Pretty good vise for the money

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Review by ShipWreck posted 04-23-2012 12:48 AM 7093 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pretty good vise for the money Pretty good vise for the money No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I picked this up at my local WoodCraft store on sale about a month ago. I saw it laying in a opened box and thought that I would give it a quick look. I was not looking to buy a vise at the moment, but I knew I would be needing one sooner or later. This vise appeared to be pretty well made, so I ended up cashing out with it. I finally got around to mounting it to my “crapper” work bench this weekend. The bench in the picture was actually built during a lunch break as a tool storage table on my last house “rehab”. Here is a review of the install and operation.

1. Fit and finish: The overall machining is pretty good. I did notice that the rear retaining plate had very sharp bores. I chamfered the bores to with a file to prevent them from catching the guide rods from any misalignment issues. The quick release mechanism is in 2 pieces and fit into the rear retaining plate very well.

2. Install: I have a skirt 2X4 skirt on my bench, so I had to bore through the 2×4 and plate. The install is pretty straight forward regardless of the poor PDF. file that WoodCraft provides. I shimmed the the rear retaining plate with wood scraps that were laying around. I think it is off by 1/8” or so….... no big deal. When I went to install the vise handle, I found that the 1” handle that WoodRiver suggested is to sloppy. I will probable have one of my wood turning friends turn down a 1 1/4” dowel for me. As you can see in the pictures… handle is temporary.

3: Wood for jaws: When I installed the wood for the front jaw, I left it with about a 1/4” jiggle room. Allowing a loose fit will allow tapered stock to clamp down without tapered jigs.

4: Lubrication: This vise needs a very light grease because the quick release mechanism will stick to the threaded shaft and not release properly. I ended up going with “Liquid Wrench” white lithium.

5: Operation: The operation is pretty smooth, and it feels solid. The guide shafts need to be slid back and forth a couple dozen times before the vise feels smooth. After that, it feels like butter. I put all my weight onto the handle while clamping down on a piece of 2X4 and it still released smoothly afterwards.

Conclusion: WoodRiver obviously did not pay attention to the handle bore so it could accept standard “off the shelf” dowel dimensions. The installation instructions are adequate, but should be more defined for a less experienced customer. Overall…......... I would recommend this vise to anyone.

View ShipWreck's profile


553 posts in 2597 days

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113153 posts in 2422 days

#1 posted 04-23-2012 01:33 AM

Thanks for the review ,now we know you have at least one vise.:))

-- Custom furniture

View ShipWreck's profile


553 posts in 2597 days

#2 posted 04-23-2012 01:53 AM

I actually have two Jim. I installed this old Craftsman while is was at it. :)

View b2rtch's profile


4416 posts in 1893 days

#3 posted 04-23-2012 12:01 PM

I use Harbor Freight end vises.
They work bu they are not great mostly because they are very poorly machined
(the jaws are not parallel).

-- Bert

View justoneofme's profile


616 posts in 1325 days

#4 posted 04-24-2012 03:22 AM

Ah! You’ve given me a great idea for my vice, Paul … line the jaws with some scrap cedar. If I design it properly, they can be removed quickly, so my husband can use the vice for yucky stuff. Now, to find the time. But … it would definitely take me longer than a lunch hour to whip something that simplified up! Great work bench!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View davidroberts's profile


1016 posts in 2331 days

#5 posted 04-24-2012 04:46 AM

Justoneforme, you can bore a couple of shallow holes in each cedar jaw liner for magnet inserts. Those rare earth magnets stick like glue!

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View fatandy2003's profile


171 posts in 1089 days

#6 posted 04-24-2012 12:14 PM

Just as a warning… I bought this vise from Woodcraft online a few months ago and installed it on the bench I am building. I did most of the same things to fit the vise to the bench as you did. However, after a few times clamping and unclamping a piece of wood to see if it worked, the collar on the quick release snapped (Yes, the solid metal quick release snapped) under very little EVEN pressure. I called Woodcraft and they sent me a new quick release free of charge/no questions asked. It came in its own plastic packaging which now makes me wonder how often they are contacted to replace this exact same piece. I installed the new quick release and the only problem I have now is that it slips under the same minimal pressure that snapped the first one (may be user error). I will keep playing with it, but right now, it seems like I got what I paid for… Also, the handle fits a 27mm dowel perfect. Good Luck.

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View ShipWreck's profile


553 posts in 2597 days

#7 posted 04-24-2012 09:20 PM

Fatandy2003….........I read a couple of comments like yours online. (after I bought it of course) Thats why I put all my weight on it a few times. If it was going to break, I wanted it to break during install….not in the middle of a project. This one seems pretty stout. I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed. :)

View fatandy2003's profile


171 posts in 1089 days

#8 posted 04-25-2012 07:55 AM

Good to know, I hope it holds. you definitely can’t beat the price for a quick release!

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View fatandy2003's profile


171 posts in 1089 days

#9 posted 11-29-2012 07:42 AM

Just an update… 6 months after I installed the new quick release collar Woodcraft sent me, I was lightly clamping a piece of ash and SNAP! The quick release collar snapped again in the exact same spot as the first one. Woodcraft would not replace it because it was over the 90 day warantee and quite frankly, the only thing I would have accepted is a refund. I went out and bought a none Wood River vise. $100 down the drain and now I have to install a whole new vise. I cannot recommend this vise, even for the price…

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View bhacksaw's profile


81 posts in 669 days

#10 posted 09-08-2014 03:00 PM

I bought this vise months ago and jut got around to installing it two weeks ago. It worked great on testing, but when I tried to use it for real yesterday, the screw wouldn’t engage the quick-release housing consistently. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I’ll have to check the collar for breakage. Sucks that I waited so long to install it, I’m passed the 90 period. :(

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