Whether you want a vise to complete your DIY tasks or want it for professional use to accomplish any level of carpentry or plumbing, you have two available options before you.
And they are the bench vise for metalworking and the one intended for woodworking. Prior to digging through the web load of woodworking vise reviews, it’s urgent to get clear about the said two types of bench vises.
They share some common features and terminology but the difference in the features and terms is not minimal as well.
Today, we will focus on the woodworking vise only well clarifying where and how this is different from its counterpart. We are going to arrange a feast of top 8 woodworker’s vises to facilitate you with the option to select from many.
But these vises are not only the number of big brands but each of them is a working hand equipped with all the root features supported by the updated styles and designs for you.
These are actually the best woodworking vises to hold your workpiece tightly, cut proper dovetails, and polish surfaces and square edges. We have conducted thorough research and gathered the vises that will clamp your project so tightly between the jaws that you can size, shape, and design your workpiece better, safer, and more precisely, accurately, efficiently.
Top 8 Woodworking Vise Reviews
Let’s us start with the mesmerizing numbers of the Shop Fox D4026 front vise. They include 19.25″ vise length, 10.25″ jaw width, and a screw featuring 15.5″ length and 1.2″ diameter. So this is a large vise you can handle big workpieces with ease. Not that Shop Fox only offers outstanding specifications it comes with all the dedicated hardware a professional and quality woodworking vise should have. Your tedious woodworking tasks become fun with such an assistant with heavy-duty steel and cast iron construction. This is the type of vise material that will provide you with the overall support for an extended and active vise life. And this is not the end.
What is more exciting is that you have the chance to set your own jaw covers, handle, and mounting apparatus. Simply add your own wooden handle, wooden jaw, and mounting hardware for a better working experience. So the smooth performance is guaranteed by the durable body parts it comes with and the ones you will make on par with your woodworking setup.
This large capacity front vise backed by the sturdy and snugly fit guiding bars will simply add to your passionate laboring. It is heavy-duty steel and cast iron front vise that has all the working hardware a large capacity, strong bench vise should have. Plus, you also get a 1-year warranty with this model.
Before jumping over the numbers, I can’t resist the temptation of mentioning the innovative toe-in feature Irwin 226361 presents. Now, you can exercise a more clamping grip around the object to shape, size, hit, and cut it at your will. All through your working span the workpiece will not show the least slippage or tremble.
And the only mentionable specification is the jaw size – 6.5″- an outstanding capacity to perform light-duty and general woodworking tasks.
The superb square body seating will add to your installing comfort that will snugly clutch the under-bench mounting. And the holes on the metal jaws will invite flat wooden cheek as the jaw covers. So now you can relax handle both the tough and fragile workpiece without leaving a marring scar on it.
The cast iron construction backed by the Irwin-exclusive design has rendered it fit for any woodworking job. The metal handle, acme-threaded screw, and sturdy guiding bars have just made it the durable and trouble-free woodworker’s tool. And installing the Irwin woodworkers vise under the workbench is also pretty straightforward. This also means you might need to slightly adjust your workbench to make it flush with the workbench.
Quick Release is the standout feature that deserves the maiden mention. The front-mounted lever can release any clamped workpiece merely at an outward squeeze of the lever. That means with Eclipse EWWQR7, you are able to handle loads of work rapidly and without any distraction. At the peak hour, this feature will get you rid of turning handles to open and close vise jaws.
On top of boosted by the above feature, you are having several excellent numbers featuring a 7″ jaw opening, 3″ jaw depth, and a heavyweight of 20.7 lbs. it can handle medium to large size workpiece and sturdy weight gives it the stability to stand the pressure of any job. The cast iron construction jaws can clamp the object with 19 kn of clutching capacity. This facility will provide you with the level of ease to accomplish precision to heavy-duty tasks without going fatigued. Fatigue is the obstruction any heavy-duty tasks entail but Eclipse can relieve you of that and ease you with the high capacity and performance.
Another notable feature of this vise is the adjustable front stop. When you are using this tool with a bench stop, this feature allows for additional clamping leverage. This means that this unit can be used as both a regular and tail vise.
The pre-drilled mounting holes will make installing water easy and you can complete the mounting in a trouble-free manner rotating down the nails through the holes and hook with the benchtop.
