A woodworking vise also known as a woodworker’s vise is a holding device that is normally attached to a workbench and is used to clamp workpiece firmly in place.
It is similar to a metalworking vise but it has flat and smooth jaws so as not to damage or dent the surface of the wood. Its jaws also tend to be larger than metal working vises to allow them to extend clamping pressure over a larger area on the wood.
This reduces the chances of denting the workpiece while clamped. A woodwork vise is designed to withstand heavy-duty use during work applications due to its design and strong metal construction.
Types of Woodworking Vise
There are three main types of woodwork vise that are all specially designed for different tasks and purposes. They include the following:
- Plain screw
- Plain Screw Vise
A plain screw vise is a standard woodwork vise that incorporates a traditional screw system meant to move the sliding jaw. The vise is operated by turning the handle in a clockwise or anti-clockwise motion to open or close the jaws. However, this type of mechanism tends to be time-consuming especially when removing and re-clamping a piece of wood in various positions.
- Quick-Release Vise
This type of woodwork vise is slightly larger but similar in appearance to the plain screw vise. The only difference is that it operates using a quick-release mechanism which means that its jaws can be rapidly re-adjusted or re-opened without having to rotate the handle repeatedly. This vise is commonly used in industrial woodworking to save time as its jaws can be opened quickly and workpieces interchanged with one quick and easy movement.
- Woodcraft Vise
A woodcraft vise is light-duty and is designed for domestic use since it is lighter in construction compared to other woodworking vises. This type of vise is commonly used to clamp light and small pieces of wood during woodworking. This tool is ideal for handymen or hobbyists although even professional woodworkers can use it for small projects such as clamping wood that is to be crafted, painted, filed or glued.
How To Choose a Woodworking Vise
The type of woodwork vise you choose will primarily depend on the kind of clamping you intend to do. For smaller or light-weight woodworking projects such as domestic tasks around your home, then a woodcraft vise is the most appropriate.
However, for most general use quick-release or plain screw vises are the most ideal as they can withstand both heavy duty and light duty clamping. If you have to choose between a quick-release or a plain screw vise, then you will need to consider time and budget.
If your woodworking task involves clamping different types of workpieces with varying widths, then a quick-release mechanism is the most appropriate. It will save you a lot of time and energy since you will not have to constantly re-adjust the position of the jaws.
However, this type of vise is more expensive compared to the plain screw type hence if you want to save money rather than time, you may consider the plain screw vise.