The Best Drill Press Vises in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guides

Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Robert L. Perkins

Drilling holes, reaming, and other such tasks can often entail risk for the user. You have to maintain a strict concentration and focus at all times. Otherwise, you risk causing severe injury to yourself and damage the object you were working on. That is where a drill press vise comes in, helping you perform these tasks safely.

These machines will help to hold in place the object you are working on and protect your own hands or other parts from any risk.

With that in mind, we will now be covering the top 8 amongst the best drill press vise available today, helping you find the one that fits your needs.

Best Drill Press Vise – Comparison

ImageProduct NamePrice
WEN 414CV Benchtop & Drill Press ViseWEN 414CV 4.25" Compound Cross Slide Industrial Strength Benchtop & Drill Press ViseCheck Price
Irwin 226340 Drill Press ViseIrwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4", 226340Check Price
Wilton 11746 Drill Press ViseWilton 11746 6-Inch Low Profile Drill Press ViseCheck Price
Wilton 11694 Cross Slide Drill Press ViseWilton 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press ViseCheck Price
Wilton 11674 Industrial Drill Press ViseWilton 11674 4-Inch Industrial Drill Press ViseCheck Price
Palmgren 14 Drill Press VisePalmgren Drill press viseCheck Price
WEN 423DPV Cast Iron Drill Press ViseWEN 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press ViseCheck Price

Best Drill Press Vise Reviews

We will now be covering what, in our view, are the top eight drill press vise products out there now. The rankings are constructed based on several factors, such as jaw size, constituent material, range of compatibilities, and others.

1. WEN 414CV Compound Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

WEN 414CV 4.25

Key Features

  • The jaw can open up to 4.25 inches
  • Made of powder-coated cast iron
  • 1 mm increment scales
  • Jaw movement range 5.8 inches left-right, 6 inches back-forth
  • Handwheels for extra precision control

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Our best pick is this vise from Wen. Build for durability; this product can work with an array of different vises and is designed to provide strong services as you work.

Its jaws are relatively wide at 4.25 by 1.25 inches and can be widened during use to 4.25 inches.

Keeping with the robust nature of it, this vise is made using cast iron that has been powder coated and billed as possessing industrial-grade strength. This gives it a very tight grip on your workspace, creating the desired security you would want as you drill.

The handwheels are designed to give you an extra amount of precision during drilling work. Also, The scales are machine-marked with 0.1 mm increments, allowing for extremely fine adjustments.

In terms of jaw movement, this vise will give you 5.8 inches left or right, and 6 inches back and forth, making it useful for working with both wood and metal.

As we have already hinted at, its universal design can be coupled with most drill presses, meaning you can purchase without fearing too much about whether or not it will be suitable for your machine.

Pros
  • Wide jaw span
  • Micro-fine adjustments possible with 0.1 mm increment scale
  • Universal design, allowing it to be coupled with most drill presses
Cons
  • You will only get 2 bolts for holding down to your work table

2. Irwin Tools 226340 4-Inch Drill Press Vise

Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4

Key Features

  • Lightweight for portability
  • 5-inch jaw opening
  • 1000-pound clamping pressure
  • Hard textured jaw
  • Made of cast iron as the main material

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At number 2, we have this vise from Irwin Tools. This tough, robust machine is built for portability and is specially designed for lighter duty work. The latter often includes a wide variety of drilling tasks; hence, most users are likely to find a use for this product.

Not only that, but it is also suitable for beginners and less experienced users. It has a slotted base that makes for relatively easy installation and setup and is easier to position, although you might have to spend some time tuning the screws and other parts.

The jaws are textured and give you a good, secure grip. Moreover, the spanning capacity of the said jaw is also ideal for light tasks with a width of 4.5 inches. The overall build is generally very good, and the parts move relatively smooth with minimal friction.

Another desirable aspect of this vise is how easy it is to move about. It is relatively lightweight and will fit most tables.

Lastly, its constituent material is cast iron. This gives it resistance to degradation and means you are likely to get a lot of use out of this particular product.

