Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century]

best bench vise for gunsmithing

You may be about to start your first AR-15 project or finish another weapon yourself. Or you decided to refresh your workshop and see what’s new on the market. This article will take you on a journey to help you find the best bench vise for gunsmithing that meets all your needs in your new or old hobby.

A bench vise is a workbench add-on that can be mounted to stabilize an object you are processing. It has a jaw in which you fit the item you are working on, and a spindle that you turn to fixate the object. Once the object is fixated, you can bore, mill, hammer, screw, unscrew, and the item should stay in place. A vise’s prime purpose is to allow precision during work.

Precision is the most important factor in gunsmithing, so investing in a quality vise (and not all are quality, believe us) is practically the first step towards a successful homemade arm.

Our Best Gunsmithing Bench Vise List

When looking for the best bench gun vise, what you need to pay attention to is graspability, stability, and accessibility. What do we mean by this? All we want to say is that your bench vise should hold an object in place, keep it still while you’re processing it, and allow you to easily access the parts of the object you are processing.

  1. Wilton 11106 Wilton Bench Vise for Gunsmithing (best for all time)
  2. Forward DT08125A Heavy Duty (best quick release)
  3. Yost Vises ADI-4 Bench Vise with 360-Degree Swivel (best portable)
  4. Yost 750-E Heavy-Duty Rotating Bench Vise (best for double swivel)
  5. Forward CR60A Bench Vise Swivel (best heavy-duty)

More on the specifics of bench vises are after our best product review.

Quick Comparison of 5 Best Rated Gunsmithing Bench Vises

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century] 1
Wilton 11106 Bench Vise
Jaw Width: 6-Inch
Weight: 38.9 lbs.
Material: Steel
Strength: 30,000 PSI
Dimension: 16.6x8x8.4 in.
Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century] 2
Forward DT08125A Bench Vise
Jaw Width: 5-Inch
Weight: 35.4 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron
Strength: 60,000 PSI
Dimension: 18.81x10.98x10.12 in.
Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century] 3
Yost Vises ADI-4 Bench Vise
Jaw Width: 4-Inch
Weight: 22 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron
Strength: 130,000 PSI
Dimension: 20x10x8.5 in.
Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century] 4
Yost 750-E Bench Vise
Jaw Width: 5-Inch
Weight: 34 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron
Strength: 60,000 PSI
Dimension: 18x9x9 in.
Top 5 Best Bench Vise for Gunsmithing [Top of 21st Century] 5
Forward CR60A Bench Vise
Jaw Width: 6.5-Inch
Weight: 41.4 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron
Strength: 60,000 PSI
Dimension: 14.6x8.1x8.6 in.

Gunsmithing Bench Vise Short Reviews

Here’s a little sneak peek over the top choice of 2021 and most probably coming years as well – the 5 best gunsmithing bench vise for the money! Should groove as just suitable for your mechanical workspace, be it an open-air or, tight space one.

So, to find out which are the best, keep reading and we’ll help you to make the best buying decision:

1. Wilton 11106 Wilton Bench Vise for Gunsmithing, 120-Degree Swivel

Wilton 11106 Wilton Bench Vise, Jaw Width 6-Inch, Jaw Opening 6-Inch

Jaw Width: 6-Inch
Weight: 38.9 lbs.
Material: Steel

Major Features

  • Considered the best one ever made
  • Lifetime durability
  • 30k PSI gray cast iron body
  • 120 swivel
  • Double lock down the base
  • Large anvil work surface
  • Grooved jaw inserts

Not only that many consider Wilton 11106 the best American-made bench vise, but many in and out of the US think it’s the best bench vise ever made.

It weighs 38.9 pounds and it’s considered a lighter variant among the mid-to-heavy-duty bench vises. It has a 6-inch jaw width and opening and that makes it good for any kind of gunsmithing enthusiast since it can take any kind of lower and other necessary items.

It features a 120 degrees swivel with a double lock-down base, allowing for more maneuverability of an object while keeping it fast in place. The anvil is largely providing a solid and sturdy work surface.

The product comes with a lifetime warranty proving how durable and sturdy the vise is made. The confidence in their products made Wilton a favorite among DIY enthusiasts and light-duty users.

2. Forward DT08125A Heavy Duty 360-Degree Swivel Base and Head

Forward DT08125A 5-Inch Heavy Duty Bench Vise 360-Degree Swivel Base and Head with Anvil

Jaw Width: 5-Inch
Weight: 35.4 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron

Major Features

  • 5-inch jaw width and opening
  • 2.6-inch depth
  • Large anvil
  • Sturdy 60k PSI ductile iron
  • 5500lbs clamp force
  • 360-degree swivel

This heavy-duty bench vise will have all you need for your gunsmithing DIY project – from sturdy and stable construction to the size and workspace.

