Using Different Kinds of Vises

block of wood in a vise

Vise Safety Tips

Always be sure to wear eye protection when hammering an object being held by a vise.

Worn jaw inserts and bent sliding cross pin handles should be replaced.

Never use an extension cheater handle or hammer on the handle of a vise for extra clamping pressure.

If there is any possibility of marring the work, use jaw liners with a vise.

Discard any vise that shows even the slightest hairline fracture.

Use bolts in all the holes in the base of the vise and use lock washers under the nuts.

When work is held in the vise for sawing, be sure to saw as close to the jaws as possible.

When clamping long work pieces in a vise, always make sure the end of the work is properly supported.

Bench Vise

A bench vise is a tool that mounts on a workbench or table to hold work pieces securely in place between two flat jaws. It is generally used in light-duty applications. It’s available in both stationary and swivel models to hold work at various angles and positions. A threaded spindle opens and closes the jaws of the vise to hold and release work piece. A bench vise typically has jaws ranging in length from three inches to eight inches with jaw opening ranging from four inches to 12” in different models.

Woodworking Vise

A woodworking vise has jaws made of wooden pads to hold work pieces securely in place without marring the surface of workpieces. It is generally mounted to the side of a workbench. Some woodworking vises have a fast-acting screw arrangement for the rapid positioning of the movable jaw prior to clamping. Smaller vises have continuous screws and are light and easy to clamp on a workbench or sawhorse.

Utility Vise

This tool is similar to a bench vise. It generally has jaws ranging in length from three inches to six inches. Better models feature swivel bases so the vise may be turned to the best angle for each particular job. Some utility vises either have cast-in pipe jaws or permit special curved-face pipe jaws to be inserted between the regular jaws to add versatility.

Angle Vise

An angle vise contains marked adjustments to permit clamping at different angles. It can also be adjusted to a flat position and used as a regular vise. They can be locked into any position with a thumb screw, and bolts can be tightened for permanent positioning.

Clamp Vise

block of wood in a vise

A clamp vise is a combination fixed and portable vise, featuring a bottom clamp for easy attachment to workbenches, sawhorses, or tables. This is the best choice for portable use.

Drill Press Vise

A drill press vise is great for holding work pieces still when drilling, tapping, and reaming on a drill press. Most models have grooves machined on both sides for mounting to machine table. They are often used for 90-degree machining of sidebodies.

Vacuum Vise

This light-duty vise has a lever-operated suction cup on the bottom to secure to tabletop or other work surface.

Vises PRO Corner

Nearly any type of professional customer needs a vise, whether it be a woodworker or a contractor. Be able to explain the different uses for different vises to your different types of professional customers.

For professional customers, be sure to recommend heavier-duty vices that have casting ratings of approximately 60,000 psi.

Contractors will want vises with interchangeable jaw faces to accept a wide array of materials.