And for safety purposes, the Eclipse vise features a tommy bar. This bar protects the unit from getting damaged by bending when the vise is under great pressure.
Reviews of Yost Professional Grade Woodworking Series
Let’s now reap the benefits of the Yost Professional Grade Vise Series. We will explore three Yost woodworker’s vises differing with each other only in the specifications. Here you go with a comparison of the excellent Yost vise numbers.
|Specification||Yost M7WW||Yost M9WW||Yost M10WW|
|Clamping Area/Width||7 inches||9 inches||10 inches|
|Max Jaw Opening||8 inches||10 inches||14.8 inches|
|Throat Depth||3 inches||3 inches||4 inches|
|Material||22 pounds||32 pounds||39 pounds|
|Vise Weight||Gray Iron Casting||Gray Iron Casting||Gray Iron Casting|
We know Yost to be the manufacturer of industry-grade metalworking vise. This brand offers amazing woodworking vises too. Like Irwin, Yost M7WW is the best and fastest performer as you can avoid the hassle of opening jaws by turning handles. With the M7WW Rapid Acting feature, you can now release a clamped workpiece with less than a second by merely a squeeze of the Rapid Action Lever.
It enjoys the astounding specifications – large size jaws with 7″ opening, 9″ width, and a total vise length of 18″. The wide opening and wide clamping surface can clutch large size wooden blocks with the tightest grip. Moreover, this is backed by the Gray Iron construction featuring 3000 PSI tensile strength. Along with that sturdy material and 21 pounds of weight, you can now accomplish woodworks conveniently, comfortably, and accurately. Quite a large size specification.
Yost comes with some stand out features in this case too. It offers a default metal vise dog to work upon flatter wooden pieces. On top of that, this time the screw threads are buttress type for enhanced clamping pressure instead of acme type threading. This is a quality and durable woodworker’s vise made for professional wooden tasks and high performance.
It will be a sheer waste of your precious time if I go in a detailed briefing of the features again. Relieving you from the repetitions, I can further highlight the three stand-out features of this model Yost woodworking vise. They include the distinct Buttress threads Yost comes with that provides enhanced clamping around the object. On its top, there are the rapid release nut and the pre-drilled holes both in the mounting brackets and in the jaws. The quick-release nut lets you squeeze the screw to stretch the front jaw outward to discharge the clamped workpiece rapidly.
This mechanism is a huge time saver as the handle-turning will take longer. While you are loaded with the bigger project and need to work longer than usual, a little span of few seconds matter much that saves you from going fatigued. Predrilled holes are a great convenience to mount the vise easily and snugly. Holes on the jaws allow a wooden cheek to act as the jaw face that may give a tapering to fight raking if need be.
This version of the Yost woodworking vise mechanism needs no feature description as every single design, feature, and style is covered and briefed in the previous reviews. But these needs be telling that given its wide opening and large clamping surface, you can take a project of any length to tackle conveniently. It is really a huge beast of vise featured with a massive opening of 14.8” and an overwhelming jaw surface of 10”. These enhanced jaw opening and width have given it a massive weight of 39 lbs ensuring added steadiness at work and durability to the vise life. The inclusion of a vise dog to grip oversized workpiece is evidence of the Yost associated with meticulous construction.
Just like Yost, Wilton is also a very popular brand. This is a heavy-duty woodworking vise but surprisingly not a front vise. This is an exceptional woodworker’s vise that works mounting on the benchtop. To be installed flush with the top of the workbench, this vise requires a workbench that has a 3-inch thickness. So, you need to adjust your workbench if it is not as thick. But unlike the top mounting swivel base, it comes with a square base with mounting holes. It is featured with a sliding bar letting the screw running through it. So there is no question of tilting of jaws with Wilton Heavy-duty by your side. This too comes with a rapid-acting nut to save you time for quick discharge of the object from the jaw clutch. The outer jaw of this tool also doubles as a dog and is capable of rising above the vise by up to 9/16 inches, which will allow you to flatten or plane workpieces.
And the specifications are quite worthy of the sturdy and durable woodworker’s vise. It offers you 7″ width, 4″ throat depth, and 10″ opening of the jaws. The wider opening ensures the sliding of the front jaw to clamp a bigger object to work upon.
