October 4, 2023
When asked about the most essential woodworking equipment, many would say that the table saw or the bandsaw is their most important tool. Yet, woodworking isn’t about having only a single most important tool. It is all about having an arsenal of woodworking tools. These tools should work together to let you achieve your woodworking tasks.
The table saw, for example, is almost useless if you do not have a workbench equipped with useful wood vises. Thus, when designing a workbench, you need to include the different woodworking vises you would equip it. Wood vises for workbench, of course, do not hug the limelight in woodworking. But they can make your woodworking tasks easy and safe.
Different Types of Woodworking Vise for Workbench
Woodworking vises come in different types and forms. They usually get attached underneath the workbench, allowing their jaws to level with the workbench’s top surface. If you’re a serious woodworker, you should have these useful vises in your arsenal. Below is a rundown of the different woodworking vise types for workbench:
Front Wood Vise
You will usually find the front wood vise underneath a solid workbench with 1-1/2″ thickness. It can adapt to any thickness of the benchtop. Moreover, you can buy something with an outer vise jaw. You can also opt for something with a plain vise to which you can add a jaw that levels with the workbench height.
You should go for something made of bare metal for easy adaptation to the top’s thickness. You should also go for a front wood vise that comes with a wood jaw, pre-made for the thickness of your workbench.
Plus, it will help to decide whether you would need something with a wood or metal handle. Lastly, you should go for something with a quality center screw. This quality center screw can provide enough clamping force.
The quick-release vise is self-explanatory. It allows for quick release of the material. Moreover, you can open its split nut and release the workpiece without a snag. You also release its jaws by just twisting the lever instead of turning a screw several times.
This vise is useful in bulk production sites that entails repetitive operations. With its quick-release feature, the operation gets faster.
Wood Screw Vise
Most woodworkers often talk about the wood screw vise. It is a traditional woodworking vise that has been used for centuries. It offers several benefits, such as being easily customizable and being durable. Moreover, it comes with course threads for quick action.
A woodcraft vise is usually used in most homes. The woodcraft vise distinguishes itself from the woodwork vise by its lighter weight; thus, you can easily manipulate the woodcraft vise. You can likewise carry it around with ease.
You will often use the woodcraft vise to clamp tiny woodwork items. Handypersons and hobbyists find this vise very useful. Hence, you will often see this vise in many woodworking shops. You can also use it when repairing wooden household items. Besides, you can use it to clamp glued joints.
Pivot Jaw Wood Vise
If you need to clamp an angled piece of stock or irregular pieces, you can use the pivot jaw wood vise. You can use this to clamp up to ten degrees of pivot. If you are often clamping irregular-shaped materials, this wood vise is your perfect option.
What Wood Vises Do Experts Recommend?
When searching for the best wood vise, you will soon get confronted with myriads of brands and models of vises. This wide array of options can be quite confusing if you’re a newbie. To help you narrow down your options, you can check out the following most recommended wood vises by the experts:
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1) Shop Fox D4328
The Shop Fox D4328 is made of cast iron. It is pretty heavy and features guide rods. These guide rods offer a quick-release lever. Moreover, this quick release lever disengages its screw, allowing for fast material engagement and disengagement.
It also comes with sliding dogs. These sliding dogs secure the long wood pieces to your workbench. These sliding dogs likewise quickly retract when not in use. Shop Fox D4328 offers up to ten inches capacity and weighs around twenty-five pounds.
The Shop Fox D4328 fits workbenches with a thickness range of 2-1/4 inches or thicker. You can also adjust it to adapt to a less thick tabletop with 1-1/2 inches of thickness.
2) Eclipse – EWWQR9-NA
The Eclipse—EWWQR9-NA comes with a front stop dog that you can adjust easily. This adjustable dog provides additional clamping when used with a benchtop. You also get a tail vise and standard vise using this tool. The jaws of this vise are made of cast iron.
This vise also comes with slide rods made of solid steel. Moreover, you can expect positive clamping from this vise. Its fused tommy bar also bends before it gets over-stressed. As such, you can expect a safe use of this vise.
You can quickly mount this vise on any workbench. Moreover, you can use it in any configuration type. This vise features two pre-drilled holes. Hence, you can easily mount it to the workbench. It also features two cast tabs to allow you to mount screws.
Its front-mounted lever allows for quick engagement and disengagement of the vise screw. This allows for rapid closing and opening of the vise. With this feature, you can quickly release or clamp your workpiece. This feature ensures a smooth operation even if you have many workloads.