Its jaw width is 5 inches, and it can open up to 5 inches with a 2.6 inches throat depth.

The special thing about this project is its clamp force that goes over 5500 pounds. It’s made of high-strength ductile iron that can stand 60k PSI. It has a large anvil so once mounted, you can grind, cut, bore, mill, and so on.

A 360 degrees swivel base is also a feature worth considering. It offers you complete freedom in placing the workpiece as you wish. The lock-down base was reliable during our testing.

All in all Forward DT80125A is also considered the best bench vise for gunsmithing because it can clamp larger objects due to its wide jaw and opening, and enough depth.

3. Yost Vises ADI-4 Bench Vise with 360-Degree Swivel

Yost Vises ADI-4, 4 Inch 130,000 PSI Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) Bench Vise with 360-Degree Swivel

Jaw Width: 4-Inch
Weight: 22 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron

Major Features

  • 22 pounds
  • 360 swivel
  • Double-lock-down base
  • Forged steel and powder-coated finish
  • 0.5”-2” pipe capacity
  • Anvil workspace
  • Guide rails
  • Replaceable hardened steel top jaws, grooved for better grip

For those that don’t need as large a vise, we believe the Yost ADI-4 bench vise is the best. This one has a 4-inch jaw width which is more than enough for AR-15 gunsmithing. It has a great grip that will keep the workpiece in place no matter what.

It’s also the lightest product on our list, weighing only 22 pounds. This makes it easy to mount/unmounts and place somewhere else or store away for a neater workspace. This is one of the favorites for those who occasionally turn their garage into a workshop, and take things back to their place once they finish.

Yost ADI-4 is also great because it has a 360 degrees swivel, allowing for more space when working with a piece. The double-lock-down base keeps it still during processing. Though small, this product is extremely sturdy. It’s made of forged steel and it has a powder-coated finish that lasts a lifetime.

4. Yost 750-E Heavy-Duty Double Swivel Rotating Bench Vise

Yost Heavy-Duty Double Swivel Rotating Bench Vise

Jaw Width: 5-Inch
Weight: 34 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron

Major Features

  • Heavy-duty ductile iron rotating head and cast grey iron body cast
  • 5 inches width and 4-7/8 inches opening, 3 inches throat depth
  • 360-degree swivel
  • Double lock-down
  • 35 lbs

This is the best heavy-duty bench vise that can help you with the hardest of gunsmithing projects, as well as some of the other projects you might have.

It has a scary clamping force of 7k pounds and a torque rating of 165 Ft-Lb. It’s made of 60k PSI ductile iron (the rotating head) and cast iron (grey, for the body). Its jaw is 5 inches wide and can open 4-7/8 inches. The really good thing about it is the 3-inch depth.

It is equipped with a heavy-duty 360 degrees base to place the workpiece at any angle. A large anvil allows for easy work with less movement around the workshop.

5. Forward CR60A Bench Vise Swivel Base Heavy Duty with Anvil

Forward CR60A Bench Vise Swivel Base Heavy Duty with Anvil

Jaw Width: 6.5-Inch
Weight: 41.4 lbs.
Material: Ductile Iron

Major Features

  • Quick-release corrosion-resistant spindle
  • 60k PSI ductile iron
  • 270-degree swindle
  • Single lock down the base
  • Large heavy-duty anvil

If you need a 6-inch base, Forward CR60A is the best 6-inch bench vise on the market. Here is why:

The jaw width is 6.5 inches actually, making it the widest on our list. The jaw can open 7 inches, and the throat depth is 3.8 inches, so it can fit in any kind of DIY gunsmithing workpiece.

Since recently, they upgraded the materials for manufacturing it, and now it’s all made of 60k PSI ductile iron, for the toughest of works.

The large anvil and the large jaw allow it to take a lot of work on itself, and it’s great to have for other projects.

Flexibility is its strength since it can rotate 270 degrees around the single lock-down base.

Things to Consider – Before Buying the Gunsmithing Bench Vise

When buying a vise, you have to decide what work-piece your vise has to handle. Most gunsmithing-at-home projects need 4-5 inches jaw width. Other than the size, there are a couple of more things to take into consideration:

  • Durability – vises are meant to clench your piece, and the more durable they are, the better they’ll hold
  • Swindle – this allows more adjustments during the work. Swindle allows for more space and adjustability during processing
  • Quick release – the spindle can be turned slowly or fast. Quick-release allows you to switch the pieces or the position of the piece more conveniently.

After deciding the purpose and the specifics of your future vise, check out our recommendations.

