Best Bench Vises

A good vise can make all the difference in the shop. Whether you are drilling a hole in a piece of stock, you’re cutting with a hand saw, or you just want to lock a part down so that you can grind it down, a vise is the centerpiece of that operation. We did the research to find the brands that are making the best bench vises right here in the USA with quality craftsmanship and superior local materials. We outlined in detail our selection process and some vises that you should at least be considering for your own shop.

Our Findings

We reviewed over 20 different bench vises and ultimately landed on 5 products from 4 different brands that shined above the rest: Wilton, Yost, Conquest Industries, and Benchcrafted. A couple of standouts: we were really impressed with the 240 degree swivel offered by the Yost LV4 home vise meant for a home workshop. We also really liked the affordable performance of the Benchcrafted Hi Vise. The product is built for woodworkers and you actually finish it yourself with your own wood stock. The leading vises offer a powerful hold and long-term durability – they should be a staple in your shop for a long time. Check out all of our top recommendations below.

Top Recommendations

Best Bench Vises Best for:
Wilton Tradesman Vise Heavy Duty Work
Yost LV4 Home Vise Home Workshop
Yost 750-DI Multi-Jaw
Conquest Industries Magnum 6-Inch Machine Vise Machinists
Benchcrafted Hi Vise Woodworking

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below are some deeper details about each one of our top picks. We go into depth on all of their features, what we liked about each one, what we didn’t like, and where to get them.

Best for Heavy Duty Work

Wilton Tradesman Vise


When you demand the highest level of strength and performance from a vise, the Wilton Tradesman is an impressive product worth noting. This vise features a main jaw, a pipe jaw, and an anvil work surface for excellent versatility. We were impressed with the fully enclosed spindle and nut assembly that helps keep everything neat and grime free during use. This vise benefits from a well-crafted slide bar that moves smoothly during operation. This entire vise is crafted with thick and heavy metal, and it’s backed with a lifetime warranty.

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Things we like:

  • Vise nut anchored in the back for added strength
  • Completely enclosed spindle and nut assembly
  • Main jaw and pipe jaw
  • Features anvil work surface
  • Exact fit slide bar design
  • Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best for a Home Workshop

Yost LV4 Home Vise


The Yost LV4 is a versatile vise for home use, mostly because it rotates an impressive 240 degrees. This rock-solid vise will help you to lock in different items and position them any way that you like when working on them. We were impressed by the solid feel of the vise during testing – the whole thing is crafted from 30,000 PSI rated gray iron. It features a mid-sized anvil section for working on, and utilizes a pretty smooth swivel design for opening and closing. This vise also has fully replaceable steel serrated jaws so you can always get a nice firm hold on whatever you’re working on.

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Things we like:

  • 1-3/4” maximum pipe capacity
  • Made from 30,000 PSI gray iron
  • 240 degree swivel base
  • Fully replaceable hardened steel serrated jaw faces

Things we don’t like:

  • ½” minimum pipe capacity

 

Best Multi-Jaw Vise

Yost 750-DI


When working with diverse materials, the Yost 750-Di is one of the best bench vises made in the USA. The product comes with a set of pipe jaws and a set of V-jaws for straight materials. This vise is made entirely of ductile iron and feels very solid to use. We enjoyed the tough anvil surface at the rear of the vise, and the smooth operation of the product when using it. We were also impressed by the full 360 degree rotation on this vise, allowing you to position your materials exactly where you want them. This is one of the most versatile bench top vises that we rated, and it’s built to last with sturdy materials. It’s not cheap though, perfect for folks looking for a long-term investment.

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Things we like:

  • Three sets of replaceable steel jaws
  • Rotates 360 degrees
  • Pipe jaws and V-jaws
  • Heavy ductile iron construction
  • Large anvil surface
  • No pinch screw handle
  • Min pipe capacity 1/8”
  • Maximum pipe capacity 3.5”

Things we don’t like:

  • Investment

 

Best Machinist Vise

Conquest Industries Magnum 6-Inch Machine Vise


As a machinist, it’s vital that work is done to an acute level of accuracy. The Conquest Industries Magnum 6-inch machine vise is a helpful tool to machinists because it’s precision-crafted. The vise is made almost perfectly square and parallel within .001”. This product also features a needle bearing for enhanced clamping power. We love that the vise is crafted with a ductile iron body with 80,000 PSI of strength. The vise also features a flame-hardened bed for maximum durability and an impressive nickel-plated steel screw for excellent strength. This machinist vise is built to last and should stand up to hard use over time.

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Things we like:

  • Non lifting jaw design
  • Nickel-plated steel screw
  • Ductile iron 80,000 PSI body
  • Uses a needle bearing
  • Flame-hardened vise bed
  • Square and parallel design

Things we don’t like:

  • Short jaw height

 

Best Woodworking Vise

Benchcrafted Hi Vise


Any serious woodworker needs access to a reliable bench-top vise, and that’s what the Hi Vise from Benchcrafted is. This vise serves as a secure holding point for boards, dowels, and other wooden materials that you’re working on. The set comes as a cluster of hardware, and you finish it off with your own hardwoods. We were impressed with the nicely polished ACME screw for smooth performance. This kit also features a shiny hub finished with brilliant black oxide, and nice leather washer that help minimize clinking during use. The vise slides smoothly and tightens evenly thanks to the Crisscross Nine clamp design. While using this vise, you can effectively lock wooden parts into position and work on them at waist height. It’s affordable to purchase, but you must be prepared to add on the body from hardwood to get this vise working.

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Things we like:

  • Highly polished ACME screw
  • Leather washers
  • Black oxide finished hub
  • Tightens evenly
  • Affordable

Things we don’t like:

  • Must be assembled after purchase

Factors We Considered

Construction Quality

The most important consideration when choosing a vise, especially an expensive one, is how well the product is built. It must be made from a heavy and incredibly strong material. Ductile iron is a favorite, and helps make the vise be tough enough to withstand heavy use and abuse. We double checked each of the components of the vise for construction quality and looked for weaknesses in the design.

Smooth Operation

One simple test we conducted on each of the vises that we reviewed is to open and close the jaws several times. We did this to test how smoothly the jaws move around, and also how difficult it is to rotate the adjustment screw to get the perfect hold on the vise. We looked for vises that move in and out with ease and avoided any jerky vises.

Holding Power

In order to test the holding power of each vise, we tested how much the vises can deform materials during testing and how long it can sustain a reliable hold. We looked at tests for each one and noted any issues, eliminating a few brands that didn’t have enough staying power with their grip.

Versatility

Every vise has upper limits affecting how wide the jaws can spread apart. We looked at the width of material each vise can accept, and also the shape of the jaw to determine how versatile a product is. A vise that can accept round and straight material will be more useful than a vise that only works well with flat boards or bars. The most versatile vises normally have more than one set of jaws, or a jaw with a few different ends for changing clamping surfaces.

Vise Extras

It’s important to look closely at any added features that come with the vises. Even though each vise offers a tough clamping jaw, some offer extras like an anvil surface to work on or additional jaws in varying shapes.