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What is a table vice?

What is a table vice?

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table vice A table vice is a small and portable device which can be quickly clamped to any convenient work surface. This type of vice differs from others because, unlike engineer’s and multi-purpose vices, it is not permanently bolted down to a workbench. A table vice can also be known as a clamp or portable vice.
donkee diy There are other vices which appear in the table category, including multi-angle, hobby and jeweller’s vices.

For more information about these, see What are the different types of table vice?

What is it used for?

table vice A table vice should only be used for light to medium-duty work, such as DIY home repairs. This can include many applications, for example fixing a broken piece of crockery, shaping metal wire for jewellery, or sharpening a lawn mower blade.

It is an ideal clamping apparatus for amateur craftsmen, hobbyists and model makers as the vice is small and so can hold delicate and intricate objects.

pipe jaws table vice Table vices commonly have pipe jaws built-in to allow them to hold small, circular objects.
table vice used for gluing They are an ideal clamping device for awkward tasks, such as holding small objects in need of gluing or painting. Their smaller size also means they can be used for tasks that require working in confined spaces.

Characteristics

rubber jaws Table vices can often have plastic or rubber-lined jaws, which enable them to clamp materials without damaging the surfaces. These jaws also allow them to clamp objects of various shapes and sizes, including pipes and tubes.
pipe jaws and anvil Some table vices have built-in pipe jaws and some models also have a miniature anvil to allow for light shaping.
swivel base A table vice can either come with a fixed base which keeps the vice stationary, or a swivel base which allows the vice body and jaws to be rotated 360 degrees when mounted. For more information on vice bases, visit the page titled: ‘What are the different types of metalworking vice bases?’.
ball joint Some table vices, such as the multi-angle and jeweller’s types, are designed to be used at multiple angles by featuring a ball joint that allows the head to be rotated around at any angle up to 360 degrees, while keeping the base still. The head can then be locked in any desired position by tightening an added lever which controls the ball joint.
multi-angle vice This feature gives the user the advantage of being able to work on an angle without having to constantly remove the object and reposition it in the vice itself.

Base mounting

worktop Table vices are available to be mounted to a worktop in a variety of different ways.
table vice clamping onto surface

Clamp base

Most models of table vice are fitted with an integral screw clamp, making them portable and capable of clamping to any convenient work surface or table top. To use the vice, the integral clamp is twisted until it has a firm grip on a work surface and stays securely in place.

vacuum base multi-angle vice

Vacuum base

Other models of table vices have a vacuum base. These are light-duty versions that have a lever-operated suction cup on the bottom of the base that secures the vice to a work surface. Vacuum base vices are portable, similar to the clamp base versions.

bolted multi-angle vice

Bolted base

There are also models of table vices that can be bolted to the top of a work surface, similarly to a bench vice, to allow for stability when clamping heavier objects.

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