I am always looking for ways to make workholding simpler and less expensive. It feels like a duty after writing 36 books on workbenches.
I love my Benchcrafted Hi Vise – we own five of them. But not every woodworker can afford the hardware. And you have to build the vise with wooden components, which requires some time, skill and machines.
The less-expensive option is this Taiwanese-made carver’s vise, which you can find at many woodworking suppliers. I got mine on sale from Infinity Tools. StewMac sells a version that they have upgraded and that luthiers love.
No matter where you get it, I think you’ll be impressed. The vise’s swiveling jaws will hold almost any shape. And because the jaws are coated with a tough urethane, the grip is incredibly tenacious.
The vise attaches to the workbench via a long post that threads through a dog hole or holdfast hole in your workbench. You can cinch the bolt below the benchtop tight so the vise won’t move. Or you can leave it a little loose so it swivels.
The only real downside to the vise is that you have to have a hole in your workbench to make things work. The Hi Vise can clamp almost anywhere (even to a truck bumper).
This vise is an excellent substitution for a shaving horse. It’s a little slower in use, but takes up almost no space.
— Christopher Schwarz
Publisher’s note: This is the final entry in our 2022 gift guide. Every year we think that *this year* will be the last. That we couldn’t possibly come up with a new list for the following year. If we do manage to do a gift guide for 2023 it will be our 10th gift guide.
To read previous entries in the gift guide, click here.