Best Bench Vise

Michael Archambault Profile image

Written By:

Updated June 27, 2022

Finding the best bench vise on the market involved digging through a plethora of available options and sorting through essential factors. We considered each bench vise’s jaw size, jaw strength, mounting solution, and any additional features, such as integrated pipe grips and anvil surfaces. Depending on where you intend on working, you might need to clamp down or permanently attach your vise to a bench, and depending upon the material you use, the needs of the vise’s jaw will change. In essence, we considered all these critical factors when making our selections, so the choice of this top-rated tool is availabale for your work style.

After we concluded our research, we found that Yost Tools Vises offered the best overall solution and was awarded our top pick. Each Yost Tools vise provides the ability to work with both standard flat materials and rounded pipes. Additionally, we found each to offer impressive jaw characteristics for jobs, both large and small. Add in the addition of an anvil plate which is included on the rear of the vise, and Yost Tools packs all the features into one great product. Continue reading to find out which is the best bench vise for you.

Top 5 Best Bench Vise Reviews

 #1  Yost Tools Vises – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Yost Tools offers the best features across the board, from jaw size and strength to overall usability. Each vise includes both pipe grips and a large anvil surface.

Read Full Review: Yost Vises FSV-4 5″ Forged Steel Bench Vise

  • Jaw size up to 8-inches
  • Jaw size up to 8-inches
  • Clamp force of up to 7,650 lbs
  • Requires permanent installation
  • Expensive compared to the competition

Yost Tools Vises range starting from a jaw width of 4.5” x jaw opening of 4” x throat depth of 2.62”, up to those with jaw width of 8,” meaning that you can select a specific size based on the thickness of the materials you will be working. All Yost Tools Vises included an integrated pipe grip that can work with piping as small as 1/8th-inch, so you don’t need to worry about damaging your pipes in a flat vise. When you do choose to use the Vise jaws for flatter materials, they won’t be going anywhere with Yost Tools offering a range of clamp forces from 3,150 lbs up to 7,650 lbs – an outstanding range that can keep some of the heaviest materials in place. The heavy duty vise features a 360 degree swivel base rotation that locks, with a high-strength steel bar and a 30, 000 psi ductile iron body.

Overall, Yost Tools Vises ranked as our top pick for the best bench vises, but you will need to watch your wallet with this purchase as it’s priced significantly higher than the competition. Additionally, the base of this bench vise is designed to be directly attached to your work surface with bolts as a permanent solution – not a great option if you need something a bit more portable. Much like the best corded drill. However, we do like that the base can be swiveled 360-degrees once installed.

Note: There’s also the Yost Vises 465 6’’ Bench Vice with a higher clamp force and pipe jaws that grip irregular shape objects.

 #2  IRWIN Woodworking Vise – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: IRWIN offers an easy-to-install clamp-on vise that can be conveniently moved between work areas with ease, while also providing integrated pipe clamps and an anvil horn.

  • Best portable
  • Clamps on tables up to 2” thick
  • Includes integrated pipe grips
  • Jaws too small for some projects
  • Lack of stability due to mount
  • Small anvil-shaped horn

The IRWIN Woodworking vise is perfect for those who need a vise they can move without concern; forget about bolting this unit down, you can use its clamp-design to attached it to any table surface up to 2” thick. Being small doesn’t mean it isn’t feature-packed, as the vise also features integrated pipe grips and a little anvil-shaped horn. Its integrated pipe jaws keep the workpiece steady. The anvil might be a bit small for most jobs, as well as the 3” jaw, but we found it suitable for light woodworking needs.

It is important to note that the clamp-design of this IRWIN Tools 3” Bench Vice does indeed make it portable, but it also makes it slightly less stable on surfaces. While other vises bolt onto tables with up to four bolts, this solution uses a single metal clamp. As such, we would avoid this offering for any heavy-duty projects, but rather recommend it as a tool for any handyperson’s work bag, along with your other best tools. Be sure to also include the best bottle jack to help you change your tires in case of any emergency.

Note: There’s also the IRWIN 6” Bench Vise that that attaches to table surfaces up to 5 inches thick.

 #3  Wilton Bench Vise – Largest Worksurface

WHY WE LIKE IT: Wilton delivers with an anvil work surface that is large enough to hammer out a variety of projects, while still providing a solid steel vise, which makes it one of the most durable on our list.

  • Large anvil for hammering
  • Rotates up to 120-degrees
  • Constructed from strengthened steel
  • Requires permanent installation
  • Design forgoes pipe grips

If you’re seeking out a bench vise that features a large anvil work surface than the Wilton Bench Vise might be a perfect choice. Featuring a large anvil, you can hammer out metal and other materials with ease – no fighting for space with your vise. Once attached to your work surface via bolts, the vise can also be spun around 120-degrees so that you can attack your project from the most comfortable angle.

We appreciate that Wilton continues, as like other manufacturers on our list, to forge its products from strengthened steel for longer-lasting durability. We do, however, wish that they had included pipe grips for this unit to make working with pipes a bit easier and a lot more stable. This bench vise does feature a permanent design that must be attached to work surfaces using metal bolts. Like the best magnifying glass, if you use it for the jobs it is intended for, it will be a great help with your projects.

 #4  HFS Heavy-duty Bench Vise – Best Swivel

WHY WE LIKE IT: Featuring a solid steel base that can rotate a full 360-degrees, HFS’s Heavy-duty bench vise allows you to tackle your project from every angle with ease.

