A drill press is a vertical drilling machine wherein the drill is powered at the target via manual levers or through automation. Drill press vises, on the other hand, are designed for firmly securing the work piece between its jaws so that it doesn’t move when the drill bit is in action. Some press vises clamp to the working table and there are others that use miter-gauge slots. Not every vise is the same and we have tried to jot down our thoughts on some of the more reliable market offerings, down below.
1. IRWIN 226340 4 – inch
This vise has a jaw-width of 4 inches, and a clamping capacity of 4-1/2 inches. It offers good amount of pressure and stability for drilling tasks, thanks to the 1000-pound clamping pressure and a forged iron build. It’s good enough for thin or precise drilling projects that require vertical drilling positions. However, the vise is a bit on the heavier side, especially when you consider its size. Moreover, the turn-screw can be a tad clumsy at times. Some past users have also complained about the vise for not being flat at its back, which makes it difficult to place it on a table without the sides moving back and forth.
2. Wilmar Performance Tool W3939
Weighing 2.8 pounds, this Wilmar press vise has a durable build and is easy to handle, thanks to the pivot handle. In fact, people who have issues working with heavy vises may find this offering to be a breath of fresh air, or extremely mobile. The mounting holes with a slot design and etched jaws for anti-slipping traits also add to the vise’s functionality kitty. Solidly built, it’s however, quite rough near the edges. The machine is positioned at the low-price segment of the market and does what it’s supposed to do tremendously well. Anyone who doesn’t really require a larger vise or wants a secondary machine complementing a bigger press vise, this tool would come in quite handy for them.
3. Wilton 69997 4 – inch
The Wilton 69997 fits a majority of drill presses. Weighing at around 7.5 pounds, this 4-inch vise is not too small or big — it’s the perfect size for a variety of applications. Build like a bulldozer, this press vise is not meant for handling fine work. The task should be big enough for straddling the screw on either jaw sides. It is customary of the way these vise models are designed. This is precisely the reason why at least a couple of differently sized vises are necessary for maximizing a drill press’s utility. Also, this vise’s design allows drill bit passing via the work.
4. JewelryTools (VIS-265.00)
This press vise clamp from EURO TOOL is a handy aluminum when used in conjunction with DRL-300.00, a tabletop drill press from EURO TOOL. There are slots in the vise and the hardware needed to attach the press base is also included. The vise’s quick open feature ensures rapid closure and opening of the jaws, or smaller adjustments can be made via the handle. 70mm (2-3/4″) is the maximum jaw opening, and 65mm (2-1/2″) and 27mm (1-1/16″) are the jaw’s width and height, respectively. A length and width of 9-1/2″ and 4-1/2″ sum up the dimensions.
5. Wilton 11744 4 – inch
This Wilton vise is designed for several applications — including tapping, drilling and reaming. The low-profile clearance ensures enhanced machine table working space. The 4-inch v-grooved hardened jaws keep the round-shaped items in place, both horizontally and vertically. The vise is fairly tight and smooth; however, it would have been better if there was an opening at the center underneath where the task gets mounted. This probably may be on the expensive side, but it definitely delivers on its claims like a champ. Simply put, the vise could be a perfect tool for an enthusiast or hobbyist.
6. Wilton 11743 3 – Inch
This Wilton vise equipped with a 3-inch jaw is quite similar to its brethren, Wilton 11744, in terms of functionality and design. It’s got the same low-profile clearance, drilling, reaming and tapping traits. This vise works great if you’d want to set this aside when not using it, thanks to the smaller overall footprint. However, don’t let the minimal stature fool you — for it’s solidly built enough to carry out filing, drilling, and sanding tasks. The jaws are made out of steel and the operational noise is minimal at worst. Simply put, most workbenches would love to have this around.
7. Wilton 11693 3 – Inch
This 3-inch press vise is another Wilton offering — the most recurring brand in this list. It works accurately enough to move horizontally and in longitudinal directions for succinct positioning. This Wilton press vise does a decent enough job if you feed slowly and take small cuts. Don’t expect the vise to adhere to your tight tolerance requirements. It’s handy, but it may get on the tighter side when maneuvering things. For the price, the vise is good enough — both in features and build quality. You won’t be disappointed if the vise isn’t pushed too hard.
8. Wilton 11754 4 – Inch
This Wilton vise is another model that has its roots cropping up from the same category as the 11743 and 11744. It has a cradle design with a vertical indexing of 90 degrees. The tommy bar at the side ensures secure locking at increments from 0 to 90 degrees. This vise has got superior build quality and functionality —courtesy the casting detail and smooth vise action. The vise is not placed at the higher end of the segment and is, therefore, priced appropriately. However, considering its flexibility and versatility, there is very little this vise cannot do that its much pricier counterparts can. And, a mere glance is indicative of the several years of service it can potentially offer.
Drill press vises are imperative for production or construction tasks that need multiple holes to be drilled. The equipment sets into action when it’s placed and tightened once the actual drilling location is found. The only manual work needed is to ensure it is lined up properly beneath the drill bit.
The above list is an indicative list of the options available in terms of drill press vises. With every vise differentiating itself from its competition in terms of feature set and budget, it’s almost impossible for a DIY enthusiast to not find a variety or model that suits his/her project requirements and personal preferences.