A bench vise is a piece of equipment that helps you perform a variety of tasks by securely holding something in place. If you mount it onto a workbench or something similar, you can expand the versatility of its use.
You can use your bench vise for cutting wood or metal, to stabilize something you want to drill into, to provide stability when you’re doing a sanding task so you can apply pressure easily, or gluing – which is sort of an out-of-the-box use- as you can fix the object in place and apply glue in the specific areas you want and leave the object in place until it has dried.
So what are some of the best bench vises on the market? We’ve made a list to answer this question specifically.
Here are some of the top-notch vises with their pros and cons listed.
The Yost 750-DI 5” bench vise is a great tool if you’re looking for a high-end vise that provides with a solid performance and flexibility.
It’s constructed using heavy-duty 60,000 PSI ductile iron, so it’s very rugged and undeniably quite heavy at 63 pounds. This beats most rivals, and it makes it more durable and gives it the ability to clamp with a 9,000 PSI of force.
Some of the clamping pressure stems from the self-align pipe jaws that offer multiple contact points. The fact that the jaws are made from hardened steel extends their longevity and durability.
The large size of the screw and nut also contribute to the high pressure this vise can apply.
The Yost 750-DI bench vise provides you with a high degree of flexibility due to the fact that its head can rotate 360 degrees with 12 different locking positions. This means you can work on your object from various angles.
The pull pin locking mechanism makes working with your vise very easy.
The Yost 750-DI 5” vise generally has no cons except the price and the weight. However, you can look at its weight as a pro as it makes more stable, and when you consider the durability and performance, its price is quite justified.
The Tekton 54008 is a great multi-purpose bench vise.
Whether you’re doing metal work, assembling parts, or doing repairs, the Tekton 54008 bench vise will make the process faster, safer, and more efficient.
The 30,000 PSI cast-iron guarantees the durability and reliability of the vise.
The jaws of the vise are serrated to secure your object in place and provide a sure grip. They’re also replaceable, which is great as you can easily get new jaws when they’re worn out rather than get a whole new vise.
The polished anvil gives you a smooth and consistent work surface for working with metal pieces to form and shame them as you like.
Unfortunately, the Tekton 54008 bench vise’s swivel goes up to 120 degrees only, but that’s still good enough for some flexibility.
Moreover, you can turn the sliding T-bar handle and have the jaw glide smoothly along the Acme-threaded main screw without chattering or binding, no matter how much the clamping pressure increases.
The Tekton 54008 bench vise is built to be solid and best suits light-duty jobs. It integrates a lot of helpful features at a price that beats other competitors’. Its lifetime warranty is one of its most notable features, especially when you consider the fact that it has replaceable jaws.
The Irwin 4935505 bench vise is great for a multi-purpose bench.
It’s quite heavy, which makes it suitable for tasks that require a lot of strength and jaw pressure.
If you’re a casual user and not a pro, you’re going to appreciate the incorporated anvil designed to stabilize the vise and prevent any movement as you work.
It comes with a 360-degree swivel that gives you the freedom to work from any angle that you like. The fused steel handle makes adjusting the vise a piece of cake.
Moreover, it has a machined steel main screw that was designed to resist wear and to smoothen the operation of the vise.
The fact that you can replace the steel jaws and internal nut when they’re worn out gives the unit so much more value.
For a casual worker, the Irwin 4935505 is a great choice as it serves many purposes, has replaceable jaws, and offers great for the money.
The Yost LV-4 is quite a small bench vise that is great for home DIY projects. It measures only 4 and a half inches.
Its design was improved for more stability and it’s made from cast iron. So even though it’s small, it’s not weak or hollow like many of the small bench vises available on the market.
The Yost LV-4 is both strong and stable, so it’s perfect to use as a home bench vise or for small workshops. Especially when you consider the jaw opening size.
It’s very easy to install and start working with it.
The small anvil area provides you space to strike and whack at.
For the price it comes at, the Yost LV-4 is an amazing bargain.
If you’re an entry-level or a casual user, the Yost LV-4 is a great choice for your home DIY projects. For the price, it’s a great purchase and will last a long time with you.
