Best Drill Press Vises of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for the best drill press vise? If so, you’re in the right place. A great vise will hold everything in place while you are using your drill press for all kinds of building projects.

Whether you’re wood-working or using it for all kinds of building projects, you want it all held securely in place so you can drill straight and press rather than make it look like a complete disaster.

To help you find the best drill press vise for your use, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of five of the best vises currently on the market. Before we get to the list, we’ll talk about what a drill press is and how you can choose one for your personal use. 

Comparison of the Best Drill Press Vises

PRODUCT DETAILS
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WEN 423DPV

  • Best overall drill press vise
  • Jaw measured at three inches wide
  • Made to grip woods, metals, and other materials
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Wilton 11746

  • V-Groove Jaw design
  • Made for drilling, tapping, and reaming
  • Runner-up for the best overall drill press vise
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Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4", 226340

  • Weighs approximately 7 pounds
  • Best drill press vise for the money
  • Jaw measured at 4.5 inches in width
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Performance Tool W3939

  • Smooth pivot handles
  • Weighs nearly 8 ounces
  • Available in different widths
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Wilton 11694

  • V-Grooved Jaw
  • Weighs 20 pounds
  • Expands up to 4 inches in width
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What is a Drill Press Vise?

A drill press vise is used to hold down any kind of material as you use the drill press. It can be a piece of wood, metal, or any material you’ll need for whatever project you’re working on. It will also allow you to use both hands while you are operating the drill press itself. This way, you don’t risk injuring yourself while holding down the material flatly on the drill press surface.

How Do I Choose a Drill Press Vise?

If you’re in search of a drill press vise, you’ll need to know how to distinguish a great one from those that are considered unreliable and crappy in quality. It’s also important to know what kind of features and characteristics make the best drill press vise. Here’s what you need to look for:

Price

If you’re a budget shopper, there’s a good chance you may look at the price tag first. The important thing to know is that it should not be the only reason why you purchase it. You should consider investing in a drill press that is affordable in terms of quality and performance. Don’t sacrifice any of this for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Ease of Use

You’ll want a drill press that is simple to use. In other words, you want the adjustments to be easy. At the same time, you want something that will allow you to tighten or loosen smoothly and quickly without any issue.

Jaw Length and Style

Drill press vises come in different jaw lengths and styles. They come in two types: flat jaws and V-Jaws. The first is self-explanatory. It is designed to fit all kinds of flat materials and objects you use for the drill press. If you’re looking to hold together round-shaped objects, the V-Jaw might be more of your style.

Quick Take: Best Drill Press Vises

Want to skip the review? Here is a quick look at the best drill press vises:

1. WEN 423DPV
2.
Wilton 11746
3. 
Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4", 226340

Review of the Best Drill Press Vises

The following is a list of the five best drill press vises currently on the list. As you look through each one, you must take note of the features and characteristics. You may have a good idea of what these vises do, to a point where you find one that will best fit your own needs and preferences.

If you come across one that is close enough to fit your exact description, you know that it might be a winning choice. Let’s begin by taking a look at the first choice on our list -- our best overall choice:

Best Overall:
WEN 423DPV

WEN 423DPV 3-Inch Cast Iron Drill Press Vise

PROS

  • Excellent grip
  • Excellent finish
  • Great for small projects
  • Perfect for many workstations
  • Weight isn’t too heavy or too light

CONS

  • No mounting hardware included
  • Some have reported missing bolt mounts
  • The jaw may move up when the vise is tightened. This may be undesirable for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were quite satisfied with the drill press vise, in general. They stated that they managed to move the levers in both directions smoothly and without any grittiness. They were able to securely hold a lot of materials like wood and metal, so the drill press could make perfect holes depending on the bit size.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This vise is measured at the right size to be considered a space saver on most workbenches. Not to be outdone, it’s neither too light nor too heavy. So you can move it and carry it back and forth from your workbench to the drill press itself. This might be the closest thing you can get to a universal drill press vise since it can accept all kinds of materials.

Who Will Use This Most

This will probably be used by a lot of users who use a drill press for all kinds of woodworking and metalworking projects. If you want an accessory that will keep everything in place while you’re drilling the perfect holes, this little unit will give you excellent gripping power, so things will stay in place.

