7 Best Bench Vices for Woodworking [2022]

How do you decide on the right bench vise? Are you interested in making sure you have the best purchase? Are you going to save money if you buy the cheapest bench vise on the market?

In our buying guide, you will find a wide description of the different types of bench vises available, and the most important characteristics based on the type of use for which the accessory is intended.

At the top of our best-selling list are the Brockhaus Heuer 140mm, a professional bench vise with excellent value for money, and the Maurer 80072 125mm, a low-cost model appreciated by both hobby and professional users.

7 Best Bench Vices for Woodworking [2022]

And here we are at the in-depth review of the products sold online most appreciated by buyers: seven different models of clamps and a particular accessory.

Forward DT08125A 5-Inch Heavy Duty Bench 

 
According to buyers’ opinions, the one produced by the German company Brockhaus Heuer is one of the best bench vices of 2021 currently on the market, both for its structural characteristics and for the price, which compared to the average of the products belonging to the same market range is definitely competitive.

Forward DT08125A 5-Inch Heavy Duty Bench Vise 360-Degree Swivel Base and Head with Anvil (5", Ductile Iron)
  • Jaw width:125mm(5"), Opening: 125mm(5"), Throat Depth: 67mm(2.6"), Clamp force: at least 5500lbs
  • More Durable and Sturdy: Material updated, stationary body and floating body are all made from high...

It is in fact a high quality professional bench vice, entirely made of forged steel and guaranteed by the manufacturer as unbreakable. The clamping jaws are 140 millimeters long and are also equipped with the standard pipe jaws, the useful opening, on the other hand, is a good 200 millimeters.



Furthermore, the fixing base to the workbench is adjustable and allows to extend the vice beyond the edge or to retract it, according to the needs and the type of piece to be processed. There is even a rear jaw with an anvil top, and it is entirely powder coated.

Pros

Cost : At first glance it might seem expensive, but compared to other top-of-the-range professional bench vices, the Brockhaus Heuer is excellent value for money.

High quality : It is entirely made of forged steel, with perfect assembly and free of play or friction; perfectly finished with a blue powder coating that helps protect the steel from the wear and tear of time.

Versatile : The jaws are also complete with grooves for tightening the tubulars and a rear surface to be used as an anvil; the support base also allows you to adjust the extension by bringing the vice over the edge or inside the bench.

Cons

None : You will not find a fault in this vice even looking for it with a microscope; materials, assembly, mechanics and finish – everything is of excellent quality

Wilton Tools 550P, Multi-Purpose Bench Vise

 
In second place among the best-selling products, there is the 80072 steel bench vice, produced by the Italian company Maurer, which is a professional model but belonging to the range of products sold at low prices, therefore with lower characteristics and performances than to those offered by vices like Brockhaus Heuer or Ariex.

Wilton 550P Multi-Purpose Bench Vise, 5-1/2" Jaw Width (28824)
  • QUICK SETUP: Indexed at 30 degree increments for quick set up
  • STRONG GRIP: Replaceable hardened steel jaws with a serrated pattern ensure grip and a long life

Although made entirely of steel, in fact, the Maurer 80072 is roughly finished and the paint, especially on edges and corners, tends to peel with wear and the passage of time, exposing the metal to oxidation. The jaws are fixed and not adjustable in extension as in the top of the range models, they are 125 mm wide and have a useful opening limited to 150 mm.



Fixing to the counter is also reduced to a minimum, two pins instead of four canons; but it is still in great demand because it is solid, functional and decidedly economical.

Pros

Solid and robust : Despite being a bench vise belonging to the economic range, it is entirely made of steel, so it is very solid, also suitable for intensive work.

Economical : The price is the best that the most savings-conscious buyers could wish for, and in fact it is this particular aspect that has made it so popular and in demand on the market.

Ideal for hobbyists : Given its characteristics, the Maurer 80072 is recommended above all for hobbyists, who with a reduced cost will be able to use a professional, solid and functional bench vice.

Cons

Coarse : The finishes are certainly not excellent, and also the versatility is not exactly at the top, but given the cost of the tool it is also understandable.

YOST VISES LV-4 Home Vise 

 
The Stanley Fat Max is certainly a good vice, which stands out for its good value for money and features that make it very interesting from the point of view of applications and versatility.

Sale
YOST VISES LV-4 Home Vise 4-1/2" (1 Pack)"
  • Home Work Shop Vise, Woodworking, Assembly, General Maintenance
  • Jaw Width: 4-1/2" (11.4Cm) X Jaw Opening: 3" (7.6Cm) X Throat Depth: 2.4" (6.1Cm)

Although presenting itself as a professional 150mm bench vise, the jaws are hollow and consequently do not offer a high yield in strong clamping, moreover the assembly has play and friction in some points, so its use in the most demanding professional jobs, or which require high precision, it is definitely not recommended.