3) Woodstock D4648
If you are going to build a cabinet maker’s bench, you should check out the Woodstock D4648. It is a heavy-duty vise made of steel and cast iron. It offers enough clamping strength while providing a large capacity. If you get it mounted, it can work well.
It is perfect for a solid wood benchtop as thick as 1.5 inches. The benchtop should not have bracing underneath. Moreover, it should also have a significant overhand.
This vise is perfect for beginner woodworkers because it is very basic. Its screw size is one inch in diameter and around 11.5 inches long.
The vise is quite solid given its price. Hence, you can expect it to last longer. The parts, likewise, are heavy-duty. Moreover, I find the screw-thread precisely cut.
4) IRWIN Woodworking Vise 226361
Another excellent option if you’re looking for a reliable woodworking vise is the IRWIN 226361. It provides a firm grip on your workpieces. It comes with a square body. Hence, you can mount it easily under the bench. It also allows for the installation of wood cheeks for extra protection to workpieces.
It comes with durable construction, being made of forged iron. It also features a 4-1/2-inch jaw capacity. Thus, it is perfect for light woodworking jobs.
The ideal use of this vise is at the workbench end. It will help if you recess it into the workbench side for optimum usage. With this vise, you can expect a more stable workspace. The clamp also becomes an immediate workbench extension. Besides, this vise is designed to handle any job type.
5) Sjobergs SJO-33274
Sjobergs SJO-33274 comes with excellent clamping width. Its jaws measure around four-and-a-half-inch wide when it opens. Hence, it can handle big jobs. This vise is ideal for use in interior wood projects that necessitate clamping and holding workpieces.
The Sjobergs SJO-33274 will clamp to whatever surface. It also features built-in bench dogs for holding horizontally flat workpieces. This vise is perfect for securing your piece to the kitchen table or countertop.
6) Wilton 78A (63144)
Another good option is the Wilton 78A (63144). It comes with metal housing for added durability. Moreover, this metal housing encloses its screw. Besides, it prevents the gumming of threads by dirt and sawdust.
Furthermore, it helps maintain the cleanliness of the threads. Yet, it also prolongs the life span of the rapid-release action of the vise.
You will find its front jaw pivoting up to ten degrees. This allows you to use this vise for clamping irregularly shaped materials.
You can also move up its whole front jaw while you lock it in place. Its jaw has a maximum width of seven inches and a maximum opening of up to ten inches.
7) Pony Jorgensen 27091
If you often engage in small to medium-level projects, you can check out the Pony Jorgensen 27091. It features an 8″ model that is perfect for such tasks. Moreover, it is made of cast iron which makes it a heavy-duty vise. Besides, it features a 3″ throat depth that is enough for the standard woodworking jobs.
The Pony Jorgensen 27091 comes with a smooth orange finish. This smooth finish makes it a perfect fit for delicate wood pieces. Yet, you can also mount scrap wood to the wood’s faces for added protection.
Its front jaw comes with a dog (low-profile). This low-profile dog lets you use the vise for securing oversized items. Hence, with this feature, this vise becomes a versatile option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the most recommended woodworking vise for the workbench, it will also help to be cognizant of the FAQs about woodworking vise, for these questions might also be the questions you have in your mind:
How Should You Choose a Vise for Your Workbench?
Several factors may determine how you would choose a vise. For instance, your choice might be dictated by your budget, workbench style, and woodworking project types. If budget isn’t a major issue, you can permanently settle for the most elaborate and expensive vises. You can likewise customize your vise to suit your workbench design and your projects.
Yet, you should not shortchange yourself when choosing a woodworking vise. It will also be good to invest in a quality vise to raise your woodworking skills a notch higher.
What Wood Should You Use for Your Vise Jaws?
If you are going to make your personalized woodworking vise as many woodworkers do, you can go for maple wood material. It is durable and can last longer. It can also handle the clamping force of the vise. Nevertheless, you can also opt for softer wood like pinewood. You can use pinewood if you deal with softer wood like cherry more often.
How Would You Mount the Woodworking Vise?
You can mount the woodworking vise underneath your solid workbench top. You can use heavy-duty lag bolts to mount the vise. Moreover, it will help if you pre-drill the holes to prevent the splitting of the wood.
You may not consider the woodworking vises as essentials to woodworking. But once you get to use them and understand how they function, you will quickly appreciate and value their functions. More often, you will likewise end up considering them as essential tools. Well, they are if you are a serious woodworker who wants to raise your woodworking skills a notch higher.
Choosing the proper woodworking vise, however, can be tricky given the myriads of options at hand. But if you are familiar with what the experts recommend, you can quickly limit your options to the best options, saving you enough time and effort in the choosing process.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.