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What are the different types
of woodwork vice?

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woodworker There are three different types of woodwork vice available: plain screw, quick-release and woodcraft. These vices are all designed for different tasks and purposes.

An explanation of the different types is given below.

Plain screw vices

plain screw vice A plain screw vice is a standard woodworking vice that has a traditional screw system where the turning of the screw (which moves the sliding jaw) is controlled by the rotation of the handle.

The traditional screw system is the way most vices are operated, however, this vice is named a ‘plain screw’ vice so as to differentiate from the quick-release version.

full nut mechanism It has a full nut holding the screw, which is securely incorporated into the body of the vice. A full nut is a fastener that cannot be opened, which means that the screw can only be moved to open and close the jaws by manually rotating the handle.
wood It is a heavy-duty wood tool used by both professional and amateur woodworkers, as it can clamp vast amounts of wood without breaking.
clock However, the plain screw mechanism can be time-consuming, especially when you need to remove and re-clamp a workpiece to place it in various positions.

Quick-release vices

quick-release vice A quick-release woodwork vice, although slightly larger, is similar in appearance to a plain screw vice. The difference is that it has a quick-release mechanism, meaning the jaws can be rapidly opened and readjusted without having to repeatedly rotate the handle.
split nut mechanism A quick-release vice is designed with a split nut that rapidly unlocks and releases the main screw, thus allowing the sliding jaw to be quickly readjusted into a new position.
handle operated quick-release A vice with a quick-release mechanism either has a handle-operated system, whereby the handle can be turned 180 degrees to unlock the nut and move the sliding jaw…
lever operated quick-release …or it can have a lever-operated system which allows the user to quickly adjust the jaws by pulling a lever on the front of the vice which unlocks the nut.
woodworking industry This mechanism means it is an ideal vice to be used in industrial work to save time when woodworking, as the jaws can be opened and objects quickly interchanged with one easy movement.

For more information on the quick-release mechanism, visit What is a quick-release feature?

Woodcraft vices

woodcraft vice A woodcraft vice is designed to be used at home. Woodwork vices (for the most part) are heavy-duty, but the woodcraft vice is light-duty. This is because it is lighter in construction than other woodworking vices, and is designed for domestic use instead of industrial or workshop use.
handyman The woodcraft vice is commonly used to clamp small and light pieces of wood for woodworking. It is an ideal tool for the hobbyist or handyman, however, it can also be used by professional woodworkers for small tasks.
filing wood It is ideal when creating a variety of household items as it can be used for clamping wood that is to be filed, glued, painted or crafted. A woodcraft vice can come in use when crafting many wooden objects, for example:
wooden picture frame Picture frames
model making Ornaments and models
jewellery box Small boxes and jewellery holders

What type of woodwork vice should you choose?

what type of woodwork vice should you choose The type of woodwork vice you purchase primarily depends on the type of clamping you wish to do.
thumbs up If you want a smaller woodwork vice that will only be used for domestic tasks around the home, then a woodcraft vice may be the most appropriate, as it is specially designed for light-duty work.

Plain screw or quick-release vices are suitable for most general use, as they can cope with both light-duty and heavy-duty clamping. If deciding between these two types, then there are two things to consider: time and budget.

When wishing to clamp a wide variety of workpieces, all consisting of different widths, then a vice with the quick-release mechanism is best, as it will save you both time and energy when re-adjusting the position of the jaws. However, the quick-release type of woodwork vice is often much more expensive than the plain screw type, so if you wish to save money rather than time then the plain screw vice is ideal.

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