Recently, I’ve been working with a lot of Kreg products, such as their Automaxx Clamps and Universal Clamp Trak. I thought I was aware of every product Kreg made, but a few days ago I saw a tweet about the Kreg Clamp Vise, something I’d never seen before.
After doing some research, it seems that the Kreg Clamp Vise was introduced as early as 2012, but apparently we missed posting about it.
Kreg uses a 3″ Automaxx clamp, a custom vise plate with two clamp tracks, and two of their Clamp Blocks to make a “bench vise.” The blue anodized aluminum plate mounts on the edge of a 1″ to 2″ thick work surface. This plate provides 2 different height tracks for the Bench clamp and the Clamp Block to slide into.
If your bench has an apron, you’ll need to notch it to fit the tracks of the vise plate.
To clamp your workpiece you just rest it on the Clamp Blocks and squeeze the handles on the clamp. The Clamp Blocks and the two tracks allow you to set 7 different work heights. If you take a closer look at the blocks you can both flip them upside down and reverse them to get 4 different positions. I still can’t figure out how they get an odd number of 7 work heights unless maybe one of the combinations is too high or low for the Automaxx Clamp.
The advantage of using the Clamp Vise over a standard vise is the Automaxx clamp. Rather than twisting a handle over and over to open and close the jaws, you just set the clamping pressure you desire, up to 400 lbs, with the thumbscrew, and squeeze the handle to clamp your workpiece, regardless of its thickness.
The Clamp Vise also include two of Kreg’s Bench Dogs to turn it into an edge vise.
The glass-reinforced nylon bench dogs fit in any 3/4″ or 20mm dog hole, and they have a squared off face to get a better hold on the edge of a board. The rubber bumpers that come with them can fit into the top of the bench dogs or you can place them directly into the dog holes for a non-slip surface.
The Clamp Vise comes with a 3″ Automaxx Clamp, two Clamp Blocks, two bench dogs, the vise plate, and mounting hardware. The Kreg Clamp Vise normally retails for around $60, but I found a seller on Amazon that is offering it for $47 with free shipping (not Prime Shipping).
Buy Now (via Amazon)
It’s an interesting idea for Kreg to build a bench vise out of parts they already sell, like the Automaxx Clamp and Clamp Blocks. It almost seems like a DIY solution, because if you have some Clamp Trak and an Automaxx Clamp, you can practically build something like it yourself.
I picked up a set of the bench dogs on clearance from Menards a few weeks ago. They work pretty much like you’d expect them to, so they’re not a bad bonus to get with the Clamp Vise.
The Clamp Vise isn’t going to replace a standard bench vise in every application, but it almost seems like a no-lose situation because if the Clamp Vise doesn’t work out you still have an Automaxx Clamp, two Clamp Blocks, and two bench dogs.