Enhancing Your DIY Projects with a Craftsman Vise

6 Tips For Using a Craftsman Viste


Using your hands is great for a lot of DIY projects, but there will be times when you need more leverage than what your hands can provide. That’s where a bench vise comes in. A metal clamping device that bolts to a workbench, it has handle-screw mechanisms that users turn to open and close its jaws to secure a board, pipe, or other item.

Many metalworking and woodworking vises are made of cast iron, and they can have a tensile gripping strength of up to 60,000 pounds per square inch. Some also feature an anvil surface, which provides a solid place to hammer tools like drift pins and bent lawn-mower blades.

When selecting a workbench vise, consider its throat depth and jaw width. The latter refers to the maximum distance between the vise’s jaws, and it’s important for clamping objects with varying dimensions. Some models also come with a swivel base, which eliminates the need to hunch over to reach projects that are located in the rear of the vise.


Vises, sometimes called “the third hand,” are mounted on workbenches or similar firm supports to clamp materials in place. They are used for a variety of tasks, but they should be used with care to prevent damaging the material or the vise. Always use a vise that is large enough for the job at hand and keep it securely attached to its base. Support the end of long work with a box, adjustable stand or saw horse to prevent extra stress on the jaws. Use jaw liners to protect the surface of delicate parts from damage. Replace worn or damaged jaw inserts.


A bench vise is a substantial mechanical apparatus and therefore, needs to be handled with the utmost care and precision. This is because if not handled correctly, it can cause serious injury to the user and damage to the equipment itself.

Always cover your face and eyes when working with a vise. It is also advisable to wear gloves while handling it. Never tighten a vise more than its maximum clamping capacity. This will cause stress fractures that can lead to the failure of the piece and the vise.

Sealed construction keeps debris out and lubrication in for smooth operation.


There are several ways to maintain your vise. The jaws can be lubricated with oil to keep them slipping smoothly and to prevent damage from rust. The main screw can be cleaned by using a wire brush to remove any metal chips and dirt that may have accumulated on it.

I’ve had my current vise for a few years now and it has performed well. I recently had to replace the vise jaws which was a simple procedure of removing four allen head screws and installing new jaws. This was done very quickly.

IRWIN Record vises are available in a wide range of styles, jaw widths and capacities as well as base types and clamping forces. They feature a set of replaceable machinist and pipe jaws, precision machined front bar covering the Acme threaded main screw and 360deg swivel base with two lock downs. Each model is constructed of high strength ductile iron. These all-purpose vises are ideal for a full range of projects requiring a sturdy material hold for cutting, screwing, drilling, planing and sanding.

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