While working on any type of project in the workshop, you will come to a point where you need to hold materials firmly. You may need to perform tasks like cutting, grinding, nailing, etc.
A bench vise is a special tool that mounts on your workbench and allows you to firmly and safely hold material.
The bench vise usually has a jaw with varying sizes, thus allowing it to hold any type of material. It is extremely practical and will make your work more efficient in the workshop.
If you are fresh on the market for the best bench vises for the money, our review below has you covered. We handpicked a few popular models and gave you our impressions.
What to Check Before Buying Best Bench Vise?
First and foremost, you should carefully consider your purpose before purchasing a bench vise.
This is because your purpose will tell you the size of bench vise to purchase as well as various factors like its throat depth and jaw size.
For example, if you normally work with large material, then it is best to go with a bench vise that has a big jaw size of at least 6 inches well as a large throat depth of at least 4 inches.
On the other hand, if you mostly work with wood planks, then you don’t necessarily need a large throat depth. However, you will need a model that has a bigger jaw size to hold the plank firmly.
2. Types of Bench Vise
The bench vise comes in 2 major types. The woodworking bench vise and the engineering bench vise. Choosing between those 2 types of vises will depend on your needs and purpose.
Woodworking Bench Vise: As its name suggests, the woodworking bench vise is used for working with wood. The jaws of this bench vise are made from a softer material like wood or plastic so as not to damage the wood material when clamping.
Engineering Bench Vise: The engineering bench vise is more heavy-duty and heavier as well to provide better stability. This type of vise is used to clamp metal and other types of hard materials. In addition, the engineering bench vise is normally bigger and more versatile as it can also be used to clamp the wood as well.
3. Jaw size
The jaw is the most important part of the bench vise because it is the actual part that holds the material in place.
Therefore, you must ensure that your bench vise comes with a quality job that is durable and long-lasting. It must have grooves to prevent the material from slipping.
In addition, the shape of the jaw is also important. You have the choice either between a V-shape jaw that is suitable for holding round objects.
Then, you have the traditional flat jaw, which is the most common type of jaw that you will find in a bench vise. This type of jaw is mostly suitable for clamping flat material like wood planks or metal sheets.
4. Throat depth
The throat depth in a bent fight is basically the maximum distance from the top of the jaw to the top of the slider beneath the jaw.
A big throat depth will mean that your bench vise can accommodate larger materials. For casual use, a bench vise with a throat depth of at least 2 inches is more than enough.
However, if you are planning to work with large material, then it is best to go with a model that has a throat depth of 4 inches or more.
Keep in mind that a bigger throat depth means more versatility when working with your bench vise.
The swivel functionality is what makes the bench vise a versatile tool. Indeed, a bench vise equipped with a swivel has the possibility for the base to turn to a certain degree.
This will provide you with a new position to work with your material, making it more practical to work with.
Furthermore, you should ensure that the swivel is easy to use. Most top-rated bench vises have a 360-degree swivel system as well as a set number of locking positions.
This makes it easy to quickly and easily lock the bench vise in any position you want.
There are several ways you can mount the bench vise on top of a workbench. The most common is going with a bench vise that has mounting holes at the base.
You can use nuts and bolts to secure this bench vise on your workbench.
However, you will need to have the necessary holes on your workbench for this type of bench vise. If you cannot drill holes on your workbench, then it is best to go with a bench vise that uses a clamping system.
With this type of bench vise, installation is very easy as there is no drilling to perform on your workbench. Simply clamp it to the side of your bench, and you’re good to go.
A small caveat with this type of bench vise is that it is not as stable when compared to a model with mounting holes.
When purchasing a bench vise online, it is important that you set a specific budget.
This is because prices can quickly get out of hand. Especially when it comes to premium models that can cost more than $150.
However, you can easily get a quality bench vise for $50 or less without sacrificing build construction and functionality.
10 Best Bench Vises of 2021 Reviewed
1. Yost Tools 750-DI (Multi-purpose & Heavy-duty)
2. Yost Vises 445 (Excellent Price to Performance Ratio)
3. Yost Vises ADI-4 (Easy to Use 360-degree Swivel Base)
4. PanaVise 301 (Small & Compact)
5. Tekton 54004 (Affordable & Easy to Use)
6. Irwin Tools 4935505 (Superior Build Construction Quality)
7. Wilton 11800 (Large Jaw & Heavy-duty)
8. Wilton 11106 (Excellent Price to Performance)
9. Olympia 38-604 (Most Affordable)
10. Irwin Tools 226306Z (Versatile)
1. Yost Tools 750-DI – Multi-purpose and Heavy-duty
- Jaw Size: 5 inches
- Throat Depth: 4 inches
The Yost Tools 750-DI contains 2 very important factors in a bench vise. For one, it is multi-purpose, so you can use it for clamping or hammering because it is equipped with a super flat anvil. But it is also heavy-duty, so you can use this bench vise all day long in the workshop.
