In this guide we’ll take a look at the best woodworking vices for the UK market.
We’ve compared jaw width, weight, clamping capacity and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Woodworking Vice?
More Detailed Woodworking Vice Reviews
Irwin Record 53pd Plain Screw Woodworking Vice Review
Irwin Record are one of the first names in woodworking and have been producing some of the best woodworking vices for more than 100 years. We got hold of their 53PD full size vice and put it through its paces.
This is a plain screw bench vice, so it’s installed directly into the bench itself for the straightest and most parallel clamping action. This isn’t a lightweight hobby vice either, it’s made from cast iron and feels like it will last for a hundred years.
The machining on the mounting screws is excellent, and the closing action is precise and fluid. If you’re a serious woodworker and you want a superior way to hold down a workpiece, this is the best woodworking vice for the UK market.
Eclipse EWWQR7 Quick Release Woodworking Vice Review
Famous for being the brand that brought composite steel sawblades to the market back in 1889, Eclipse are still one of the go-to choices when you need the best woodworking vice for your next project.
Another cast iron vice, you can tell straight away the Eclipse EWWQR7 Woodworking Vice is no weakling, but it’s small enough to fit in a modest workshop. The plain screw fittings mean it’s stronger and more stable than vice that clamps onto your workbench, but our favourite feature is the quick release trigger.
Anyone who’s worked with vices knows how much of a pain it is having to wind the jaws open and shut between workpieces, so a quick release can save you a whole lot of elbow grease. We like this vice, it’s a happy medium between heavy duty and low profile.
Katsu 6″ Heavy Duty Wood Clamp Vice Review
A brand that make surprisingly good tools at budget prices, KATSU offer everything from drills and drivers to industrial grade lifting equipment. We took a closer look at their heavy-duty wood clamp vice and think it’s easily one of the best woodworking bench vices available right now.
The benefits of a clamp vice are easy to see in this item because it can be positioned wherever you want it on a bench surface up to a respectable 60 mm thick. There’s no quick release, but the jaw faces are nice and flat, and the overall finish is excellent.
Unlike some clamping vices we’ve used in the past, this is not cheap and nasty feeling- it holds the workpiece securely without any wobble as long as it’s pushed up snugly against the bench. It’s more than useful if you’re away from your workshop or if you need to set one up on your kitchen table.
Faithfull 6in Home Woodworking Vice Review
With 17 different product categories and thousands of individual products for the professional or keen DIYer, UK based Faithfull have staked their claim as an affordable but reliable tool brand over the past three decades.
We were keen to try out another clamp mounted option in our search for the best woodworking bench vice, and this one didn’t let us down once. The clamp mount action is smooth and makes the vice feel solid without having to overtighten it.
There are screw holes in the bench side of the vice should you want to make it a more permanent feature, but at this weight it’s probably more suitable as a portable solution for the handyman that doesn’t need a dedicated woodworking vice all the time.
Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp Review
There are times when a traditional woodworking vice isn’t up to the job. When you need to join two pieces of timber at a right angle, you need a quality right angle clamp. We were excited to get our hands on this Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp because it was a new idea to us that honestly felt like a bit of a gimmick.
Happily, this right-angle clamp has proven us wrong- as most woodworkers will know, butting two corner pieces together for a strong mitre join is important, but hard to do, especially with two different sizes of timber.
This clever bit of kit takes the effort out of getting them squared by clamping them at a perfect 90° every time. It’s only a lightweight aluminium frame, and the handle isn’t exactly premium, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another way to clamp at a right angle so easily.
Woodworking Vice FAQ
How do you fit a woodworking vice?
If you’re setting up a woodworking shop, fitting the best woodworking bench vice is vital. It’s worth taking your time over positioning of it because if you choose a traditional plain screw vice, you can’t move it easily.
Where’s the best place to position it?
Ultimately the decision of where to position your vice is going to reflect your needs and the workspace that you have, but the general consensus is that it’s more useful towards the end of the bench, where you have access to two sides of the workpiece. It’s also handy if you need to clamp something that has an odd shape or curve. You’ll also need to fit the vice on the right side if you’re right-handed, or on the left if you’re left-handed.
What will I need to fit my vice?
You won’t need any special tools, but even if you buy the best woodworking vice, we doubt it’ll come supplied with any fixings. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to fit an integrated bench vice:
- Drill and drill bits
- Screwdrivers and spanners
- Router and straight cut bit
- A pencil and ruler
- Heavy duty lag screws with large washers
- Countersunk wood screws, 40-50 mm long
How do I fit my vice?
Once you’ve decided where you want your vice to attach to your work bench, you’ll have to bear in mind that you fit the vice to the underneath of your bench, and that the rear vice jaw is normally mounted flush against the work bench in a mortise.
If you are mortising the rear jaw into your work bench, you’ll need to measure the thickness of the cast iron and mark it on the bench. Once you’ve routed out the recess to the correct thickness, use a pencil to mark the screw holes for permanent fastening.
Once your rear jaw is in the right place, hold it and trace around the “U” shaped holders on the back of the rear vice jaw. This is where you’ll be attaching the other face of the rear jaw with lag screws and washers. Choose screws and washers that will hold the vice securely without breaking through the surface of your workbench.
Once your lag screws in place, tighten them down with a spanner. Then use a screwdriver to drive in the countersunk wood screws on the recessed part of the rear jaw. This will give you the best and straightest rear jaw mount possible on your bench.
We enjoyed testing out these different vices, and they all do their individual job well, but there’s got to be a winner. It’s no secret that Irwin Record make excellent products, and we think the best woodworking vice for the UK market is the 53PD plain screw woodworking vice. If you’re a serious woodworker or carver, you’ll appreciate having a dependable and straight vice that will last a century.