Wilton has announced two new Multi-Purpose Bench Vises, in 4-1/2″ and 6-1/2″ jaw length sizes. The new models, 450P and 650P, will join an existing 5-1/2″ multi-purpose bench vise, model 550P.
The body and moveable jaws on the new Wilton vises are made from 30,000 PSI gray cast iron, and the bases are made from 60,000 PSI ductile iron.
Wilton points out that by comparison, most other multi-purpose bench vise bases are constructed with 30,000 gray cast iron. Wilton went with 60,000 PSI ductile iron bases to greatly reduce their susceptibility to cracking or breaking under heavy load.
The multi-purpose bench vises feature a 360° rotating head that can be indexed in 30° increments for quick setup. The vise can also swivel 360° about its base, which has lock-downs on both sides.
Each vise features horizontal pipe jaws and v-jaws to hold pipes and other stock vertically.
The vises are equipped with replaceable hardened steel serrated jaws. There’s also an anvil surface on top for striking, shaping, and forming tasks.
Update: The pipe v-jaws are also replaceable.
- 4-1/2″ multi-purpose vise (450P, #28844)
- 4″ jaw opening
- 2-1/4″ throat depth
- 1/4″ – 1-11/16″ pipe jaw capacity
- Weighs 21.3 lbs
- MSRP $160
- Street Price: $139 (at the time of this posting)
- 6-1/2″ multi-purpose vise (650P, #28845)
- 6″ jaw opening
- 3-1/4″ throat depth
- 5/8″ – 3″ pipe jaw capacity
- Weighs 58.4 lbs
- MSRP $350
- Street Price: $279 (at the time of this posting)
The 550P 5-1/2″ vise is $186 at the time of this posting, and it also quite a few reviews and a strong rating (4.7/5).
Wilton designed these vises to suit the needs of light tradesmen, utility workers, maintenance and repair professionals, and for general purpose users.
Buy 4-1/2″ Vise via Amazon
Buy 5-1/2″ Vise via Amazon
Buy 6-1/2″ Vise via Amazon
I found the dual-strength construction to be an interesting feature. Here’s what Wilton says exactly:
These new vises feature 60,000 psi ductile iron bases. By comparison, most multi-purpose vise bases are constructed using 30,000 gray cast iron, which bears half the stress, making them more susceptible to cracking or breaking under load.
This seems to make sense. With the vise anchored to the base, and the base securely fastened to a workbench of other sturdy surface, there must be a lot of force concentrated down on that base. It sounds like this is a commonly observed failure. Instead of building these vises out of 60,000 ductile iron entirely, they presumably beefed up the vise where it needs it, to help maintain a lower price tag.
If you want a Wilton vise entirely constructed from 60,000 ductile case iron, consider their also iconic bullet-style Tradesman and Mechanics vises.
Thanks for the heads up on this; I just might order one. I had a vise like this that I bought maybe 35 years ago from Costco. It was a big brute, and weighed a ton. I used it a lot over the years, occasionally beating the daylights out of it, but it never flinched, and I loved it. I was downsizing a couple of years ago and I sold it, but really miss it. This new Wilton could be the answer.
Here’s the funny thing, though: I noticed that a comparable vise from Yost (their 750 E) takes the opposite approach in material selection. Yost uses 60 KSI ductile iron in the movable jaw, and 30 KSI grey cast iron in the base. The only broken vises I’ve seen over the years have broken at the fixed jaw on the base, so maybe Wilton has the right idea, but I guess different experiences lead to different designs.
I’ve seen many vises with damaged jaws (especially the movable one), handles, leadscrews, etc, but very rarely a broken base. I’m curious regarding which part(s) exactly that Wilton is making out of the ductile iron here. Is it just the baseplate with the 4 holes in it that bolt to the workbench? Or does it include the main body of the vise where the anvil surface is too?
