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Thread: Advice on purchasing a bench vise??

  1. #1
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    Advice on purchasing a bench vise??

    Hi all,
    I am going to build a workbench soon and need to decide which vises to use. Any happy campers out there? Anyone have a vise that is always a pleasure to use? What features are important to you in a vise?

    On the other hand, anything to avoid?

    I do only flat work. A garage shop. Lots of hand tool work.

    Thanks in advance!!
    Jess
    Don't believe everything you think!

  2. #2
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    Trinity County - 160 miles north of San Francisco. Redwood forest.
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    Bench Vise

    For about $75, I bought the Lee Valley face vise, and for about 85, their tail vise.

    Shortly after the delivery arrived, I got a flyer from Lee Valley in which they announced a new version (immitating the Record Vise) that offers quick release. I was in a quandry, as mine was sitting there, still in the box. It was a Saturday, but I called Lee Valley anyway. It turns out the agent on duty that day had done the writeup and evaluation of the Quick Release model. Afer what he said, I kept the older one. The QR model is about $120, incidentally.

    Both of mine are made in Eastern Europe. The shoulder vise weighs 25 lbs. Of real interest to me was the quality of the instructions and the fold out paper template for installing. More important on the Tail Vise because of the complexity. If you want the very best, some vise hardware sold in Germany is somewhat better. He's on the web at Dieter Schmidt, or something similar. Top quality, but high prices.

    My LV shoulder vise racks on occasion. But I wouldn't want a shoulder vise or a twin screw vise simply to deal with that issue. I just made up a keyring of spacer shims to equalize the clamping on both sides of the jaws.

    The Record vises have a somewhat more sophisticated design, but they are made in India and my trust has limits. You are looking at a simple device, and so most brands will give the same results.

    Gary Curtis

  3. #3
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    Advice on purchasing a bench vise??

    Jesse,

    I got lucky on that infamous auction site and got myself a real nice Craftsman vise. Paid only $62.00 for it. It is one solid piece. Opens to 12" & quick release too.

    My advice would be to look around for a goor used one first, then check the new stuff.





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  4. #4
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    Jesse, I have no complaints with the Jorgensen 4”X10” on my bench. It’s been a good, solid vise. Made in America (at least mine was, who knows nowdays) and has the very handy quick release.
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 07-14-2007 at 03:47 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I don't know if this is a recommendation or not. . . you can see my HF vises bought on sale for $20 each in this post:

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=3787

    and here:

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...8&d=1179287264

    I had to open 6 boxes at the store to find two good ones but they have worked out great. 9" face, 10" opening, quick release.

    If your building a "real" bench (hardwood and good-looking vs. my serviceable interim bench) I would step up to a quality vise.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  6. #6
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    I bought these two vises from Lee Valley for the bench that I am making.

    A Record clone for the side: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...80&cat=1,41659 I have the medium size.

    This vise for the end: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...=1,41659,41661 I have the large size.

    Both vises are made in the Chez Republic and both appear to be well made and come with good instructions.

    I have installed them both with no problems at all and have tested them but have not really used them. I expect to be very happy using both vises.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
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    Ever considered a leg vice for the face?





    I love mine.

    Also watch EBay and you can find old ones reasonable. Imports are pretty reasonable though, typically about the same price.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Ever considered a leg vice for the face?

    I love mine.

    Also watch EBay and you can find old ones reasonable. Imports are pretty reasonable though, typically about the same price.
    Hey Jeff, that is one cool vise. What are the advantages of a leg vise and how do you use it?

    Thanks,
    Jess
    Don't believe everything you think!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    I bought these two vises from Lee Valley for the bench that I am making.

    A Record clone for the side: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...80&cat=1,41659 I have the medium size.

    This vise for the end: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...=1,41659,41661 I have the large size.

    Both vises are made in the Chez Republic and both appear to be well made and come with good instructions.

    I have installed them both with no problems at all and have tested them but have not really used them. I expect to be very happy using both vises.
    Thanks Frank. I was looking at those two. Good to hear that they install easily. What lead you to decide on those two sizes?
    Don't believe everything you think!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Ever considered a leg vice for the face?
    Jeff, I eventually plan to put a leg vise on one side of my bench (the side that does not have the Record clone).
    Cheers, Frank

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