is evident with only two hands, it is not possible to handle a tool and
the workpiece at the same time. If you need both hands to hold the
object, you need a helper as well. However, for those who prefer to work
alone, there is an optionuse a vise. A vise or vice is a clamping
device or a mechanical screw apparatus. A vise is used to clamp or hold
a work piece/object to allow work to be done on it with tools like saws,
drills, mills, planes, screwdrivers, sandpaper, etc. Vises usually
consist of two fixed jaws for holding the workpiece firmly in place, and
they move in correlation with each other. The size of a vise is measured
by both the jaw width and the capacity of the vise, when the jaws are
fully open. When it comes to holding objects securely, a vise is the
tool that you always rely on. Like clamps, vises depend on a screw to
apply pressure. However, while clamps have relatively small areas of
contact, vises have robust jaws, which are textured or have special
shaped faces that enhance gripping ability. Vises are designed in such a
way to suit the material you are working with and the scale of the job.
Types of Vises
Classification of vises as per materials
- Woodworking vise: Woodworking vises are available with
jaws from 6" to 10" wide. Some woodworking vises have a "fast-acting"
screw arrangement for the rapid positioning of the movable jaw,
prior to clamping. Smaller vises have continuous screws and are
light and easy to clamp on a workbench or sawhorse. They are used
for cabinet making and joinery.
- Hinged-pipe vise: A hinged-pipe vise is used to hold pipe
in position for threading and cutting.
- Angle vise: An angle vise can be adjusted to a flat
position and used as a regular vise. Marked adjustments permit the
user to obtain any desired angle. The vise can also be locked into
any position with a thumbscrew and bolts can be tightened for
- Bench vise: Bench vises are designed for light work in
the home, garage and farm. They come in stationary and swivel
models, of cast gray iron, milled and ground jaws, machined to
ensure proper operation.
- Pipe Vises: Used as plumbing tool, a Pipe Vise is used to
cut, thread or ream a pipe. There are two types available-yoke and
chain. Both have specially designed jaws or chains for gripping
pipe. A yoke vise will hold pipe 1/8" to 6", a chain vise,
pipe 1/8" to 8".
- Yoke Vise: A Yoke Vise has V-shaped jaws, which grip pipe
from above and below. Lower jaw is fixed, upper jaw is raised or
lowered by a screw. The pipe is held in the inverted V-shaped yoke,
which unlatches on one side and tilts, so pipe can be placed into
- Chain Vise: A Chain Vise is smaller with a fixed lower
V-shaped jaw, with teeth on which the pipe is laid and a
bicycle-type chain fastened to one end. When the pipe is inserted,
chain is placed over it and locked in a slot on the opposite side.
- Carpenter's vise: A vise is an integral part of a
carpenter's tool box. The carpenter's vise is perfect for on-site
work. It clamps to a temporary work and it is used mainly for
sawing, planing and other medium-duty operations.
- Drill-press vise: The workpiece is securely clamped to
the table using this vise. Unlike other vises, drill-press vise
isn't permanently fastened in place. The vise is secured to the
drill-press table using bolts that fit in the table's slots and
accordingly the vise can be positioned to suit the size and shape of
the workpiece as well as the requirements of the job.
- Miter vise: Nailing or screwing mitered corner can throw
a joint out of place unless and until it is held firmly in place. A
miter vise is used to hold two adjacent pieces of a mitered frame at
angle of 90 degree and keep the pieces in that position for
fastening or gluing.
Depending on the material of the workpiece, vises can be classified as
woodworking vises and metal working vises. While in the former, the jaws
are made of wood, plastic or metal, in the latter the jaws of the vises
are made of metal which may be hardened steel or carbon steel with a
coarse gripping finish. In some cases there are removable soft jaws as
Applications of Vises
Vises are widely used in various industries and applications like as
- Aerospace Industry
- Mechanical Lab
- Automotive Industry
- Medicine Application
- Machine Tool Application
- Metal working