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Milling Vise: Bridgeport vs. Kurt?

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  • Milling Vise: Bridgeport vs. Kurt?

    I have had a search running on E-Bay for several months now for Kurt Milling Vise. Naturally I have seen many offered for sale. Some are in near new condition with a price to match. Others are well used and abused and are priced to match. No real super bargains there.

    But E-Bay also sends E-mails about Bridgeport milling vises. The prices for them are well under those for the Kurts. And I am wondering just how well does a Bridgeport vise stack up against a Kurt? I have never had the chance to see either one up close and personal.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    I've used Kurt vises on the mills the gunsmithing school had when I was teaching. Lovely tools, would really like to have one. I have a huge 6" Bridgeport vise on my own mill, and even though it's seen some abuse by the previous owner, it's still very serviceable. I think I would look at the Glacern Machine Tool vises...I personally feel that some of Kurt's pricing is based on name recognition rather than utility.
    David Kaiser
    “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein

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    • #3
      The Kurt closing mechanism style has become the industry standard in milling vises. There are high end clones, a good deal more expensive than American-made Kurt, as well as the off shore cheap ones. 6" wide jaw models are the most popular. Any number of after market jaw types are available for the 6" vises.

      Newer model 6" Kurt's have a bit more open jaw capacity than the original Kurt's. More important than jaw capacity IMO with the newer ones is the open slots for the hold down bolts. With open slots you can easily slide the hold down tee-bolts in from the side. Older models weren't open slot so the 80 some pound vise would have to be dropped down over the tee-bolts (or tee-nuts had to be aligned under the bolt holes)..

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      • #4
        I've had both I'd go Kurt hands down. I've seen & bouht 6" Bridgeports for under $50.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
          I have had a search running on E-Bay for several months now for Kurt Milling Vise. Naturally I have seen many offered for sale. Some are in near new condition with a price to match. Others are well used and abused and are priced to match. No real super bargains there.

          But E-Bay also sends E-mails about Bridgeport milling vises. The prices for them are well under those for the Kurts. And I am wondering just how well does a Bridgeport vise stack up against a Kurt? I have never had the chance to see either one up close and personal.
          Real bargains are few and far in between. On ebay everybody has gold !!

          I have an original BP vise with swivel base that came with my mill. It's in near new condition because I've never abused it. My only complaint is the movable jaw does kick up almost .001 due to the wear and is typical of that design. I've often thought of grinding a slight taper on the movable jaw face to compensate for the lift when tightened.

          JL..............

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          • #6
            I was never a fan of the Bridgeport vises,they aren't as accurate or repeatable as the Kurt type,even the import Kurt clones.I've got two Kurt D688's at work and like them alot.
            Sadly it looks like Kurt has halted production on the 688 and went with thier new DX6 design.I'm sure the vise works well as all Kurt vises do,but I don't like the bolt through mounting holes in the vise bed nor the cutouts for the side mounting holes.Just what every mill vise needs,a feature that traps and holds swarf.

            If your machine is smaller than a Bridgeport,you might want a 5" vise though.The Kurt D688's are 18" overall length IIRC and might be a bit big for an 8x36 table.
            I just need one more tool,just one!

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            • #7
              "SE Texas" is a pretty big area. You should be able to find a nice Kurt at auction for about $150.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                I was never a fan of the Bridgeport vises,they aren't as accurate or repeatable as the Kurt type,even the import Kurt clones.I've got two Kurt D688's at work and like them alot.
                Sadly it looks like Kurt has halted production on the 688 and went with thier new DX6 design.I'm sure the vise works well as all Kurt vises do,but I don't like the bolt through mounting holes in the vise bed nor the cutouts for the side mounting holes.Just what every mill vise needs,a feature that traps and holds swarf.

                If your machine is smaller than a Bridgeport,you might want a 5" vise though.The Kurt D688's are 18" overall length IIRC and might be a bit big for an 8x36 table.
                That's what made me think twice about buying one. That has to be a big PIA to keep clean.

                JL...............

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                • #9
                  If you really want one you need to browse the new listings for used vises everyday. Or get very thorough about your search terms.. ie ceate a number of searches to cover all possible ways a Kurt could be listed.

                  For example, there is one on Ebay right now listed as an 'Anglelok D60'... zero mention of Kurt for $200.

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                  • #10
                    I have both, Kurt hands down. ... You may also want to look at Parlec, Not a big name brand like Kurt, but the quality is there. Years ago I bought one from Enco...Siniffle Sniffle

                    About half the price of a Kurt.
                    Mike Hunter

                    www.mikehunterrestorations.com

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                    • #11
                      No matter what brand vise you buy make sure it has the anglock type mechanism that keeps the movable jaw down tight. If you don't have that feature, and as far as I know Bridgeport vised don't have it, your work piece sill lift up when it is tightened. I have several Kurts and a Parlec. The Parlec is nice enough but it is pretty stiff to turn the handle. My Kurts all spin freely with a speed handle using one finger. The Parlec needs the speed handle to be firmly grasped with your hand to turn it. Not really very speedy.

                      As others have said, there are many brands of Kurt clones out there. I did have an import Kurt clone and it was OK but it is kind of hit and miss with quality.

                      Brian
                      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                      THINK HARDER

                      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by softtail View Post
                        If you really want one you need to browse the new listings for used vises everyday. Or get very thorough about your search terms.. ie ceate a number of searches to cover all possible ways a Kurt could be listed.

                        For example, there is one on Ebay right now listed as an 'Anglelok D60'... zero mention of Kurt for $200.
                        And search KERT I got some good deals on poor spelling & bad pics.

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                        • #13
                          Bridgeports vise looks like something you would be better off mounting on your drill press or something like that, I do believe the 6" version is heavy enough to keep a small aluminum boat from drifting away so might be another good use of it VS just turning it in for scrap... (SJ would be proud of me about right now)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flylo View Post
                            And search KERT I got some good deals on poor spelling & bad pics.
                            Yes.. and don't forget 'vice'.

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                            • #15
                              Deja vu...

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