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best-woodwork-vice

The UK's bestWoodwork Vices2022 Review

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best woodwork vices for the UK market.
We’ve compared jaw width, weight, clamping capacity and cost
to give you our top recommendations.

What Are The UK's Best Woodwork Vices?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-woodwork-vices Katsu 6" Heavy Duty Wood Clamp Vice
  • Jaw width: 150 mm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 125 mm
best-woodwork-vices Faithfull 6in Home Woodworking Vice
  • Jaw width: 150 mm
  • Weight: 3.2 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 220 m
best-woodwork-vices Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp
  • Jaw width: 95 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 68 mm
best-woodwork-vices Eclipse EWWQR7 Quick Release Woodworking Vice
  • Jaw width: 178 mm
  • Weight: 9 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 202 mm
best-woodwork-vices Irwin Record 53pd Plain Screw Woodworking Vice
  • Jaw width: 270 mm
  • Weight: 18.7 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 380 mm

Read Our Woodwork Vice Reviews

B07MFGSWBG
5060524763985
Jaw width: 150 mm, Weight: 3.8 kg, Clamping capacity: 125 mm,

Katsu 6" Heavy Duty Wood Clamp Vice

best-woodwork-vices Katsu 6" Heavy Duty Wood Clamp Vice
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Jaw width: 150 mm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 125 mm
RATING
97
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Katsu 6" Heavy Duty Wood Clamp Vice Review

A brand that makes 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 does not have a 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.

B0001IWMIY
0013523063278,5023969208527
Jaw width: 150 mm, Weight: 3.2 kg, Clamping capacity: 220 m,

Faithfull 6in Home Woodworking Vice

best-woodwork-vices Faithfull 6in Home Woodworking Vice
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Jaw width: 150 mm
  • Weight: 3.2 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 220 m
RATING
95
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Faithfull 6in Home Woodworking Vice Review

We were keen to try out Faithfull’s clamp-mounted woodwork vice in our search for the best woodworking bench vice, and this one didn’t let us down. 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.

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.

B078S4C6BQ
0736313083996,0794604168609
Jaw width: 95 mm, Weight: 0.75 kg, Clamping capacity: 68 mm,

Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp

best-woodwork-vices Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Jaw width: 95 mm
  • Weight: 0.75 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 68 mm
RATING
94
PRICE
Save 30% on Amazon

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. 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 Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Clamp is a clever bit of kit that takes the effort out of getting joints 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.

B0043YIZOW
5012095067252
Jaw width: 178 mm, Weight: 9 kg, Clamping capacity: 202 mm,

Eclipse EWWQR7 Quick Release Woodworking Vice

best-woodwork-vices Eclipse EWWQR7 Quick Release Woodworking Vice
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Jaw width: 178 mm
  • Weight: 9 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 202 mm
RATING
73
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Eclipse EWWQR7 Quick Release Woodworking Vice Review

Famous for being the brand that brought composite steel sawblades to the market back in 1889, Eclipse is still one of the go-to choices when you need a high-quality woodworking vice for your next project.

You can tell straight away the Eclipse EWWQR7 Woodworking Vice is no weakling, but it’s small enough to fit in a modest workshop. This cast iron vice with its plain screw fittings make it stronger and more stable than a 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.

B0002JT53C
0734442030133,0013523063353
Jaw width: 270 mm, Weight: 18.7 kg, Clamping capacity: 380 mm,

Irwin Record 53pd Plain Screw Woodworking Vice

best-woodwork-vices Irwin Record 53pd Plain Screw Woodworking Vice
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Jaw width: 270 mm
  • Weight: 18.7 kg
  • Clamping capacity: 380 mm
RATING
92
PRICE
On sale at Amazon

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 a great option.

How to Choose the Best Woodwork Vice

Anyone who knows a thing or two about DIY will understand the importance of a woodworking vice. A woodworking vice holds material secure so that you have your hands free to carve, screw, drill or saw – whatever task needs doing!

There’s a range of woodworking vices on the market, and knowing the best one to go for can be difficult. Not sure what you should be looking for? Take a look at this buyer’s guide. 

What is a Woodworking Vice?

