10 Best Woodworking Vises of 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
A vise is an invaluable tool for woodworkers. It holds a workpiece in place to allow you to carry out your project both effectively and efficiently. There are different types of vises, with each having a purpose that it is ideal for. Woodworking vises can also vary significantly in their build and design quality.
This means that before you set out to buy a woodworking vise, it is important to do your homework first. This will ensure that you not only identify a vise that meets your specific needs, but also one that features superior build quality.
The following are reviews of 10 of the best woodworking vises on the market today. Read on to identify your ideal vise.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Yost M7WW Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise||
|Best Value||Olympia Tools 38-736 Woodworker’s Vise||
|Premium Choice||Wilton 63144 78A Pivot Jaw Woodworkers Vise||
|IRWIN 226361 Woodworking Vise||
|Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise||
The 10 Best Woodworking Vises
1. Yost Rapid Acting Wood Working Vise – Best Overall
The Yost M7WW is designed to make your work as smooth as possible, which makes it a favorite among professionals. DIYers will also immensely enjoy using this tool.
Part of the M7WW’s appeal is its rapid nut mechanism. This allows you to clamp and reposition work materials at incredible speeds, thus increasing your efficiency and productivity.
You will also appreciate the buttress thread design of its main screw. This design not only facilitates tighter clamping but also makes the process of opening and closing the jaws a lot smoother. Another great design feature is the end stop, which ensures that you do not open the vise more than is necessary.
The Yost M7WW comes with pre-drilled holes that make the process of mounting the vise on your workbench much easier and faster. The jaws also feature pre-drilled holes to allow you to install wood facings for providing cushioning to your workpieces.
Do not worry about durability because this vise features heavy-duty steel and cast iron construction.
This is ideal for DIYers because it comes with a 7-inch jaw width, 3-inch throat depth, and an 8-inch jaw opening. As a result, this tool can take on most light to medium-duty projects. It comes at a friendly price point too.
However, it does not come with installation instructions, meaning that you will have to figure it out yourself.
2. Olympia Tools Woodworker’s Vise – Best Value
The 38-736 by Olympia Tools is a quality woodworking vise that you should consider if you are working with a tight budget. With a 6½-inch jaw width, 7½-inch jaw opening, and 2½-inch throat depth, it should be able to handle most light to medium-duty jobs.
The vise comes with pre-drilled holes to allow you to attach wood facings for protecting your workpieces. It also has counter-sunk holes that allow you to have an easier time securing it to a workbench.
This unit is also equipped with a screw clamping system that facilitates smoother operation while its metallic dog allows you to clamp large materials. For more secure clamping, this unit boasts a strong and sturdy handle and spindle construction.
The jaw operation is also remarkably smooth thanks to the twin steel rods that guide jaw travel. The rods are in perfect parallel alignment to ensure that there is an even area of contact between the jaws and the clamped workpiece. This prevents surface damage to the materials that you are working on.
This vise’s durability cannot be questioned thanks to its cast iron construction and powder-coated finish.
While it may not feature top-tier construction like higher-end vises, this unit still gets the job done. All factors considered, the Olympia Tools 38-736, is one of the best woodworking vises for the money.
3. Wilton Pivot Jaw Woodworkers Vise – Premium Choice
If you are looking for a high-quality woodworking vise that can handle heavy-duty projects or materials, you might want to check out this exceptional vise by Wilton.
With 7-inch wide jaws, 10-inch jaw opening, and 4-inch throat depth, the 63144 is robust enough to meet the needs of professionals.
This vise has a unique design whereby its outer jaw can pivot 10 degrees to either side, thus allowing you to apply even pressure on irregular surfaces. What’s more, its outer jaw also doubles as a dog and can rise above the vise by up to 9/16 inches to allow you to plane or flatten workpieces. This unit also has a quick-release rapid-acting nut that allows the jaws to open quickly to release the workpiece hence saving you time.
The Wilton 63144 comes with a mounting flange for an easier and faster installation process. The manufacturer also includes an installation manual to ensure that you get it right. It sports a nice finish and an exceptional overall build quality. You will also love the handle’s actuation, as it is smooth and does not feel sandy or gritty.
This unit is hefty as well to allow you a stable platform for your operations. Nonetheless, due to its premium quality, this vise is a bit pricey.
4. IRWIN 226361 Woodworking Vise
The Irwin 226361 is a high-quality woodworking vise that is ideal for light to medium-duty projects. It features a heavy-duty iron construction to assure you sturdiness and longevity, making it a good choice for professionals who do not deal with heavy-duty projects.
With its 6½-inch wide jaws and 4½-inch jaw capacity, clamping down on large or heavy pieces of wood should not be an issue. Additionally, its design allows you to attach wooden cheeks to protect the surfaces of your workpieces from getting marred by the iron jaws.
Operating this vise is incredibly easy thanks to the plain screw mechanism that facilitates smooth and secure clamping. We also loved the toe-in design of its top jaws that boosts the vise’s grip even further.
5. Eclipse Quick Release Woodworking Vise
The Eclipse woodworking vise also comes with a quick-release mechanism that enhances your efficiency tremendously. It allows you to reposition your workpieces quickly and effortlessly, thus saving you a lot of time and energy. This makes the Eclipse vise well suited for workshops with a high workload.
Another great feature on this vise is its adjustable front stop. This feature allows you additional clamping leverage when using this unit with a bench stop. This means that you can use this unit as both a regular and tail vise.
The Eclipse’s jaws feature a heavy cast iron construction while slide rods are made from industrial-grade steel, thus assuring you exceptional durability. Additionally, the jaws’ design facilitates positive clamping, which allows you to apply great amounts of clamping pressure without destroying your workpiece.