On the other hand, however, it is solid and resistant, made with good materials and with a good level of finish. The swivel base also makes it quite versatile. Overall, therefore, the Fat Max is the classic vice that falls within the basic segment of the medium-high range, and as such is recommended above all for hobby and artisan use.

Pros

Swivel base : The Fat Max is interesting above all thanks to the presence of the swivel base, which allows you to orient it at 360 degrees and make it extremely versatile in applications.

Good materials : The main body is made of cast iron, so it is massive and heavy and needs a nice sturdy workbench, also it is chromed, so as to resist corrosion and oxidation.

Anvil : On the rear jaw there is also a flat side with a small protrusion, which acts as an anvil for processing small pieces of iron.

Cons

Assembly : Unfortunately it is not perfect, so some components tend to play or too much friction, moreover the jaws are hollow.

GOEHNER’s Bench Vise, 4-1/2″ Vice for Workbench

 
Even the one marketed by the Zerone company is an excellent quality revolving bench vice, but it is characterized by compact dimensions and an opening of only 110 millimeters.

GOEHNER's Bench Vise, 4-1/2" Vice for Workbench, Utility Combination Pipe Home Vise, Forged Steel Design, Swivel Base Bench for Woodworking with 4 Fixing Screw
  • 【High Quality Forged Steel Construction】Made of industrial strength steel constructionwhich increases...
  • 【Multi-Jaw Function】The Multi-Jaw can fit flat metarial and pipe or tube work you have. The jaw is...

The positive features of this bench vise are represented by the manufacturing materials and the finishing, both of excellent quality, by the 360 ​​degree swivel base which makes it very versatile, and by the easily accessible price even for a novice hobbyist. In addition, the base is equipped with three fins with 8-9 mm holes, so that it can be securely fixed to the workbench.



Its applications can be varied, from wood and metalworking to tubulars, as well as for clamping pieces to be sawed, drilled or glued; the limitations, on the other hand, are given by the compact dimensions and the reduced opening of the jaws, which do not make it suitable for processing large pieces.

Pros

Excellent quality : The manufacturing materials, the assembly and the finish are of quality and consequently this bench vise has absolutely nothing to envy to the larger and more expensive models.

Versatile : It can be safely used for different types of processing and with different materials: wood, plastic and metal, even in tubular form, and as a stable support for sawing, drilling, gluing or welding.

Swivel base : The upper part with the jaws and the anvil table can be easily rotated 360 degrees, in order to further increase the versatility and adapt to the needs of the case.

Cons

Limited opening : The compact dimensions, but above all the not particularly wide opening of the jaws, make it suitable for processing only small pieces.

Yost Vises 908-HV 8″ High-Visibility Heavy Duty Steel Bench Vise

 
The English company Blue Spot Tools specializes in the production of hand tools, accessories and spare parts for mechanical workshops, welders, craftsmen as well as for home and hobby use. Article 10020 is a bench vice for clamping pipes whose diameter is between 7 and 75 mm maximum.

Yost Vises 908-HV 8" High-Visibility Heavy Duty Steel Bench Vise
  • Bench-mount vise with 8" nominal top jaw width and 3/4"- to 2-1/4"-diameter pipe capacity provides...
  • 360-degree swivel base adjusts the direction of the jaws for proper placement and locks in place

The frame is made entirely of SG spheroidal cast iron, therefore it is guaranteed unbreakable, and is reversible so that it can be used with both the right and the left hand; the base of the frame is designed for fixing on the workbench, or on a specific support, by using bolts. The hinged opening also greatly facilitates use.



The only flaw consists in the mediocre assembly, which is why the different components of the vice tend to play and be not very functional; with a little patience and the right tools, however, it is possible to solve the problem.

Pros

Solid and Durable: The Blue Spot Tools Pipe Clamp is made of SG ductile iron, as a result it is extremely strong and durable and is guaranteed unbreakable. The red paint finish further protects it from oxidation.

Specification: It is a type of vice designed specifically for clamping pipes, therefore it is recommended above all for those involved in plumbing and mechanical workshops; the measuring range goes from 7 to 75 millimeters in diameter.

Reversible: The frame can be disassembled and reassembled in the reverse position, so as to make it usable with both the right and left hand. So it is also suitable for left-handers.

Cons

Assembly: Before using it, it is better to disassemble it and examine it properly, making the necessary adjustments where necessary. This is the only way to make it functional.

Wilton 674U Utility Bench Vise 4-1/2″ Jaw Width,

 
The Mannesmann M 713-050 is a small but extremely versatile bench vise, designed for attachment to the workbench using the integrated clamp. It is entirely made of cast iron and painted in blue, in order to resist wear and oxidation; the jaws are 50 mm wide and have a maximum opening of 60 mm, on the back there is also an anvil support for hammering operations.