For durability, this bench vise is made from hardened steel and iron metal that can withstand 60,000 PSI of pressure. It will not break or crack however you use it. Also, it is powder-coated, so it is resistant to scratches. It will keep its beautiful blue finish for a long time.
The jaws are serrated and multipurpose. They will hold your material firmly when clamped and prevent slipping from happening. Also, you can use those jaws for clamping metal pipes because it has dedicated pipe jaws.
Indeed, this model can be used for a wide range of purposes, from clamping metal sheets to metal pipes. It also has a heavy-duty build construction with industrial-strength, which will make it last a long time even if you use it daily.
Considering those factors, this model is one of the best bench vises under $200 that you can purchase.
However, it is not perfect. Firstly, the advertised throat depth of 4 inches is a bit less and more like 3.38 inches. Also, the baseplate is a bit thinner at around 0.25 inches when compared to less expensive models. It could have been reinforced and thicker.
- It can be used as a heavy-duty bench vise for professional work
- Multipurpose and can be used for both woodworking and metalwork
- The surface is powder-coated and resistant to scratches. Highly durable
- Dedicated pipe jaws for clamping metal pipes
- Throat depth of 4 inches is smaller than advertised
- The base is thinner than other models
2. Yost Vises 445 – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- Jaw Size: 4.5 inches
- Throat Depth: 2.6 inches
The Yost Vises 445 is a bench vise that is very competitively priced and offers good performance for the money. This model is made from highly durable steel and built with precision.
Furthermore, the various components of this bench vise can withstand a pressure of 30,000 PSI. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a quality bench vise for everyday use in the workshop.
The jaws measure 4.5 inches, and you even have the possibility to purchase them in different sizes. Pretty neat! Best, the jaws are easily replaceable in case of damage.
For better working maneuverability, you can rotate the base 360 degrees. You will find this feature to be very useful, especially if you are grinding or cutting material at different positions.
All in all, this is a good bench vise that is easy to use and has an attractive price.
The only issue we have with it is that the locking mechanism requires a lot of force to prevent the swivel from moving. Additionally, the throat depth is only 2.6 inches, so this model is not the best for clamping thick material.
- Good price to performance ratio
- The base has a 360 degrees swivel
- It can withstand the pressure of 30,000 PSI
- The jaws are easy to replace
- The throat depth is only 2.6 inches
- Not the best locking mechanism
3. Yost Vises ADI-4 – Easy to Use 360-degree Swivel Base
- Jaw Size: 4 inches
- Throat Depth: 2.9 inches
What separates the Yost Vises ADI-4 from the rest of the competition is its ease-of-use and swivel base. Indeed, this model has a 360-degree swivel base, which makes it incredibly practical when cutting or grinding material.
Also, you can quickly and easily install this bench vise on any tabletop thanks to its 4 large pre-drilled holes. Locking the base is very easy, as this model is accurate with a double lock base mechanism.
Moreover, for more versatility, there is an anvil at the back of this bench vise if you need to hammer your material. This model comes with a jaw size of 4 inches, which is adequate for casual clamping use.
However, if you have bigger needs, then you can still purchase this model in different sizes, up to 8 inches jaw size. As a matter of fact, there are many things that we like about this model.
The only issue we have with this bench vise is that it comes with a lot of grease out of the box. You may need to clean it up. Furthermore, this unit may be out of the reach of many people because it is one of the most expensive models in this bench vise review.
- The swivel base can rotate 360 degrees
- Easy to use and easy to install by beginners
- Versatile. There is an anvil at the back
- The price. It is very expensive
- It comes with a lot of grease out of the box
4. PanaVise 301 – Small and Compact
- Jaw Size: 2.5 inches
The PanaVise 301 is a small and compact bench vise pack that comes as a set of 2 packs or 3 packs depending on your need. This model is mostly for those who need multiple small bench vises for DIY projects like electronics or hobbies.
One distinctive feature of this unit is that it is highly maneuverable. You can tilt the head in multiple positions to suit your needs.
It can turn anywhere from 90 degrees to 360 degrees. Best, you can very easily lock it in position. Of course, the swivel base offers you a full 360 degrees rotation as well for even more maneuverability.
