A good vise can make all the difference in the shop. Whether you are drilling a hole in a piece of stock, you’re cutting with a hand saw, or you just want to lock a part down so that you can grind it down, a vise is the centerpiece of that operation. We did the research to find the brands that are making bench vises right here in the USA with quality craftsmanship and superior local materials. We outlined some vises that you should consider for your own shop.
Full List of Bench Vice Brands Made in the USA
The Wilton Combo vise is designed for those demanding the highest level of strength and performance from a vice. This vise features a primary jaw, a pipe jaw, and an anvil work surface for better versatility. It features a fully enclosed spindle and nut assembly that helps keep everything neat and grime-free during use. This vise benefits from a well-crafted slide bar that moves smoothly during operation. This entire vise is crafted with thick and heavy metal and backed with a lifetime warranty. The Tradesman vise (model 1755) is also made in the USA.
As a machinist, work must be done to an acute level of accuracy. The Conquest Industries Magnum 6-inch machine vise is a helpful tool to machinists because it’s precision-crafted. The vise is made almost perfectly square and parallel within .001”. This product also features a needle bearing for enhanced clamping power. The vise is crafted with a ductile iron body with 80,000 PSI of strength. It also features a flame-hardened bed for maximum durability and a nickel-plated steel screw for improved strength. This machinist vise is built to last and should stand up to hard use over time.
Lake Erie Toolworks makes wooden vises to power your workbench out of their factory in Erie, Pennsylvania. They are a small family-owned company and have a lot of kit options. They specialize in fully wooden vises that support a leg vise, face vise, tail vise, wagon vise, and Moxon vise, and are a fully wooden alternative to metal vises. They also have some helpful, creative workbench ideas on their website, ideal for those just starting to figure out their setup.
The Hi Vise from Benchcrafted is designed for serious woodworkers looking for a reliable bench-top vise. This vise is a secure holding point for boards, dowels, and other wooden materials you’re working on. The set comes as a cluster of hardware, and you finish it off with your own hardwoods.
This kit features a polished ACME screw for smooth performance, a shiny hub finished with black oxide, and a leather washer that helps minimize clinking during use. The vise slides smoothly and tightens evenly thanks to the Crisscross Nine clamp design. While using this vise, you can effectively lock wooden parts into position and work on them at waist height. It’s affordable to purchase, but you must be prepared to add on the body from hardwood to get this vise working.
How To Find Bench Vises Made In The USA
A bench vise is an indisposable tool used in the woodworking and mechanical industry. This is thanks to their powerful jaws, which clamp down on objects you are working on. This is why you want your bench vise to be of the best quality. For many Americans, this means buying a bench vise made in the USA. You cannot always attest to the quality of foreign-made products, so an American-made bench vise is always a good bet. Finding US-made products can be tricky, but with this guide, you should be able to find bench vises made in the USA.
What Does “Made in the USA” Mean?
You should know precisely what the term “made in the USA” means before you begin searching for bench vises. For a product to have this label, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that “all or virtually all” of the bench vise must be made in the United States. In other words, everything from the raw materials to the assembly of the product must take place domestically. For example, if the materials come from South America, even though the product is assembled in the USA, the company cannot claim that the product is “made in the USA.”
To learn more about the FTC and labeling, check out our handy guide on how to tell if a product is made in the USA.
The first step to finding US-made bench vises is researching the materials and learning where they come from. A quality bench vise is usually made of iron or steel.
A popular material used in bench vises is iron – generally cast iron or ductile iron. Australia is the world’s leading iron ore producer, followed by Brazil and China. On the other hand, the USA does land in the top 10 producing countries of iron, but it does not produce as much as these other countries. So, while finding iron sourced in the USA may be much more difficult, it is not impossible. Just make sure to double-check the country of origin when looking for an iron bench vise.
Thankfully, US-made steel should be much easier to find than US-made iron. The USA is one of the leading countries for steel production, but remember that China still produces more than half of the world’s steel. So, more likely than not, you’ll often run into Chinese-made steel – especially if you look for a more budget-friendly product. US steel is also three times stronger than Chinese steel, so you must double-check the country of origin and ensure you get a quality American product.
When looking for a bench vise made in the USA, it is important to pay attention to the labeling used on the product. Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code states that all imported products must be correctly labeled as such. So, when looking for American-made products, you should ignore all other labels and looks specifically for “made in the USA.” This label helps us weed out products that are made abroad.
Any wrong or misleading use of the “made in the USA” label is prohibited and can result in hefty penalties. While the FTC does not have a pre-approved process for this label, it will investigate any complaints of misleading labeling and take legal action when necessary. Therefore, it is up to the consumer to report any products incorrectly labeled.
You should also watch for any misleading or ambiguous language, such as “assembled in the USA” or “designed in the USA.” Companies that use these terms do not necessarily mean that their products are made in the United States.
Similarly, phrases like “made in America” are also used to trick people into thinking that the product is made in the USA. However, America can also refer to Mexico or Canada.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is the American flag sticker. American flags used on labels are not regulated, so any company can choose to put an American flag sticker on a label. Therefore, this does not mean the product is made in the USA.
Here are some other helpful tips that you can use to find bench vises made in the USA:
Visit the Company’s Website
Research where the bench vise is made by checking out the company’s website. They usually will have an “About Us” section, which may include information on how and where their products are made. “Made in the USA” is a huge selling point, so you should easily be able to spot this information on their website.
On the other hand, if the product is made abroad, likely, you won’t find any information regarding the country of origin. Companies are not required to state the country of origin regarding online or promotional materials, so the silence speaks volumes in this case.
Call the Company
If your search on their website does not yield any results, you can call the company and ask them questions. A representative should be able to answer your questions.
Bench Vises Not Made in the USA
We came across several tool brands that are not making their bench vises in the USA. We did a little digging to find out where their bench vises are being made. See the full list below.
- Yost – Made in China and Taiwan.
- Wilton – Made in Taiwan (older models and their current “Machinist” range are made in the USA).
- HFS – Made in China.
- WEN – Made in China.
- Irwin Tools – Made in China and Tawain.
- Olympia Tools – Made in China.