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.

NameCategoryProduct
Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe ViseBest OverallYost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise
Vise JawsBudget PickVise Jaws
Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench ViseUpgrade PickCapri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise

1. Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise

Our rating: 9 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • User-friendly ergonomic design
  • Easily swivels around
  • Great buy for the money

Cons:

  • Issues with rusting
  • Swivel mechanism does not hold as well as it should for large amounts of weight

This bench vise comes with a cast iron swivel base. The multi-jaw rotating mechanism is made of high-quality cast iron and is designed to withstand high amounts of pressure. Each mechanism is also made from heat-treated steel. It also includes a traction tool for better grip as well as swivel rod mechanisms.

The bench vise is known to have sturdy jaws and comes in three different sizes to suit your needs.

It can be used for a variety of applications – from general bench work to assemblies and maintenance. It has a sturdy construction that can withstand heavy use in the work shop.

2. Vise Jaws

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vise Jaws

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Can be used on any vice
  • Nylon construction
  • Magnetic pads for even, non-damaging pressure
  • Two sets in one
  • No-slip design
  • High quality
  • Can be used for extreme clamping jobs
  • You can use them on any metal, wood or plastic vise

Cons:

  • Non-magnetic jaws aren’t reversible
  • Some people have reported that the pads slide out from the jaws
  • The jaws are not really wide enough for large projects
  • The middle knob can sometimes come loose on some users
  • The vise jaws are sometimes easily scratched

Vise Jaws are great multipurpose and durable tools that you can use in any circumstance and with any vice. The nylon construction and magnetic pads allow you to use it for a variety of applications. You can use it as a clamp holder, a vise claw or even a vise jaw depending on your needs. You can also use it on any metal, wood or plastic vise.

3. TEKTON 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise

Our rating: 9 / 10

TEKTON 8-Inch Swivel Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Lightweight yet sturdy construction
  • Anti-slip and ergonomic grip
  • Swivel base for easy mounting
  • Holds up well under heavy use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Holds secure even if you knock the vise accidentally
  • Sturdy and reliable

If you need the best bench vise for the money, the Tekton 8-inch swivel bench vise should fit the bill nicely. It’s made of cast iron, making it strong. It’s a good choice for heavy-duty DIY jobs, but also light hobbyist jobs like jewelry making and woodworking. It has a jaw opening of 3 inches – perfect for most jobs – and has a swivel base for easy mounting.

In fact, mounting the vise is extremely quick and simple. You simply screw the base on and then tighten it up – making it one of the best geared bench vises on the market. Depending on how often you use your vise, it should be easy to keep clean with just a rag.

We like this one for the following reasons:

4. Yost Vises 455 5.5" Heavy-Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise

Our rating: 9 / 10

Yost Vises 455 5.5" Heavy-Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and versatile
  • Can be used with the multi-jaw side up or down
  • Comes with with 6-inch jaws
  • Jaw depth measures 4-5.5 inches
  • Internal design features two sets of opposing rounded pins
  • Made from heavy-gauge steel

Cons:

  • Comes with a chrome finish that is prone to rusting
  • Heavier than other vises

The Yost Vises 455 5.5" Heavy-Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise is for those who need something to work with both pipes and flat surfaces. The versatility is a big reason why this vise makes our list of the ten best bench vises. It can be used in 10 different positions, including from the front, back and sides. The jaws are made from a steel that is coated in polished chrome. This one is perfect for the DIYers.

5. Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Well-made and durable
  • Holds a wide variety of workpieces by adjusting the jaw opening
  • Sturdy and stable, able to be mounted on a benchtop or table
  • High-grade steel construction
  • Comes with rubber grip jaws and a four-inch faceplate

The Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise is a versatile tool that can take on a variety of jobs, from hobby projects to woodworking jobs and basic repairs. Its heavy duty steel construction makes it suitable for both light and medium duty jobs since the vise offers a firm hold and can be easily locked.

It features rubber covered jaws for non-marring and non-skid hold. They can also be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of workpiece and material thickness. The jaws open 4-inches and can easily be opened or closed with the lever. All-in-all, this is a no-frills but very effective tool that would fit well with majority of users.

6. Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise

Our rating: 9 / 10

Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise

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Pros:

  • Holds firmly on to the workpiece
  • Strong and durable construction
  • Large jaw surface area
  • Quick-release buttons for a quick release option
  • Mountable on both sides for versatile use

Cons:

  • A tad heavy
  • Only available in one size

If you’re after the best overall bench vises available, you’re in luck. The Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise is one of the best tools our industry has today in terms of versatility and functionality. The jaws on the Eclipse are large enough to accommodate virtually any project.

The vise is also quick to adjust from 3 inches to 9 inches and has two independent quick-release buttons, which allow you to remove the workpiece quickly for small adjustments. This makes changing your workpieces simple and easy.

The downside to this model is that it is quite bulky – it weighs about 15 pounds. It’s also rather expensive, but you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with this one.

7. Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise

Our rating: 8 / 10

Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Padded base to protect work surface
  • 360-degree swiveling head
  • 3-year warranty
  • Holds round stock up to 6" in diameter

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have its own power source
  • Practically unusable for wide objects like a drum

What makes this particular vise so incredibly interesting is its six-inch rotating head, which includes a 360-degree swivel with a padded base that can protect your work surface from scratches and dents. Other incredibly useful features are its six-inch clamp jaw (3 inches is typical) and the 90-degree tilting base, which helps you work in really tight spaces.

One of the unique features of this vise is that it doesn’t have a power switch/pump. The head will turn freely when you apply pressure to the jaws. However, the downside to this is that the vise is harder to control when you’re trying to clamp sturdy objects.

The Capri Tools vise is also built with a replaceable cord, which makes it easy to replace when the electricity gets snagged.

8. Heavy Duty Quick Release Front Vise

Our rating: 8 / 10

Heavy Duty Quick Release Front Vise

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Pros:

  • An excellent vise
  • Quick pressure release
  • Grips tightly without damaging workpiece

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy
  • Some issues with the handle not staying in place

If you’re a long-time DIYer or woodworker, you’ve probably run into situations when you absolutely had to clamp workpieces till they were done. A good bench vise can help with this problem … and the heavy duty quick-release front vise from AmazonBasics is a very good vise.

This is a heavy duty vise. It weighs over 21lbs and it comes with a 2-year warranty. That’s a lot of weight. It’s definitely not a vise you’re going to move around too often, and that’s because there are many smaller vises that will be easier to move. It’s more of a permanent fixture on your bench or table. But that’s okay. If you need a heavy-duty vise, this is a great candidate.

9. Performance Tool W3904 Hammer Tough 5" Quick Release Bench Vise

Our rating: 7 / 10

Performance Tool W3904 Hammer Tough 5" Quick Release Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Can be mounted to any workbench via the mounting holes or the included hardware
  • Allowing for a wide range of grips and operations, especially around cylindrical workpieces
  • Impact resistant, with an extremely durable steel design
  • Can accommodate up to 5" wide and 4-7/8" deep workpieces

The included screws might not fit well into the workbench. However, this is easily solveable by the user.

Due to their versatile usefulness as vises, we’ve found it necessary to include them on this list of the best 5 inch bench vises. The Performance Tool W3904 is one of the best ones you can buy at the moment.

With its medium size of 5-inches, it also holds up to large workpieces. You can get comfortable with the mount, thanks to the quick height adjustment knob and the precise, ball-bearings that help you obtain solid grip. It doesn’t come with its own workbench, so you will have to purchase that separately. However, you can be rest assured that the vise will hold up.

10. Woodstock D4074 5-Inch Multi Purpose Bench Vise

Our rating: 7 / 10

Woodstock D4074 5-Inch Multi Purpose Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • High clamping pressure
  • Wide jaw opening
  • Made from cast iron
  • Sturdy design with a small footprint
  • No-slip top seat
  • Lots of gripping options

Cons:

  • Can become very heavy after prolonged use
  • Has a break-in period
  • A little awkward to carry

If you are looking for a versatile and heavy-duty vice that will last you for many years to come, check out the Woodstock D4074 5-inch Multi Purpose Bench Vise. It features a robust build made from cast iron, a wide jaw opening, and high clamping pressure. Not only that, it also has a soft top seat that grips your workpiece and keeps it secure.