The Performance Tool W3904 bench vise comes with a 7-inch jaw opening that gives you room to work with objects of various sizes.
It has a moveable jaw and a quick release lever that help you save time and effort when you’re working as they slide in and out with ease.
Moreover, the 360-degree swivel base comes with 3 mounting holes and 2 lockdowns to allow you to work from whatever position that feels most comfortable to you.
The steel pipe jaws help you hold different shapes of objects like a pipe or round stock. They’re also replaceable to extend the durability of the vise.
Furthermore, the Performance Tool W3904 bench vise has polished built-in anvil that gives you more space to work.
If you’re not looking for a vise to do precise work with and are just looking for something that keeps your objects in place, the Performance Tool W3904 bench vise is the best choice you can make. It’s quite affordable and offers you the whole 360-degree rotation that facilitates working with your objective.
The Grizzly G7062 bench vise is the creme-de-la-creme of all bench vises.
It’s quite heavy at around 42 pounds, and that makes sense because it’s not the smallest or most compact.
Once you install its big and heavy cast iron body, it’s quite immovable.
Its jaws open up to 5 inches which is pretty decent when compared to rivals.
And even though it’s a relatively large vise, it still functions pretty smoothly.
The jaws provide you with a 360-degree swivel so you can work at the angle of your liking. Moreover, they house flat machined jaws with excellent pipe jaws beneath them.
This is a superb aspect of design as many vises now come with pipe jaws but are more often static and are usually found beneath the standard jaws.
You can freely position your piping or tubing work on top of the vise above the bench top as these jaws rotate.
While at first glance, this may not seem very important, you’re going to find it of great help when you consider the fact that having the pipe jaws on top means you can cut pipes with precision as they won’t be obscured by any means.
The Grizzly G7062 bench vise is simply one of the best vises you can get. The dual function and the rotating jaws on the swivel base that will help you finish any heavy-duty job with absolute ease.
The PanaVise 301 is quite small and compact in size which makes it easy to underestimate what it is capable of doing.
It’s best-suited for electronics or smaller projects in general.
The PanaVise 301 is quite mighty as it can resist heat up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit of direct and continuous heat exposure or 300 degrees Fahrenheit of on-and-off heat exposure.
This gives it a great value as cheaper vises are usually made of plastic or inferior products, which isn’t the case with the PanaVise 301.
You can very easily install it on any tabletop or workbench. If you need to mount it higher still, you can do that thanks to its smaller size.
Furthermore, the jaw can be placed and moved in multiple ways that make it very valuable to any project that requires a lot of accuracy.
You can use it for grinding or light welding while completely counting on it to withstand so much more than it looks like it could.
Combining the compact size, strength, and precision, the PanaVise 301 will serve you well with the more delicate work.
The Milling Machine Lockdown CNC vise comes with perfectly aligned precision gowned jaws.
The Acme screws give it a high degree of flexibility as it has up to 360 degrees of the swivel which allows you to work from the angle that is most convenient to you.
The Milling Machine Lockdown CNC vise is made from high-quality 80,000 PSI ductile iron that minimizes the bending.
Its design makes the horizontal force push the jaws downward in order for the object you’re working on to stay in the right spot throughout your operation.
If you’re looking for an average vise in terms of price and performance, the Milling Machine Lockdown CNC vise is a good choice for you. It provides you with flexibility and durability, but that’s about it.
The Wilton 11104 bench vise is very easily considered the best workbench vise on the market.
It’s made from premium-quality and high-strength steel which definitely beats the cast-iron or forged iron that most other vises are made of and which are not as strong and solid.
This is why it’s not the lightest vise at 38.8 pounds. It’s an advantage in all cases as it makes it more stable on your workbench.
Moreover, the Wilton 11104 bench vise comes with a double lock down swivel base and a large anvil work surface.
This makes it both sturdy and versatile.
Its major setback is that it only swivel 90 degrees, which is very inferior to a lot of options on the market.
It has a 6 by 6-inch clamping capacity that leaves plenty of room to grip various-sized objects.