  • 360-degree swivel hinge
  • Large anvil for hammering
  • Jaws available from 4” to 6”
  • Requires permanent installation
  • Design forgoes pipe grips

If you find yourself reaching over your bench vise, you might want to consider HFS’ Heavy-duty Bench Vise, featuring a full 360-degree swiveling base. Constructed from the same hardened steel as other vises, HFS adds on the ability to turn its unit in any direction needed. Additionally, we found that the vise did an excellent job with projects small to large thanks to its jaws beginning available in sizes ranging from 4-inches up to 6-inches.

The large anvil surface is perfect for hammering down materials, but if you’re working with pipes, you might run into trouble as the vise doesn’t include pipe grips. However, if you’re looking for a stable, permanently installed bench vise that can adapt to your needs, HFS offers an excellent solution with its 360-degree base design. It works very well for holding objects for sanding with the best disc sander.

 #5  TEKTON Swivel Bench Vise – Largest Jaw Width

WHY WE LIKE IT: When you have a large job, TEKTON comes to the rescue with its Swivel Bench Vise available with a massive jaw size up to 8-inches and high tensile strength steel build that is sure to last.

  • Massive jaw up to 8-inches
  • 120-degree swivel base
  • Large anvil for hammering
  • Requires permanent installation
  • Design forgoes pipe grips
  • Only three mounting holes

TEKTON’s Swivel Bench Vise is here to get the big jobs done. Starting with a 4-inch jaw, but moving up to a massive 8-inch option, means that you can use this big vise to complete even bigger projects. If you have ample materials that need to be kept steady, TEKTON’s offering is your best bet. Beyond its massive jaw size, the Swivel Bench Vise also includes a rotatable base that can move up to 120-degrees, as well as a large anvil that is excellent for hammering metal and other materials.

As with other solutions, this bench vise is permanently installed, but rather than the traditional four mounting holes, it opts for only three. With the large materials likely to be used with this 8-inch vise, we would have preferred the extra mounting hole for a bit of added stability. Just use the best drill bits to make the holes and it installs easily. Additionally, while this vise can handle large projects, it seemingly can’t handle pipes as TEKTON has opted to forgo any form of pipe grips.

See Also: You may also want to check out the best aluminum polish to scrub your surfaces clean.

How We Decided

All of the bench vises that we featured in our lineup were tested against a given set of criteria including overall jaw strength, jaw size, mounting solution, and integrated additions such as anvils and pipe grips. Once assessed, our selections all met a minimum set of specifications.

Each bench vise in our list has a jaw size of at least 3-inches to grip onto a variety of materials with ease, and a jaw strength that can stand up to everyday tasks with the highest reaching over 7,600 lbs. Mounting solutions included both permanently installed bases for ultra-stability, as well as clamps designed for bench vises that need to be portable. Integrated features that we sought after, and that are included on some of our selections, include integrated pipe grips and anvil surfaces. All of our applicable picks include a rotatable base for comfortable working from any angle.

Bench Vise Buyer’s Guide


Top Features

  1. Jaw Size: One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a bench vise is its jaw. The vise jaw is the primary piece of hardware that will be in contact with your materials. Begin by choosing a jaw size that is suitable for your project, with most average projects being able to handle around 4-inches. For large projects, an 8-inch jaw, such as the one designed by TEKTON, might be necessary.
  2. Jaw Strength: Your vise’s jaw strength depends on a few different factors, with not all manufacturers giving exact figures; be sure to select a vise made from either stainless steel or cast iron, and you should be set for most projects. Otherwise, if your project has specific jaw strength requirements, select a manufacturer that provides the information on their product page.
  3. Mounting Solution: Are you looking for a permanently fixed bench vise or one that can be transported around in a handy bag? While permanently fixed vises offer more stability thanks to being bolted directly to the work surface, you might want to consider a clamp-style mount if you need a vise that you can take on the go.
  4. Integrated Features: Do you need to work with piping? Seeking out a bench vise with a suitable pipe grip could make all the difference between a project well-done and one ending with a bent pipe. Additionally, features such as large anvils can be helpful for anyone needed to hammer out bits of metal without destroying their work surface.

Bench Vise FAQs

What is a good bench vise?

According to our research, we found Yost Vises to be the best bench vices as they offer a collection of features across the board, including varying jaw sizes, durable steel constructions, 360-degree rotating bases, integrated pipe grips, and large anvil head surfaces.

What is a bench vise used for?

Bench vises are used for holding materials while they are being worked upon. For example, a woodworker might use a bench vise to hold a piece of wood while it is being sanded, while a plumber may use a bench vise to hold onto a pipe while it is being sawed.

How many types of bench vice are there?

The two primary types of bench vices include yoke type vices, which are featured in our roundup, which utilize a screw to clam down onto materials. Alternatively, a chain style bench vise can be used which utilizes a chain for securing materials.

Where do you mount bench vise?

Generally, it would be best if you mounted the bench vise on the front side of the bench opposite to your dominant hand. Thus, if you are right-handed, your bench vise should be installed at the far left of your workbench, and vice versa, if you are left-handed.

How does a bench vise work?

A bench vice works by utilizing two parallel steel jaws that clamp together to hold a material; the jaws can be controlled with a yoke or chain, allowing them to open and close as needed. Some bench vices feature a quick-release mechanism so that the jaw can be quickly opened without needing to turn the yoke or adjust the chain.
Michael Archambault Profile image