Moreover, this model is resistant to heat, so you can easily use a blowtorch on the jaws, no problem. It has a temperature resistance of 93°C for continuous heat and up to 149°C for intermittent heat.
In addition, this model is extremely easy to install on any flat surface. It is lightweight and yet does not sacrifice durability in any way.
This bench vise is, of course not intended for heavy-duty use. It does not have the build construction for it. However, it is one of the best bench vises for light to medium-duty clamping purposes like hobbies, electronic products, etc.
- Small and compact form factor
- Comes in a pack of 2 or 3
- Fully rotatable head and base
- The jaws are resistant to heat
- Not very heavy-duty
5. Tekton 54004 – Affordable and Easy to Use
- Jaw Size: 4 inches
- Throat Depth: 2.1 inches
What separates the Tekton 54004 apart from the competition is its very affordable price.
Moreover, this model is extremely beginner-friendly. If you have never used a bench vise before, you can get started with it right away as it is very easy to use.
Further, it has a smooth and polished surface that is also scratch-resistant. Since this bench vise is made from cast-iron, it is very durable, and it has a tensile strength of 30,000 PSI.
This means that you can comfortably use this bench vise for light to medium-duty clamping tasks, no problem.
For more versatility, it has a swivel base that can rotate 120 degrees. Sure, this is not the best bench vise for the money when it comes to the swivel degree, but it is still adequate for most people.
The only problem we have with this bench vise is that it has only 3 mounting holes at the base. This makes it lack a bit of stability, especially when hammering on the anvil.
- Affordable price and easy to use by beginners
- Good build construction from cast-iron
- 120-degree swivel with dual lock system
- Weak throat depth of 2.1 inches
- Contains only 3 mounting holes
6. Irwin Tools 4935505 – Superior Build Construction Quality
- Jaw Size: 5 inches
- Throat Depth: 3 inches
The Irwin Tools 4935505 is a bench advised that has been built to last. Indeed, this model is made of steel and is very durable and long-lasting.
There is a deep attention to detail in this bench vise, and it has been designed with precision. Moreover, it is multipurpose, and you can use it for a wide range of applications, from woodworking to metalwork.
At the base of the jaw, it also has pipe jaws for securely clamping metal pipes. One neat feature that we like about this model is that it has a swivel base that can rotate 360 degrees. This provides you with a lot of maneuverability when working with it.
Of course, this top-rated bench vise also has an anvil. And thanks to its 4 mounting holes at the base, it can be solidly fixed to any workbench with ease.
The only issue with this product is that it takes a lot of turning on the handle for the jaw to clamp.
- Excellent built construction. Durable and long-lasting
- Multi-purpose. Can be used for a wide range of clamping applications
- Easy to mount with its 4 mounting holes
- Requires more turns on the handle for the jaw to clamp
7. Wilton 11800 – Large Jaw and Heavy-duty
- Jaw Size: 8 inches
- Throat Depth: 4.5 inches
The Wilton 11800 is a heavy-duty bench vise that comes with an impressive jaw size of 8 inches. This model is entirely made from durable material and is powder-coated to prevent scratches. It is heavy-duty and long-lasting.
Moreover, it comes with a pipe jaw that can accommodate pipes anywhere from 1/8 inches to 3 inches. This makes it versatile.
Also, the jaw can deliver up to 30,000 PSI, which means that this bench vise can clamp material firmly in place. The jaws themselves are grooved, so clamped materials will not slip.
You get a lot of versatility with the swivel base as it rotates 180 degrees. This will allow you to quickly and easily reposition the bench vise depending on your needs. We also like the fact that the throat depth is 4.5 inches. This means that it can clamp thick materials, no problem.
The only real issue we have with this bench price is its price. Indeed, this model is the most expensive vise you can find in this bench vise review. However, if you’re looking for a large and heavy-duty model, then it is an excellent choice.
- Large jaw size of 8 inches for superior clamping
- Heavy-duty build construction
- The jaw can deliver 30,000 PSI of pressure. Can clamp material firmly
- Large throat depth of 4.5 inches to easily accommodate thick materials
- The price. It is very expensive
8. Wilton 11106 – Excellent Price to Performance
- Jaw Size: 6 inches
The Wilton 11106 is a large size bench vise with a jaw size of 6 inches. What is very attractive about this model is that it is also competitively priced for a bench vise of this caliber.
It has a steel build construction that is powder-coated for durability. The powder coating also protects it against regular scratches in the workshop. Moreover, the jaws are grooved to hold materials safely.