The clamping pressure this gives you is around 1000 pounds, and overall, it will keep the pressure stable while you perform your drilling work.

Pros
  • Easy setup and installation, good for inexperienced users
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Jaw span of 4.5 inches, ideal for light-duty tasks
  • Jaws are also textured for better grip
  • Made of cast iron for robustness and durability
Cons
  • Not suitable for clamping softer materials like Aluminium
  • The mounting screws are not of the highest quality
  • The bottom is not properly flat

3. Wilton 11746 6-Inch Drill Press Vise

Wilton 11746 6-Inch Low Profile Drill Press Vise

Key Features

  • Versatile and suitable for drilling, reaming, tapping, and others
  • V grooved jaws for holding round objects
  • Low clearance
  • A robust body with steel frame
  • Mounting slots that allow the use of most tables

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Up next, we have the 11746 drill press vise from Wilton. This rather versatile product is designed for a range of uses, including reaming, drilling, tapping, and others.

One of the most important things about this vise is the amount of working space it gives you, allowing for low profile clearance that enables more workroom on the table.

The mounting slots on this vise are suitable for just about any table you may be using.

Another very useful feature is its ability to hold round objects. The vise jaws are structurally designed to have a hardened V groove. This allows them to accommodate such objects, both in a vertical and horizontal orientation.

The jaws also score a lot of points with us for their secureness, giving the user minimum wobbles as you work and drill. Additionally, the clamping jaw is held square through using a large rod that comes in handy in case your working piece is slightly off-center.

Also worth noting, do not let the low clearance fool you; this is a very robust and heavy-duty product that can handle most kinds of drill tasks.

It can be a comparatively expensive option compared to a lot of other products. However, if you want long-lasting, reliable service, then it is absolutely worth the price.

Pros
  • Jaws suitable for holding round objects
  • Robust, long-lasting service
  • Low profile clearance, giving you more working space
  • Clamping jaw held square by a rod that helps of the center work piece
Cons
  • Expensive compared to others
  • The threads on the jaw may require attention

4. Wilton 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

Wilton 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

Key Features

  • V grooved jaws with a hard texture
  • Side knob dial with 0.1 mm increments
  • Made of fine grade cast iron
  • Five mounting holes
  • 3 set screws on the bottom and 3 on the top sled

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For our next entry, we introduce to you this cross slide drill press vise from Wilton. The first thing that caught our eye with regards to this vise its makeup. It is made of fine-grain cast iron castings, creating a construction that is very long-lasting and resistant to damage.

In terms of movement and action, it lets your workpiece move in a smooth manner, in both horizontal and vertical directions, giving extremely accurate positioning as you work on that piece.

Keeping with precision, it comes with a side knob dial that is calibrated with 0.1 mm incremental calibrations. This lets you exert a great degree of fine control over your work.

Moving on to the jaws, much like the previous product we reviewed, this one too can form a V-shaped groove that is suitable for holding round objects, horizontally and vertically.

Elsewhere, it has five mounting holes, with two being positioned either side and one placed center on the back.

For controlling the tightness, you get three set screws on the bottom sled, and another three on the top. A spacer plate is also placed behind the screw set.

Pros
  • Gives you good accuracy and precision when moving the workpiece
  • Good durability as it is made of fine grade cast iron castings
  • Jaws capable of accepting round objects through V-shaped groove
  • Side dial knob allowing very fine adjustments of 0.1 mm
Cons
  • You will have to do a lot of fine-tuning by yourself
  • The drill presses are not very stout and will chatter when in use

5. Wilton 11674 4-Inch Industrial Drill Press Vise

Wilton 11674 4-Inch Industrial Drill Press Vise

Key Features

  • Made of fine grain cast iron
  • Square and parallel accuracy of 0.0001 per inch
  • Precision machined base and sides
  • Squared-off sides
  • Relatively high body weight
  • Jaws made of steel

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After this, we have an industrial drill press vise from Wilton. This product is also suitable for a variety of tasks and is known for offering good accuracy.

The base, sides, and end are all precision machined and will give you good service whenever called upon to aid your drilling activities.

