The 10 Best Bench Clamps
This wiki has been updated 2 times since it was first published in July of 2019. If you need to hold a workpiece securely in place while you saw, drill or paint it, then one of these bench clamps will come in handy. They’re integral to many carpentry and assembly projects, and can be attached to a workbench in minutes. While these vises are safe when used responsibly, always ensure that they’re properly locked down, and follow any recommended safety instructions. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best bench clamp on Amazon.
July 18, 2019:
If you’re looking for a lighter option, both the PanaVise 381 Vacuum Base and the Irwin Tools 226303 are great choices, with the former being an excellent option for specialist precision work, like jewellery making and holding objects to paint. The 381 is actually designed for circuit-board projects like soldering and wiring.
Another difference between the two products is how they are installed on the workbench– the 226303 uses a mounting clamp which is a sturdier option compared to the vacuum (suction) mounting that the 381 incorporates.
The 226303 is thus geared towards mechanical work, while the 381, which can also be used for lighter mechanical projects, wasn’t actually designed for that sort of work, and that’s why I wanted to highlight it, because it’s so different from the other models here. The PanaVise 381 is also the lighter of the models, weighing only 2.2-pounds.
Jaw-size and weight of a tool are important considerations that influence the type of work a tool is designed for. Material is also a consideration, but most clamps are made from very strong cast iron, so this (typically) isn’t a distinguishing factor.
While the plethora of bench clamps available exist on something of a continuum between light and heavy-duty devices, I would roughly separate these models into three slightly overlapping categories: light-duty models, two of which I’ve already highlighted above in the PanaVise 381 and Irwin 226303. I would also add the LV-4 to this mix, based on its weight and jaw-capacity; general-purpose models, including the Wilton 11104, HFS Lockdown, Grizzly G7602 and the Yost Tools 750-DI, and; heavy-duty models, including the Performance Tool MV8 Hammer, Tekton 8-Inch Swivel and the Wilton 14500 Reversible Mechanics vises.
The HFS has a useful safety feature, but its addition also severely limits its throat depth to 1.25-inches, which reduces the size of stock it can hold, placing this model on the border between a light-duty and general-purpose tool. The Grizzly G7602 is a hardy device, but I would argue that it’s establishment as a heavy-duty option is undermined by its jaw-size and weight. However, it’s one of, if not the sturdiest device in this list. If you have heavy stock to work with that can fit within the jaws of the Grizzly, then by all means give the Grizzly a go.
The Tekton Swivel comes in a variety of jaw-sizes; all are great models, and I could have just as easily listed any of the variations. However, I thought it worth highlighting this colossus 8-inch model because of its incredible size and weight, which makes it a very sturdy and stable choice for dealing with heavy stock.