So you should not go overwhelmed by the massive weight of 30 pounds. Wilton 63144 is beyond doubt the heavy-duty trouble-free, most durable, and the best performance vise. The tediousness of the woodworking shop now will turn into a fun-driving artwork with such a vise as your workbench tool. And to ensure you get the installation right, the manufacturer also provides you with an installation manual.
This exclusively designed and innovatively styled vise comes with all the features for which it stands out like a tower in the vise manufacturing scene. This pipe clamp vise rests on two legs and so enjoys the most stable standing up. The jaws are made of cast iron covered with zinc plated clutch providing the tightest holding and durable service.
Bessey gives most tight hold and protects the materials from unwanted damage and scratch. Instead of a commonly used threaded screw, it introduces a threaded spindle to move the pivoting jaw in and out. And the handle is a crank-style easing you with convenience to move the handle without friction with the base as it is based on two H style bases. The H-shaped Foot Assembly stabilizes the clamp in two dimensions to provide dual-axis stability.
There is no mention of any rapid-acting mechanism that will give you a quick release convenience. But the higher base mounting lets you work on a clean work surface. And you can shift this vise to your chosen position to enjoy more comfort while working.
The specifications are nominal with ¾” pipe clamp and 2.95 lbs of weight. This is a portable woodworking vise to put your chosen location and work.
What are the Best Woodworking Vise Features?
Woodworking vise, popularly known as the woodworker’s vise, shares some roots features and over time has adopted several additional features. The additional features are introduced by the manufacturers and witness to the serious efforts form their behalf to address the issues reported by the users of the reviewed brands. Therefore, either type of feature merits in-depth coverage and clarification. The root features will highlight the jaw size, jaw opening, and quick release lever. And the additional or updated features include vise dog, toe-in feature, offset screw, spacer block, and tapered jaw pad. Let us examine the fundamental and advanced features one by one.
The bigger the jaw size, the tighter the clamping is. With larger jaws, you can exercise more clamping pressure on the workpiece and reduce the potential for the slippage. You can increase the jaw size by flushing bigger jaw pads in front of the jaws. You can cut the larger cheek of wood to use it as the front of the jaws.
The opening and depth of the clamping jaws are two crucial features. It defines the level of the work you want your vise to handle. The two most popular jaw sizes are 3-4 inches for general use and 6-10 inches for a longer and larger project. The general size means that it opens 3 inches and can stretch up to 4 inches. And the latter one opens at 6 inches and go stretched up to 10 inches.
Another factor is related to the jaw size is the throat depth. The distance between the upper side of the jaws and the guide bar is the throat depth. A massive throat depth means that you can clamp the workpiece from top to bottom and can hold a tight pressure.
Quick Release is an additional feature that has become so common with the woodworker’s vise now a day. Almost all the woodworking vise comes with one or two quick-release levers. The professional use of vise requires quick-release convenience. Turning screws to release the workpiece from clamping frequently may prove boring and a distraction while there are loads of work to do. The quick-release of a workpiece just by sliding the rotating jaw outward with a squeeze is preferable, especially at the peak hour. Therefore, this feature is growing popular now a day. But this is suggested to apply only when the workload is mounting.
A metalworking vise does have mounting holes as it mounts on top of the workbench. But a woodworking vise comes with holes in the brackets to screw through the bottom of the workbench. The number of wholes varies from 4 to 6.
7-inch Woodworking Vise:
- Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise, Gray Cast Iron, 7″ Size
- Yost M7WW Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise, 7″, Blue
9-inch Woodworking Vise:
- Shop Fox D4328 9-Inch Quick Release Wood Vise
- Yost M9WW Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise, 9″, Blue
- Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise, Gray Cast Iron, 9″ Size
10-inch Woodworking Vise:
- Yost Vises 10WW-CA 10″ Heavy-Duty Ductile Iron Woodworkers Vise
- Yost Tools Yost M10WW Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise, 10″, Cast Iron
Additional or Updated Features
Vise dog is an additional feature but not a recent update. Vise dog is as traditional as the vise tool is. Most woodworking vises come with this piece of wood or metal. It comes handy when you are going to polish the surface of a flat workpiece.
