The 10 Best Woodworking Vises
This wiki has been updated 10 times since it was first published in July of 2018. With almost any woodworking task, at some point it becomes important to keep your materials secured firmly in place, and there are a variety of ways to do that. Depending on what you're making and its dimensions, there are many different vises to choose from, and whether you're a hobbyist or a professional carpenter, you will likely benefit from having multiple types attached to your workbench. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
December 07, 2020:
We removed the Irwin Tools 226361 because of quality control issues, and complaints of it being manufactured out of square. Its low price was attractive, but ultimately it lacked the accuracy needed for an effective woodworking vise. We also removed the Craftsman Corner Clamp and Lake Erie Moxon due to availability issues.
We added several new additions, including the Pony 27091, a nice medium-duty option with a smooth handle and a sliding dog on the front face. It’s not designed for intense, heavy-duty use -- professionals might want to look at the Rockler Quick-Release or Wilton 63218 -- but for the occasional craftsman, it would be a great addition.
We also added another Sjobergs model, the Sjobergs SJO-33274. This Swedish company has been designing woodworking benches and equipment for nearly 100 years, and their commitment to high-quality craftsmanship shows in their products. The Sjobergs SJO-33274 is a compact model, so it won’t be well-suited for large-scale projects, but if your woodworking jobs are small or carving-related, it could be a great choice. It could also act as your secondary vise too, and since it’s designed to be portable, can be attached and removed whenever you like.
If you’re a beginner woodworker and interested in expanding your toolkit, you may want to consider investing in a wood carving set. These kits include a range of chisels, gouges, and knives.
If you don’t already have a workbench to attach your vise to, this collection of adjustable height workbenches should give you a good variety to choose from.
July 09, 2019:
A woodworking vise is an indispensable workbench fixture for woodworkers and carpenters. It allows you to hold wood firmly while you work on it. Normal bench vises with thin metal jaws would severely mark up the surfaces which would then either ruin the piece or require a lot of work to fix. The Rockler Quick-Release is the most convenient and versatile vise I have used. Maple works well for the jaws and there is plenty of room between the top of the jaw and the screw and guides to hold thick stock. The quick-release works perfectly for releasing workpieces or just quickly adjusting to larger pieces instead of having to turn the handle until it reaches the desired width. The guides are ground well and if lubricated periodically, won't make a sound.
The Wilton 63218 and the Eclipse Quick Release also work well but with some drawbacks given certain preferences. The handle size for both of these is quite small but again, that is a personal preference. I happen to like a large handle as I feel it gives me greater control over the jaw adjustments. The Sjobergs SJO-33309 is quite nice but it's only adequate for holding small pieces.
Wood vises exert large pressures on workpieces. Make sure that the stock is properly seated against the jaws to avoid personal injury or damage to materials.