Lastly, this Woodstock bench vice has tons of gripping options, so you can easily secure wood, metal, or any type of workpiece. This will make you more productive and cut your shop time by a significant margin. You can easily mount this on a bench, but do not forget to buy a mounting kit as well to maximize your workspace. Once you have your hardware in place, you can start using this Woodstock bench vice to perform various tasks. With its high clamping pressure, clamping and holding will be easier and safer for you.

11. IRWIN Tools Multi-Purpose Bench Vise

Our rating: 7 / 10

IRWIN Tools Multi-Purpose Bench Vise

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 9-inch jaws
  • High-quality hand crank
  • Multi-purpose functionality
  • Torque setting mechanism
  • The squeeze chuck slows down the speed of the massive jaws
  • Widely-spaced ratchet hooks for holding objects
  • Fully loaded

Our top pick is Irwin Tools’ Multi-Purpose Pickleball Vise, 5-inch. It’s a five-inch advantage pickleball vise that has an ergonomic design and is easy to set up and use. The jaws have a 9-inch clamping range. The vise features a ratchet mechanism with a precise torque setting mechanism.

Aside from pickleball, you can also use the vise for do-it-yourself projects, repairs, and decorating. It’s also the perfect addition to a garage or workshop. You can attach it to a bench for quick and easy access whenever you need it. With higher-quality parts and a sturdy construction, this vise has a long lifespan. It weighs 6 lbs and has a weight capacity of 2,000 lbs.

The Irwin tool also uses a heavy-duty reinforced aluminum structure which makes it sturdy and durable. The jaws are 1/2-inch thick and can also be used as powder coating paint pot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best bench vises?

In order to construct something, you'll need tools for the trade. For carpenters, they might use hammers or drills to put wood together. A woodworker might use chisels, saws or planes to get their wood into shape. For blacksmiths, they'll use a different type of tool altogether.

Designed exclusively for shaping metal, a blacksmith's vise is used to protect work while shaping, welding, carving and forging. The best bench vises will have a variety of features that facilitate these forging tasks. It is for these tasks that we will focus our attention on.

How do I choose a bench vise?

Your first step in buying a bench vise should be to examine the level of expertise you have in using and maintaining it. Before going about the task of choosing a bench vise, you should should assess your experience and skill base. If you have a very limited level of experience, you should consider buying a vise that needs less frequent adjustment and maintenance.

Your next big step comes when you start considering the operations that you expect to do in the near future. You need to think about the different functions you want from your bench vise and the operations they will have to perform. All bench vises are not necessarily made equal and they are specialized in different operations based on how they are built and the components they have. You need to consider your specific needs before you can select a bench vise that can handle your intended operations.

What size bench vise should I get?

The length of your bench vise would depend on your individual needs. If you need to hold a large piece, or if you have been doing a lot of work on metal or cast iron objects, then you might need a couple feet of bench vise length. On the other hand, if you only work on small pieces, , then you can get by with one that has two to four inches of bench vise length.

What bench vises are made in USA?

From "Lehman's" to "Michaels", all of those are made in USA. So, here is what I recommend. If you are a 'serious' woodworking hobbyist or a small time woodworking shop, I suggest you to use this vise. It has all the features that you need to do all kind of tasks without losing your investment. It is pretty compact and reliable for all kind of jobs. So, don't wait, select one for your workbench.

Conclusion

A bench vise will have you covered for countless jobs in which you need to hold a piece of wood, metal or plastic steady while you work on it. They’re invaluable for woodworking, metalworking or any kind of DIY work.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe ViseBest OverallYost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise
Vise JawsBudget PickVise Jaws
Capri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench ViseUpgrade PickCapri Tools 10519 Rotating Base and Head Bench Vise