The drill press milling vise construction is long-lasting and strong against wear and tear. Furthermore, the main material is fine grain cast iron castings, and the jaws are made of hard steel, giving you a tight grip as you work.

It has also been precision ground, meaning any inaccuracy is kept to an almost negligible value. The square and parallel accuracy these Vise offers are an incredibly fine 0.0001 per inch, either side.

The squared off sides mean you are able to secure a quick alignment of workpieces during all kinds of tasks. You are also able to chain drill using this vise, simply slide the vise along a fence in the same offset.

Lastly, because of its weight, you may not even face the need to fasten the vise to your table. Simply holding it with your hands may be enough to prevent it from moving, making this viseless of a hassle setting up for the user.

Pros
  • Very accurate with square and parallel accuracy of 0.0001 per inch
  • Squared off sides allow quick alignment of workpieces
  • Owing to its weight, you may not have to fasten it
  • Robust and sturdy, made of cast iron castings with steel jaws
Cons
  • The handles controlling the jaws are overly long
  • The jaws are slightly wider than the body

6. Palmgren 14 4-Inch Tradintional Drill press vise

Palmgren 14 Traditional Drill Press Vise, 4 Inches

Key Features

  • Open center, to accommodate working piece via the middle
  • 4 inches jaw opening
  • 1 longitudinal and 3 transverse T slots
  • Jaw fitted with metal plates for extra width
  • Five sides of the vise precision machined
  • The finish on the flats is smooth

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Into our final three now, and here we have this drill press vise from Palmgren. This product is designed with a number of structural features that help in your drilling work, both by improving efficiency and convenience for the user.

The center of this vise is made open for the purpose of holding your workpiece, through the body of the vise. The base is relatively wide to give you a good, solid platform to work on. Five sides of the vise are precision machined. This gives the user flexibility in terms of working orientations.

And as far as T slots go, it has one longitudinal and three transverse ones. Despite being flat and the sides square, the finish on the flats is very smooth.

In addition, it has a wide base by comparison and decent height to give you a stable, convenient drilling experience.

As for the jaws, their opening span is about four inches. These have also been fitted with metal plates that can let them extend by another half an inch or so.

The overall size of this vise is small and compact, allowing easy movement and suitability with just almost all kinds of working tables.

Pros
  • Open for holding the workpiece
  • Wide base and decent height for working
  • Relatively wide jaw opening, allowing a range of objects
  • Small and compact size for portability and versatility
Cons
  • Materials it is made of, are not of a very high standard, not all US-made
  • The finish is not polished, not an actual precision-machined vise

7. WEN 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press Vise

WEN 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press Vise

Key Features

  • Can be used on metal, plastic, and wooden projects
  • 4 mounting slots for holding vise to the table
  • A structure consisting of cast iron
  • Jaws that can widen up to 3 and 1/10th inches
  • Throat depth of 1 inch

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The penultimate entry for this list will be the WEN 423PV drill press vise. It is a versatile vise that can be used with metal, wood, plastic, and other kinds of materials.

No matter what sort of surface you are drilling, chances are you can call upon this mini drill press vise as a user. However, its specialty is working with metal since it’s known as the best drill press vise for metal.

Moving on to structure and material, it is comprised of cast iron and built to be very robust, durable, and long-lasting. The firm structure also ensures good stability as you drill on your piece, protecting against accidents or injury.

In terms of actually holding your piece, this vise has 3-inch jaws that can open up to three and one-tenth inches wide, with the throat depth registering about an inch on the scales.

As for slots, it comes with four onboard mounting slots for the purpose of holding the vise to the mounting table. Most kinds of tables will be compatible with these, further adding to its versatile nature.

And finally, the overall design of this vise is universally compatible, meaning regardless of what drill press you use, you can purchase this vise without fears of the two not being suitable for one another.

