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What is an engineer’s vice?

What is an engineer’s vice?

Shop for Engineer’s Vices

mechanics bench vice An engineer’s vice is considered a heavy-duty device, as it has a thick metal body and a large diameter screw, to allow it to withstand more demanding work. Its primary purpose is to clamp onto large objects and hold them securely while under construction.
engineering industries It is called an engineer’s vice as it was originally designed to be used for metalworking within the engineering industries.

In many trades, an engineer’s vice is also called a machinist or workshop vice.

strong A large engineer’s vice can weigh as much as an anvil, with the heaviest version weighing in at 180lbs (80kg approx.).

Its strong construction comes into use when performing heavy-duty operations (for examples, see below), and it can range in capabilities with larger models being able to hold up to 1.5 tonnes between the jaws.

donkee guide There are other vices which appear under the engineer’s category, including mechanic’s and fitter’s vices.

What is it used for?

engineers bench vice An engineer’s vice is a heavy-duty tool designed to withstand the impact of tough work applications, even while holding large and heavy objects.

A vice can be put under a great amount of pressure during certain tasks, especially ones that involve the filing or chipping of a workpiece, and engineer’s vices are designed to endure this type of pressure.

metal Engineer’s vices are commonly used for holding metal due to their strong design, although they can also hold other materials, including plastic and brick.
garage vice Their heavy metal construction allows them to tolerate tough and repeated work and due to this they are commonly used in workshops, garages and machinery shops.

They are ideal for holding workpieces sturdy while completing a number of tasks, for example:

chiseling Chipping
filing metal in a vice Filing and fitting
sawing Sawing
sanding metal Sanding and grinding
glue tube Heavy gluing
strength These tasks are considered heavy-duty as they can put a large amount of pressure on the vice through the weight being applied and the possible vibrations that may occur when carrying them out. Engineer’s vices are designed to withstand this type of pressure with less risk of breakage.


engineers bench vice An engineer’s vice is designed to mount to a workbench in order to withstand the heavy-duty work expected of them. Its base can vary from a fixed base for stability or a swivel base for versatility when working.
engineers jaws Its jaws have a rough lining to prevent any slippage when clamping onto heavy objects.
engineers quick release vice Engineer’s vices are available with the quick-release mechanism which allows the user to quickly adjust the jaws with one hand while holding onto the workpiece with the other. This extra feature is ideal for engineer’s vices as it saves the user time when completing awkward tasks, such as filing.

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

anvil Many of these vices also have an integral anvil on their back which permits hammering and shaping.

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