Advise on a vise...

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Forum topic by deeznutz posted 03-17-2010 05:16 PM 2869 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 3015 days

03-17-2010 05:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vise

Hey all,

I’m just getting into using more hand tools and am quickly realizing I seriously need to get a real vise. I found an old Wilton on craigslist near me for $50…see link below.

Do you think this is a descent option and price? I can’t find much info about older Wilton’s but get the general sense that older American made vises tend to be pretty good quality. Is $50 a fair price?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

9 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 03-17-2010 06:16 PM

they look descent. you won’t find anything new at less than 60 each. these show some oxidation though, may need some cleaning up to get them to work smoothly. but if money is tight, and you need this type of vise – I’d go for it. might even talk the guy down $10 or so.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3073 days

#2 posted 03-17-2010 09:20 PM

Without knowing the size of the pcs you’ll be working on, I can’t be sure of your needs. But I’ve found a Stanley 83-069 Multi Angle vice that I am most happy with. In fact I bought two so I can hole each end of a long pc such as a walking cane while I work on it. They swivel, turn and come with rubber jaw inserts. I think I paid less than $30 a pc for them. They work GREAT, at least for me!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#3 posted 03-17-2010 09:37 PM

I have a more recent model Wilton, and do not like it. The screw threads are rough, and bind easily…

I also have a Central Forge (Harbor Freight, Made in Taiwan) 94386 9” quick release that came packed in gooey cosmoline. Lots of cleaning and some graphite powder later, not to mention face pads… and I have a smooth, easy to use vise…

If you are looking to go budget, the Central Forge is really hard to beat. I have seen a Jet branded copy of the same vise on sale at Rockler within the last year going for about the same money… But for the most part…

Now if you are going for a vise with better fit and finish, Woodcraft sells Jorgensen U.S.A. built vises. I have also heard very good things about the Groz vises. Never seen one though…

No matter what vise you get, I would strongly suggest you get a vise with a quick release… Once you use one, you will forever hate running vise screws in and out on a non quick release model…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3025 days

#4 posted 03-17-2010 10:13 PM

I built my first bench last year and I was lucky to pick up a Record 52 quick release vice on eBay. It is OK for general work and it can be used for almost any job, but I don’t think it’s ideal for hand work. It’s a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. The quick release is great and I agree with the other guys – it’s a feature that you’d miss if you didn’t have it.

The limitations with all of these vices is that the jaws a quite narrow and the screws prevents clamping boards vertically, so sawing or planing the end of boards (as in cutting dovetails or planing endgrain) is fiddly. Adding longer wooden faces helps, but I can really see the advantage of a leg, shoulder or twin screw vise.

-- John

View deeznutz's profile


33 posts in 3015 days

#5 posted 03-17-2010 11:12 PM

Thank you all for your advise. Seems like people either love or hate the quick release. I take it you quick release lover’s haven’t had any problems with durability?

Also, I know Grizzley has a decent looking vise for just $42. Does anyone have any experience with this one? I think I’m wavering between the Harbor Freight, the Grizzly and this old Wilton previously mentioned. Link below.

View dbhost's profile


5708 posts in 3226 days

#6 posted 03-17-2010 11:35 PM

No durability issues yet. But haven’t had mine more than a year. Like I mentioned somewhere, the vise shipped with TONS of cosmoline. It needed to be cleaned, and dry lubed, and has been fine since…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3025 days

#7 posted 03-18-2010 12:28 AM

No problems with my quick release either. It had seen a lot of use for about 30 years according to the guy I got it from – all I did was clean up the surface rust and re-oiled it. It’s a fairly basic mechanism really – other than if the spring failed it would be very easy to fix.

-- John

View russv's profile


262 posts in 3164 days

#8 posted 03-18-2010 03:30 AM

i bought a vise from Menards a year ago. i built it into a workbench i was building at the time. it is a chicago vise company brand. this vise does not rack and moves very smooth. for $30.00 (i think), this vise has been very good and durable. the only drawback is it doesn’t have a quick release feature. it has 9” jaws and now has a 7” with wood spacers. very happy with it. i’ll try to take pics but it’s easy to spot at menards. it’s a bright orange in color.

it does always have to be expensive to be good.

-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3051 days

#9 posted 03-18-2010 06:12 AM

It’s hard to hurt a vice. The price seems reasonable, but not a steal. Just put a couple of wood faces on it and you’ll be goog to go.

-- Glen

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