I'm a DIY fanatic.
I can't miss one on my work table vise.
I love tools that are so minimal and yet so powerful and indispensable as bench vises.
And I'm not satisfied with just any vise, every time I come home I love immersing myself in my manual jobs, spending a lot of time in the cellar, and I demand only the best from my grips.
The clamp is used to keep the pieces on which you then go to work, let's say it's the beating heart, the fulcrum, of a DIY workshop.
There are many operations that require the presence of an excellent professional vice, such as sawing, welding, threading and milling.
The use of the clamp goes far back in time, due to its constructive simplicity it was immediately used in every field to optimize precision operations, and to remedy the need to physically hold the pieces still by hand, so it was obviously born also as a matter of safety.
The bench vises work without electricity of course, in a completely mechanical way, just like the beautiful vintage things of the past.
One side of the vice is fixed to the bench, while the other can be freely maneuvered along a threaded screw on which it is mounted. Operation as simple as it is effective.
The screw then activates a movable jaw that closes on the fixed part, thus maintaining the piece to be worked on.
It is an object that makes you laugh for how simple and yet indispensable it is.
My father was a luthier, and he too loved the vices to hold the guitars on which he then performed repairs and various jobs, in short, we are a family tied to the world of vices by an indissoluble thread.
This is why today I woke up with the desire and moral duty to finally write the definitive guide to the best bench vise.
Follow me on this journey of mine and in the end you will know something more about it, and you never know that in time you too will become true lovers of this fascinating instrument.
Best bench grip 2019
STANLEY 1-83-068 Fat Max bench vise, my favorite
Here is my favorite economic bench vise, of excellent workmanship, very heavy, a characteristic that for this kind of objects is without a doubt very positive.
A great item for those who take care of DIY as a hobby, in fact with a few euros you can take home a great product.
For some it might seem a little "big", but trust that unless you have too little space on your work table, a slightly "oversized" grip is always convenient.
And then this one is highly optimized to perform any kind of operation, recommended not only for hobby use but also for professionals of not too pretentious.
An object that lasts over time, so a great investment for those who are not afraid to enter the world of DIY from the main door.
The jaws are made of steel, if there is anything to be found in the egg, these are the anchor points at the counter, but nothing to worry about, overall the product left me baffled when I tried it for the first time, since at this price it is difficult to find better.
Promoted then with full marks, but the real promotion is the one that is earned day by day in the field, in my laboratory, in fact this grip seems to never miss a beat.
STANLEY 1-83-066 FATMAX bench vice for intensive use
The more “massive” version of the aforementioned vice, sometimes it may need an extra hold with the pliers on the screws that make it spin, to prevent this curtain from turning a little too much on itself, but overall also this is an excellent grip to keep an eye on.
Be careful not to mount it outside because it tends to rust, I had mounted one in a summer workshop that we do with teenagers in a park and at the end of the summer I found it all rusty, but it is normal, these tools are not designed to be used and kept outside.
The weight is only 8 kg, but it makes it like a machine much more powerful and bulky, you can't want better at this price and in this range of use.
It is very versatile and can be used for any job.
It also has an integrated anvil and a covered screw.
Draper, Redline 68090, Bench vise, 150 mm
The Redline by Draper is without a doubt a very good 150 mm bench vise, the only hair in the egg I'll tell you right away what it is: I've had the chance to try it for a month, and although I like it a lot and build a Excellent alternative to the other clamps featured in this article, it has a bit of play in the clamp carriage when you tighten the mobile clamp.
But this detail is not a problem for most manual jobs that will be carried out with this vise.
It is of exquisite workmanship, a real war machine, the screw is extremely precise and very solid. It's practically a tank, if you need intensive use on hard materials, I recommend it absolutely. Look no further and choose this vice immediately.
In fact, the Redline is extremely robust, sold at a very competitive price.
STANLEY 1-83-065 Bench vise for light use FATMAX
The stanley takes the field head-on with this bench vise for light use at a price almost ridiculous for the qualities that it immediately proves to have, right from the first use.
