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Looking for Opinions on The Best Low Cost Drill Press Vise

neanderthal mach

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Location
princeton b.c.
I'd totally agree with everything that's been said so far and I don't know of a better place than this where you'll get well thought out professional level answers to almost any machining related question asked. However for a lot of home shop guys, those same answers while being technically correct and unarguable, they are from that professional level perspective. Speed of use, accuracy, repeatability and any tools long term durability at the commercial level are primary and the costs to get that would be secondary. So everything already said is completely logical.

I've been exactly where you are now and for most of us with a home shop that speed of use is probably a bit less important. So yeah one of the cheaper 4" or so clones of the Kurt mill vises for a home shop DP such as Dave M linked to could be much better than anything else on your list. I've also been there and done that mistake so now wouldn't buy anything like what it's price would actually get me for my mill. There in my experience Kurt shaped objects only, and the resemblance to one stops at the exterior. With the addition of a cheap set of parallels, there probably quite good enough on an off shore DP. But can your DP even match what one of those vises has for there lower end accuracy? You haven't said, but it's probably a pretty safe guess your wanting a better vise for one of the usual off shore bench or floor standing consumer grade drill presses? If so and unless your into watch making sized parts there simply ISN'T one of those made anywhere in the sub 1,000-1500 lb range that isn't so flexible to make a fairly expensive, heavy and accurate vise your paying to get almost pointless because of the overall design the DP itself has.

If you want truly square and perpendicular holes and you obviously do or you wouldn't need a DP, then the table has to be correctly trammed to the spindle. While your doing that, try applying maybe 20 lbs of extra hand pressure to the front edge of it's work table while the indicator tip is in the same area. It's for that reason I got rid of my 150 lb floor model DP the day I got my BP clone even though it's spindle and keyed chuck had an amazing low level of run out for what it was. Any tool is a combination of design and manufacturing compromises. And every single one of those home/light wood working DP's fail because of that built in problem. Watch any Youtube video with these light weight DP's being used and you can easily see that table deflection happening. Changes in work piece and fixture weight, drill size and feed pressure literally bends that table a constantly variable amount no matter how accurately it's trammed. For sure a better vise will help, and it's certainly worth adding one. But the tool it's being used on will still have that massive defect that can't be easily solved no matter how good the rest of the machine, it's alignment, run out and work holding is. A fast acting accurate $350+ DP vise makes perfect sense on a heavy industrial level DP that's built to use what it can offer. If you already have that, then sure I'd most certainly go in that direction. I'd even do so for an off shore DP if I were planning to upgrade to one of those multiple times more expensive DP's at some point in the future.
 

Ultradog MN

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Speaking of drill press vises...

Why, just this morning I was wishing I had a better vise for my drill.
And lo and behold, this afternoon I see a box on my porch.
It must have been the drill vise fairies cause who else would have known I wanted one of these.
Way cool!
20220423_164944.jpg20220423_165546.jpg20220423_165555.jpg
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Recently I've been looking for a new 4" drill press vise to replace the $20 one I bought off of Amazon several years ago that deflects like it's made of rubber when I clamp something in it. I've been doing some research and shopping around for something that's better than what I have but still <$100. I don't exactly have a huge budget to work with here so I'm trying to find a decent middle ground between cost and quality. I've gathered a list of 7 different vises that are below $100 (not including shipping) and I wanted to get some opinions from people that may have them or may know of people that have them. If you have or know anyone that has any of the vises in the list below, please let me know what you/they think of them. Or if you know of any similar cost and style vises that you or somebody else owns that you would recommend let me know. My main concern is how parallel the jaws stay when clamping, but casting quality and precision are also important.