A woodworking vice is a vice consisting of two jaws that secure the material you are working on into place. Whether you’re welding, sawing or glueing, a woodwork vice will make the process easier and help to eliminate mistakes. A woodworking vice is especially useful in situations where an extra pair of hands would be needed. 

Woodworking vices are secured to a workbench using a clamp or bolts. They are designed to firmly hold the workplace in a fixed and stable position, producing very little movement and vibration. 

Jaw Width & Clamping Capacity

The size of the vice is important as it can limit the size of the workpiece you can work with. Vices have two jaws, one of which can be adjusted while the other one is stationery. Once the workpiece has been placed inside, one jaw can be moved towards the other to tighten. 

Most woodworking vices have a jaw width of around 2” to 8”, or 50 mm to 200 mm. This width is the horizontal distance along the top of the jaw edge. The smallest vice I’ve recommended has a jaw width of 95 mm, while the largest has a width of 270 mm. The wider the jaws are, the greater the distribution of pressure. This means that the jaws will be able to grip the workpiece more securely, with less risk of damage. 

The clamping capacity is the distance that the jaws can open. The vice will not be able to clamp an object which is wider than the clamping capacity. This distance can vary enormously between different size vices. The vices I’ve recommended have clamping capacities ranging from just 68 mm (for the smallest right angle vice) to 380 mm. 

The throat depth refers to the depth of the jaws. This indicates the height of the workpiece that can fit into it. 

Jaw Type

Your vice may come with serrated, nylon or pipe jaws. Serrated jaws have a good grip but are liable to mark your workpiece, especially if it’s delicate. 

Nylon jaws won’t mark your workpiece but they aren’t quite so durable. 

Pipe jaws have a V-shaped indent that allows them to grip around tubes. These are more specialist and cannot be used on flat items. 

Material & Construction Quality

Woodwork vices need to be good quality and strong, both to ensure that they are actually useful when it comes to DIY, but also for safety. A vice that doesn’t hold the item securely in place when it’s under pressure from machinery can be a real hazard. 

The best bench vices are made from cast iron, either grey iron or ductile iron.

Grey iron is very durable, and not susceptible to rust or heat damage. It’s not quite as tough as ductile iron however and may fracture under very heavy impact. For lighter-duty work, a vice made from grey iron will be perfect. 

Ductile iron contains rounded graphite, which makes it far stronger than grey iron. This has better resistance to impact and cracking. For very heavy-duty tasks, this is likely a better choice. 

Some woodworking vices are made from steel, which is an alloy of iron and carbon. This has high strength and corrosion resistance. The jaw surfaces, handle and screw will usually be made from steel. 

Some vices are made solely from steel. These aren’t quite so popular as steel does very little to reduce vibrations. You may find the workpiece doesn’t stay completely still in a steel vice. 

The benefit of steel is that it’s malleable. It can be stretched further than other materials, so you should be able to hold wider workpieces. 

Weight

The weight of your woodworking vice is important as you’ll need to ensure your workbench can support it. Most workbenches should be able to hold around 100 – 250 kg. 

Smaller vices can weigh as little as 0.5 kg. Provided they can be properly secured to the table, you shouldn’t have any problems with a lightweight vice. The heaviest vice I’ve recommended is 18.7 kg. 

Extra Features

Extra features can help make your woodwork vice easier to use. 

An example is a swivel base. These allow you more flexibility, as you can swivel the workpiece often up to 360 degrees. This allows you to work at a range of angles, without having to remove the workpiece and reposition it in the jaws. 

Some vices come with a quick-release function. These allow you to remove the workpiece rapidly, instead of having to manually remove it by winding the jaws open and shut. If you simply want to remove your workpiece to check it before putting it back again, this can save you a huge amount of time. 

Finally, you might want to consider a vice with an anvil area. This is a durable flat surface that can withstand high impacts. A good option if you are doing a lot of hammer work, as it absorbs the impact to prevent damage to your work surface.

 

Woodwork Vice FAQs

How do you fit a woodwork vice?

If you’re setting up a woodworking shop, fitting the best woodworking bench vice is vital. It’s worth taking your time over its positioning 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.

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