In a hurry? While I recommend reading the whole article to find the drill press vise that best suits your needs, if you are in a hurry and just want a quick recommendation, then you should take a look at the Irwin 226340. With its solid build quality and size sufficient for many different tasks, it offers an excellent cost-performance.
Arguably, a vise is the most useful accessory that you can get for your drill press. In fact, it is a must-have. With many models on the market, though, it can get difficult to choose.
To help you with your purchase, I listed seven of what I think are the best drill press vises on the market below including brief reviews of each. Further down, I also explain the methodology I used to pick the featured products and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these small but useful accessories.
Before jumping into that, though, below are my top four picks:
- Top Pick: Irwin 226340
- Budget-Friendly Option: WEN 423DPV
- Best Cross-Slide: Wilton 11694
- Best Tilting Angle: WEN 434TV
Top Pick: Irwin Tools 226340 Drill Press Vise
The Irwin 226340 is a drill press vise made from forged iron with a clamping pressure of 1000 pounds. It is lightweight, durable, and portable. Its textured jaws provide a secure grip and the slotted base allows for easy installation and positioning.
The 4.5-inch jaw capacity of this vise is sufficient for most light-duty tasks, including gunsmithing and some woodwork. You’ll require 4 bolts, nuts, and washers to mount the vise to the base plate of your drill press.
Things I Like About This Product: The vise is generally well made and solidly constructed, and can fit most drill presses that have 4 to 6 holes. One of the biggest issues with most vises is that they can shift or slide if not secured, but that won’t be an issue with this one.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Be prepared to do some adjustments and fine-tuning on your drill press vise after receiving it. Due to the rough finish in some cases, you may need to file or sandpaper the sides to remove burrs or rough patches.
Runner-Up: WEN 424DPV Drill Press Vise
The cast iron construction of the WEN-424PV drill press vise makes it robust, and heavy enough to prevent sliding. It is useful for just about any job where you may need a third hand to keep things in place.
The heft of the vise provides stability for drilling operations and the universal design ensures compatibility with the majority of drill presses on the market. The 4-inch jaw is sufficient for most light jobs.
Things I Like About This Product: This is a solid little vise for the price, but don’t expect it to have the finish and precision of more expensive products.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: According to some buyers, you may need to inspect and sand down rough edges or burrs on the vise surface in order to make it usable for work. This is due to manufacturing defects in some cases.
Budget-Friendly Option: WEN 423DPV Drill Press Vise
Like it’s 4-inch sibling, this drill press vise from WEN is crafted from cast iron and includes four onboard mounting slots.
The jaws of this vise open up a total of 3-1/10 inches with a 1-inch throat depth to tightly grip boards and metals of a variety of shapes. The product is compatible with the majority of drill press tables on the market (including the four most popular WEN drill presses).
The vise also includes two bolts, nuts, and washers to attach it to the drill press table.
Things I Like About This Product: I like that the jaw inserts are harsh on one side and smooth on the other, so they can be reversed. The vise is easy to use, clamps down if needed, and is easy to open and close.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: While this vise isn’t of the same quality as a machinist’s vise, it is fine for a hobbyist or student learning to craft. Professionals may need to look at something higher-end.
Premium Option: Wilton 11746 Low Profile Drill Press Vise
When you need a vise for precision work and only the best will do, consider the Wilton 11746 6-inch one. Its jaws are 6-3/8-inches wide, 2-1/8-inches tall, and open up to 6-1/4-inches deep. It is not only heavy-duty but also heavy enough to provide stability and prevent sliding without needing to be clamped in most cases.
This vise is designed for drilling, tapping and reaming, and the hardened grooved jaws can grip round shaped objects both vertically and horizontally.
Things I Like About This Product: One of the best things about this vise is that the jaws are very tight with no perceivable wobble. The fit and finish are excellent, and the screwing and sliding parts all work well. The vise operates smoothly, the jaws are parallel, and they close correctly without any gaps.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Unlike some of the other vises in this list, this is a quality build with great fit and finish, and its price tag reflects that.
Best Cross-Slide Drill Press Vise: Wilton 11694
This Wilton cross-slide drill press vise can accurately move a workpiece in both horizontal axes. It has a metal control handle and side kobs that accurately dial in 0.1-millimeter increments. Its hardened grooved jaws can hold round objects securely while you work on them.
Things I Like About This Product: It is well made and the tightness of the vise can be adjusted using the three set screws on the bottom sled or the three set screws on the top set.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: After receiving the vise, it is a good idea to disassemble it, clean it thoroughly and then re-oil it with ball bearing lubrication before first-time use. This will ensure that the tool will work much more smoothly and accurately.
Budget-Friendly Cross-Slide Drill Press Vise: Shop Fox D4082
The Shop Fox 4-inch cross-slide drill press vise features a slide bar to prevent the jaws from tilting up or sideways when tightening. Adjustable gibs take up any slack on both top and bottom slides, while the 4-inch jaw capacity makes this vise great for cutting keyways and doing light milling jobs.