Wilton Low Profile 4" Vise
Amazon.com: Wilton LP4, 4-Inch Low-Profile Drill Press Vise (11744) : Tools & Home Improvement

HHIP 4" Drill Press Vise
HHIP 3901-0184 Pro-Series Industrial 4" Drill Press Vise: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Gibraltar 4" Drill Press Vise
https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/70037882

Gibraltar 4" Machine Vise
https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/70037858

Dayton 4" Machine Vise
DAYTON Machine Vise, Standard, Fixed Base, 4 in Jaw Opening '('In.')', 4 in Jaw Width '('In.')' - 6Z846'|'6Z846 - Grainger

Dayton 4" Drill Press Vise
https://www.grainger.com/product/DAYTON-Machine-Vise-3W761?findingMethod=lists&opr=ILHL

McMaster-Carr 4" Drill Press Vise
https://www.mcmaster.com/52855A22/

Why doo you need such a "Bestest Vice" ???
It's for a drill press, a non accurate machine.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
I don't exactly have a huge budget to work with here so I'm trying to find a decent middle ground between cost and quality.

I've heard that and used that excuse myself. If money is that tight then reduce your daily caloric intake. Might even do you some good.
Eat less, save more. After a few weeks the money is there. Learn the hard way or listen to this, I will only mention it once:

P A L M G R E N

9618402, Palmgren Milling machine vise w/base, 4in | Quality Tools & Accessories
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Just want to say thanks to everyone who has replied, I appreciate all the info. As for saving up for a nicer vise, I'm not sure when I'll be able to afford a good one and I have a lot of other things I'd like to have for my shop. Also I figure I should clarify my "shop" is more like a shed with power ran out to it if that gives any idea of the quality and cost of tools inhabiting it. Which is part of why I don't want to spend too much on a vise.


Go forth and ye shall find your answer:
Forum list | The Hobby-Machinist
 

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
If I had to choose one from your list it would probably be the Grainger 6Z846. From the photos it seems to have more meat in the castings, much like my 3" Craftsman that I bought for my 20" drill press. Many low price DP vises are real light weight. My Craftsman is definitely not.

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I have had good luck purchasing from Grainger so I think a bit of a higher price there is well worth it. And I also purchased an X-Y vise for a project from them and was surprised at how well it functioned: not at all like ones with a similar appearance from places like HF. My Craftsman is only 3" and I know you are looking for a 4", but it has served me well. Nothing flimsy or cheap about it. But definitely in your price range so you may want to consider it. They are still available and the price is only about $5 more than I paid about 5 or 6 years ago.

https://www.searshometownstores.com/product/Craftsman-24071-3-in-Drill-Press-Vise-General-Purpose

I have a second suggestion. I recently purchased two five inch milling vises from Shars and was surprised at how nice they are. They also have 4" models. Here are some of their offerings:

This DP vise looks like my 3" and the Grainger you found. The price is $50.50.

4" Precision Drill Press Vise

And a better one for $75.50.

4" Quick-grip drill press vise

I do not have any experience with either of them. But finally for $120.95 this is the 4" version of the 5" milling vise I purchased.

4'' x 3.93" Lock Down Precision Milling Machine Vise

I know it is a bit over your price range, but they often have sales and you can ask for the best price. About two years ago I paid under $100 for the 5" and around $120 for the same 5" with a swivel base. They are good value milling vises which are ground on all the working surfaces and the jaws reverse for holding even larger things than the opening spec states. I really like them. I don't think you would be disappointed with this choice.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Thanks for this thread. I got convinced and bought. a 4" cam lock vise for my Dp. $75 from the bay, delivered. looks unused probably from Taiwan 1970's.
Bill .
 

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car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
Personally, I dislike "drillpress vises" with the flanges. Unless you're doing large stuff, seems 90% of the time the job never requires clamping the vise, and you can still clamp a machinist vise (without flanges). Machinist vises with the milled/ground faces are much more versatile in that they can be flipped on any side, and are also multi-use (e.g. bench-work, use on the milling machine (such as a vise in a vise for quick angles), use two to support long pieces, flip on the side for holding round stock when cutting on bandsaw, etc). I like the older Palmgren vises, which can regularly be found on ebay in good condition. I have the 3" and 4" wide sizes.
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
Personally, I dislike "drillpress vises" with the flanges. Unless you're doing large stuff, seems 90% of the time the job never requires clamping the vise, and you can still clamp a machinist vise (without flanges). Machinist vises with the milled/ground faces are much more versatile in that they can be flipped on any side, and are also multi-use (e.g. bench-work, use on the milling machine (such as a vise in a vise for quick angles), use two to support long pieces, flip on the side for holding round stock when cutting on bandsaw, etc). I like to older Palmgren vises, which can regularly be found on ebay in good condition. I have the 3" and 4" wide sizes.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=grinding+vise&_trksid=p2380057.m4084.l1313

Are you talking about grinding vises? Like the ones you use on a surface grinder.