Only time I broke a base was when I dropped a vice. I have broken the part the screw goes through on an off brand vice and dads broke on his to. I broke a jaw on a small wilton mechanic vise. I ended up with a used wilton bullet vice and never had an issue with that one yet. Ithink the working part of the vice needs more strength myself. Plus if the base breaks you can just make it a non swivel vice
These look like really nice and very useful vises. I want to upgrade my vise too… hmm.
Are there any soft-jaw accessories that work with the pipe-holding side of a vise like this? E.g. that slip over the V-jaws.
One of the tasks I use my vise for on occasion is servicing motorcycle suspension. I can use my flat jaws with soft-jaws to hold the forks in place, but can’t tighten it down enough to removing the fork caps and compression adjusters for fear of collapsing the tubes. I work around it by loosening both before taking the forks out the triple clamps – but it would be nice to have a better vise that would let me do stuff like that.
Where is it made?
Not 100% sure but I’m in the market and I haven’t found a Wilton for less than 600 that was USA made. Anyone know the least expensive US made bench vise in the 4-6″ range?
Your best bet for a good deal on a great US made bench vise is to look on Craigslist and Facebook Market place and pick up an older used one. They can still go for a fair bit but it is a lot cheaper than buying a new one. I would love to buy a US made vise and as a general rule, I only buy US made tools but for as infrequently as a use a vise, 6 bills is hard to swallow.
On amazon the question of coo was answered with prc.
Thank you, I’ll keep an eye out on marketplace..will depend on the price obviously, hard to justify 200 to 250 on used when a German made Ridgid is available for about 325 from cpo. Most of my collection is US as well & would prefer to keep it that way (not @600 tho lol).
I was recently in the same boat. I ended up buying a USA Wilton on Zoro using a 20% coupon to make the pill easier to swallow.
Otherwise I considered a USA made Morgan Milwaukee vise. They’re at milwtool dot com. I emailed their salesperson and the prices were far more reasonable (maybe 150 or 200ish?) but I just decided to go with the Wilton.
Another option I considered is a Heuer from Amazon.de, which comes out to near 300 when VAT is removed.
While I agree with your post in general, you gave me an excuse for a mini-rant.
For years I’ve been looking for one of the small size Wilton “bullet” vises, like a 2″ or 2.5″. These are no longer in production so finding a used one is your only option. Yet for some reason these are now collectable, with people on Ebay paying several hundred dollars for a used 2 inch vise. I’ve seen over a thousand paid if it was “rare model”, like one with a bench clamp on it rather than the standard base, or if it had “original paint”.
I don’t have a problem dropping hundreds of dollars or even over a thousand if it’s a high-quality big bench vise that I know I will get a lot of work out of. But man, I just can’t swing paying hundreds of $$$ for one that small. It’s frustrating because in this particular case the collectors are pricing the actual workmen away from their tools.
It’s not really in my wheelhouse but I hear the same thing is an issue for many older woodworking tools like planes as well.
I am assuming Taiwan, which is where the tradesmen and mechanics vises are now being made.
Correction: These are made in China.
Are the v-jaws replaceable?
I do not believe so; only the main jaws are described as being replaceable. I’ll reach out to Wilton to doublecheck, as the v-jaws look to be inset and so it could be possible.
Update: They are user-replaceable.
You really need to state place of manufacture/origin on these tools. Obviously at this price point, it’s overseas iron (which, to many, is vastly inferior to USA).
Philosophically I agree with your “iron” assessment but metallurgically at least it’s invalid.
With Wilton I “feel” the same way and am so lucky to have 3 different styles of heavy US made vices. But mechanically?
I wonder if fred has any insight to add?
Well, if it was imported Swedish iron, it might be even better than USA…but then the price would be even higher.
Been wanting a swiveling vice and this led me down the rabbit hole into comparing them and I ended up buying the 5″ Yost with 65K ductile everything and all the jaws replaceable. I can’t afford this blog Stuart. It always shows me good stuff.
