Best Bench Clamps in 2020

WEN 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press Vise Review:

This is a pretty well made vise for the price. This vice is a good size for a small milling machine or drill dress, it has removable jaws so you can make soft jaws for it. The other thing that impressed my was the fact that it was clean, no dirt, no chips left from machining, nicely painted surfaces and oiled. I have bought so many imported things from Asian countries that never deburred properly or cleaned prior to shipment, this vise is not one of those items, in fact I plan to buy another one so I can holder longer work.

Update, I disassembled the vise and checked for parallel of the base and bottom clamping surface with a .0005" dial test indicator and they are parallel. I clamped the vise upside down on my Micro Mark mill and milled a shallow slot for some .500" brass square stock I had lying around, clamped the stock in the slot and milled the width to .480" to fit tight in the table slot, tapped some #10-24 threads for holding the finished brass keys in place. I took a skim cut on the under surface for the movable jaw slot and filed the clamp plate a bit, ( will replace with some brass flat stock ) this helps keep the movable jaw from lifting and still slides even when the screws are snugged up. I plan to make some soft jaws and will use 1/4"-20 screws to hold them, that size will fit the holes on the vise ( don't have any metric taps ),
A little bit of work and I have a pretty nice machined vise.

Yost Vises 445 4.5" Heavy-Duty Utility Combination Pipe and Bench Vise Review:

This is a great vise for your garage or basement work bench. It is heavy duty enough to confidently handle moderate jobs and some nice features to make it versatile. The 360 swivel is great, and as other reviewers have stated, these now ship with tie downs on both sides. This allows you to swivel and lock into place without and give. The notches under the jaws also securely hold pipes for cutting. When mounting you will need to be right on the end of the table in order for the fixed jaw to be past your table edge to allow clamped items to go to the floor.

To confirm for other viewers, the vise is sold by a Michigan company but manufactured and shipped from China. However, the materials are all very sturdy and it does not feel cheap or flimsy. I secured to the bench with 3/8" bolts, using a washer, locking washer and lock nut under the bench. The holes will snugly fit a 1/2" bolt. The directions provide some recommended under mount support.

Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4", 226340 Review:

This is built well and the parts move smoothly so I gave it 5 stars. I feel I paid a fair price for it. However the placement of the slots to bolt it down were too far out so it isn't compatible with my drill press which is a Harbor Freight 8 in. 5 speed drill press. I plan to make a simple adapter to make it work. I think I can cut a piece of 2x6 to fit under this vise. I'll bolt that piece of the wood to the drill press. Then I'll place the vice on top of the wood and bolt the vice to that. This should hold it down solid in theory.

So others can avoid the mistake of buying this and then finding out the holes don't line up to allow you to bolt the vice to your drill press, here are the measurements for the slots in the vice which you would use to bolt it down (accurate as of September 2016 when I purchased this):

Width of one of the slots: 5/8"
Length of one of the slots: 2-7/8"
Center point to center point of slots on either side: 5-2/8"

So if the center point to center point measurement doesn't line up with the corresponding center points for the slots in your drill press, then you are going to have the same problem of me where you can't bolt it to your drill press.

IRWIN Woodworking Vise, 3-Inch (226303ZR) Review:

I puchased this vise at an incredible price. It wasn't even a Lightning Deal or anything like that; just one day the price was drastically reduced for no apparent reason and was, literally, too good to refuse. Unfortunately, once it arrived I had buyer's remorse. For some reason (i.e. my own stupidity), I was under the impression that this was a multi-angle vise similar to the  Stanley MaxSteel multi-angle vise. It's not. Keep that in mind when making your purchase.

That said, this vise seems to be of decent quality. It's definitely a light-duty vise, being only 3" wide and a clamp-on to boot, but it is heavy for its size and built quite sturdily. The jaws open/close smoothly, so no binding in the main screw. Heck, it even has an anvil and pipe jaws incorporated into the design... on a 3" clamp-on vise!

I remember way back in the old days when I lived in an apartment, and there were times I could have used a simple vise like this. If you're married you probably won't get away with this, but for single guys in apartments you could easily clamp this onto your dining room table. Or if you have a WorkMate in the closet, that'll work too. Heck, you could take it to the local park and clamp it onto a picnic bench if you wanted. The point is, the vise is portable, so you're limited only by your imagination for where you could use it.

I don't know how much use I'm going to get out of this, considering I already have a heavy-duty 6" vise mounted on my workbench, but for the price I paid it's just not worth the time/effort to return. I'll probably use it as a second support point for those ultra-rare occassions when I'm working on an overly long workpiece; i.e. use the heavy-duty vise for the main grip, but use the smaller clamp-on vise to stabilize the longer workpiece... so long as the workpiece doesn't have to remain level of course, given the size difference between the two vises.

Regardless, if you need a light-duty portable vise, this Irwin vise is a great option.

