A woodworking vise can help increase your cutting accuracy and give you great results for half the effort. However, picking the wrong vise could cost you money and even cause serious injuries. To ensure product safety and efficiency, our team of experts has taken the liberty of finding out the best woodworking vises available.
Review of the Best Woodworking Vises
1. Yost M9WW 9” Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise
Yost has been making tools for over a century, and each product shows off its expertise. The Yost M9WW is no exception to this. This woodworking vise has a 9-inch jaw width, 10-inch jaw opening, and throat depth of 4.06 inches. It’s actually part of a Yost woodworking vise series; there are other machines with 7-inch and 10-inch widths.
With the Quick Release Lever’s help, you can make adjustments by pulling the lever and sliding the jaw back and forth. You are ensured of powerful clamping by manipulating the buttress threaded main screw.
And if you’re working on a particularly huge project, you can use the bench dog in conjunction with a bench stop for added stability.
2. Yost Vises 750-DI Multi-Jaw Rotating Combination Bench & Pipe Vise with Swivel Base
This Yost Vises 750-DI woodworking vise was made for extreme duty with a clamp force of 13,400 lbs. It’s made from heavy-duty 65,000 PSI ductile iron castings, which is 3 times stronger than your average cast iron woodworking vise.
Its wood jaw isn’t very wide at five inches, but it makes up for it with a relatively deep 4-inch throat depth and a swivel head and base. The vise head rotates 360 degrees and locks every 30 degrees, totaling to 12 different locking positions. The vise base also rotates 360 degrees with two positions and a gear lock that keeps it in place where you left it.
Serrated and self-aligning pipe jaws ensure a steady grip and increased clamp pressure without marring the wood.
3. IRWIN Woodworking Vise 6.5”
The Irwin Woodworking Vise is the cheapest on our list, but that doesn’t mean it can’t carry its weight. With a jaw width of 6.5 inches, it works well for medium and light-duty projects.
Its special feature might make you think you’ll need jaw pads. It’s a toe-in located towards the top jaws that helps ensure a firm grip on your piece. You can also attach wooden cheeks to prevent the iron jaws from marring the surface of your workpieces, so no need for jaw pads.
This Irwin woodworking vise is made of forged iron to ensure durability and longevity. The square body seating makes it easy to set beneath the workbench mount. The acme-threaded plain screw also makes it easy to set up and use.
4. Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise 7” Size
The Eclipse Quick Release is one of the best woodworking vises available when it comes to quick-release mechanisms. With a squeeze of the lever, you can release the clamp pressure and take your workpieces. This will only take a mere second and eliminates the handle turning woodworkers formerly had to do to open and close jaws.
It has a 7-inch jaw width and 3-inch depth, making the vise ideal for medium to large workpieces. It has a sturdy cast iron construction, and its slide rods are made from industrial-grade steel.
This woodworkers vise also features an adjustable front stop. It lets you gain more clamping leverage when using the Eclipse with a bench stop.
5. Wilton 78A 4”x7” Pivot Jaw Woodworkers Vise
First off, this Wilton 78A woodworking tool is an end vise. You need to install this woodworkers vise by mounting it on the workbench. To be installed properly, your workbench needs to be three inches thick. As support, it has a mountain flange that makes installation easier.
One of the greatest features of this vise is its 10-inch jaw opening. This, plus its 7-inch jaw width and 4-inch throat depth, is enough for most professionals.
The front jaw also has extra features. It can double as a bench dog and can rise above the vise by up to 9/16 inches to flatten workpieces. It can also pivot 10 degrees to the two sides, which allows you to apply pressure on wood surfaces.
6. Shop Fox D4328 9-inch Quick Release Wood Vise
The Shop Fox D4328 is constructed out of cast iron and has polished guide rods. It also features sliding dogs for attaching long pieces to the workbench that can be removed when not in use.
You can mount it on top of a workbench that’s 2 inches thick or 1.5 inches thick if you use a shim. It comes with pre-drilled holes for securing the tool to the workbench. This woodworking vise uses a quick-release mechanism for easy manipulation and faster work.
The vise has a jaw width of 9 inches and a 10-inch jaw opening, which is ideal for working on any project type.
7. Pony 27091 8-inch by 7-inch Medium Duty Woodworker’s Vise
If you’re not in the market for an end vise, then maybe you should invest in a quality front vise like the Pony 27091. With a jaw width of 7 inches and an 8-inch jaw opening, this woodworking vise can handle most projects.
This woodworker’s vise is mounted on the surface of your workbench. Some workbenches may need modification by adding shims to allow the jaws to sit flush on the bench. To ensure that this vise can handle large workpieces, the front features a steel bench dog that’s used in conjunction with a bench stop.
