Bench Vices in Oz

A recent query about bench vices has let me wondering again about the options we have, particularly in Australia.  (I first looked at the topic back July or so last year)  There seems to be a large hole in the market-  you can buy an end vice for either well under $100 or over $300 (and up and up) (Specifically bench construction vices – there are standard bench vices in the $150 odd bracket)

Under $100, and you become concerned that what you are getting might be too cheap.  Over $300, and you wonder what the hell you are getting for your money!

I picked up a Carbatec one last year, and although I am still yet to commission it, think it wasn’t too bad…….for the price.

Large Front Vice

You can get one of these for $75  and all you need to do is make your own wooden jaws (and even if you got a Veritas etc, you’d still be making wooden jaws!)

Tail Vice

They also sell tail vices and shoulder vices for around $30 – $35.  All seem reasonable in their construction (not much to any of them anyway – jaws and a threaded rod!) but nothing particularly thrilling to speak of – tolerances were not something in the manufacturer’s vocabulary I guess.

Benchcrafted Tail Vice

You can always go to the other end of the scale, where a tail vice will cost $US350 + shipping from Benchcrafted.  They do make some very precise vices, with an obvious attention to detail.

Benchcrafted Glide Leg Vice

One of my favourites is their Glide leg vice – an old-fashioned vice (or should that be “out-of-fashion”), but again, over $US320, plus almost that again in shipping.

Personally, I am still looking for something in the middle – Benchcrafted quality, made locally.  I don’t understand why we can’t have that.

For the price, check out the display at Carbatec – at least you can give the units a good rattle and try before you buy.

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