You will have no problem using this top-rated bench vise because the handle is quite long, and the tips are rounded for more comfortable usage. It also has a large anvil surface in case you need to hammer your work.
The base can swivel, which will prove to be very practical when working with it. In addition, it has a double lock system that will provide more stability to the vice.
Another nice thing that we like about this bench vise is that you can purchase it in a wide range of styles depending on your needs.
All in all, the Wilton 11106 is not a bad bench vise at all. But, keep in mind that this unit does not come with any instructions, and it does not have a good grip for holding metal tubing.
- Excellent price considering the feature set
- Hardened steel build construction. Durable and long-lasting
- Large anvil surface for hammering
- Double lock for securely locking the swivel base
- It lacks grip for holding metal tubes
- No instructions provided
9. Olympia 38-604 – Most Affordable Solution
- Jaw Size: 4 inches
- Throat Depth: 2.25 inches
Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on a bench vise. This is where vises like the Olympia 38-604 comes into play. Indeed, when it comes to price, then this unit is the best bench vise for the money.
Despite this vise being low-cost, it still has interesting features. For one, it has a 4 inches jaw, which is wide enough for casual clamping. You should be able to accomplish all sanding and cutting tasks with this vise.
Moreover, the base swivels 270 degrees that give you more versatility when working. Installation is very easy, and the base is reinforced and has mounting holes.
The spindle is heavy-duty and machined for more precision. Best, you even have the possibility to purchase this vise in different jaw sizes to suit your needs.
However, the build construction is not the best we have seen. We don’t recommend this vise for heavy-duty usage. Also, the pipe clamp is small, so it won’t be able to accommodate water pipes that are large.
Despite those small caveats, there are plenty of features to like about this unit. It remains a good bench vise for those looking for a casual vise for DIY projects or other light to medium-duty tasks in the workshop.
- Very affordable. Excellent value
- Swivel base of 270 degrees
- The spindle is machined for better precision and ease of use
- Easy installation with pre-drilled and reinforced base holes
- Not as durable as other vises
- Small pipe jaws
10. Irwin Tools 226306ZR – Versatile
- Jaw Size: 6 inches
- Throat Depth: 3.38 inches
The Irwin Tools 226306ZR is a popular bench vise. What we like about this model is its versatility. It has a large anvil area for hammering, as well as a dedicated section for clamping metal pipes.
In addition, this model is easy to install thanks to its pre-drilled mounting holes at the base. Since this is an engineering bench vise, it can be used for both woodworking as well as metalwork.
It does provide a decent clamping pressure of 3,000 lbs, which is more than enough for most people.
You will appreciate the fact that this bench vise has a large jaw size of 6 inches. It can clamp large pieces of material like wood planks or metal sheets quite firmly without causing damage.
The throat size of 3.38 inches is also quite respectable as it will allow it to clamp thick pieces of work. If you’re looking for a bench vise for light to medium-duty clamping work, then the Irwin Tools 226306ZR will make a great addition to your workshop.
However, despite being made from cast-iron, it is not the best bench vise when it comes to durability. This model should not be used for heavy-duty clamping as there are better models in this review.
- Versatile. It has an anvil for hammering
- Long jaw size of 6 inches
- The decent clamping pressure of 3,000 lbs
- Not as durable as others
As we have seen, the bench vise is a very practical way to hold your material. You can use it in the workshop to perform a wide range of projects, from cutting to grinding.
One of the best things about the bench vise is its metal build construction. This is a tool that has been built to last a long time.
You will not have to replace it frequently, and since it has an open design, you can disassemble it to perform regular maintenance.
So, if you have a workshop, then you absolutely must invest in a bench vise. If you have not made your pick yet, then you can refer to our bench vise review above to get a quality model.
In this post:
- What to Check Before Buying Best Bench Vise?
- 10 Best Bench Vises of 2021 Reviewed
- 1. Yost Tools 750-DI – Multi-purpose and Heavy-duty
- 2. Yost Vises 445 – Excellent Price to Performance Ratio
- 3. Yost Vises ADI-4 – Easy to Use 360-degree Swivel Base
- 4. PanaVise 301 – Small and Compact
- 5. Tekton 54004 – Affordable and Easy to Use
- 6. Irwin Tools 4935505 – Superior Build Construction Quality
- 7. Wilton 11800 – Large Jaw and Heavy-duty
- 8. Wilton 11106 – Excellent Price to Performance
- 9. Olympia 38-604 – Most Affordable Solution
- 10. Irwin Tools 226306ZR – Versatile