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  • Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to woodworking and wanted some advice on a bench vise purchase. There are four that I am currently looking at (3 of which come with quick release and front stop). Could I get your recommendations please:

    Lee Valley
    Eclipse (Amazon Link)
    Yost (Amazon Link)
    Tekton (Amazon Link)

    Thanks in advance for your input!
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

    Hey, "two_halves",

    Bench vises - in most shops - play a significant role in enhancing the efficiency of bench operations, and if made well and of subsantial materials, can easily last for generations. For those reasons, choosing one is more often related to the required (or desired) features and quality, rather than price.

    I noticed that all the vises you're looking at are face vises, hence my following comments will relate to them.

    I'd suggest that you need to first identify your requirements:
    - what capacity in terms of: width; height above the screw and guide posts; and max opening
    - quick action
    - swivel/rotation in two dimensions, such as one finds in Emmert and copies, as well as the Veritas Tucker Vise

    Once you have your requirements hammered down, they you may begin the feature-by-feature review process.

    Again, if you choose wisely, you'll have a face vise that will serve you faithfully for the duration of your woodworking career... and that of whomever comes after you.

    I should close this by saying that I have both a face vise (a Vertias Tucker Vise) as well as a tail vise on my bench, both of which I find indespensible for the type of work I do.

    Hope this helps you out a bit and good luck with your quest.
    two_halves likes this.
    All the best,

    Marty

    Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc. https://kwoodartca.wordpress.com/

    Master Mistake Fixer (because I've made them all... at least once)

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

      Quick release is useful. I have the medium LV one and a 35 year old Mastercraft in a smaller size. The latter uses a trigger to release the QR (faster and can screw the jaw open) while the former uses multiple spins of the handle (one handed but jaw needs to be pulled open).
      two_halves likes this.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

        I used to have a cheap vise until I got fed up with racking. I bought an old used Record on the secondary market and I will keep it forever. Quick release is very convenient.
        two_halves likes this.

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

          A vintage one!

          ...I just happen to be selling a vintage craftsman in the swap meet ;)

          I personally wouldn't bother with quick release or the front stop.

          http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...659,41661&ap=1

          This is a very good vise and will probably fufill your needs.
          Ive owned that one, the same one with quick release and a vintage one with a stop.
          I like the simplest one the best.

          Nathan
          two_halves likes this.

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

            Marty thank you for your detailed answer.

            To be honest with you, I have no idea if I can anticipate my needs accurately due to my lack of experience. I think experts are are very skilled at identifying requirements, so I was hoping to get your input.

            Here are a few projects I've done recently or have in queue to do:
            – Bed side tables (upcoming)
            – A large book shelf with drop down work desk (upcoming)
            – Various Jigs (upcoming – miter sled is one I'm excited about)
            – Cigar box
            – Canoe paddle
            – Basic shelf
            – Cutting board & cooking utensils
            – I also built all 3 of my work benches (2 on casters) and garage shelves

            As I said, I'm new but I'm in my shop 2-3 times a week to relax and work on something

            Given your response I am not even sure if the one from Lee Valley would be sufficient.

            Thanks again!

            Originally posted by MartyFromKingston View Post
            Hey, "two_halves",

            Bench vises - in most shops - play a significant role in enhancing the efficiency of bench operations, and if made well and of subsantial materials, can easily last for generations. For those reasons, choosing one is more often related to the required (or desired) features and quality, rather than price.

            I noticed that all the vises you're looking at are face vises, hence my following comments will relate to them.

            I'd suggest that you need to first identify your requirements:
            - what capacity in terms of: width; height above the screw and guide posts; and max opening
            - quick action
            - swivel/rotation in two dimensions, such as one finds in Emmert and copies, as well as the Veritas Tucker Vise

            Once you have your requirements hammered down, they you may begin the feature-by-feature review process.

            Again, if you choose wisely, you'll have a face vise that will serve you faithfully for the duration of your woodworking career... and that of whomever comes after you.

            I should close this by saying that I have both a face vise (a Vertias Tucker Vise) as well as a tail vise on my bench, both of which I find indespensible for the type of work I do.

            Hope this helps you out a bit and good luck with your quest.

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

              Originally posted by Normand Leblanc View Post
              I used to have a cheap vise until I got fed up with racking. I bought an old used Record on the secondary market and I will keep it forever. Quick release is very convenient.
              Do you mean Record #52? I've been looking for a deal on one, but they cost $250 used. I've had a Kijiji alert setup waiting for a good deal.

              I had a great one from Mastercraft (don't yell at me for saying "Great" and "Mastercraft" together), but it broke. Long story short, they couldn't replace it with the lifetime warranty so I ended up getting their combo sander instead.

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

                Hey Nathan,

                Our of curiosity, why do your prefer:
                http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...659,41661&ap=1

                Over:
                http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...80&cat=1,41659

                I'd love to know

                Originally posted by nnieman View Post
                A vintage one!

                ...I just happen to be selling a vintage craftsman in the swap meet ;)

                I personally wouldn't bother with quick release or the front stop.

                http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...659,41661&ap=1

                This is a very good vise and will probably fufill your needs.
                Ive owned that one, the same one with quick release and a vintage one with a stop.
                I like the simplest one the best.

                Nathan

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

                  I own the green one, I prefer the large wood handle over the metal one and I have no use for the sliding stop.

                  I mounted a large wood jaw to my vise with 3/4" holes for bench dogs and I find them way more usefully than the metal one.
                  The metal one dents and damages wood and will really screw up a plane blade if you contact it.

                  I actually own the green one you linked too and disabled the quick release mechanism.

                  Its really useful to be able to use a vise to pull thing apart, especially if you restore antique furniture.

                  Fyi the non quick release green one actually has a bigger reach than the quick release one.
                  like 7" vs 6", not huge but it makes a difference.

                  Nathan

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

                    I bought a blue one and proudly attached it to my bench. it sat on the bench for a good 3-4 years until i moved to a new house and had to cut the size of my bench down. I never got around to re-installing it and it has sat on the floor in a corner for 5 years now. Not missed one bit. Don't fool yourself into thinking just because the books all show them, that you will need them for yourself. I'd say wait until you find that your really need the vice before you buy one. that way you can actually figure out what you need it to do and then buy one that fills that need. But first look at what you can do alternatively that might meet your needs in other ways.
                    Darrell and schor like this.
                    Matt

                    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Which Bench Vise Should I Buy?

                      Originally posted by two_halves View Post

                      Do you mean Record #52? I've been looking for a deal on one, but they cost $250 used. I've had a Kijiji alert setup waiting for a good deal.

                      I had a great one from Mastercraft (don't yell at me for saying "Great" and "Mastercraft" together), but it broke. Long story short, they couldn't replace it with the lifetime warranty so I ended up getting their combo sander instead.
                      Mine is a 52-1/2 bought 4-5 years ago on Kijiji for 50$.

                      Comment

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