Vises are used for work holding and during inspection, assembly, forming, welding, and machining operations. They usually consist of a screw, level, or cam-type mechanism that closes and holds two or more jaws around a workpiece. Vises belong to a category of products called work and tool holding devices, implements that are used to hold and position workpieces and tools during setup, manufacturing, and dimensional inspection. Work and tool holders include products such as A clamps, C clamps, magnetic clamps, V blocks, bench vises, swivel vises, angle or tilting vises, parallel clamps, drill press or table vises, and pin vises. 

Types of Vises

There are many different types of vises. Air vises use pneumatic power to operate the vise jaws. There are two basic types: single-acting and double-acting. Single-acting air vises have a spring-return air cylinder. They use air pressure to close the jaws and springs to open them. Double-acting air vises have a double-acting air cylinder. They use air pressure to both open and close the jaws. Angle vises and bench vises are also available. Angle vises or sine vises can be adjusted to multiple angles to provide easier access to a workpiece. Bench vises, as their name suggests, are typically mounted to a workbench.  

 

Vise types include chain, circuit board, collet, and cross vises. Chain vises or pipe chain vises use a roller chain to clamp the work. They are used, typically, for clamping pipe or round stock. Circuit board vises are designed specifically for clamping circuit boards. Collet vises use a collet to clamp the work. They are actuated manually, pneumatically, or hydraulically. Cross vises or cross-slide vises are designed to position work along two axes (X and Y) through a compound slide arrangement. Common applications for these vises include drilling and milling. 

 

Drill press, machine, pin, pipe, and tombstone are additional types of vises.  Drill press vises are used in drilling applications. They are manufactured to position the work with enough clearance so that it can be drilled-through completely. Machine vises and mill vises are used in milling and machining applications. Pin vises are handheld vises with collet-style jaws. They are used for clamping small workpieces. Pipe vises or yoke vises are designed with V-shaped jaws for clamping piping, tubing, and other round stock. Tombstone vises are multisided columns, typically with vises mounted on each side. They designed to clamp several workpieces at the same time. 

 

Toolmakers vises are precision vises for accurate clamping applications such as inspection and grinding. Twin vises or multi-station vises have two or more clamping stations for clamping multiple workpieces at the same time. Universal vises can swivel in two or more directions so that the workpiece can be set at a compound angle. Universal vises are also referred to as three-way tilting vises. Woodworking vises are designed to clamp wood for general woodworking applications. Other unlisted, specialty or proprietary types of vises are also available.