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Mill Vise

ironhorse18

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#1
I have a Pro Cut 30" round column mill. At this time I only have a cheap Lowes vise on it. Being retired $$$$ is an issue. I need a decent 4" vise to firmly secure some stock. A Kurt or some other name brands can be crazy expensive. Does anyone have an suggestions for a good vise at a reasonably price? Somewhere around $200.00.

Thank you,
ironhorse18
 

T Bredehoft

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#4
I have what to me is an adequate four inch vice I purchased with my PM25 from Matt, for about US $80.00. It's not high quality, but It does have the downward pressure on clamp function and comes with a (useless) swivel base.
 

tweinke

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#5
I previously struggled with what I would call a drill press vise that came with my 3in1 machine. I bought a milling vise from Grizzly which is not the best compared to some but still is light years better than what I had.
 

mikey

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#6
If money is really an issue (it is for all of us, no?) then why not just buy an import 4" screwless vise? They are accurate, not that cumbersome to use, work well and are cheap. Then you can save for a good machine vise when you stumble upon a good deal. I own a 4" Kurt and its a good vise, but so is my 4" screwless vise and it is potentially just as, if not more, accurate than the Kurt.
 

darkzero

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#7
Another vote for a screwless vise. Check out this video by Stefan Gotteswinter. That's what he primarily uses for his RF45 style mill.

 

mikey

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#8
Really enjoyed that video. I have a little Wilton screwless vise that I really like and I'll put it up against my Kurt any day.
 

epj

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#9
I needed a really good vise and ended up buying a Shars premium 6". Lots lees than the Kurt, and does a very satisfactory job. The 4" model should be in your price range.
 

Bob La Londe

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#10
I have a number of vises of various types not to be confused with my vices of various types. I've found most screwless vises to be more than adequate, more compact for their size, and cheaper than a mill vise. Lockdown or otherwise. Some may argue they are not as easy to use, but in my CNC enclosures I can't spin a handle anyway. Its actually easier to loosen the jaw and slide it to the next notch than it is to swing a handle on a mill vise. Being more compact may not be an issue for some, but I have enclosures for a reason. I sure don't want to knock the window out of my enclodure doors by slamming a vise into them. I have three small (6.5 x 11.5) high speed cnc mills with screwless vises on the table that allow me to cut my maximum size part (6x11). I admit I did machine the jaws to optimize everything, but they get used every single day. They hold very securely and if there is any jaw rise its minimal. From .0005 - .001, although to be honest I have not really noticed. I use a high hold in the top 1/8 of the jaw so if there was going to be an issue I expect I would notice.

I have nothing against milling vises. I have a bunch of them. 8 or 9 atleast. I only have two of them in service on the table of my largest mill (14x24) though. I do use them everyday, but I designed the enclosure on the table to be big enough for them. Still its a pain to spin and swing the handles for long jaw travels so I use an air wrench for long moves and then use the handles to tighten and loosen on the stock. I used a pair of screwless vises on it for a long time too, and sometimes I consider going back to them, but that brings us to the one (in my opinion) big drawback to a screwless vise. Unless you are prepared to mill, drill and tap them they are limited to their design size. A mill vise can easily (the ones I have anyway) have jaws moved or machined for the opposite side of the jaws to as much as double their capacity. None of the screwless vises I have were designed with that in mind. I might note I bought some vises from a shop that closed down and I have not confirmed all of those can have jaws on either sides of both parts of the closure. I did have a very cheap mill vise that was inside jaw only, but I let it go with a mill I sold in the last year.

In conclusion I feel for an occasional or hobby user or for a user that does not need to spin the vise on a swivel base a screwless vise can be a very good low cost alternative.

Note 1: Before buying a screwless vise with intent to modify it bare in mind that they tend to be pretty hard steel. They will tear up tooling.
Note 2: I have not seen a screwless vise that comes with a key on the bottom to align with the table t-slots. I do not use keys anyway. I line up my vise or vises, rough clamp them in place, and dial them in with a test indicator. If the jaws are decent its not that hard to get them within .0005 over the length of the jaws. Some guys can do better I am sure.
 

petertha

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#13
I still manage to misspell it & I live here.
 
Last edited:

Alan H

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#14
Vielleicht wäre es besser, wenn er einfach Schraubstock sagte. Dann können diejenigen, die sich hier beschweren, Deutsch lernen.
 

Bob Korves

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#15
Vielleicht wäre es besser, wenn er einfach Schraubstock sagte. Dann können diejenigen, die sich hier beschweren, Deutsch lernen.
Microsoft Translator:
Maybe it would be better if he just said Vise. Then those who complain here can learn German.
 
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