The 10 Best Bench Vises

Sara Mandeed
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Bench vises are the most important tool in your workshop. They help you hold pieces in place while drilling and screwing, and let you squeeze wood pieces so they’ll stay straight for gluing or carving. Keep in mind that you only need one vise that will serve all of your hand tool needs. Some woodworkers use two or three bench vises, but these machines are expensive, bulky, and unnecessary.

Bench vises are available in 3 most popular sizes – 3", 4", and 6" (inches). The 4" vise is probably the most popular bench vise, and unless you have a very large shop, this is the one you need. 4" vises are versatile and can clamp wood of any thickness, and can hold a surprisingly large array of hand tools.

Bench vises are also available in both geared and ungeared models. Geared vises slowly increase or decrease the force applied by the vise, while ungeared models clamp instantly. While geared vises do lock faster, the clamping power is variable and inconsistent. This makes them less than ideal for small projects or delicate work. As a result, we suggest splurging on an ungeared vise.

Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe ViseBest OverallYost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise