workbench vices -- tail vs. double screw end

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Forum topic by dpjeansonne posted 02-27-2013 01:08 AM 1366 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 3452 days

02-27-2013 01:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: benches

I have noticed some benches have a tail vice that is on the front edge used mostly for holding a board between 2 bench dogs. Some other benches have a double screw vice on the end that I assume does the duty as a tail vice but over the entire width of the bench.

Can someone explain the differences and/or pros & cons of the two different vices?

-- Cajun Don, Louisiana

3 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3190 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 01:23 AM

dpjeansonne, I have a tail vise on my Ulmia bench. It is used with the bench dogs for holding pieces on the top surfaces for various tasks. But that is definitely not its only use. The space in the “jaws” is extremely useful and I use it frequently. It has excellent holding power and because of its design, there is no wracking. A double screw vise on the end of a bench will perform pretty much the same functions. I have never used a bench with one, so I can’t offer advice on that. Having said that, I think a tail vise suits my methods well and don’t think I would trade it.

-- Mike

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3209 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 01:28 AM

I have a face vise mounted on the end of my bench, near the front. I have dog holes in the top of the vise so I can clamp long pieces between the vise and dogs anywhere along the length of my bench.
I did it this way because I had my bench pretty much built before I thought about some kind of vise on the end.
At that point a tail vise would have been a major pain to install.

A twin screw would pretty much work the same way, but would have the advantage of being able to clamp boards vertically between the screws for cutting dovetails and such. My choice not to go with a twin screw was pretty much a financial one.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2874 days

#3 posted 02-27-2013 04:56 AM

I have both a Lie Nielsen tail vice and twin screw on my bench. As far as clamping a board between dogs, the tail vice is going to win out. It has more options for clamping different lengths. The sliding portion on mine has evenly spaced holes. On the bench they are variably spaced. This means I only have to move the vice an inch or two to line up with two holes. On a twin screw you may need to move the vice up to say 6 in.

The tail vice also allows you to clamp between the jaws at odd angles. With this said, the twin screw works very nice and adds clamping options that a tail vice can’t. My advice, get both, but if cost is a concern, you can get by with just using a twin screw on the end.

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