Vise Collection

We believe Everybody Needs a Vise.

Hopefully we can help you choose one!


The Vise Museum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wilton Tradesman Model #1745





  • max opening: 4″
  • jaw width: 4.5″
  • Appx Throat Depth: 3.5″
  • reasonable clamp force: > 2,000 lbs
  • special features: reversable textured/smooth hard jaws, pipe jaws
  • appx weight: 38 pounds
  • list price: appx $389.00 (Amazon, with shipping)
  • link for more info: Wilton Tools

  •          A great heavy duty bench vise. Able to take a lot of torque, such as when working with threaded iron pipe. The patterned jaws can damage soft materials. Jaws fit on ledges in the casing, secured by 1/4-20 screws with the heads inset into the jaw.
  •          Fred gave me this vise 20 years ago and it has stood up to all the abuse, including residing on a shared shop welding and fab table for awhile. Recently cleaned and greased, it’s as smooth as new.
  •         Most important consideration on this vise is the fact that you’ve got to have a nice solid bench / post / plate truck bumper to mount it on. Mounts to bench with 1/2 inch bolts. There are heavy bench vises out there for lower price than the Wilton. I have a lot of trust in the Wilton name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Palmgren 2 7/16″ Angle Vise





  • max opening: 2.5″
  • jaw width: 2.437″
  • Appx Throat Depth: 1.5″
  • reasonable clamp force: 1,100 lbs.
  • special features: adjustable vertical angle, grooved jaws,
  • appx weight: 9 pounds
  • list price: appx $165.00 Maybe $99 without angle base (Amazon, with shipping)
  • link for more info:Palmgren

  •       Nice quality drillpress vise. Notched jaw is very handy for holding round workpieces. Fairly precise action. Jaws mount with screws that thread into the jaw face from the back.
  •         We’ve used this vise for filing small sheet metal parts. It can rest steady on a rubber pad on a tabletop for light use. I’ve never used the tilting vertical angle feature. They can be bought without the tilting vertical mount for a lower price, look up Palmgren drillpress vises. This particular vise is probably 40 years old, we got super lucky finding it at an auction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shars 3″ Drill Press Vise






  • max opening: 3.25
  • jaw width: 3.125
  • Appx Throat Depth: 1.375″
  • reasonable clamp force: 1,100 lbs
  • special features: notched jaw, drillpress style mounting base
  • appx weight: 8 pounds
  • list price: Appx $42.00 (Discount Tool, Ebay, with shipping)
  • link for more infoShars

  •        Drillpress vise from Shars. Decent cast iron drill press vise. Uses an interesting guide rod design to hold the jaw parallel while clamping, this rod runs right thru the center on the axis, where on the Palmgren this area is clear. It’s got a nice looking (possibly acme) jackscrew, but not quite as solid as the Palmgren. It does have a much wider jaw face.
  •        There are many many drillpress vises of this style available. I wouldn’t go –too– cheap as I have seen castings break (at the mounting slots) in the past. In my limited experience with Shars, you won’t be incredibly thrilled, but you won’t be terribly disappointed either. Everything I’ve got from them has been workable and a pretty good value for what you get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shars 2″ X 2-5/8″ Precision Sine Vise








  • max opening:2.25″
  • jaw width: just under 2″ (1.95″)
  • Appx Throat Depth: just under 1″
  • reasonable clamp force: (will need adapter for load cell..)
  • special features: precision ground
  • appx weight: 7 pounds
  • list price: value (95.45, ebay, discount machine, with shipping)
  • link for more info: Shars

  • This is a toolmaker’s style vise. Toolmaker vises are usually used in surface grinding or other setups where parallelism/perpendicularity are critical and there’s a magnetic table to hold the vise down. A separated movable jaw is pulled forward by the action of a screw pulling at about 45 degrees down to a pin which is slid into one set of a series of holes. The jaw doesn’t have much adjustment range for each pin position. There’s not a lot of clamping force. It’s super precise. All surfaces are precision ground. Everything except the movable block is one solid casting. Working surfaces are all precision ground. The movable block on this vise is notched to hold cylindrical workpieces.
    This vise also has a sine bar mounting which lets the user set up very accurate angles. I still haven’t used the sine bar feature. It’s one of those things that I suspect I will really appreciate some day in the future. Greg and I got this to investigate the toolmaker’s mechanism for use in our own design. We need to make an order of magnitude of improvement on the ease-of-use to consider it for a general purpose vise… we’ve got “prototype 1” about 4-5x easier at this point I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Panavise model #201 PV Jr.