Pros
  • Can be used with a variety of materials such as wood, metal, etc.
  • Made of cast iron for added durability
  • Good stability coming from a sturdy structure
  • Compatible with most kinds of tables with 4 mounting slots
Cons
  • Not very suitable for larger projects
  • The plate holding the jaw to the base can be a bit loose

8. HHIP 3901-0184 Pro-Series Industrial 4″ Drill Press Vise

HHIP 3901-0184 Pro-Series Industrial 4

Key Features

  • Can be used on metal, plastic, and wooden projects
  • 4 mounting slots for holding vise to the table
  • A structure consisting of cast iron
  • Jaws that can widen up to 3 and 1/10th inches
  • Throat depth of 1 inch

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Even though the market is full of bench vises, not all of them will be as accurate as this one that HHIP is offering.

To begin with, all the parts and the jaws of the unit are interchangeable. By installing a precious ground, you will be able to get a parallel and square accuracy that is about 0.001 inches per inch.

The overall jaw opening is four inches, and the depth is at 1.5 inches, which means it will be able to hold most of the large-sized workpieces without any issues. It is extremely versatile too. You will be able to set it up on an end, side, or at the base of your worktable.

Both the slide and the body of the unit is of cast iron, which makes it extremely durable. Apart from that, the v-grooves on the jaws will allow you to make it hold round objects easily.

Pros
  • Extremely versatile
  • Body and the slide is of cast iron
  • Exceptionally precise
  • Parts and the jaws are interchangeable
  • Features v-grooves on the jaws
Cons
  • Does not feature any sort of rust-resistant coating
  • Color coating chips away relatively fast

What Makes a Perfect Drill Vise?

We have reviewed products according to several factors, below we have gone into a bit more details about these features and judged these to ensure you find the best drill press vise for the money;

Construction Material and Robustness

Whatever product you get, you would want it to last a long time and be resistant to damage. A drill vise is certainly no different. Many of our products were made of fine cast iron or steel.

In general, these are two of the favorite materials for manufacturers. If you see a vise made of cast iron or steel, chances are it will be strong and durable.

Do pay special attention to the handles and the jaws to see if they are made of the same metal, other types of materials used for these such as plastic can often lower the longevity of a vise.

Precision

It is an absolute must that your vise offers good precision and control. That is the whole point of implementing one.

A side knob with very fine calibrations such as the 0.001 mm ones for some of our products, ensure you exert a good amount of control as you work, something essential to the quality of your work and safety.

Jaw Span

The jaws are an all-important part of any drill vise. These are the parts responsible for actually holding your workpiece in place. Hence it is vital to give extra consideration to them before deciding whether to buy a vise.

Related: Drill Presses and Drill Press Table Reviews

drilling hole on drill press vise

Ideally, you would want a vise with jaws that have a good opening width. Four inches is generally considered a decent benchmark.

In addition, grooved jaws that can form a V shape will make your vise usable on round objects. If much of your work focuses on such pieces, then it is an absolute essential for you.

Tightness Control

Normally, a good drill vise will give you multiple screw sets on either sled for the purpose of altering the tightness.

This is quite important as a lot of the times, you may want a tighter grip for certain work such as if you are drilling very forcefully or a loser grip in case you are worried about the object itself becoming damaged where it is gripped.

Furthermore, a spacer plate can also help with regards to this. The best vise will be the one that gives you a good degree of tightness control.

Mounting Slots

To mount your drill press vise on to a work table, you will, of course, need mounting holes or slots. A number of our products had five of these, which is usually taken as a reliable number so as to ensure the vise is suitable for most kinds of tables.

Versatility is a key factor when it comes to a vise, and hence you should be certain that the one you buy is a good fit for the table you will be doing your drilling work on.

The Need for Fine-Tuning

As a user, you would want to buy a product that can be used straight away, without the need for any assembly or adjustment measures aside from that needed to suit your particular work.

As far as a drill press vise goes, some products will require a fair bit of fine-tuning such as fixing screws and other controls before they are ready for any kind of use.

This can become particularly bothersome if you are not a very experienced user. Ideally, you want a vise that demands no such effort from you and is ready to use with minimum adjustments.

Body Weight

This goes straight into the versatility aspect. A lower body weight drill vise will likely fit into more tables and workspaces compared to a more bulky, cumbersome one.