Things I Like About This Product: This drill press vise is solid and works quite smoothly, with a tight grip and plenty of room for adjustment.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: You may want to put a washer between the set screws and the body where the set-screw collars meet the body fo the vise. This will make the vise more precise and it will also allow it to move smoother. Similarly, you should remove the grease that it ships in, and reoil with good lithium grease or any quality lubricant.
Best Tilting Angle Drill Press Vise: WEN 434TV
This WEN titling angle drill press vise is made from heavy-duty powder-coated cast-iron. The vise grip provides over 1900 pounds of clamping force, and the jaws can open up to 4-1/4 inches wide. The grooved jaws can hold round objects either horizontally or vertically, while the removable handles help to install the vise into tight spaces.
The vise has a locking cradle and positive work stops every 15 degrees for precise drilling. With its six 12 inch mounting brackets around the outside edge fo the base, the vise is compatible with the majority of drill press tables on the market.
Things I Like About This Product: The vise has a two-year warranty backed by a nationwide network of service technicians and a customer helpline to provide peace of mind. Another plus is that disassembly and assembly are easy, so cleaning and oiling are very easy too.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: While solid and well made, the finish and detailing leave something to be desired.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Drill Press Vises Featured Above
Even though drill press vises are fairly simple accessories, choosing the right one for you is not always easy. After all, there are dozens of different models on the market, all looking the same.
That’s why I recommend you to pick from one of the models I talk about earlier in this article. I choose them based on, among others, the criteria below. You can also use these criteria if you didn’t find a drill press vise you like in the curated list.
Price: Whether you are an amateur or a professional, you are likely to work with a limited budget. As such, I made sure that each of the picks offers excellent cost-performance. Unless you are looking at premium options, drill press vises can generally be had for less than a hundred dollars. That said, in the products I featured above, the only two were price was the main criterion for selection were the WEN 423DPV and the Shop Fox D4082 cross-slide drill press vise.
Quality: Roughly speaking, there are three areas in which you should judge the quality of a drill press vise. Those include the overall build quality and material, the quality of its jaws, and the stability of the drill press. While the top pick, Irwin 226340, does well in all of those aspects, if you are looking for the highest possible quality, I recommend the premium option, Wilton 11746. If you want to judge for yourself, short of going to the store and seeing one first hand, reading through user reviews – both positive and negative, as well as neutral – is the best way to do so.
Jaw Size: While the overall size of the product you choose is something worth noting, it is nowhere near as important as the jaw size. After all, the jaws are what you will use to grip your workpieces before drilling into them. When choosing the best drill press vise for you, you should consider both the width and height of the jaws themselves, as well as the maximum distance they can be set apart from each other.
Type: While the vast majority of drill press vises are standard ones, there are also cross-slide (like this Shop Fox one) and tilting angle (like this WEN one) drill press vises that allow you more precision and flexibility when doing your work.
The FAQs: Things You Need to Know About Drill Press Vises
If you got to this point and are still left with questions about this valuable type of drill press accessory, continue reading. Chances are that you will find the answer to your question below.
What is a drill press wise and how to use it?
A drill press vise is an accessory that you can attach to your drill press to hold your workpieces steady while you drill into them. It consists of two jaws which can be moved towards or apart from each other to fix the workpiece in place.
To learn more about how to attach a drill press vise to your machine and how to use it, read this article.
Which type of drill press wise should you choose?
As mentioned earlier in the article, there are three different types of drill press vises:
- Regular: A standard drill press vise with two jaws moving towards and apart from each other
- Cross-slide: A drill press vise that can move its jaws to the left or to the right
- Tilting angle: A drill press vise that can, as its name suggests, tilt the workpiece at a specific angle
Unless you are doing milling or need the extra precision that a cross-slide drill press vise offers, you should go with a regular or a tilting angle one. In fact, in most cases, a regular one should be more than sufficient.
That said, if you need to drill into your workpieces at specific angles rather than just perfectly straight, you should consider getting a tilting angle drill press vise.
Are there any other drill press accessories I need?
While drill press vise is arguably the most important accessory that you will need to get started with using your drill press, there are other ones as well. Those include T-tracks, cutting fluid applicators, and V-blocks among others.
For more information, read my guide about must-have drill press accessories.
As we established earlier, a drill press vise is a must-have accessory as it will help you hold your workpiece in place while drilling into it.
While there are different types of the accessory, in general, I recommend getting a standard one like the Irwin 226340 or the Wilton 11746. If you are looking to do more complex work that requires moving your workpiece around or drilling in at an angle, though, you should also consider getting a cross-slide drill press vise like the Wilton 11694 or a tilting angle one like the WEN 434TV.
If you ordered your favorite one, but are not sure how to attach it to your drill press or how to use it, read this guide. If you are not even sure if you need a drill press in the first place, read this article.