Best bench vise - how to choose
Bench vises aren't that expensive, but the price range does vary significantly depending on the quality of the vise you're looking at. Before you buy yourself a new bench vise for your workshop you should read some reviews and take into consideration things like what is your budget? What will you primarily use the bench vise for? How big does it need to be? We'll take a look at each of these points in depth in this guide, read through our bench vise reviews to make sure you get the best one for the money.
Most bench vises on the market are fairly alike, but they differ in a few key areas. Let's take a look at the key points you need to consider in order to get a good bench vise and not waste your hard earned cash. The main part of any vise is the jaws. The best bench vise needs to have quality jaws. They're the piece that open and clamp shut on the work-piece that your vise is holding. Jaws come in different shapes and sizes, some can be replaced once they're worn out while others cannot. It's a good idea to get a vise which comes with replaceable jaws as it saves you from having to buy a new vise down the line. You should also consider how big are the things that you want to clamp in your vise? If they're small then you can get away with a small bench vise, like say 2 inches. But if you use mostly large sized work-pieces then you'll need a bench vise with large jaws opening for 4 inches or more. Another thing to consider regarding the jaws is that there are different types. Mostly they are the flat style, but there are other options. As mentioned before it's best to get a vise with replaceable jaws, not only so you can replace them if they wear out but also then you can switch the type of jaw you use depending on the task at hand.
The next thing you should consider after the jaws on the bench vise is the swivel of the base. Some vises don't have any swivel, and therefore you cannot rotate them at all. While others have the ability to swivel 100 degrees all the way around to 360 degrees. Having a bench vise with good rotational ability is crucial as it allows you to clamp work-pieces from awkward angles and achieve more success in your work.
You also need to think about how you will attach the vise to your work bench. There are various different styles and ways to attach a vise to your work bench but each has its pros and cons. For example some light weight options attach using a spring loaded clamp however these aren't good for heavy duty tasks as they're not that rigid. Some bench vises are also attached using a c-clamp style mounting system, these are a good option as they're easy to move about the workshop and mount wherever you happen to be working. However, the most common style of mounting system is to bolt your bench vise to your table using 4 bolts, this option is the most rigid and best overall.