The Eclipse vise comes with a tommy bar for enhanced safety. This bar bends when the vise is under tremendous pressure to protect the unit from damage.
Installing this woodworking vise is easy, and it even allows you to experiment with various configurations. It comes with pre-drilled holes to facilitate that process.
6. Pony 27091 Duty Woodworker’s Vise
With 7-inch wide jaws and an 8-inch jaw opening, the Pony 27091 is robust enough to handle most domestic projects and medium-duty professional use.
The 27091’s size and design allow it to fit on most woodworking benches. It features pre-drilled holes that facilitate an easier mounting process.
It also has a separate set of holes for attaching wood facings. This allows you to apply enough pressure to secure your workpiece without damaging it. Don’t forget that the front jaw has a steel dog to enhance the vise’s clamping strength.
This unit also comes with guide bars and an acme thread screw to ensure that your workpieces are always in the correct position.
7. Shop Fox 9-Inch Quick Release Wood Vise
With its 9-inch wide jaws, 10-inch jaw opening, and cast iron construction, this vise is designed to handle all types of woodworking jobs.
Installation should not be an issue, as you can mount it on workbenches that are only 2½ inches thick and even 1½ inches if you use a shim. It also features pre-drilled holes to allow you to attach jaw pads to protect your workpieces from marring.
The D4328 also utilizes a quick-release mechanism for faster repositioning and manipulation of work materials. To release the jaws, disengage the screw by moving the lever towards the handle, and then move the sliding jaw.
This woodworking vise also comes with sliding stop dogs to allow you to work on materials that are significantly longer than what the vise is designed to clamp.
8. TEKTON 53986 Woodworking Vise
The Tekton 53986 is a lightweight vise that can handle heavy-duty work thanks to its cast iron construction. Cast iron has one of the highest tensile strengths of any material, making it capable of withstanding high amounts of pressure.
This unit is also designed to make your work smoother. It comes with a T-handle for slicker handling. The handle’s chrome-plated steel construction allows it to withstand constant use without experiencing wear and tear. The guide rails also sport a steel construction for maximum durability. This allows you to use the vise for years on end without having to worry about alignment issues resulting from the guide rails bending.
The Tekton 59836 utilizes a screw mechanism to clamp workpieces. It also accepts jaw pad attachments to protect your materials from marring.
9. GROZ Portable Wood-Working Vise
The Groz 39006 is a low-priced option worth considering if you are working on a budget. Its jaws feature the toe-in design to give you a better grip than other vises in its class. Nonetheless, its small size means that this unit is only capable of light-duty work. It is a good option for beginners.
10. Mophorn Woodworking Bench Vise
The Mophorn woodworking vise comes with an all cast iron construction to assure you durability and reliability. It is painted to prevent the onset of rust or corrosion, while its guide rods are polished for parallel alignment and a smooth finish.
This unit also features a quick-release mechanism to facilitate faster operations and is lightweight to allow for an easier mounting process.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Vise for Woodworking
To ensure that you end up with a tool that suits your needs best, it is important to do your homework first. Consider the following factors before you make your purchase.
Most quality vises feature a cast iron construction. This material has an incredibly high tensile strength that allows it to withstand great amounts of clamping pressure. Its toughness also allows you to use its surface for hammering purposes.
Vises featuring a steel construction are also popular, as they are also incredibly tough and durable. However, unlike cast iron, steel can deform when put under immense pressure. As a result, steel vises are usually less expensive. Nonetheless, since woodworking projects do not require tons of pressure to secure workpieces, a quality steel vise should serve you for a long time.
Consider investing in a vise with replaceable jaws. This is because constant clamping wears down the jaw’s grip. A unit with replaceable jaws allows you to extend the vise’s lifespan without having to replace the entire unit.
This refers to the length of a jaw’s clamping surface. If you are working on light to medium-duty projects, the ideal jaw width should be between 3 and 7 inches. Heavy-duty projects typically require jaw widths ranging between 8 and 10 inches.
This refers to the distance between fully open jaws. The jaw opening determines the width of the materials that you can work on. Therefore, if you are looking to work on wider materials, you should look for a vise with a larger jaw opening.
This is the distance between the top of the jaws and the surface of the screw mechanism. The throat depth determines how deep you can shove a workpiece into the vise when looking to clamp it. A larger throat depth allows you to clamp a large workpiece more securely.
Woodworking vises with a superior design typically have a rotating swivel, as it makes your work considerably easier. For example, instead of having to hunch over to adjust the vise’s angle, you can simply spin it, so it faces you.
Having to screw a vise in and out constantly to adjust your workpieces is incredibly tiring. It also results in a lot of lost time. Therefore, to enhance your efficiency and productivity, consider purchasing a vise with a rapid-action or quick-release mechanism. This mechanism will allow you to open and close the jaws with a quick twist of the handle.
Vises are not tools that you replace every other day. As such, you want to be sure that the unit you get will last for a long time, which is why you should always go for options that come with a warranty. A warranty is also an indicator of quality, as it shows that the manufacturer has trust in the durability of their product.
A vise is the centerpiece of any woodworking workshop, as it comes in handy in almost every project. It is common knowledge that the quality of your vise influences the quality of your work, as well as your productivity.
Nonetheless, not all woodworking vises on the market will make for good partners in the shop. Therefore, you must do your due diligence to identify the best tool for your needs and budget.
We highly recommend the Yost M7WW vise. It is durable, easy to install, enhances your efficiency through its rapid-acting mechanism, can handle most woodworking projects, and comes at a friendly price point.
If you are on a budget, consider the Olympia Tools 38-736. It is ridiculously low-priced for such a quality unit.
You may also want to read our more general bench vise guide found here.