Before I admitted I was a woodworker, I accomplished all of my woodworking in a Craftsman bench vise. I remember buying my bench vise as a young man who wanted to give the heaviest (and therefore, the most meaningful) gift to my father for Christmas that I could.
Having spent some time with wood, I’ve come to see that bench vises are not a total solution to workholding for woodworking. They do, however, work well for a variety of tasks around the shop – and are straightforward to install.
The Chinese-made Yost M9WW delivers solid design at a fair price – the MSRP is $99, but it’s frequently on sale from online retailers (I picked mine up for $64). The solidity of the castings and hardware are apparent, and the buttress threads tell me that I won’t have issues with the lead screw. I couldn’t detect any slop when opening the vise to its full 10″.
Another thing I like about the Yost stems from my machinist background – I have failed to acclimate to the traditional quick-release mechanism where a counterclockwise turn disengages the thread. Perhaps it’s my upbringing, but I enjoy the trigger-activated quick release. This vise operates normally, with no gimmicks until you decide to pull the trigger to the right of the handle and pull the jaws wide open. That’s an operation that makes sense to me.
The paint on my vise isn’t perfect and there are minor scuffs on the handle, but for this price I’m more than happy to entertain minor cosmetic blemishes – and I look forward to putting my own marks on the vise, for years to come.
— David Lyell
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.