Wilton 674U, 4-1/2" Utility Bench Vise, 4" Max Opening, 2-3/4" Throat (28818)
  • LARGE ANVIL WORK SURFACE: For forming and shaping materials.
  • IDEAL POSITIONING: Swivel base rotates 360° and has double lockdowns.

The fixing clamp is rotatable, in order to orient the vice according to the needs of the case, and the bites can be replaced if necessary.

Overall it is a discreet “all-rounder” vice, the clamp fixing makes it versatile also as regards the location, since it can be easily removed and moved. Given its small size, however, it is only suitable for working small metal pieces, or for holding pieces of wood to plan by hand.

Pros

Versatile: The clamp fixing system is very convenient, as it allows you to disassemble it if necessary and move it to another point, or remove it if you need space; the rotating plate also allows you to orient the jaws at will.

Solid: Despite its small size it is decidedly sturdy, in fact it is made of cast iron and in the back it is also equipped with a flat surface that acts as a small anvil.



Nibs: The jaws have a width of 50 millimeters and are equipped with replaceable nibs, so it is possible to use it to tighten even pieces of delicate material, such as wood, using rubberized nibs.

Cons

For small jobs: The small size makes it suitable for working only with small pieces; the maximum opening of the jaws, in fact, is only 60 millimeters.

Speedjaw 6-Inch Low-Profile Bench Vise, Ratcheting Handle

 
And here we are at the cheapest of the products examined in our guide, a practical and comfortable mini bench vise with such compact dimensions that it fits in the palm of your hand. It is made entirely of aluminum alloy, light but very resistant, extremely functional and easy to use; it is equipped with a vertical screw for fixing to the worktop and a horizontal screw to adjust the opening and closing of the jaws.

Sale
Speedjaw 6-Inch Low-Profile Bench Vise, Ratcheting Handle, Detachable Posi-clock Base Mount, Durable Steel Jaws
  • Rapid opening - rapid open and close feature saves time in the workshop with fast adjustability
  • Durable steel jaws - replaceable, serrated tool steel vise jaws provide a secure, non-slip grip

The latter have a width of 35 millimeters and a maximum opening of 30 millimeters, and they are also shaped so that they can also clamp metal wires up to about 3 millimeters in diameter.

The YOU + mini vice is recommended for hobby use, especially by model makers; as regards professional applications, on the other hand, they are possible in the field of precision mechanics, goldsmithing, jewelery, optics and dental technology, but always for not too demanding uses.

Pros

Economical : At a cost of less than 10 euros, this mini vise is one of the cheapest models you will ever find; despite the negligible price it is well made, practical and extremely functional.

Versatile : It can be safely used both in the hobby field, especially by model-making enthusiasts, and in the professional one, for high-precision work on very small pieces.



Portable : The compact size also allows it to be transported very easily, in case you need to perform an intervention on site.

Cons

No flaws : Buyers were extremely satisfied with this mini vise, and did not report any flaws or limitations.

How to choose the best bench vices

Tool for many applications

The bench vice, and not only that, is one of the most popular tools and is widely used both professionally and by hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts; as often happens to the simplest equipment, however, their generic character makes them extremely versatile and therefore available in a large number of shapes and sizes, depending on the intended use.

It is therefore not easy to choose which bench vise to buy if you are not familiar with this tool, especially if the purchase is not personal but is for third parties or even a gift.

So let’s see how these tools are made and what they are for, what high-end products are and what requirements they meet, and what distinguishes the cheaper models, in order to understand how to choose a good bench vice according to the needs of the case.

 
The clamps for tubes and the mini clamps

Bench vices already represent a specific category in themselves, let’s not forget that there are also tube vices, which is an improper definition given that separable jaws are defined in this way, which can be screwed onto threaded bars or fixed to of metal tubes, in order to reach very wide openings, and the mini clamps.

Given their size, in fact, these clamps are not fixed to the workbench but used freely; this type of vice, in the professional field, is used above all in joinery and carpentry.

It is also extremely popular with DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists, including those who practice modeling, so there is a wide and varied range of models on the market with a price between 8-10 euros and 40-50 euros. approximately, depending on the quality of the manufacturing materials.

Vices for pipes and mini vices are functional tools, but they are mainly designed for clamping pieces, therefore they are good for those who work with materials such as wood and plastic especially, while for use with metal it is advisable to limit yourself to the thin ones. photo-etched sheets or similar thicknesses.

The bench vices

The real bench vice is made to be bolted to the workbench, as in addition to tightening it also serves as a support for bending the sheets. The first thing to pay attention to, therefore, is the manufacturing material. The best models, also suitable for intensive professional use, are made entirely of steel and are able to withstand very strong stresses.