The whole package is made of cast iron, steel guide bars, and an acme acre to ensure your workpieces stay in place.
8. Yost LV-4 Home Vise 4.5”
This Yost LV-4 bench vise is also one of the best woodworking vises available right now. The smaller 4.5-inch jaw width, 3-inch opening, and a 2.4-inch throat depth clearly mark it as a tool for light-duty projects. It also has a 240 degree swivel with a lockdown to ensure your workpieces stay in place.
The base has four mounting holes for mounting the vise to the workbench. Yost recommends 3/8 inch bolts to mount the vise to the workbench securely. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about any unwanted movement.
And when you want this bench clamp to move, the locking C collar provides quick engagement and disengagement of the main screw.
Woodworking Vises Buyers' Guide
Because our team is all about helping you find the best woodworking vise for you, we’ve compiled a few features you should look out for when searching for your woodworker’s vise.
Design and Size
There are three types of bench vises; front vises, benchtop vises, and end vises. They’re all named according to where they’re typically mounted on your workbench. However, they also differ in other ways.
Benchtop vises are the “jack of all trades” of bench vises. They have strong jaws and a lot of clamp pressure. They hold the workpiece off surfaces, which is great for mechanics and metal workers but doesn’t do a lot for woodworking.
Front vises are mounted at the front of the woodworking bench. They’re usually chosen for woodworking because their position works well to perform tasks like dovetailing, routing, and planing. Many good vises feature quick-release mechanisms, which work great if you want to quickly adjust your workpiece.
End vises work a lot like front vises but are usually used for planing and flattening.
As for size, the bigger your projects, the bigger the vise you’ll need. Judge the design and size based on your task and project.
Material and Quality
Most vises are made of cast iron. It has a very high tensile strength and so can bear a lot of clamping pressure and hammering.
There are also vises made of steel, but it’s usually cheaper than cast iron because it tends to warp under huge pressure. But woodworking projects don’t usually need as much pressure as metalworking, so a good steel vise can suffice.
Jaw features refer to measurements like jaw width and opening. The jaw opening is the distance between the fully open jaws. This length determines the width of your workpieces. Any wider, and it’ll be impossible to work on.
The jaw width means the length of a jaw’s clamping surface. Light-duty projects have to have between 2 inches to 4 inches, medium-duty projects will require at least 5 to 7 inches, and heavy-duty projects will require 8 to 10 inches.
And here’s a tip to help you use your woodworking vise longer: choose a bench vise with easily replaceable jaws.
The throat depth is calculated by judging the length from the jaws’ tip to the screw joining them. This is the space where you push your workpiece, so the deeper the depth, the more secure your piece. This is especially the case when working with large workpieces.
The handle is located at the end of the vise. It’s a long piece of wood or metal shoved into the top of the long nail that runs through the vise. The turning of this handle either tightens or loosens the clamp on your workpiece.
These handles differ in length from vise to vise, and some vises use levers to enable a quick-release mechanism.
The type of clamp used in your woodworking vise can ensure your workpiece stays in place, or it can mar the surface of your project.
The best woodworking clamp tool can hold your workpiece securely without marring it. If a set of clamps are likely to leave marks on a surface, they usually have pre-drilled holes for jaw pads. At least, a top tool would.
There are other features to be concerned about, like mount types. The type of vise you buy directly relates to its mounting position. Benchtop vises are best mounted directly over a table leg, flush against the workbench surface.
Each type of bench vise has its own way of mounting the work bench with or without shaving off some part of the bench or using a screw to achieve a stable mount.
Apart from mount type, other features include vise dog, anvil, toe-in feature, and guide bars.
Price and Warranty
You can get one woodworking vise for less than $30, as we’ve shown in our list. But, if you want a really good, professional one, our experts advise that you budget at least $250.
At such a price, you want your bench vise to last a long time. This is why most vise manufacturers offer warranties on their products. After all, top bench vises are meant to last years.
What is the best woodworking vise?
The best woodworking vise depends on the person using it and the projects they’ll use it on. It’s important that you know these variables before buying a woodworker’s vise. A professional woodworker and a beginner won’t work on the same projects and, as such, cannot use the same products.
Do I need a woodworking vise?
You need a woodworking vise when you’re making a tool on your workbench surface.
Our Top Pick for a Woodworking Vise: Yost M9WW 9” Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise
The Yost M9WW is a tool that combines stability and mobility into one package. Your workpiece will remain in place on the workbench until you activate the rapid acting feature and switch it around.
Additionally, this front vise can be used to face many types of projects because of its large size and smooth operation. For extra-large projects, pull out that bench dog and your bench stop to get it done quickly. Our experts found that there’s no workpiece that the M9WW cannot face.