There is no generalized answer really as to what is the ideal size of vise you should go for. It depends entirely on your mounting table, and the ideal choice will be one that fits the table best.

Accuracy of Movement

Lastly, and this one is quite obvious to be telling the truth, the best vise will be the one that lets your workpiece move both ways in a smooth, resistance-free manner and gives you a drilling experience devoid of too much hassle and the constant need to adjust the object.

The pieces you are drilling may have to be held in either vertical or horizontal orientations, so it is important your vise offers you that as well.

Types of Drill Press Vise

The following describes the most common types of drill press vise so that you may know what exactly you are looking for;

Metal Vise

As the name implies, these are designed to be used on metal works. The jaws are hard textured that can firmly hold the metal in the place as you commence with the drilling.

These are usually sturdy machines that are made of iron or steel. However, they can also be versatile and be used on other materials such as wood or plastic. Although you should take caution as not to use a hard textured jaw on any delicate or fragile material.

Wood Vise

If you are working with wood, then you probably will be better at choosing a vise designed specifically for it. A woodworking vise will have a softer texture; the jaws are not as firm and will not risk damaging your piece. These are also usually suitable for most kinds of mounting tables.

Machine Vise

These work with a mechanized clenching mechanism that holds the objects in place as you drill or mill. They are attached to the table and leave your hands free throughout the process.

How to Attach a Vise to Drill Press

The process of attaching a drill press to your vise comprises of four relatively simple steps. However, you are advised to follow them carefully in order to be sure of your object being secured safely while you are working on it. The following describes:

Decide on Your Table

This is very important. If you are working on a table that is free to move, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you have a table that is fixed, in that case, you may be better off seeking out a rotary table. These can move in all directions and give you a lot of flexibility as you work.

Find the Right Position

Once you have got your table, the next thing to do is decide what the best position for mounting your vise is. If you are using a rotary table, then you may place it right above where one of the holes is. In case you have gone with a fixed table, you may place it underneath the chuck.

Attaching the Vise

Now you get to the part where you attach the actual vise to the drill press. You will require five to six bolts for this purpose. Place the bolts in first, before attaching them to the nuts.

Apply a wrench to tighten them, one of the top bolt and another one on the nut. The rotations you apply need to be in opposite directions.

Test them to be Safe

To be on the safe side, test out your apparatus. You can simply get a piece of wood and place it in the vise; the slight movement is expected as the vise will compensate for any errors in placement. Proceed to drill and see if it is as you wanted it to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to a drill press vise:

Q: How does a drill press vise work?
A: It works via a clamping mechanism. The device is installed on a work table, and the piece that you are working on, be it metal, wood, plastic, or something else, is clamped firmly between its jaws while you drill or mill.

Q: Will a normal bench vise do the job?
A: Though a normal bench vise would suffice sometimes, it is advised to get a drill press vise for any drilling work that you may be about to do.

Q: Is any table suitable for mounting a drill press vise?
A: For the best results, you should get a rotary table with pre-drilled holes.
Otherwise, a regular table fixed or otherwise should suffice. Choose carefully the position on which you place the vise.

Q: How do I attach a drill press to it?
A: Choose your spot, place the vise, put in the bolts through the mounting holes, and then attach the nuts from underneath, tighten with wrenches, attaching it to the drill press.

Q: Should I go for a vise with harder jaws or softer ones?
A: It depends entirely on your use. If you are working on metal, harder jaws may be preferable. For softer materials, maybe go for softer jaws as well.

So, What Should You Buy

Drilling, reaming, milling, all of these can be very demanding tasks, requiring the utmost caution and skill from you, the user. A drill press vise helps ease such tasks by holding that metal or woodwork in place as you continue with your craft.

We hope our reviews have helped you make the best choice and let us know below if you have any further questions.

As a final, definitive piece of advice, if we had to recommend one product, then it would certainly be the WEN 414CV Drill Press Vise. There is a reason we chose it as our number one, and we believe it can very well be the best drill press vise you can get.

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