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Plastic hobby vises like the Dremel Multi-Vise are great for delicate work, but sometimes you need a portable vise that can handle some abuse — like a cast iron clamp-on vise. These vises are great both in the shop and throughout the home because they set up quickly and offer strong clamping force. And you’ll really love ‘em if you don’t have a large work area because they’re as effective attached to a computer desk as to a workbench.

With three-inch jaws and a two-inch opening, you can fit all sorts of items into these vises.  And if you pair them up, these vises excel at securing pipes, channeling, and beams.  Modelers and fabricators will also love the built-in anvil, which is sized well for pounding wire and bar stock into shape.  One drawback: Given the vise’s size, the jaws aren’t removable or replaceable.  But you can easily purchase non-marring magnetic slip-on pads,  and if you trash the whole vise, you can replace it for less than $20.

With an average street price of $15, you might want to buy two.  They’re available from lots of manufacturers, but I’ve had good experiences with Wilton, Irwin, Columbian, and Pony.

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2 Responses to Portable Vises That Can Take A Beating

  1. JamesBrauer66 says:

    I have three Sears vices that look like they are the same casting. The C clip that is captured to push the jaws open comes off pretty easy, and the tightening arms bend if you push too hard. Still they are pretty handy for light duty.

  2. If you have a stronger fancy for woodworking than metal forming, then check out this clamp-on woodworking vise over at Rockler: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10707&filter=24006

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