Bottom Line

The WEN Drill Press Vise might be the best drill press vise you can invest in if you’re planning on using it for a multitude of projects. Why settle for having to hold things down manually when you have a vise that can allow for easy clamping and more hands-free usage for you?

Runner-up:
Wilton 11746

Wilton 11746 6-Inch Low Profile Drill Press Vise

PROS

  • Tightens up quite nicely
  • Fit and finish are quite good
  • Excellent for heavy-duty projects
  • Durable and solid in construction
  • Fluid movement with levers and controls

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were quite impressed with the sturdy construction of the drill press. They were able to clamp down a bunch of materials like wood and metal with the greatest of ease. One user said that tightening and loosening were a cinch and the control levers were smooth like butter.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This might be a little heavier than some drill press vises. But it’s at a nice compact size that will fit most workbenches. It’s a really solid piece of equipment that can work to your advantage when using it for projects that require a drill press. So, if you’re building your next woodworking project or working with metals for an upcoming automotive project, this drill press vise will do a good job at holding everything together while you’re getting the work done.

Who Will Use This Most

This will possibly be used by most users who would want nothing more than to spend time in their workshops and put together all kinds of awesome works using wood, metal, or any other materials a drill press can accept. If you need something that will make using your hands less necessary, then this drill press vise will certainly give you more freedom for your hands.

Bottom Line

The Wilton Low Profile Drill Press Vise will probably be one of your favorite accessories to have on-hand during your next building project. It can handle all kinds of heavy-duty projects and can provide you with years of trustworthy and faithful service, no matter how often you use it.

Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise, 4', 226340

PROS

  • Super-solid build
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Durable and can take on quite a beating
  • Secures a lot of materials 
  • The jaw can expand to a pretty wide size

CONS

  • Might loosen up at times
  • Not as heavy-duty as some expect
  • Some are not happy with the slight “dip” in the jaw

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers found this to be more than budget vise. While it’s a lightweight unit and does a great job of keeping a lot of materials in place. Even more impressive, they were able to widen the jaw enough to fit even thicker wooden boards. Regardless of the size, the jaw kept it in place and helped keep it secure with not even a single inch of wiggle room.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s small, lightweight, and does a lot more than any other low-priced drill press vise on the market. The jaw itself is designed to grip even the thickest of material. So it can handle thicker amounts of wood and metal. It will keep a good hold on it while the drill press goes to work and make drilling look effortless. This proves that a vise doesn’t have to be heavy to hold something down.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be great for a home workshop. So if you like doing woodworking in your garage or basement, this might be the drill press vise that will be perfect for you. For something that can open wide, it’s a pretty nice feature to have if you want to work with much larger amounts of wood.

Bottom Line

The Irwin Tools Drill Press Vise might be one of the most affordable drill press vises in the business. But it can do a lot more than any cheap or crappy model. If you want a vise that gives you a lot more than what you pay for, you’d be hard-pressed to find one quite like this.

Performance Tool - 2-1/2' Drill Press Vise (W3939) Vises & Clamps

PROS

  • Super-durable
  • Great fit and finish
  • Holds all kinds of materials securely
  • Pivot handles are smooth like butter
  • Super-compact, can fit most workbenches

CONS

  • Could loosen up over time
  • May not be great for heavy-duty applications
  • It may not be a precision vise as some expect

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the things new users were quick to point out how small the vise was. Not only was it small enough to fit on most workbenches, but it was also perhaps one of the most lightweight vises on the market for drill presses. They were quite impressed with how a small vise can create so much gripping power for most home projects.

Why it Stands Out to Us

By now, you probably have a good idea of why we love it. How can something so small and compact deliver such an excellent performance? You’ll swear that this little unit can do just about anything. Well, the bad news is that while it may not be ideal for your heavy-duty jobs, it’s still tough enough to handle all kinds of projects that go on for an extended period during the day. Let’s not forget, this also makes tightening and loosening easy, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be used for home projects only. So if you need a new addition to your garage, workshop, or wherever else you usually get your work done, this might be the drill press vise best for you. Most importantly, it can work with pretty much any kind of drill press that you use.