Furthermore, it has replaceable jaws. Which allows you to simply change the jaws when they’re worn out instead of getting a whole new vise.
The lifetime warranty on the Wilton 11104 bench vise makes its value skyrocket. It’s a nice reassurance besides the solid build of the vise that would probably spare you from any repairs.
Generally, the vise is very easy to install and flaunts a great overall quality.
The Wilton 11104 bench vise is an amazing piece of equipment to add to your DIY arsenal. It’s great for beginners or hardcore users that are working on small projects. It has pretty much all the features you’d look for in a vise: swivel, anvil, durability, a high-quality build, and an affordable price.
If you’re looking to do some light-duty work on a clamp vise, the Yost 445 bench vise is the best choice for you.
It gives you a 180-degree swivel base so you can adjust the direction of the jaws to the most convenient position for you.
You can also hand-tighten the lock knob on the base to keep the position’s security.
The cast iron body provides the Yost 445 bench vise with a satisfactory degree of durability while the U-Channel bar is made of steel to ensure that durability.
Furthermore, there’s a flat portion that can serve as an anvil and provide an additional work surface.
When you’ve worked a lot with your vise and the hardened steel top jaws have become worn out, you can easily replace them instead of replacing the whole vise.
Finally, the built-in cast iron pipe jaws are grooved for an improved grip on your vise.
The Yost 445 bench vise is a great workbench vise that gives you great performance that is reasonable for its price. If you’re not looking for more than light-duty work, it will serve you well.
There are two main types of bench vises: The wood-working vise and the engineering vise.
The former is typically used for holding the wood in place so you can plane, cut, or sand it. Its jaws are wooden in order to protect the wood it holds.
The latter has metal jaws and is typically used for holding metal objects. It’s usually heavier than the woodworking one.
Most of the vises listed above are engineering vises, but you can find a couple of wood-working vise-recommendations.
So obviously, the kind of work you’ll be doing is where you should start your decision-making process.
After you’ve decided if you’re going to mainly be working with wood or metal, there are 5 things to consider.
There are 2 jaws to each vise, one is stationary and the other moves so you can place your object. How far the other opens is important because it determines what you can work with.
The style of the jaws is important as well. Flat jaws are more common and they’re best-suited to hold flat objects such as planks.
If you want to work with round objects like metal tubing or something of that sort, then you should look for something with a V-jaw.
If you can find a vise with replaceable jaws, that would be a great purchase as your jaws can wear out from the excessive or heavy-duty use.
The swivel on a vise can bring a great deal of flexibility to your project. The most common type of swivel is the one around the base. The ability to swivel and object means you can get better access to it during cutting or sanding.
You can typically find two types of mounting interface. Either the bolt-on type or the clamp type.
The bolt-on type has 4 bolts to secure the bench vise to your work service and it’s the ideal choice for heavy-duty jobs and it’s generally more stable if you’re going to apply a lot of pressure.
The clamp type bench vises are easier to install but aren’t as secure as the bolt-on ones. They’re generally more suitable for lighter projects.
The anvil on a bench vise is a flat and durable surface. This is useful when it comes to taking heavy strikes (with a hammer or so) instead of applying that pressure on the workbench itself. Anvils also prevent any damage from falling on not only your surface but your materials and tools as well. It’s a feature that will definitely extend the longevity of your bench vise.
The quick release feature allows you to remove your object more easily from the jaws instead of having to twist the spindle manually every time. If you’re dynamic and like to work quickly, the quick release feature is something you should pay attention for on a bench vise as it facilitates and quickens the process.
You should choose the size, weight, and functions of your vise according to what you plan on doing with it.
But generally, a good vise that combines a lot of features at an affordable price is the Grizzly G7062 bench.
Another great pick would be the Wilton 11104 4-inch Bench Vise as it’s sturdy enough for heavy-duty work and comes at a lower price tag.
If you’re looking for the most premium quality and components, then the Yost Vises 445 4.5" Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise is your go-to vise.
And if you’re looking for the best value for your money when you’re on a rather tighter budget, then the Yost LV-4 Home Vise 4-1/2" is the vise you should opt for.