It was way back in 1750 when the first parallel vise was introduced, making it possible to guide clamping jaws along a horizontal axis. It is fascinating that even today, a vise is such an indispensable tool even in our modern largely automated workshops. A bench vise in particular is designed to adapt to pretty much any environment, where it can be easily mounted to a wide range of workstations. With its multi-purpose uses from woodworking to metalworking, it’s no wonder it has been the choice of tradesmen for centuries! The Wilton 11104 Bench Vise is a great example of a vise that continues to maintain the reputation of the world of vises! Wilton was founded way back during WWII, and their vises were mostly used for the manufacturing of equipment in the war. They have of course expanded since then, now with a wider range of lightweight to heavyweight vises. For a company that has been in the vise business for as long as they have, it would be wrong to omit their name from a discussion about vises, which is why we have taken this opportunity to review the Wilton 11104 Bench Vise.
The Wilton is constructed with fixed jaws, boasting a width of 4” and an opening capacity of 4”, which makes this vise suitable for clamping of mid-sized objects. The jaws are fitted with grooved steel inserts, providing a secure grip when clamping. The throat depth is only 2 ¼”, so keep that in mind if you have special needs that may exceed this. Unlike some bench vises, the Wilton 11104 does not come with a pipe jaw, which is a favorable feature as it provides a better grip when working with round objects. Not to say you can’t clamp round objects, but you will have to use a little more finesse without the pipe jaws.
The square design of the center slide of the Wilton vise ensures stability and precision clamping when sliding the jaws open and closed. This design also serves to protect the main screw from grime and dirt that would lead to faster wear. Additionally, the cover will help maintain lubrication longer, ultimately reducing the frequency that the vise would require maintenance.
Surprisingly, the Wilton 11104 comes with an anvil work surface larger than what would be expected from a vise of this size. This is great as it provides you with that extra space you need for bashing your objects into shape.
The Wilton bench vise comes with a 120 degree swivel base, an important feature as it gives the operator the opportunity to align and clamp objects without having to maneuver their body around the workbench. There are two locking screws that when turned will hold the base down once the desired positioning is achieved. To secure the Wilton vise to your workbench, there are 4 lugs in the base, that will allow you to drill and screw your vise firmly into place.
Weighing in at just over 15 pounds the Wilton 11104 has been made using high quality strengthened steel, giving it the strength and durability that would be expected of a Wilton product. The basic structure of the Wilton comprises of three major sections, the body, the central slide and the base. Generally the fewer attachments required to build the vise, the more compressed the structure and so greater strength and higher durability. The vise is finished off with a clean blue coating to prevent it from rusting, which means the vise will require very little service.
The Wilton 11104 is definitely the way to go if you are looking for a simple bench vise for light work around your home garage, and you don’t want to spend a great deal of money. If you think about the quality you will be getting, this is definitely a bargain purchase. It doesn’t have the feature set of some of the higher end, heavier hitting vises, but it’s also not that expensive and there’s no reason to pay for features you don’t need. You will get a pretty decent deal if you buy from Amazon since they usually offer free shipping, which can often be a hefty fee on a heavy bench vise if it is not included. All in all, if you’re looking for great value for your money, you definitely can’t go wrong with the Wilton 11104 Bench Vise.