Uses for the bench vise
If you're reading this guide then you probably already own a bench vise. If you don't however you should check out our guide to buying the best bench vise. When people think of using a bench vise they most often think of using it to hold something in place while you cut it, with a hand saw for instance.
But vises actually have a lot more uses than that, in this article we will take a look at some of these varied uses for this versatile tool.
Bench vise uses
Clamping a work piece while you saw through it as mentioned in the introduction above is one of the most common uses for a bench vise. It doesn't matter the type of saw, whether it be a hand saw or some kind of power saw, you will likely need to hold the work piece (wood, metal etc) in place while you saw so that it doesn't move around on you. Another option is to use a saw horse with some C-clamps to hold your wood down, but this still doesn't provide as much stability as clamping using a good bench vise.
Another common use for the bench vise is to hold to pieces (wood, for example) together while glue sets. Some people will just use C-clamps, or lay a heavy object like a brick on top of the pieces you are gluing. However for the best and most accurate results you should use a bench vise to hold the pieces in place until the glue is thoroughly set.
One of my favorite uses for a vise is metal work. Whether you're working with aluminum, steel or some other metal a bench vise is perfect for keeping it rigid while you cut, grind or file it. I often find it useful to put metal in the vise after it has been cut to file off the sharp edges, you can do this without a vise but using one makes it a whole lot easier to do.
Sanding is difficult if you're working on your own without someone to steady the work-piece, that is unless you use a bench vise. It's not easy to grip sand paper firmly as well as hold onto the work piece and keep it steady, so it really is advisable to use a vise of c-clamp.
Drilling is another task that you might find becomes a lot easier once you own a bench vise. If you're using a hand drill, unlike a drill press they're not held steady by default. So to make sure you drill holes in the right spot consider clamping your work piece into the vise before drilling. Drilling holes is usually something that needs to be done with precision, so steadying the piece you're drilling just with your hands (especially if you're working on your own) is not the best idea. Better to use a drill press, or a regular old drill with your bench vise to keep things steady.