When it comes to tools, Irwin is a very well known name. They make everything from hand tools to power tools and chances are that if you are even a modest handyperson, you probably own at least a couple tools that say Irwin on them. Irwin is also a company that is known for their bench top tools, including bench vises and drill press vises. As such, it should come as no surprise that the Irwin 4″ drill press vise is an all around well built tool with smart features and decent build quality.
As far as specs go, everything is pretty status quo. 4″ wide hardened steel jaws interface with your work piece and open to a max distance of 4.5″. The throat depth is 1/2″, making this vise ideal for smaller parts. The lead screw features a chrome handle that makes it easy to turn, but the handle is compact enough to stay out of the way when you need it to. There are four mounting slots which give you lots of options to attach this vise easily to a milling table or drill press table in a variety of orientations. It should also fit a wide variety of drill presses. The slots are 5/8″ wide with a 2 7/8″ length and a center to center of 5 1/4″. We suggest checking to make sure it will fit your drill press prior to purchasing.
Overall, the Irwin drill press vise sports good build quality, which is something we’d expect from the company. The vise is strong enough to handle light duty drilling and milling operations, and is particularly ideal for detail work such as reaming. The forged iron construction is both stout and light, which means that this vise is going to last you pretty much forever but still remain portable. The classic Irwin blue powder coat sets off the look nicely and is sure to catch the eye of the friend who comes over to help with your next project. Our only minor complaint was that you’ll probably have to hit the bottom surface of the vise with a little bit of fine grit sand paper to knock off some minor burrs to make sure it sits completely flat. This will take you roughly five minutes and is pretty common for lower cost drill press vises.
As far as value is concerned, overall value is high. The cost of entry for the Irwin drill press vise is very reasonable even if you have to clean up the bottom surface. As far as best pricing, Amazon typically has a competitive price which is tough to beat. As such, we recommend starting there. Overall, the Irwin makes a great hobbyist vise and light duty drill press vise to have around the garage. It would make an ideal addition to a bench top drill press (aka mini drill press) as well assuming your table is large enough.