We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Machinist Vise?

By Judith Smith Sullivan
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A machinist vise is a heavy duty vise made of metal. It is attached to the top of a workspace, unlike a woodworking vise, which is attached to the side. A machinist vise is also called an engineer's vise, metalworking bench vise or fitter's vise, and in British English, it is spelled "machinist vice." Using a vise adds a greater degree of safety because the craftsman can work on an object without holding it.

The basic vise has a stationary jaw, a movable jaw and a screw to adjust the movable jaw. The jaws are screwed together to hold an object. The typical machinist vise jaw is 3-8 inches wide (about 7-20 cm). By comparison, a woodworker's vise is much wider, typically 7-10 inches (about 17-25 cm).

The jaws of the vise might be lined with wood or plastic to avoid damaging the object. Some jaws have a rough lining to prevent slippage. Other jaws are designed to hold a variety of shapes.

There are two main differences between machinist vises and other vises: thick metal construction and the mount. A machinist vise is mounted with bolts to the top of a worktable. Its heavy metal construction gives it the ability to tolerate repeated, heavy strain. Depending on the base, a machinist vise might have multiple functions.

The advantage of a fixed base is improved stability, but a swivel base is appropriate when the machinist vise will be used for a variety of projects. A swivel base can be turned 360 degrees, allowing the object to be rotated in any direction. Some machinist vises also have an angle rotation so that an object can be held diagonally instead of vertically.

Although commonly used when working with metal, the machinist vise can also be used to stabilize many types of materials. It can be used in sawing, drilling, sanding or gluing projects. Variations in its bases and jaws make it a very versatile tool.

Machinist vises are not to be confused with machine vises. A machine vise is mounted to a machine and normally used in industrial manufacturing settings. It often has a computer-controlled hydraulic or pneumatic release system for its jaws. A machinist vice is manually operated and typically used in a private workshop.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.