    • max opening: 3″
    • jaw width: 1″
    • Appx Throat Depth: 2″
    • reasonable clamp force: 100 lbs centered in jaws, 50lbs at top.. jaws deflect a lot at these pressures.
    • special features: Notched to hold pins or circuit boards. Very flexible and convenient positioning.
    • appx weight: a little over 1 pound
    • list price: $27.00 (Amazon, with shipping)
    • link for more info:

  • This vise is great for circuit board and other light work in which it’s useful to reposition the work in many directions.   The locking ball joint will pivot 360 degrees in azimuth and 180 degrees in elevation and is very easy to loosen and move.   The long moment arm mounting and long, plastic jaws do limit this vise to applications that don’t need much clamping pressure or solidly resisting external torque.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Wood Vise




    • max opening: 5″
    • jaw width: 6.5″
    • Appx Throat Depth: 2.5″
    • reasonable clamp force: —
    • special features: Good for woodworking.
    • appx weight: 6 lbs
    • list price: $–.–
    • link for more info:

  • details and story of vise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stick Vise




    • max opening: 5.75″
    • jaw width: 3″
    • Appx Throat Depth: appx 0.312″ from board notch center to top of center rod.
    • reasonable clamp force: very little.  Springs maintain good holding pressure for circuit board.
    • special features: Easy to hold circuit boards.
    • appx weight: 6 oz.
    • list price: $29.97
    • link for more info: Hackaday

  • Stick Vise!  A great circuit board holder for soldering and testing.  This is really cleverly made from minimal materials. Jaws are easy to replace to hold different objects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Prototype 1



The Maker Vise

    • max opening:
    • jaw width: 3″
    • Appx Throat Depth: 1.5″
    • reasonable clamp force: 1500 lbs
    • special features: Custom Jaws.  Fast Slider.
    • appx weight: 3 lbs
    • list price: N/A
    • link for more infoHackaday

  • Solextract Maker’s Vise Prototype #1.  Aluminum sides have been replaced by polycarbonate clear plastic to show the internal mechanism.  This takes off from the toolmakers vise, but we’re attempting to make a slide/catch system on the bottom to make it much easier to reposition.  We keep refining the design.
  • A standout feature of this vise is that it’s very easy to throw on a rubber pad on a table and flip the vise around to change access to the work piece.  It’s also very easy to change jaws, or make your own!  Absence of a fixed jack screw saves room on the table and in theory will let us supply arbitrary length vises of the same design.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prototype 2




    • max opening: 5″
    • jaw width: 3″
    • Appx Throat Depth: 1.5″
    • reasonable clamp force: 800 lbs
    • special features: Custom Jaws.  Clean.
    • appx weight: 5 lbs
    • list price: N/A
    • link for more info:

  • Solextract Maker’s Vise Prototype #2.  Same basic frame design as #1, but with a traditional jackscrew / drillpress vise mechanism.  A large goal of this is “no greased surfaces”  So the slides have delrin bearings, and the jackscrew nut is Delrin.  Jackscrew is 3/4″ x 10TPI Acme thread to provide strength even with the plastic nut.    This vise currently puts down more clamping pressure than #1, and is in some ways easier to use.  But we’re going to push #1 hard here.    The long jack screw is a manufacturing and bench top  use disadvantage.. it has to hang off the bench end to turn it, where #1 can sit on the bench anywhere.   There are some mods to this we can make, but it is our fallback.. and we don’t really have time to survive a fallback at this point!  We may bring it out as a “clean” solution at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Custom 3




    • max opening: 1.5″
    • jaw width: 8″
    • Appx Throat Depth: 0.75″
    • reasonable clamp force: —
    • special features: Designed to thread wire through multiple cores simultaneously.
    • appx weight: a little over 1 pound
    • list price: N/A
    • link for more info:

  • More of a clamp than a vise.  We’re showing it just to point out that often it’s very handy to fabricate a specialized clamp for a task.  In this case, the task is winding a stack of toroids.   This clamp uses machined polyethylene jaws, or you could 3d print them.  The bolts are sheathed with plastic tubing to avoid scritching the magnet wire insulation.