Bottom Line

The Performance Tool Hammer Tough 2-½” Drill Press Vise might be your favorite vise on the list if you want that is something small, delivers an excellent grip, and won’t take up so much space. You’d be crazy to pass up the opportunity to give this a closer look if you’re looking for a vise for all your home hobby projects.

Wilton 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

PROS

  • Easy to adjust
  • Super-tight gripping ability
  • Easy to take apart and clean
  • Excellent for basic milling tasks
  • Solid construction and durability

CONS

  • Levers may be a little stiff at first
  • Not intended for heavy-duty applications
  • Screw adjustments may be a little rough at first

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were in search of a vise that would work great for small-time projects. They found this vise to be the best possible option for a variety of reasons. For one, it can hold a lot of materials in place without any wiggle room. One user said he was able to hold thick pieces of wood in place while working on many woodworking projects.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, this vise has a jaw that can expand quite a bit farther than some vises. So it can hold some of the thickest boards in place while you drill holes in them. Regardless of how wide you expand it, it can maintain a great hold and will keep it straight.

Who Will Use This Most

While it may not be enough for heavy-duty projects, it can do a good job with some small projects that you can do in your workshop. This vise allows for smooth operation and tight gripping ability. If those are two things you look for in a drill press vise, this might be your best possible option.

Bottom Line

The Wilton 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press will not disappoint you if you’re looking for a vise that will be excellent for any in-home project. No milling task would ever be complete without a simple accessory that will allow you to use your hands more freely.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Vise

A great drill press vise might have its perk, especially if you’re intending to use your drill press regularly on a variety of planned projects you might have lined up. Here are some benefits you’ll get to enjoy:

Hands-Free Holding

It used to be that you needed to use one hand or even both just to get the piece of wood (or other material) straight so you could drill a hole through it. The problem was, drilling was not as perfect. Thankfully, a vise will get rid of the problem just by simply keeping things nice and firm so you can drill perfect holes every time without having to worry about anything moving around or falling out of place.

Allows For Better Movement

If you’re cross-drilling or doing some other complex task, a drill press vise will certainly come into play to make it all easier for you. So it’s important to find a vise that will allow you to easily move around in the same direction the drill press is going.

Compatible With Most Work Benches

You can easily clamp down a drill press vise on most workbenches. This way, you’ll know where it is in case you need it. That alone will make transporting it from the bench to the drill press a lot easier, regardless of how much it weighs.

Cautious Considerations to Keep In Mind

Before purchasing a drill press vise, it is important to know some of the considerations that should not be ignored. You should keep these in mind before you choose a vise. Here’s what you need to mull over:

Not All Drill Press Vises Are Created Equal

Some vises are made for small-scale projects while others are made for heavy-duty projects like machining metal. You need to know which drill press vise will be best, not just for your projects in general, but also will fit your drill press of choice. Much larger drill presses won’t be able to work with the small, compact vises you see on the list.

Pay Attention to Jaw Width/Type

The jaw type and width are a couple of things you need to pay attention to. Remember, a certain jaw type will fit certain shapes and sizes. So if you’re consistently using flat materials like wooden boards, please remember that the V-shaped jaw is not the answer. Also, the wider the jaw, the better the chance a thick piece of metal can fit or other material securely.

Conclusion

The best drill press vise is out there. It will only be a matter of time until you choose one for your personal use. Find one that will give you a better grip and will be compatible with whatever projects you use your drill press for. Once you find one, you can say goodbye to risking injury to your hands, as well as drilling imperfect holes in the wrong places.

People Also Ask

The following are a couple extra questions that will allow you to get a good understanding of drill press vises. Use these answers as a guide to help find the best vise for you. Here are the following questions:

What Size Vise Do I Need?

The short answer: it depends. It depends on the kind of projects you’re working on. And it also depends on the complexity. You’ll probably need a smaller size vise if you’re doing home projects like woodworking. A heavy-duty vise that is large in size might be sufficient for your tougher tasks. 

What is the Difference Between a Clamp and a Vise?

You’ll notice that a vise has two jaws to hold something together. A clamp might consist of a brace or band that is designed to hold things together. These have a similar purpose but a vise will hole things tight enough as you drill.