View Full Version : Is this vise OK?

12-14-2010, 05:40 PM
I'm having trouble finding a decent vise at a price under $100.00 US. It will be a present for my son. He just needs a general purpose one to bang, bend and hold stuff in. Iv'e got a Craftsman ( Sears) that is 20 years old, made here in the states for general use. He tried to break it when he was a teenager with no luck. I've had two freinds that have had bad luck from chain store vises. I won't mention the store they bought it from, but it starts with a H and ends in Depot.
Anyway Enco has this one on sale http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO=28993993&PMAKA=TK426-1020 It's a wilton, Have you guys seen one of these? Any good for homeonwers?

12-14-2010, 05:54 PM
I think that this series of Wilton is Oriental-made. I would take a look at the Yost vises on the next page...they do advertise as USA made, and I've got a friend with one of their vises who is quite happy with it. My shop has three vises, a 5" Columbian non-swivel that's probably fifty years old, a 6" Chinese and Brownells copy of the Versa-Vise that's not as good as the Chinese copy that Grizzly sells for 1/10th the price.


12-14-2010, 06:24 PM
Bummer 38-cal
I loked them up and the Yost brand shows that they are discontinued:(
Thanks for the input. I like that free shipping from Enco, but will look at Grizzly's vises as well

12-14-2010, 06:35 PM
There's a vice that has just taken my fancy - Sealey CV125MAV.

I've no idea about the quality, but it looks as if it will solve a perennial problem - working on the end of pipes and rods, and letting you saw down the length of pieces.

12-14-2010, 06:54 PM
Sealey CV125MAV

I had a vise similar to that one many years ago. At first blush is looks convenient having the two heads you can swivel around and use, but the locking mechanism on the spindle is really weak. When loading the vise in the vertical plane it would swivel in the horizontal plane. There is only one pressure lock on the spindle, so I added another on the opposite side and that helped, but then the jaws fractured and I had to weld them.
Its a great vise for light duty work IMO.
This was about 25 years ago, so they may have improved the design since then.

12-14-2010, 06:55 PM
A good complement to a bench vise that gets banged on a lot is a small bench anvil that can be held in the vise. They're dirt cheap and easily replaced if they crumble. Mine hasn't yet but it takes a good beating. As a result my more expensive vise is still in excellent condition.


12-14-2010, 07:13 PM
I'm having trouble finding a decent vise at a price under $100.00 US.

Many machinist vises as have been made in the US over the years, and are still in working condition. Have you looked locally for a used one?


12-14-2010, 07:58 PM
I have been looking at the used option also. Almost too late to find one. My son would'nt care if it was new, used or not. My better half might have another opinion though. Think I might wait, mabe good one will show up for his birthday in Feburary. I was just wondering, if this one was a total POS.

12-14-2010, 08:23 PM
I have it:
It is not the top of the line, but it works. It hasn't broken, and I've banged on it pretty hard; cheater bar'd the lever etc. As you can see, I replaced the jaws with brass ones I made. The originals are still fine, I just preferred the soft jaws. The only thing I've had happen with it was an easy fix. There is a circlip that locates on the leadscrew and it popped off. Hence, IIRC, you could screw it closed, but then not release it unless you pulled up on the entire moveable jaw piece. I took it apart, reset the circlip, and it's been going ever since. I'll admit, I wouldn't be opposed to it breaking :) because I have a nice Wilton Tradesman 1750 in another area of the shop. The difference I notice the most is: jaw movement is pretty "wiggly" while you're closing the less expensive one. The screw/nut fit is looser as well. The 1750 sorta glides closed, keeping the jaws nicely parallel. The one pictured is more loose. That said, there is a big price difference. ...and it hasn't nudged yet---even with my wishing for it too! :D It has worked hard for me. I would give it my vote as a practical tool. (I have the 5-1/2" jaw version marked "4500". Yes, Made in China.)

12-14-2010, 08:59 PM
My vote is Columbian I have a 5" on my welding bench and a 3 1/2 as well as a 4 1/2 in both with swivel rear jaws on my work bench. Ive used these since 1960 as a profesional gunsmith they are fantastic. From 1947 to 1960 I had a variety of vises that never held up. Schools used to use columbian in their shops sometimes they are available at school auctions. Paul J

noah katz
12-14-2010, 08:59 PM
I got this one and like it


nothing like having 11" opening capacity; every other vise I've had (6" before this) has come up short at some point

12-14-2010, 11:40 PM
Schools used to use Columbian in their shops sometimes they
are available at school auctions.I will second the suggestion of shopping commercial/industrial auctions
for vises if this is feasible for you. I have watched as countless vises sold
for pennies on the dollar.