Kreg Tool Company KKS1070 Kreg Bench Dogs Review:

These are very handy and have a nice low profile. I haven't had the chance to place alot of pressure against them yet. But I am sure it won't be long before I do. So far what small amount I have used isn't showing any signs of deforming or stressing around the base of the head. I was worried at first because of these being made of plastic and being hollow. If I had to guess I would say I have placed 30 to 40 pounds of pressure from my benches side vice. For holding a board in place while I used a hand plane to smooth that board. I didn't find the bench brakes as Kreg calls them to be very good but using a small piece of double sided tape and some small pieces of drawer liner together now stops every board I have placed on them to stop in its tracks. One thing I do advise is for you not to have hopes of reusing the box they come in. Kreg went a little overboard with the glue. By the time you cut it all away to open it fully. There isn't much left of the lip for the lid to try and close against. For the price these can't be beat.

Pony 27091 9-Inch by 7-Inch Medium Duty Woodworker's Vise Review:

Nice little wood vise for the money. The 9" opening set it apart from some of the others I looked at. It was fairly easy to install and I'm looking forward to using it.

To address questions I saw related to installing the jaw pads: the fixed jaw has M6 threads. I used M6 X 20mm flat head phillips screws (tapered head) to install a 3" X 7" X 1/2" plywood pad to this jaw. For the outside jaw I used #12 X 3/4" flat head phillips screws to secure the pad. Both screw types are available at Home Depot/Lowes/Ace.

I suggest installing the pads before attaching the vise to your bench. I did not and had to remove the vice to install the pads, then reinstall it to the bench. The fasteners you need to mount the vise to your bench will depend on your bench. I used some lags and machine screws that I had laying around.

Yakamoz Universal Mini Drill Press Vise Clamp Table Bench Vice for Jewelry Walnut Nuclear Watch Repairing Clip On DIY Sculpture Craft Carving Bed Tool Review:

I'm using this to drill holes in polished agate, petrified wood and jade. The plastic pieces work well to prevent damage or scratching of a finished piece. I'm using diamond drills, so I keep the vice and the rock submerged in water to prevent overheating of the diamond drill. Practice with some junk first and use light pressure with a drill. Strong pressure WILL move the piece and ruin your hole because the plastic bits will squish.

Yost UP360 Universal 6 Inch Prism Style Jaw Cover Review:

Purchased these to assist in assembling iron pipe lamps and other "industrial" home décor. Generally I like them though they are a little softer than I would prefer. It's challenging to find something that will not mar the metal while still being strong enough to hold it secure when applying a lot of torque.

Like most soft jaws, these have several rare earth magnets embedded in them to hold them against the vise's metal jaws. The issue with these is that the magnets are located directly in line with the primary groove that runs the length of the soft jaws and if you clamp something round (or any shape I might guess) too tightly, you risk cracking or breaking one or more of the magnets. Rare earth magnets are very brittle by their nature. The design would benefit from having the magnets offset away from any of the clamping grooves. I only broke one of the magnets and the jaws are still completely functional but depending on your environment, having little flecks of really strong magnet material floating around could cause problems.

GarMills 2 Pack Magnetic Vise Jaw Pads Covers Protectors 1 Multi-Grooved & 1 Standard Set 4.5 Inch (113mm) Review:

Overall, I like these vise jaw pads. The magnets are adequate to hold them in place while you are tightening the vise and they have a little give to them so they shouldn’t crush what they are holding. My vise has a fairly small opening (3 & 11/16”) and the pads reduce this to 2 & 3/8”. I’ll need to figure out an alternative when I need more capacity but these are great if you can fit your item in between them.

IRWIN Woodworking Vise, 6-1/2-Inch (226361) Review:

This smaller clamp is good for smaller items that you want to work with. If you are looking at this, then maybe our interests converge a little. If you find me on YouTube, I don't make videos but I can really catalog them into groups. One group is literally all about clamps. Bench dogs, track clamps, DIY wood that looks like a race car, bought 4 of these here, aluminum anodized red.
Just a little background, I know a lot about Clamping up an item for planing, sanding, drilling, glue-ups, and routing, and all of the pocket screw clamps. Stability is the key to a good project.
The Irwin bench vice is best used at the end of the workbench. Many people will add a piece of 1x4 or 1x6 wider than the vice. But where they falter is in not recessing it into the side of the bench.
Pull it out of the box and see. If you add the scrap boards, don't go over 2-3 inches out on the ends. Can cause warping and be less effective.
Then, if you notch, oh yeah, cut up your new bench, to make the inside edge of the wood jaw flush with the outside edge of the bench.

You will have a more stable work area. The clamp will become an extension of the workbench. And both can be used as one. A couple last tips. Leave the wood just a little higher than the bench and sand flush. Also you can attach a thin piece of raw leather suede side out, or a finer grit sandpaper.