Engineering Vices

Engineering vices are precision-engineered tools to grip your workpiece and keep it stable while you work. Bench vices are standard pieces of equipment for every workshop, but not all engineering vices are the same. To get the best finish for your workpiece, you should invest in a vice that is hardwearing, reliable and built to withstand the forces used during your work. At R.D. Barrett we stock the UK’s most extensive range of specialist engineering tools, including a range of exceptional engineering vices in a variety of sizes. Read more


Engineers Bench Vice, 150mm By Draper

£119.99 View

Quick Acting Machine Vice Bison 6542

£239.52£278.20 View

Record No.23 Quick Release Bench Vice 115mm (4.1/2in)

£418.60 View

Record No.25 Fitter’s Vice 150mm (6in) Quick Release

£556.40 View

Engineering Vices

How does an engineer’s vice work?

Engineering vices are simple and useful pieces of equipment that are a workshop standard. Built from high-quality cast metal, the vice is bolted to a benchtop or other work surface to keep it secure. The two parallel jaws are open and closed using a handle. A quick-release mechanism fitted to some vices enables you to rapidly slide the jaws apart or together, making it much simpler to clamp a larger workpiece.

The jaw plates that come into contact with the workpiece are replaceable, which extends the working life of your vice. A high-quality engineering vice that’s well cared for and maintained should provide decades of reliable service, so we recommend investing in the best you can afford.

How to choose an engineer’s vice

Vices can be used for all workshop tasks, from filing and finishing to assembly and component fitting. When purchasing an engineering vice, you should consider the sizes of the pieces you will be working on. Research the jaw width, throat depth (the distance from the top of the jaw to the top of the slide), the maximum jaw opening and the maximum recommended workpiece weight before making a purchase.

Engineering vices, such as the IRWIN Record No.25 Fitter’s vice can withstand a lifetime of hard work. Cast and created in Sheffield, the cast iron vice has a jaw width of 150mm, a throat depth of 115mm and a maximum jaw opening of 210mm. The 41kg vice can cope with a maximum workpiece weight of 150kg when secured into place. The unit comes with hardened steel jaw plates that are replaceable when the time comes. The iconic design of the IRWIN Record has found a place in workshops across the world.

For milling and drilling smaller workpieces, the Bison Quick Acting Vice is an ideal choice. The bench-mounted vice comes in two jaw widths (80mm and 100mm). Workpieces can be quickly and safely secured in place with a single rotary movement of the lever. The fixed jaw has a V block, which enables the secure horizontal or vertical clamping of flat or round workpieces. The vice is built to last, with high-quality castings and hardened and blackened removable jaw inserts.

Engineering Vices FAQs

Quite simply, no. Engineering vices are not all the same. Cheaper vices are made from inferior materials and may not withstand repeated use and the stresses and strains of drilling, machining and assembly that are asked of them. At R.D. Barrett, we only stock the best quality engineering vices, because we strongly believe that you should invest in the highest quality workshop tools you can afford, as they deliver the best results.

Engineering vices such as the IRWIN Record No.25 Fitter’s vice are heavy pieces of equipment that need to be securely bolted to a stable and level surface. The vice has three bolt holes (two either side of the jaws and one at the rear). The vice should be positioned at the end of a bench to allow for full and free operation.

You can view our range of engineering vices and purchase online through our website. If you can’t see the vice you require or would like some advice on selecting the right vice for your workshop, then please get in touch. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll happily help you to find the right engineering vice and other tools you need to get the job done.