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Many of us own one of these drill press vises with slides attached that allow positioning the workpiece under the drill press spindle in the X and Y axes.  But are they of much use for general shop work?

For the majority of my drilling tasks I stick with a standard drill press vise — it floats on the table, but it’s heavy enough to resist the rotational forces of the drill.  For heavier work I’ll align it and bolt it to the table.

At times when I’ve needed to precisely position the hole I’ve used a (better-quality) X/Y table, but most of the cheap import X/Y vises seem to lack the precision that would allow for such accurate positioning.

So what do you think:  a good idea that never approaches real-world utility, or something you can’t live without on your drill press?  Let us know in comments.


8 Responses to Hot or Not? X/Y Slide Vises

  1. Mike lee says:

    I barely used the standard vice for my drill press. When I need to hold something in place, I just use a clamp. However, If you a tool monger like myself, you can’t have enough tools.

  2. Dave P says:

    I got a great deal on a massive xy vice–which as it turns out it too big for my drill press. It makes a great door stop.

  3. ToolGuyd says:

    Warm. They have their uses, but ultimately there are quicker and better solutions out there, e.g. clamps or a mill-style tables with separate hold-downs.

    The main advantage to a cross-slide vise is its relatively low cost. Of course, with a lower price tag comes fewer adjustment options, less accuracy, and difficult repeatability.

  4. Jon O says:

    Sort of hot. With one of these and the right tool chucked up you can perform some ghetto-level milling that has come in useful for me at times.

    As far as aligning the workpiece to a specific location under a twist bit, I say “Meh” unless you’ve got the expensive/accurate setup.

  5. Joe says:

    Not for the drill press. If the piece is big enough, I’ll use T-slot clamps. If it’s small, I’ll use one of the drill press vises.

  6. Shopmonger says:


    Great for making make shift mortises………….
    great for centering on a drill press for more accurate holes….

    not perfect like a bridgeport….. but none the less usefull

  7. Jack Danials says:

    ok, so i got one from grizzly and it works great enough for me. i do more metal work then wood work at home, and as far as notching or anything linear it’s great. However….. i am NOT a machinist, nor am i master fabricator building hundred thousand dollar buggies, but for me… better then buying a mill. like the lame addage goes, “Better to have it and not need it, then to not have it and need it.”

  8. Michael W. says:

    indespensible on my mortising machine, but never used one anywhere else.

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