Sometimes, you need to put the flat piece of wood over the benchtop in a tight clamp between a vise god and a bench dog. This vise dog is steadied in a whole on the vise body just behind the sliding jaw and the bench dog is put at the opposite end of the flat project intended to polish.
The toe-in feature is the manufacturer’s innovation to address the raking issues of woodworking vise. The very construction and installing of a woodworker’s vise entail two common rakings – top-to-bottom raking and side-to-side rocking. Top-to-bottom raking occurs when the sliding jaw is tilted outwards slightly because of the loose-fitting of the guide bar.
So to grab the project with the needed grip and to avoid slippage and trembling at works, smart brands make their temporary jay with a slight inward tilt. This is known to be the toe-in feature.
Offset Screw, Spacer Block, and Tapered Jaw Pad
You can create your own toe-in convenience yourself if your vise comes without a default toe-in tilting. Just cut the wooden cheek to set as a front jaw pad with a bit tapered at the upper end. That type of DIY Toe-in is called a tapered jaw pad.
The vise suffering from a side-to-side raking comes with default solution too and this is to set the screw nearer to the right guide bar. Thus the workpiece grabbed on the right side of the jaws will not show any raking. That type of setting of a screw is Offset Screw referring not to set in its traditional place.
This too has a DIY solution and you have to cut a woodblock just the size of the piece to work upon. Now put it on the other side of the jaws to block the space so that the jaws might not rake while clamping an object on aside. This woodblock is called the spacer block.
Essential Parts of Woodworker’s Vise
Woodworking and metalworking vises share some identical parts and features – vise jaws, screw, and handle. And they differ in some parts and features – guide bar instead of the sliding bar, mounting brackets in place of the mounting base, length, and diameter of the handle – a dissimilar installing process and location.
It demands to know all the identical and different parts of a woodworking bench vise and their functions as well. Otherwise, you will fail to make a good front vise deal. And better exposure to the functions will make your shaping, sizing, joining, and other precision or heavy tasks all fun.
Like metalworking vise, woodworking vise features two clamping jaws equal in length, width, and breadth. They only differ in their position and grab the object to work on in a suffocating grip applying revere force towards one another. The fixed jaw stays attached to the body of the vise while the front or sliding jaw is connected at the outer end of the screw and sits facing the fixed jaw.
These are mostly made of iron or steel but you can have your vise made of wood. But wooden vise tends to last shorter and are vulnerable to pounding and heavy-hitting. But wooden covers of the clamping jaws may prove very convenient to save fragile projects form the marring of the metal bite in time of tight jaw hold. Both the jaws come with holes to hook wood covers to the front.
The screw is a long threaded rod responsible for the clamping and releasing of the workpiece. This long narrow rod holds the sliding and fixed jaws at its opposite ends. It is the screw that you open and closes the jaws with. The opening and closing of the jaws are accomplished via outward and inward sliding of the screw. The inner end of the handle having acme threads on its surface is held by a nut set with the vise body.
List of Woodworking Vise Screws
The handle is the long nail attached to the outer end of the rod running through the vise. It carries two washers at its ends to prevent handling slippage. The clockwise turning of the handle causes the jaws clamping around an object and anti-clockwise turning relieve it from the fastening.
Woodworking vise handle often differs in length and diameter from that of the metalworking one.
Woodworker’s vises are set at the front end of the workbench and the lower surface of that end acts as the mounting location. Metalworking vises present base with hole and woodworking ones present mounting brackets with wholes. The bracket and the benchtop are screw-joined through the holes on the brackets. The brackets encompass the screw and the guide bars.
The two guide bars singularly to support the narrow screw so that it might not break or bend in holding the weight of the front jaw and to withstand the work pressure. Metalworking vises do have a bulky sliding bar through which the screw runs and the weight and working pressure fall on this sliding bar.
But a woodworker’s vise lacks that type of bar and introduces a supporting bar on both sides of the screw. These bars are responsible for keeping the rotating jaw parallel to the fixed one to give the tightest hold around an object. Therefore, they are termed as guide bars.
