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It 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 option—use 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
  • 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 permanent positioning.

  • 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 it.

  • 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.
Classification of vises as per materials
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 well.

Applications of Vises
Vises are widely used in various industries and applications like as follows:
  • Aerospace Industry
  • Mechanical Lab
  • Automotive Industry
  • Medicine Application
  • Machine Tool Application
  • Carpentry
  • Metal working

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