I recently reviewed the Yost RIA-4 compact bench vise, which turned out to be decently built despite its modest price and purposefully diminutive size.
Another vise that I have been asked to look at is the Yost FSV-4 heavy duty bench vise. I don’t quite have the time or space to review a full-size bench vise these days, but its design caught my eye and seemed deserving of at least a mention.
Like the RIA-4 compact vise, the Yost FSV-4 features 4″ jaws. But, unlike the compact vise, this one has greater throat depth, double the opening width, and grooved pipe jaws. The heavy duty vise also has a much different design where size isn’t much of a design concern.
- 4″ jaw width
- 5″ jaw opening
- 2.9″ jaw throat depth
- 1/2″ to 2″ pipe capacity
- 360° swivel base with 2 lock-downs
- Large anvil
- 3 mounting holes
- Adjustable guide rails
- Forged steel construction with 90,000 PSI tensile strength and 54,000 PSI yield strength
- Replaceable jaws and pipe jaws
- Weight: 22 pounds
Compared to my much-loved Craftsman Professional bench vise, the Yost FSV-4 has greater capacity but weighs half as much.
Both the Yost and Craftsman vises are similarly priced. I don’t really think that either is better than the other. The answer to which one is better depends on what you’re looking for. Personally, I like my Craftsman vise and would make the same purchasing decision over again, although the Yost vise definitely has its own merits.
This vise is not one of Yost’s USA-made vises. If you want a USA-made Yost, you’ll have to spend a lot more. I have tried two Yost vises now their USA-made clamp-on vise, and aforementioned compact vise which is imported, and cannot really tell a difference in quality. With other brands, such as Wilton, there is a significant difference in import vs. domestic build and finish quality.
One thing to note is that this vise has 3 mounting holes, not 4. I’m not sure what the intent was, but it looks like the design allows the vise to be mounted a little closer to the front of a workbench.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via Sears)
More Info(via Yost)
As of the time of this posting, Sears had the better pricing.
If there’s a lot of interest, I’ll reconsider doing a hands-on review of this vise. But from what I can tell from on-paper specs and my experience thus far with Yost products, it looks to be a solid vise at an affordable price.
Looks like a Ridgid w pipe jaws?
This was my first thought as well.
Looks like welded construction rather than cast?!?! Am I seeing things or are those weld beads between the base and the body and between the upright for the moving jaw and the lead screw cover? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be good for some jobs but it does strike me as a bit unorthodox for vise design.
Yost says it’s made from forged steel, and the image on their site is slightly different. Since the “weld lines” are not present in Yost’s image (this one was taken from Amazon since it’s sharper and clearer), it’s probably an optical illusion caused by reflections from the photographer’s lighting setup.
I have a similar vise made by Rigid, the model F-45. it has the same basic construction and the dynamic jaw (the moveable one) is welded to the slide. the static jaw (the fixed one) is also welded to the base of the vise. I would not consider it to be a weakness or poor design. I have used mine hard and have had no issues. for the last 8 years.
looking closer I see that the Yost has replaceable jaws (and improvement over the Rigid models) and a slightly different method of adjusting out the play in the slide.
I will also note that having only 3 mounting holes is usual done so that it is possible to mount the vise on the corner of a bench and also the vise to be placed close enough to either edge so that the vise over hangs the bench far enough that a long workpiece can clear the front edge of the bench. this is how I have mine mounted and it works great.
Another big advantage of this type of vise it that the anvil surface it made of relatively hard forged steel rather that cast or ductile iron. This makes it much more useful as real anvils were never made of just cast iron but rather cast steel, forged steel of cast iron with a steel top plate welded on.
Not sure about the 3 mounting holes either – but vintage Parker (USA Made) vises had 3 hole too.
I have a one and it’s a great little vise doesn’t take up to much workspace but still big enough to actually do something with it. the three mounting holes work great for the corner of the bench. I can clamp something in it and still rotate it around the corner
Another advantage of these forged type vices is they are substantially lighter for a given jaw size and throat capacity than a decent cast vice, makes little difference on the bench but if in a truck or on a portable rig every little weight reduction helps.