Typically, a superiorly designed working vise comes with a rotating swivel, as it can make your work considerably easier. For instance, to make the vise face you, you won’t have to hunch over to adjust the angle of the vise, you can just spin it.
When you buy a vise, you wish to have it for a long time. So, you want to make sure that the unit you are getting will last for a long time. But, even after carefully choosing, the unit might not be as durable as you expected. That is why you should always go for options that offer a good warranty.
A warranty also means that the product is of good quality and the manufacturer has faith in the durability of their product.
Materials of Woodworking Vise
Interestingly enough, most commercial woodworking vises are made of iron or steel. You can make DIY type for you going fully wooden but this one will compromise in duration and capability of working. Wooden vise can’t stand the pressure of pounding and hitting. Moreover, it will not last that long a metal vise does.
But in the metal vise too, you need to flush the front of the jaws with plain wooden cheek. Wooden Jaw pads or covers can increase your vise surface area and enhance clamping space. Wooden jaw pads can give you the toe-in tilting very crucial for woodworking vises. Other than that, spacer block to solve side-raking issues and dogs and handle can be of wood. So, woodworking vises use two materials – iron or steel and wood.
How to Buy the Right Woodworking Vise?
The metal woodworking vise will be advisable to buy as they last longer and provide you with more workability. If you are a hobbyist, you can try a DIY type wood-jaw vise as they cost minimal. But a professional and high performing set up must have the metal woodworker’s vises reviewed in this article.
The toe-in feature and quick release lever can be the preference but the lack of the former will not be a big deal breaker missing. You can address the tilting with a tapered wood-jaw cover. Another crucial factor to look for is the offset screw orientation. Though you can better handle it with a space blocker, a default solution is more acceptable. All our vises here come with this set except the last one.
None of the said vises would be a disappointment but Eclipse Quick Release EWWQR7, Irwin 226361 Front Vise, and Yost M7WW Rapid Release are preferable to the other vise mechanism as the feature-rich and quality built high-performance tools. Irwin is for the light-duty tasks and the other two are for heavy-duty and longer projects.
What is Woodworking Vise Raking?
Ans: Raking refers to the tilting of the temporary vise noticeable while clamping an object. For the loose-fitting of the guiding bars, it inclines outward and so causes a weak hold resulting in slippage or vibration at work. It can trouble by tilting both when holding a workpiece top-to-bottom and side-to-side.
How to address vise raking is covered well in the preferable features section of this article.
How Far is the Weight of a Vise Crucial?
Ans: Weight of woodworker’s vise is an essential and relative factor. A heavier vise will certainly give you overall support in clamping and at work as well. But the vise weight must follow the set up you will install it for or work with. The stability of the workbench will determine the weight of the front vise.
How Far a Wood-Jaw vise Differs with a Metal Jaw Vise?
And: The very term is self-explanatory as the wood-jaw vise is made of quality wood whereas the metal jaw-vise is metallic to the bit. Other than the wooden jaws, the wood-jaw vise features a differently fixed jaw constituted of two halves – in front of the bench as the upper half and lower half of the same depth. The total depth of these two rear halves equals the depth of the front jaw. Thus the rear jaw of a wood-jaw vise offers added stability and clamping opposition.
How to Install a Woodworking Vise Successfully?
Even the most efficient, professional-grade, and the top performance vise deal will go totally in vain if it is not mounted properly. Mounting a woodworking vise means to clamp or hook the mounting bracket with the chosen part of the workbench front. So, you must ensure a sturdy working workbench top that will not flex or snap at pounding or hitting pressure. Pre-drilling the screw holes on the benchtop is the most crucial job in this case.
The most common inconvenience a faulty installation will create is the ranking. And we already aware that is the result of the loose-fitting of the guiding bars. However, a video can help more effectively than thousands of wordy instructions for installing a woodworking vise. Watch this video of a little over 15 minutes and you will be crystal clear of the mounting process.
With the anatomy of a woodworking vise well-explained and the advanced features highlighted, little is left to say. You can go for any of the vises so far your tasks are limited to woodworking only. Yes, you can do a bit of pounding and beating too with any of the vise mechanisms reviewed here.
These are just the trade-off and makeup of your money and they will stand steadily by you with the durable construction, quality hardware, updated styles and designs, and above all high impact resistance.
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