The Best Woodworking Vise

The Best Woodworking Vise: A Quick Guide

A typical woodworking vise is a metallic clamp-like tool that features two adjustable jaws used to firmly hold woodworks or projects in place during work to avoid damages and provide safety in the workshop.

However, while some professionals looking for the best woodworking vise might make choices simply based on looking at the products, beginners might find it harder to score an excellent deal here. For this reason, we’ve reviewed some of the best options available on the market today and have provided a well-detailed buying guide to assist you in getting the right vise for you.

1. Eclipse EWWQR9-NA Woodworking Vise

For the past 110 years, Eclipse has produced some of the best woodworking vises. The Eclipse EWWQR9-NA is no exception. It is a nine-inch woodworking vise, ideal for any professional woodworker or individual enthusiastic about woodworks.

Interestingly, this Eclipse woodworking vise model features a quick-release function equipped with an adjustable front-mounted stop or lever to provide additional support and functionality when used with a bench-stop. Thus, it offers the features of a tail vise and a regular vise in one tool.

Aside from being a two-in-one woodworking vise, this tool also features a quick-release set-off trigger. This vise is easy to mount on any workbench configuration, and it also has two pre-drilled holes at its base for a sturdy and firm grip.

Considering the safety of the Eclipse EWWQR9-NA, it is one of the best vises with optimum safety measures. It features a merged tommy bar that bends downwards in the middle to prevent snap accidents when the vise becomes overstressed. It also reduces the chances of wood snapping or splitting during operation.

Summarily, this vise is excellent in functionality and safety, especially for its possession of a tail vise feature, heavy-duty cast iron build-up, solid guide rod of one-inch diameter, and its front-mounted lever adjustable to a maximum of 10.24 inches.

Specifications 

  • Weight – 35.9 pounds
  • Jaw Size – 9 inches jaw width, 4 inches throat depth
  • Dimension – 20.1 x 12.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Material – Grey cast iron
  • Mount System – Surface and sides
  • Color – Blue

Pros

Pros
  • Quick-release set-off trigger
  • Two-in-one vise feature (normal and a tail vise)
  • Excellent safety features
  • Heavy-duty cast iron body build-up
  • Adjustable front-mounted laver
  • Easy to mount on any workbench
  • Adjustable large clamping space

Cons

Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a manufacturer’s mounting instruction
  • Control lever handles are not ergonomic enough for a firm and comfortable grip
  • There are no screws in the package for the pre-drilled holes

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2. Yost M9WW Woodworking Vise

Yost is one of the foremost producers of woodworking vises and is known for its operational reliability with several safety features. The Yost M9WW has a nine-inch jaw depth, which is efficient enough for the majority of woodwork projects. Its heavy-duty commercial grade form features solid, cast iron jaws and a buttress thread that makes adjusting the clamp workspace or vise jaws effortless.

The M9WW is a two-in-one woodworking vise with a switch mechanism to migrate between either mode, in the sense that it is useful as either a regular or tail vise, or both used in combination.

Additionally, this model of Yost woodworking vise comes with a quick-release set-off trigger that is easy and comfortable to use, making tightening and loosening an effortless task. With this sophisticated feature, you don’t need to worry about spinning the handles to tighten the work object.

Even with all the benefits the Yost M9WW comes with, it is also very budget-friendly, and we recommend it if you are looking for a woodworking vise that is effective and yet saves you some money.

Specifications 

  • Weight – 32.1 pounds
  • Jaw Size – 9 inches jaw width, 3 inches throat depth
  • Dimension – 18.8 x 8.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Material – Cast iron
  • Mount System – Surface and sides
  • Color – Blue

Pros

Pros
  • Quick-release set-off trigger
  • Adjustable large clamping space
  • Two-in-one vise feature
  • Heavy-duty 30,000 Psi cast iron body and jaws
  • Buttress thread
  • Adjustable front-mounted laver
  • Easy to use and mount on any workbench
  • Budget-friendly
  • Flexible tommy bar for safety when the vise becomes overstressed

Cons

Cons
  • Its controls develop issues rapidly
  • The guide rod doesn’t feel very solid
  • It has a small throat depth.

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3. Tekton 53986 Woodworking Vise

The Tekton 53986 woodworking vise is another excellent and highly efficient tool every professional woodworker or carpentry enthusiast needs. It is one of the best options for you when considering vises that don’t permanently attach to your workbench.

This model from Tekton features a tensile strength of 30,000 PSI in solid heavy-duty cast iron for efficient durability that will serve you for a considerable amount of time.

You can use the clamp included in the package to mount a vise to your workbench’s face or side for a perfect and secure grip.

It is also possible to add external jaws pads. These jaw pads can be soft pine, hardwood, plywood, or metal to prevent scratches or damage to wooden surfaces.

To further describe how astonishing this vise operates, its design is top-notch in the sense that the jaws only meet at the top when it is entirely closed, providing additional grip compared to other brands and models in its category. Since it can easily detach from the workbench, there is no need to bolt the vise down when operating. Instead, you reposition the vise to suit your needs while working.

The Tekton 53986 woodworking vise is a very budget-friendly tool, even with its versatile applications and capabilities.

Specifications 

  • Weight – 5.5 pounds
  • Jaw size – 4.5 inches jaw width, 2.375 inches throat depth
  • Dimension – 8.3 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Material – Cast iron
  • Mount system – Surface and underneath
  • Color – Black

Pros

Pros
  • Easily adjustable T-bar handles
  • Buttress thread
  • Versatile installation, no need to permanently mount on a workbench
  • Good safety features
  • Heavy-duty cast iron build
  • Its twin steel rail prevents surface damage and provides more grip
  • Adjustable front-mounted laver
  • It can easily be mounted on the surface and underneath any workbench
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

Cons
  • It is not very applicable on commercial levels
  • The throat depth is quite small
  • It cannot handle large and tough deciduous woods

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4. Pony POJ27091 Woodworking Vise

For this review, the Pony POJ27091 woodworking vise is the most portable, yet it is also a highly durable vise ideal for the home user and medium-duty professional applications.

