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What are the different types of vice?

What are the different types of vice?

Wonkee Donkees hand tool guides


Different types of vice are designed to accommodate different tasks. For instance, a metalworking vice would not be ideal for professional woodworking as it is designed to hold stronger materials and could possibly damage the wood. 


Metalworking Vices

Metalworking vices are mostly used for clamping metal, although they are the most versatile type of vice and can also be used to hold other materials, such as wood or plastic, if needed. Despite this, users should be careful when clamping wooden materials with a metalworking vice, as the jaws can damage the appearance of the workpiece.


A metalworking vice usually mounts to the top of a workbench. Metalworking vices are designed for strength when under pressure from heavy objects, such as steel bench blocks, and are available in a variety of different models and sizes for various tasks.

Woodworking Vices

Woodworking vices are specifically used to clamp wood, not metal. Woodworking vices differ from metalworking vices as they are usually designed to mount underneath a workbench. These vices also have smoother jaws than metalworking vices, so as not to damage the surfaces of wooden objects when clamping. They too are available in a variety of different sizes and models.

Hand-Held Vices


Hand-held vices are manually held tools for clamping or holding small objects while they are being worked on. They are ideal for holding small workpieces while completing intricate tasks, such as gluing or painting.

Machine Vices


A machine vice is a clamping device that is used to hold objects securely when using a drill press or milling machine. The vice is attached to the machine’s table in order to relieve the user’s hands from holding the workpiece when drilling, milling, or similar tasks.

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