It is almost funny how even the smallest children associate the idea of working in a garage, whether you are building a tree for or working on your car, with a bench vise; and yet there are few enthusiast do-it-yourselfers that actually consider investing in a good quality bench vise. You may think that the one you currently own, and that has been passed down from your great-grandfather, is still up to scratch, or you may think that you do not really need one.
Best Bench Vise of 2021
But the fact remains that the good quality bench vise may actually save your life because it is the cornerstone of do-it-yourself safety. You can use it to hold on to things why you are cutting them in a much better and safer way than just by putting your foot on top of them or having a friend/son hold on to the. You can use them as counterweights and they give you a lot more precision when drilling holes through wood or metal. But the place where a bench vise really comes into its own is when manipulating metal.
You can use it like most people just to straighten out nails, but in fact it can be used to set up the perfect angle on sheets of metal when working on your car. With a little bit of knowledge about welding you can replace entire panels with just a vise and a bit of smart bending. For the most important thing about a vise is the quality of the metal that has been use in its manufacture.
The device itself goes through incredible levels of pressure and it is important that it stays intact. So I an easy way to determine if your vise is of the best quality is to simply try it up. Besides that there are several other factors to look out for and we touch on them during the reviews we have prepared for the top 5 best bench vises on the market today.
You can find the reviews right after the following table so make sure to scroll down to them.
Best Bench Vise If Money Is Not an Issue
One of the best bench vises on the market today is the Wilton, Reversible Mechanics Bench Vise. It is so good that it is our best choice if money is not a problem choice, although there are much more expensive vises on the market today.
So the first and most important thing to take away from this review is that you do not need to throw away a lot of money to get a high quality product. In fact you should not even take a 2nd glance at any other device that is more expensive than this one. There are several features that the Wilton, Reversible Mechanics Bench Vise sports that you might not even find on more expensive vises out there.
The most impressive thing about the Wilton is the fact that the jaws can be reversed giving you a 9 3/4 of an inch jaw opening. When in its regular position it still has an impressively big jaw opening of 6 inches so given that they have went to the trouble of improving on it, we were hooked the moment we saw it.
The other significant feature that your pasted down bench vise probably does not have, is the base that swivels around to a full 360°. If you have never owned a bench vise with this feature you may not even be able to imagine just how important and useful it can be. For maximum safety of use should always be fixed on a solid surface.
The problem with that is that cutting the manual or getting the best viewpoint for drilling can be quite difficult on the static bench vise. Since this one swivels around that is no longer a problem. Other significant features that you will want to take into consideration is the fact that the throat depth is 3 3/4 of an inch and that the jaw width is 5 1/2 inches.
Best Bench Vise Overall/For the Money
If you need a good quality bench vise but also need to keep an eye on the budget the best alternative we have for you is the Yost Vises 465 6.5″ Apprentice Series Bench Vise. Its jaw width is a massive 6.5 inches in length, but the bad news is that you cannot get it to open any wider by twisting the jaws.
This swivel too only opens up to 180°, which is not bad in terms of functionality, but still is not as good as the first bench vise we have taken a look at. Still this is a somewhat cheaper bench vise and the materials they are went into making it out of the best quality.
The body is cast iron with a steel U channel bar that gives it extra strength and durability. The most important thing though is the fact that the top jaws are replaceable and since those are the only parts of the machine that actually get any significant wear and tear it is pretty important that you can indeed change them.
There is also a flat surface on top of the vise that allows you to use it as an anvil, which is a pretty important thing to note because not all bench vises come with this feature.
Best Bench Vise on a Budget
If you are really working on the tightest possible budget, but you still need a bench vise of the best quality then the Wilton 11104 Wilton Bench Vise is your only choice. Compared to what we have seen so far it is a relatively small vise with just a 4 inch width jaw opening, but it is made from a high strength steel that really impressed us, and it costs so little that there is really no excuse for not buying one if you do not already have one in your garage.
What really impressed us was the fact that it has one of the largest anvil flat surfaces we have seen and you can sometimes a use that to compensate for that smaller jaw width.
Still you can tell that this is one of the best bench vises on the market today because it has that swivel base that is so important in positioning your working surface in the best possible angle for you.
It is also significant to know that the base has a double lockdown feature so once you set it in place it will stay and no matter what type of effort you need to exert the vise will not give out and will not get worn away from repetitive use.
Honorable Mention 1
There are 2 bench vises that really impressed us so much that we could not leave them out of our list, but either because of their price or because of their features they could not be a part of our top 3 choices.
The most versatile bench vise we have seen so far in our search is the Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise. It only opens up to 5 inches, which should still be more than enough for most jobs, but the most interesting feature about this vise is that the jaws themselves can be rotated 360°. The base too swivels 360° so you really cannot position whatever item you are working on whichever way you wanted to be.
An even more impressive feature is the fact that the vise has actually 2 types of jaws one for flat surfaces and one for tubular surfaces, and since you can rotate them to 360° you can put which ever want you need on top.
You also get a mini 3 in.² anvil built into the vise so with the Grizzly G7062 Multi-Purpose 5-Inch Bench Vise we can honestly say that you get the full package and a lot of extra goodies on top of that. Our only problem with it is the fact that the job opening which is the most important part of a bench vise anyway is so small, otherwise this would have been our top choice.
Honorable Mention 2
The last bench vise we are going to talk about is the Irwin 226306 6-Inch Heavy Duty Workshop Vise. This would have been our best for the money choice but the jaw width is only 6 inches whereas the Yost has a 6.5 inches width. For the rest the vise itself is of the best quality, it has a cast iron body that was machined to very slim tolerances so that no matter what kind of pressure you need to apply on the vise it will not get distorted.
The base swivels but only to 180° which is still pretty fair considering the price and the quality of this bench vise. It is also well worth mentioning that the clamps can be crushed in to a whopping 3000 pounds of pressure so you can actually use this vise not only to hold onto things while you are working on them, but also to easily bend them into whatever form or shape you need to have them.