The best gun bench vise of all time: Wilton 11106

Wilton is a favorite of many DIY enthusiasts and in a vast majority of cases – they don’t replace it. One of the reasons is the great lifetime durability of their product, for which they sometimes even guaranteed. Wilton 11106 is one of these products, and with its 6-inch jaw width and 6-inch jaw opening, it can take up any workpiece needed for gunsmithing. A 120-degree swivel with a reliable double-lock-down base ensures the workpiece won’t move even slightly.

The best quick release bench vise: Forward DT80125A

Forward DT80125A is a heavy-duty bench vise that’s made to last. It has a 5×5 jaw width and opening, and it can exert great clench force. Its 360-degree base allows for easy adjustments of the workpiece. It’s made of PS 60k ductile iron which is very durable. Its large anvil provides enough workspace for even larger projects. Finally, the spindle works perfectly, allowing for a quick release every time.

Best Portable Bench Vise: Yost ADI-4 Bench Vise

Made of forged steel that can take a punch, and powder coated to endure elements and wear, Yost ADI-4 is a better option for those who want a good 4-inch jaw width vise that will last for generations probably. In spite of its durability, it’s light (22 pounds) and it can be easily stored away when not needed. It has a pipe holder as well, and a 360 swivel with a double lockdown base.

Best Heavy Duty Bench Vise: Forward CR60A Heavy Duty Bench Vise

Forward CR60 has a 270 degrees swindle that keeps the workpiece in place, a sturdy ductile iron body, and parts that provide great durability. The largest on the list, its jaw width reaches 6.5 inches and the depth of 3.8 inches, it’s made to handle all kinds of DYI gunsmithing projects.

Additional Information/FAQs

What size vise do I need for gunsmithing?

4 inches vise will be sufficient if you are working on an AR15 project. The width of the jaw will be enough to keep your project in place. For any projects larger than the AR15, you will need a larger bench vise – usually, a 6-inch vise will be enough.

How big of a bench vise do I need?

The best benchtop gun vise is the one that will keep your project tightly in place. A 4-6 inches jaw width should do the trick.

How do I choose a bench vise?

To choose a bench vise wisely, you will need to consider a few things. The first is jaw width – it should be able to open enough to accept the item you are working on. Secondly, you’ll need to consider mounting – usually, vises use 3 or 4 bolts, they should keep them tightly in place. Alternatively, you can opt for clamp mounting – they will be easier to mount, at the cost of stability in some cases. Finally, swivel and quick release are desirable, because they make the job more convenient and faster.

Do I need a vise to build an AR-15?

The minimum equipment you need for building an AR-15 is a vise. Without it, your project is under great risk because tightening the lower with a vise will provide you the needed precision and stability as you bore and mill through your 80% lower.

What tools do you need for AR-15?

There are several tools necessary to finish your AR-15:

-A flat surface, preferably a workbench

-A 4-6 inch bench vise to keep it in place

-A vise block for AR-15

-An AR-15 torque wrench

-Armorers wrench for AR-15

-A quality punch set

-Roll pin holders

-A hammer or a mallet

-Allen or Hex wrench set

-A flathead screwdriver

Alternatively, you can do it with a lower jig and a router. You will still need a vise to keep the assembly in place.

How much force can a bench vise?

Different quality vises can exert different max force/pressure on the object. High-quality bench vises can exert up to 90k PSI, while cast-iron vises can exert between 19k and 60k PSI. Some vises can apply much greater pressure than 90k PSI.

What is the strongest vise?

Heavy-duty vise we can recommend id Yost ADI-6 heavy-duty 6-inch bench vise. It is about four times stronger than an average cast iron vise. While being very durable, it is not that heavy – only 42 pounds. It has a 6-inch jaw opening that opens up to over 7 inches and a throat capacity of 3.7 inches.

What bench vises are made in the USA?

Wilton has bench vise models that are made in the US. It’s a company with residence in Tennessee. One of the models that are made in the US is Wilton 11106, one of the most famous bench vises in history. Many consider this particular vise the best vise ever.

Final Words

So, that’s about all regarding our odyssey of finding the best bench vise for gunsmithing. The numbers are adamant – Wilton 11106 is not only the best bench vise these days, but many consider it the best. If you need something more robust, you can check out Forward DT08125A or Yost 750-E heavy-duty bench vises that have wide jaw openings and can exert great force.

For a 6-inch bench vise, it turns out that Forward CR60A is the winner, showing that the heroes can be found in unexpected places. It goes one step beyond offering a 6.5-inch jaw width, can open up to 6 inches, and a 3.8-inch throat depth.

If you need a traditional 4-inch vise with a little more swivel, Yost ADI-4 is a great option. It has a 360-degree swivel and its steel can stand up to 130k PSI of pressure. With a smaller 4 inch jaw, it allows for more precision during work, and it has a counter-weight guide rail that restores precision.

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