When it comes to precision machining, you without a doubt need a precise and accurate vise. In the real world, this translates to a vise whose jaw faces are parallel and square. Without these traits, you will inevitably be limited in terms of the tolerancing scheme on your parts. In other words, your ability to hold tight tolerances will be compromised.
Fortunately, Wilton makes an excellent drill press vise to combat this issue. The 11674 4″ Industrial Drill Press Vise delivers high precision with long lasting construction. It is a terrific press vise that will serve you well whether you mount it to a milling table or a drill press table.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick this vise up is its heft. It’s not light by any means thanks to the robust fine grain cast iron body. In light of this, it’s also not flexy like some of the less expensive drill press vises. The jaws are hardened steel, which is to be expected on any vise capable of machine work. The jaws also feature both horizontal and vertical V-grooves which allow you to clamp round work pieces in a variety of orientations. The jaw width is 4 inches and they open a total of 4 inches as well. The throat depth is 1.5 inches.
The center of the vise is open which leaves space for drilling through your work piece so long as you are centered. It also allows you to take advantage of this space by clamping your work piece such that it sits below the slide surface if needed. The lead screw functions smoothly and the black oxide coating minimizes corrosion as well as the need for maintenance. Finally, this vise is precision ground for both parallel and square accuracy to +/- 0.0001″ per inch which means you won’t have notable tool related drift on your tolerances that you may see on cheaper vises.
When it comes to build quality, Wilton tends to be top notch, and this vise is no exception. It is specifically designed for industrial use, so it will withstand some abuse whether you are using it in your garage machine shop or on a production floor. The jaws are durable and will resist marring even when clamping high-hard steel. They are also completely flat faced with no texturing so you won’t damage the surface if you are machining titanium, aluminum, or plastic. The screw shows no major play.
The value on this Wilton drill press vise is solid, despite the higher price relative to the cheapies on the market. You’ll pay twice as much, but you’ll quickly make that back if you are machining tight parts as you won’t have to scrap parts due to missed dimensions. As far as where to buy, Amazon’s free shipping deal makes their price competitive, so we suggest starting there. Overall, we think the Wilton is a fantastic drill press vise and worth the few extra bucks if you have them to spend. That said, if it doesn’t quite meet your needs, have a look at some of our other recommendations for best drill press vises.