For an example, I paid $20 last year for a No-6 Mechanics' Vise by Gray Tools (http://www.graytools.com/catalogue/bench%20vises.pdf),
a 70 lb chunk of cast iron that was just one of ten similar vises available at
the sale. This is a model that sells for something approaching $200 at new
trade price, someone currently has an unused one on CL in Vanc for $125 (http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/bnc/tls/2095515603.html).


12-14-2010, 11:54 PM
I will second the suggestion of shopping commercial/industrial auctions
for vises if this is feasible for you. I have watched as countless vises sold
for pennies on the dollar.

+1 more. I've seen some stout old vises go for opening bids, sometime they get no bids at all.

Shame really, I assume they go straight to the scrap yard with all the old metal shelving and nuts and bolts swept up off the floor!

Mike Hunter
12-15-2010, 09:35 AM
I've got two Columbian's in my shop... both I picked up in antique shops... Just a thought.



12-15-2010, 05:12 PM
Im also a big fan of buying used. Some things like vises and anvils may get abused a bit, but never really wear out. My rule of thumb is to pay a max of $0.50/lb of vice and $1.00/lb of anvil. If you want a "little" vise - one you can lift yourself without much effort look at yard sales. If you want a real vise look at industrial/farm auctions.

12-15-2010, 07:18 PM
Thats confusing, advise for a vise. At least it's not a vice.:p I'm going to find him a nice fishing rod for Christmas, and keep an eye out for an older vise for later. Looks like thats the most votes. I looked at some at some of the cheaper new ones, not real impressive. I wish they made em like they used too.

12-15-2010, 07:28 PM
Does Wilton actually MAKE ANYTHING in the US anymore?? Certainly not any of their machines that I know of. Even their EXPENSIVE square wheel grinder is made in Asia,and priced as if it was USA.

12-15-2010, 09:31 PM
C'mon, guys! Jeesh. You're looking at sub $100 vises! :rolleyes: Wilton actually DOES make 'em like they used to. Their Machinists' Bench Vises haven't ever changed---that is, in decades upon decades. The 4" stationary is ~$400. They also make the Tradesman line of vises which are US made, quite nice and a little less expensive. The 4" swivel with pipe jaws is $290-300. So quit yer whinin' :mad:

12-15-2010, 10:04 PM
I recently went through my small collection of about 7 old vises looking for one that I could use for holding pieces to be welded. I concluded that I just couldn't bring myself to splattering up an old , good quality vise . So, I'll let my antiques sit , and go buy one from Harbor Freight that I won't care about.

12-16-2010, 12:10 AM
I have it:
http://i771.photobucket.com/albums/xx357/Arrak_Thumrs/Widgets/DSCN4048.jpgSame here. Movable jaw broke in half one day when I barely touched it; I guess I had cracked it the previous time I used it. I never really beat on it, so I assume it was a bad casting.

Bought another one just like it though as I needed a vice ASAP and had no idea there was anything better... ah, the things I've learned since then!!

Jim Shaper
12-16-2010, 09:00 AM
$40 on Craigs List:


Granted, I painted it. But it's still a C2 Wilton with good jaws (both main and pipe inserts).

Mike Hunter
12-16-2010, 10:32 AM

sent a PM

12-16-2010, 04:50 PM
Craigslist is a good option. An old Reed, Morgan or Wilton could turn out to better than anything you buy new today.

Jim Shaper
12-17-2010, 08:18 AM
I was stating what I paid for it and via what medium it came to my attention.

12-17-2010, 10:02 AM
Does Wilton actually MAKE ANYTHING in the US anymore?? Certainly not any of their machines that I know of. Even their EXPENSIVE square wheel grinder is made in Asia,and priced as if it was USA.

Wilton does still make vises in the US. They're very expensive.

+4 on the used vise recommendations. Wilton, Record, et al. Aside from the obvious fit and finish, they're made with good quality cast iron.

We've had so many pictures here of the Chinese/Indian vises snapped in half, with "foamy" pot metal iron.