Having the best bench vise is important for every blacksmith and woodworker. In case you don’t know, the bench vise, obviously, is a vise that is attached to a bench. It has two flat jaws–one is fixed, and the other is movable which has a screw mechanism. Functionality-wise, it is a device for tightly holding an object that you are working on. Hence, it provides stability and grip so that what you are working on stays put.
As per history, in 1750, the parallel vise was introduced which was a breakthrough. The vise created had movable jaws that were guided by horizontal slots. In 1830, the first cast-iron bench vise was produced in England; however, when liquid iron was poured, it created air pockets. As a result, the bench vise that was made was brittle and porous. In addition, the vice had poor resistance when used in heavy projects.
Hence, the solution was to make the parts or the whole vise from steel. Furthermore, forging was used to resolve the issue of accurate shaping on these vices.
Now, if you are shopping for a bench vise, we have three products below and each is discussed in detail to help you make a choice.
The Yost LV-4 is a 4.5-inch swivel-base vise that is perfect for any home workshop. It has a jaw opening of three inches and a jaw width of 4.5 inches. Its swivel can be rotated up to 240 degrees. It can hold pipes and tubes that have a size ranging from 0.6 D to 1.85 D inches. Additionally, its serrated jaw faces are replaceable and made of hardened steel. Moreover, the vise is made from cast iron and is painted with a long-lasting blue powder coat.
The base of the vise has four mounting holes, but the bolts are sold separately. This vise features an improved base design to prevent side-to-side movement. It also features an acme threaded main screw that is zinc plated. Finally, it has a locking C-collar to allow quick engagement and disengagement of the main screw.
The Wilton 1104 is a vise for general purpose, home, and light-duty use. It is made from high-strength steel and also features a double lockdown swivel base that can rotate up to 120 degrees. In addition, this bench vise has a large anvil workspace and grooves steel jaw inserts. Furthermore, its jaw width and opening capacity are both four inches. It has a square design to ensure stability and precision when clamping.
This design also helps protect the main screw from dirt which can lead to quicker wear. Finally, this vise bench does not have a pipe jaw so you could have a better grip on round objects.
The Tekton Bench Vise is made of powder-coated cast iron that has a 30,000 PSI tensile strength and replaceable serrated jaws to ensure a non-slip grip. It also has a swivel base that can rotate up to 120 degrees. Also, the swivel base has a dual lock down nut. In addition, it has three mounting holes to attach the vise securely to your workbench.
It also features a polished steel anvil for a smoother and more consistent work surface for shaping metal pieces. Likewise, this bench vise has acme threaded screws that glide smoothly without binding. Lastly, the Tekton 6-inch Swivel Bench Vise weighs 15 pounds.
All of the three bench vises are great for light- to medium-duty use, and reputable companies manufactured all of them. Although these bench vises are small, they all do an excellent job of accomplishing what they are intended to do. Plus, all three of them have rotating swivels that can be locked down if you want them to stay in place.
However, in spite of their similarities, the Yost LV-4 Home Vise is the best bench vise because its swivel can be rotated up to 240 degrees. Nevertheless, each of this bench vise is a perfect addition to your home workshop if you are looking for an extra hand in doing your projects.