 
The cast iron models, on the other hand, are more fragile, they are good for clamping but for bending they are limited to pieces that do not require the application of excessive force; moreover, they are not even suitable as supports for hammering and beating the pieces, as the cast iron would crack under repeated and prolonged impacts.

Prices, in this case, can vary from 100-150 euros for the cheapest models, up to 350 euros and more for models made entirely of forged steel and designed for work in the workshops of blacksmiths and mechanics.

The variants among which it is possible to choose, in addition to the quality level of the materials, also differ in shape and size. There are vices equipped with a 360 ° adjustable base, for example, while others are fixed, some are designed to be bolted to the surface of the bench, others instead to be fixed by cutting on the edge of the same.

Frequent questions

What is the bench vise for?

The vice is a mechanical screw tool whose primary purpose is to clamp and hold firmly between its jaws the pieces to be subjected to various types of machining. It is therefore used for grinding, repair, threading, boring, milling, welding, cutting, assembly and even gluing, which is why there are various models on the market, some of which are specific for certain types of use.

In fact, the category of bench vices includes additional models that differ according to shape and use. Parallel bench vices are the most popular, for example, as they are versatile and lend themselves to a wide range of uses, from clamping workpieces to supporting function when hammering and typing.

Gooseneck bench vices, on the other hand, are designed to clamp shafts and spindles, as in the case of multifunction tools, in order to hold them in a fixed position while the operator moves the workpiece freely and with both hands. The bench vices for pipes, on the other hand, are specific for clamping pipe sections of different diameters.

The vice can take on different shapes and sizes but its primary purpose remains that of clamping and keeping motionless, without damaging them, pieces of different nature and materials while they are subjected to various types of machining, or to directly tighten the tools while the pieces are processed freely. .

Thanks to its extremely versatile nature, therefore, the vices are widely used both in the hobby and professional fields, in factories, in mechanical workshops, in joinery and carpentry and also in the field of heavy industry.

How to build a bench vise?

Even in the case of the bench vice, as well as for tools or specific supplies of another type, self-construction is an operation recommended only for those who have gained a certain experience of craftsmanship and are lucky enough to have a space well equipped as a small workshop, as well as a fair range of tools and the willingness to freely access various types of recycled materials.

The simplest way to make an inexpensive bench vice is to use steel profiles, therefore you first need an angle grinder and a welding machine, in order to be able to cut the profiles to the desired dimensions and assemble them in such a way that they offer a degree of adequate resistance for the efforts they will have to sustain.

For the screw clamping system a threaded steel bar can be used, which will be screwed into some bolts that will have to be welded both to the slide and to the movable jaw. For further information on the methods to use and on how to proceed, it is advisable to watch one of the many video tutorials on the net, especially on Youtube, on channels specialized in hobby and do-it-yourself.

If, on the other hand, you are simple enthusiasts of DIY, modeling or crafts in general, and you want a reliable and functional bench vise in a short time, however paradoxical it may seem, it is much cheaper to buy a vise already made than to make one yourself, given that those who do not have the materials and tools mentioned above would be forced to buy them.

The main risk, however, is represented by inexperience and poor knowledge of recycled materials, which would lead to the construction of a structurally inadequate and potentially dangerous bench vice during use.

How to use a bench vise

How to fix a bench vise

Fastening the vice to the bench is a very simple operation, but which takes different forms depending on the size and type of vice. Each model on the market, regardless of shape and size, is equipped with a flat support base or, in some cases, on a plate placed laterally on the back of the fixed jaw. Table vices, tube vices and mini vices are exceptions to this rule.

The former, in fact, instead of the support base or the plate, have an elbow arm with a clamp, so that they can be fixed to a normal table or desk, and be disassembled if necessary; the clamps for pipes, on the other hand, are used in carpentry to glue together the wooden strips, and the range of their opening can be very wide which is why they cannot be fixed to the bench. The same goes for mini vices, but for the opposite reasons; the dimensions are so compact that it is impossible and even useless to fix them to a workbench.

The bench vices, therefore, are designed to be bolted to the same; each model has its own differences depending on the case, but the number of bolts required usually varies from two to four.

How to disassemble a bench vise

In the event that the bench vice needs to be subjected to maintenance and thorough cleaning, it may be necessary to disassemble its main components in order to facilitate subsequent operations.

First of all you will have to remove the vice from the bench, and to do this, just unscrew the fixing bolts and remove the tool. The parts that make up a vice are few; in fact, the slide with the insert jaw, together with the plate or the support base, in most cases constitute a single block. It will therefore be sufficient to unscrew the adjusting screw of the opening of the mobile jaw until the end of its stroke, in order to extract the relative piece.

At this point the bulk of the work is done, as the last moving parts that can be disassembled are only the biting of the jaws, which can be replaced at any time simply by unscrewing the screws that keep them in place.

Leave a Comment