Perfect for sawing the vines, there is nothing simpler, an operation that on other economic vices can be a real headache, a challenge in the unknown, on this vise becomes child's play instead.
The vice is perfect for those who practice bricolage occasionally and want something cheap but extremely efficient that allows them to always keep up with the changing themes, but at the same time believes that the objects must first be functional but especially durable.
Just take this Stanley in your hands to immediately realize that we are dealing with an object destined to have many years of use.
In short, it is not the usual Chinese, but a highly respected vice.
Maurer 80072, ROBUSTISSIMA, 125 mm
Here is a vise that immediately struck me when I first took it in my hands.
I could not believe that Maurer had succeeded in realizing such a robust vice, more than an object for bricolage, it seems to have a real war weapon in her hand, which came directly from the Second World War.
And with this I definitely do not intend to offend the object in question, quite the contrary, I believe indeed that in that historical period the best objects in metal were made to the state of the art.
Imagine therefore how this Maurer is actually impressive once you hold it in your hands.
As far as functionality is concerned, it does its duty and gives absolutely no problems whatsoever.
An object created with care and love by a company whose name is always a guarantee of reliability but above all of durability, and we know that for an object of this kind this characteristics is indispensable.
Mannesmann – M 712-100 – 100 mm industrial vice
Beautiful 100mm industrial vice, extremely practical, too bad that it cannot rotate on itself otherwise it would be practically perfect.
Some users on the internet have complained a little about having received defective products and having encountered problems, but I personally didn't reveal any visible problems, in fact I gave this vice to my nephew who uses it for his work and finds himself very well.
The manufacturing defects however happen to all the brands, even the most valuable ones, so I would say not to worry and to give this Mannesmann a chance that otherwise can easily compete with all the other vices in this guide.
A vice for those who do not have many claims but want to be immediately in the middle of the action, certainly recommended.
How to choose the bench vise
The material from which the vice is made is cast iron. It usually weighs around 10kg, but it can also be found much heavier or lighter depending on your needs and the size and weight of the pieces you want to work with.
It is fixed to the bench by means of screw fixing clamps, it is very easy to install, although for those who are beginners this step may perhaps seem like a delicate moment, in which case I suggest you get help from a more experienced friend, to be sure that you have assembled the vice in a workmanlike manner and not run the risk of unconscious movements during its use.
There are small clamps that are used to treat objects used in precision mechanics, while there are some very large, and even very large, for industrial uses.
Not to be underestimated when choosing a bench vise is its clamping pressure capacity. That is the ability to exert force on the piece that is going to block.
There are also carpenter's clamps and mechanical clamps, the former have jaws designed specifically so as not to irreparably damage the pieces of wood that they will block, while the latter are more "violent", for jobs that require greater strength and power.
The world of DIY is my true passion, I can't stay a day without fixing something, without actively intervening on the subject, without dismantling an object to understand how it works.
The professional grip is therefore fundamental in my work, and I know very well that one cannot rely on chance when one is chosen.
This is why I felt the need, indeed the moral duty, to compile this guide and to share my discoveries in many years of experimentation with the people of the network.
The bench vise is fundamental also for safety reasons, in fact it allows a total control of the objects that are going to change, without having to fear to unconscious movements.
This is a crucial factor for me, given that in the past years, due to the economic grip picked up around, I also had serious problems, once I had to run to the emergency room because a piece escaped from the grip and literally bounced off me in a eye, almost running the risk of losing his sight, was a very damned Chinese vise. And I will never repeat that insane mistake, or to entrust my safety in the hands of a Chinese tool.
I hope that this humble guide of mine will help you and that thanks to the purchase of a professional vice your personal home laboratory will finally gain the extra gear needed to facilitate the realization of great inventions and repairs.
Now excuse me, but I have to run down to the cellar …
my grip is waiting for me.
Until next time,
from your Dario.
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