Personally, I dont like drill press vises. They just get in the way. Maybe it's the type of parts I work with, I dunno. I prefer using clamps or even vise grips. I'll put bolts through the T slots for the clamps to act against to keep parts from spinning.

I could see using s grinding vise, though. Instead of clamping it, add some sort of reaction arm to keep it from spinning.

Sent using Morse code on - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
Personally, I dislike "drillpress vises" with the flanges. Unless you're doing large stuff, seems 90% of the time the job never requires clamping the vise, and you can still clamp a machinist vise (without flanges). Machinist vises with the milled/ground faces are much more versatile in that they can be flipped on any side, and are also multi-use (e.g. bench-work, use on the milling machine (such as a vise in a vise for quick angles), use two to support long pieces, flip on the side for holding round stock when cutting on bandsaw, etc). I like to older Palmgren vises, which can regularly be found on ebay in good condition. I have the 3" and 4" wide sizes.
Oh, nevermind. You said Palmgren. Yeah. Those vises. Yep. They're nice.
f539c9f664e40a3f954ef9cde26c9314.jpg


Sent using Morse code on - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-
 

car2

Stainless
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Location
Apex, NC
Oh, nevermind. You said Palmgren. Yeah. Those vises. Yep. They're nice.
f539c9f664e40a3f954ef9cde26c9314.jpg


Sent using Morse code on - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-

Yea, like those, the older ones seem a bit better finished, and are made in the US, and can be had both milled and ground (the milled ones are fine). I have 1.5, 3" and 4" jaw versions (some smaller ones, and all larger ones, also have a flat on the casting where the screw goes thru, handy mostly for clamping, or the very rare occasion the vise needs to be flipped upside down). The 4" jaw one is pretty hefty, I do mostly small/medium stuff and rarely need to clamp the vise (if so, i'll then usually just use the milling machine). Cheers
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
Yea, like those, the older ones seem a bit better finished, and are made in the US, and can be had both milled and ground (the milled ones are fine). I have 1.5, 3" and 4" jaw versions (some smaller ones, and all larger ones, also have a flat on the casting where the screw goes thru, handy mostly for clamping, or the very rare occasion the vise needs to be flipped upside down). The 4" jaw one is pretty hefty, I do mostly small/medium stuff and rarely need to clamp the vise (if so, i'll then usually just use the milling machine). Cheers
I'm the same way, if something justifies being clamped in a vise, I think it can go one of two ways - take it to a machine with an X/Y table or just stick it in the bench vise and use a handheld drill or a tap wrench.

There are exceptions, of course. That's my general thinking for drill press vises, though. A pair of vise grips does the same thing but takes less time and I don't have an extra lump of metal that I have to move around on the drill table every time I use it.

Sent using Morse code on - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-
 

EPAIII

Diamond
Joined
Nov 23, 2003
Location
Beaumont, TX, USA
Although it is probably not in the OP's budget, I find it is good to have a variety of vices on hand. I have two milling style vises, two machinist's or screwless vises, an XY vise, an angle vise, and two drill press vises. This helps me to have one that I can use for most situations.

Of course, I did not buy all of them at one time. More like over 20 or 30 years.



Personally, I dislike "drillpress vises" with the flanges. Unless you're doing large stuff, seems 90% of the time the job never requires clamping the vise, and you can still clamp a machinist vise (without flanges). Machinist vises with the milled/ground faces are much more versatile in that they can be flipped on any side, and are also multi-use (e.g. bench-work, use on the milling machine (such as a vise in a vise for quick angles), use two to support long pieces, flip on the side for holding round stock when cutting on bandsaw, etc). I like the older Palmgren vises, which can regularly be found on ebay in good condition. I have the 3" and 4" wide sizes.
 








 
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