Got it sitting on my bench now and it’s a beauty. I didn’t realize it would be several inches taller than my old one because of the clearance needed to rotate but I can live with that.
So I have a wilton from years ago bought at lowes I think – it’s a swivel base 4-1/2
I think I use the anvil plate more than I use the vise itself but meh.
anyway. I like this feature set there are times I work with pipe/tube etc and that would be a nice feature.
Do we know where this is made? For a vise – function work wise I don’t have alot of concern on a foreign made vise – if fronted by a reputable company with a warrant like wilton. This from say HF – no.
it would be interesting.
I have never been too fond of the swiveling jaw multipurpose vises. The less things that are adjustable the less things that can slip when pushing a vise to its limits.
My main bench vise is a Rigid F45 which has a swivel base. I replaced the sliding T-handle lock down bolts for plain hex head bolts to make it easier to tighten so it won’t slip.
Not sure I would even consider a new vise made of plain 30 KSI grey cast iron. It might be OK if they use enough of it and over build the design but its a sign of a cheap vise made to a cost not a good one made to last.
Recently we upgraded several of the bench vises in the shop where I work from junk tier 6″ no name vises to 5″ Yost ADI vises. So far we are really happy with them. Very solid feeling, minimal slop in the moving jaw due to the adjustable gib.
I also have a older Wilton bullet vise and really like it. however I think the current owners are milking the name while not coming close to the quality of what they used to make.
Stuart, any thoughts on the new line of vises by Capri?
They look like a Taiwan copy of some German vises I’ve seen. 90K PSI steel vs Cast Iron. I’ve seen some tests of the German versions that were really impressive.
I’ve got zero experience with Capri so I can’t say.
Looks identical to the Fireball Bench Vise.
Wow, pretty sure I saw the german version tested on his channel. I had no idea Fireball sold tools!
i have the version like it from hf and have looked at many of the other clones. i couldn’t see much difference in any of them. it really is a crappy vise. yes the large range of positions and adjustments are handy. but it is never quite right and it is never quite tight enough or solid enough when things get serious.
if you really want that type of vise i think it is foolish to spend more than hf price on one.
Koko The Talking Ape
Quite a price spread on these, isn’t there. The Mechanics line is about double the price, and the Tradesman line is double again, going by that review Stuart mentions.
Is there anything in anyone’s experience that says “It’s possible to have too many vises” by chance? Because frankly, this article makes me want both Wilton vises. The Multipurpose and the Trades specific.
If you can’t have too many, I’m going to look into both… I have the Dremel Multi-Vise, two of them in fact, and they make me angry. I love Dremel, but those plastic things can’t handle anything. I need a really, really good Vise to handle the abuse I put materials through.
Only get as many vises as you have usable (and strong enough) mounting locations for.
If you are looking for a more robust mini vise I would look at what PanaVise offers. They are quite robust for their size and very versatile.
If those are not solid enough than another option for compact highly adjustable bases would be the Wilton “Pow-R-Arm” work positioning bases. https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-16180-343-Junior-Pow-R-Arm/dp/B002RNVMXM They used to offer them with miniature sized bullet vises long ago, unfortunately the baby bullet style vises have become a sort of collectible fetching ridiculous prices. You can occasionally find the bases used at reasonable prices on ebay. paired with a less expensive new wilton SBV-65 vise https://www.amazon.com/Wilton-63244-Sbv-65-Super-Junior-Opening/dp/B0006NGGZO they are very adjustable and not quite as rediculusly priced. You will need an adapter plate as the holes do not line up.
Additionally for average home shop use I find the a more modest decent quality 3.5″ to 5″ wide jaw bench vise to be optimal. Too small and they are not robust enough, too large and they are cumbersome to use. I think the Yost ADI-4 and ADI-5 or similar style from Capri tools or Ridgid are really good bang for the buck in better quality bench vises.