It is exceptionally comfortable and lightweight to carry in a backpack or pocket. Its seven-inch stainless steel jaw, adjustable to eight inches, and 30,000PSI tensile strength is guaranteed to perform outstandingly.

The Pony POJ27091 has a unique design for surface mounting. You can easily mount it on the surface of your workbench with its clamps.

However, the outer jaw of this vise drops downwards as one tightens the vise. This downwards movement helps seat the woodwork properly against the second jaw at the back.

Furthermore, to improve the finished job’s outlook, we recommend you attach a pad or piece of soft pine, plywood, or smooth hardwood to the inner part of both jaws to reduce surface scratches on the woodwork.

Overall, the Pony POJ27091 is a budget-friendly, mid-level professional woodwork clamp.

Specifications 

  • Weight – 11.8 pounds
  • Jaw size – 7 inches jaw width
  • Dimension – 16.25 x 8.25 x 6 inches
  • Material – Stainless steel
  • Mount System – Surface
  • Color – Orange

Pros

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Easily adjustable handles
  • Buttress thread
  • Versatile installation, no need to permanently mount it on a workbench
  • Medium-duty stainless steel build
  • Twin guide rail prevents surface damage and provides more grip
  • It can easily be mounted on the surface and underneath any workbench

Cons

Cons
  • Poor safety features
  • It is not very applicable on commercial levels
  • The throat depth is too small
  • It cannot handle large and tough deciduous woods
  • Its body is mostly stainless steel

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5. Wilton – 78A Woodworking Vise

Having gone through a couple of woodworking vises in this review, the Wilton 78A tops our list in performance, design/build, and operation. It comes as a high capacity tool with broad and solid jaws that are four inches deep and between seven and 10 inches wide at its maximum.

Apart from being a piece of heavy-duty machinery, the 78A from Wilton features a rapid set-off trigger that makes opening and closing of its large and heavy jaws seem effortless. The jaw at the front can increase to a whopping 10-degree angle, giving you the advantage of securely gripping any object.

Unlike some other tool manufacturers today, WHM Tool Group has improved the user experience by including a well detailed and easy to understand user’s manual and mounting instructions. With these instructions, anyone can easily purchase this item and quickly grasp its application techniques.

Wilton 78A jaws feature a magnetic maple insert that can be useful in expanding the jaws even wider, although there have been some minor backlashes concerning this feature. Generally, this vise is the best, and we recommend it to professionals, mid-level users, and every carpentry enthusiast. It can last for decades.

Specifications 

  • Weight – 30 pounds
  • Jaw size – 7 inches jaw width, 4 inches throat depth
  • Dimension – 18 x 8 x 6 inches
  • Material – Cast iron
  • Mount System – Surface, sides, and underneath
  • Color – Black

Pros

Pros
  • Heavy-duty cast iron build-up
  • Rapid-release set-off
  • Great safety measures
  • Its jaws have magnetic maple inserts
  • Two-in-one vise feature
  • Adjustable front-mounted jaw laver
  • Large jaw capacity with the ability to grip irregularly shaped objects
  • Easy to mount on any workbench
  • Elaborate mounting instructions

Cons

Cons
  • Magnetic maple blocks in its jaws are not tough enough
  • There are no pre-drilled holes for more grip
  • It is not a budget-friendly heavy-duty vise.

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Buying Guide

When searching for the best woodworking vise, one can quickly get confused because of the tons of products available today. However, here are some of the most crucial points to take note of:

Body Materials and Build-Up

The quality of a woodwork vise is also considerably dependent on the jaws’ material, the width of the adjustable allowance, the jaw’s throat depth, its clamps, and its rail tracks.

However, some of the things you should look out for are the central support bar and rails made of a solid steel material. The clamps should be rugged with a buttress thread.

Size

Depending on the size, frequency, and level of operation you’re dealing with, we recommend choosing a moderately bigger woodworking vise with a broader spectrum of functionality.

Most times, more massive vises are heavy-duty and commercial grade. Thus, they have more prominent jaws and firmer grasps on projects of perfect or irregular shapes.

However, a more portable, pocket-size wood vise is usually for simple, home use. They are most often a mixture of cast iron and stainless steel. They are ideal for commercial purposes but are not rugged enough for heavy-duty tasks.

Operation Technique

How easy a vise is in operation determines how comfortable the user experience will be. Thus, choosing a model or brand with an easy-to-use mechanism will go a long way in saving you unnecessary drama and stress, although this does not directly mean all easy-to-use vises are cheap.

Because it is a piece of machinery, it is essential to always read through the operating manual to get firsthand information on its working technique. Keep all machinery and tools out of children’s reach.

Rapid-Release Set-Off Trigger

Another vital point to take note of is the rapid-release set-off trigger.

However, this feature is present majorly in mid-level to heavy-duty vises. It enables you to temporarily release or tighten the vise to get the desired position or grasp of its rail tracks and replace when done. This feature cuts out the stress of repeatedly tightening and loosening screws to reposition the woodwork.

Conclusion

Although most woodworking vises are mid to heavy-duty and can swivel at 360 degrees round the base, front, or sides, with adjustable jaw capacities, we recommend choosing a model with a rapid-release set-off mechanism to save yourself time and energy.

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