall||WEN 414CV||
|Wilton 11746 6"||
|Best Value||Irwin Tools 226340 4"||
|DELTA 20-621 4"||
|Goplus GP 101040148 Cross Compound||
The 5 Best Drill Press Vises
1. WEN 414CV Drill Press Vise – Best Overall
The WEN 414CV 4.25″ is the best drill press vise on our list. It comes with a good jaw size, and it can hold pieces up to 4-1/8 inches wide, giving you a very large clamping capacity. It also comes with marks every .1 millimeters which allow you to tighten this model with extreme precision that you’re unlikely to find on any other drill press vise. It includes a v-shaped groove down the middle, which allows this vise to hold round objects vertically or horizontally for easy drilling.
This model is designed to be compatible with most drill presses, which means you should be able to mount it on most drill presses on the market today, and that it’s probably compatible with your drill press. The only real knock against this model is that it’s tall, so it’s going to cut a lot of clearance on smaller drill presses. If you own a larger model, though, this won’t affect you. Overall, this is a very good drill press vise, and one that’s going to be a very satisfying buy for the vast majority of people.
2. Wilton 11746 6-Inch Drill-Press Vise
Sometimes you can tell a tool is well-made just from how smoothly it operates. The Wilton 11746 6-Inch is one of those tools. The operation of this vise is nearly as smooth as butter, and that’s something that most people will appreciate a lot. It comes with a low-profile design, so you can add it to just about any setup without losing a lot of clearance. It also features a v-groove, allowing you to clamp round objects either vertically or horizontally.
However, this best thing about this model is that it has some of the best durability of any drill press vise on the market today. You should expect this model to last years, if not decades, given how well it is made, which means it provides really good value. The only quibble with this model is that it costs a lot. Sure, it’s well-made, but there’s not a lot of material in this model relative to some other vises, which means you’re paying a huge premium for the craftsmanship. For some people, that will be worth the tradeoff, but it’s not going to be the right thing for all people.
3. Irwin Tools 4″ Drill-Press Vise – Best Value
The Irwin Tools 4″ 226340 is a clamping champion, providing up to 1,000 pounds of clamping force in a deal that can’t be beaten. This model comes with a slotted base, which makes mounting it to any drill press a fast and easy task. It features textured jaws, which do a superior job of holding objects in place relative to other models and do a fantastic job of keeping things still while you work on them. However, the best thing about this model is its price. You can get it for about half of what you’d pay for our top-rated model, which makes it a great deal for the money.
The downside to this model is that you don’t get great precision out of it. If you’re looking to do very precise drills, you’ll probably want to invest in a more expensive, more precise model. It also has inconsistent quality control. Most of the time that means you’ll need to shave down a part or two to get a perfect fit. Overall, this is still a very good model, and while it can’t crack the top two on our list, it does provide the best value for the money.
4. DELTA 20-621 4-Inch Drill Press Vises
The Delta 20-621 4-Inch is an inexpensive model, but it does have some serious tradeoffs that will make many users wonder if it’s worth its low price. It does have a few things going for it. First, it features a lot of cast-iron in its design, which means you get pretty good durability overall. Second, it features a groove down the middle that allows you to clamp curved pieces in a horizontal or vertical configuration.
However, this model suffers from poor quality control. It’s unlikely that you’ll get a model that doesn’t work, but you may have to do some finishing up yourself to get it to work well. It has poor precision, so it’s not the best model to get if you’re doing a lot of work with very tight tolerances. It also has below-average clamping power, which results in you not being able to work with very heavy objects. Overall, this model doesn’t provide great value, even though it has a very low price. While some people will get it anyway, it’s going to be a frustrating model to use, and most people would be better off getting something they like using.
5. Goplus Vise for Drill Press
The best thing about the Goplus GP-101040148 is that it’s designed with very fine adjustments in mind. It comes with shims and precision handles that should make getting a tight, accurate fit very easy, in theory. It also comes with multiple mounting options that make it relatively easy to mount this drill press vise to any drill press on the market today, which is a nice feature to have. What kills this model is the fact that it doesn’t live up to its ambitions.
It has a problem with sloppiness, as the experts say. Laypeople would say that it’s loose and doesn’t do a good job of holding things precisely in place. That flaw is serious, but it might be overlooked if this model were otherwise well-made. Often, it will work, but you’ll need to clean up many parts by hand after you get it. This model doesn’t have good overall part quality, and odds are that it won’t last you very long. It’s going to frustrate most people and provides poor value for the money, which is too bad because this model has a lot of potential, design-wise, that could make it a contender for the top spot.
There are three major areas that you should pay attention to when you’re shopping for a drill press vise.
The first of these is quality control. You can get a cheap drill press vise, but that doesn’t mean that you’re getting a good deal, especially if it breaks down within a few months, or doesn’t work quite right out of the box. The best way to avoid this problem is to invest in models that limit the use of plastic in their designs, and to read online reviews and avoid models that have complaints about durability or sloppiness.
The next is clamping power and precision. You need clamping power to get a good grip on the things you’re drilling into, which can be under a lot of stress. Models with high-quality jaws tend to also come with good clamping power, so determining what the jaws are made from can be a good shorthand for clamping power if power isn’t listed. Precision has more to do with quality control than any other feature, so getting good quality usually leads to good precision.
The final thing you should look for is the price. You can spend a ton of money and get something great, but there’s a chance that you can get something good for a fraction of the price. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good drill press vise, so don’t feel obligated to spend more money than you need to get good quality.
Related buyer’s guides
The WEN 414CV 4.25″ is our favorite model. It comes with good jaw size and .1 mm precision, and is compatible with most drill presses. The Wilton 11746 6-Inch is very well-made, runs smoothly, and has a low profile, making it suitable for mounting on most machines, but its very high price ultimately costs it first place. The Irwin Tools 4″ 226340 can clamp with up to 1,000 pounds of force and comes with a slotted base and textured jaws. Its very low price makes it the best value for the money on our list. The Delta 20-621 4-Inch can hold curved pieces and has some cast-iron sections, but suffers from poor quality control and precision that drop it to fourth on our list. The Goplus GP-101040148 has a good design and multiple mounting options, but its poor quality control and sloppiness mean it earns the last place on our list.
Hopefully, our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you become a well-informed buyer. You should now be able to find the drill press vise that will be right for you.
- HealthyHandyman’s 2020 Favorites:
- The 5 Best Drill Press Vises
- Buyer’s Guide