Having a handyman prioritize which tools he finds most useful presents an interesting dilemma. It seems that people most will point to their expensive power tools. Psychologists have taken to calling this behavior post-purchase rationalization; that is, people will do whatever it takes to justify expensive purchases, including overestimating their actual usefulness. Yet, if you instead observe which tools a handyman uses on any given day, you will find simple tools like hand tools and bench vises seem to be used most frequently. With this in mind, it seems logical that people ought to be more thoughtful when picking out their simple tools as they will be used more frequently. We figured we’d help you do your due diligence with this in depth review of the popular Yost 445 Apprentice Series Combination Bench and Pipe Vise.
The Yost Vise 445 excels in pretty much every manner possible. This unit features 4.5 inch flat jaws with a 4 inch jaw opening and total throat depth of 2.625 inches. This sizing allows you to clamp down on a surprising variety of work pieces. In addition, the Yost 445 can hold pipes up to 2 inches in diameter in the pipe jaws, which should more than suit the needs of most DIY home handymen.
In addition to nicely crafted replaceable jaws, the vise has a number of other notable features that make it very versatile. One of our favorites is the built in anvil, which is a flat work surface behind the jaws that is capable of withstanding strike force from a hammer. You can use this to work metal, press pins, hammer nails against, etc without harming your tool or your workbench.
The 180 degree swivel base is a nice touch as well. Although it doesn’t pivot the full 360 like some more expensive vises out there, it does the job well enough that you really don’t need more range than this vise allows. Word on the street from Yost is that this vise is soon to come with a 360 degree swivel, which is a nice upgrade.
Another nice addition is that the rather burly screw handle utilizes a rubber washer to mitigate slip. not only will this handle not bend under normal load like a cheaper vise, but you can also slide the washers to keep the handle centered on the screw if you so desire.
Finally, it has covered lead screws, which means that you won’t have to maintain it frequently. Wiping the oil and grime off after you use it should be enough to keep it in tip top shape for a long time.
The Yost 445 delivers on build quality without a question. Most of the unit is built using 30,000 psi cast grey iron, which is well known for its fortitude. However, the unit also utilizes a steel u-beam for the central channel. In short, this vise can take one hell of a beating and it won’t really notice. This is awesome if you are someone who is hard on their tools.
The fit and finish on this vise is awesome. The castings are smooth and even and the finish itself is nicely applied and doesn’t seem to chip off during use. Unlike cheaper vises, you won’t have to recoat the Yost 445 after a few years as the finish adheres nicely.
Yost Vise has been producing high quality vises for more than 100 years, and the company has done a remarkable job expanding their distribution network during that time. E-stores throughout the USA and Canada now stock a variety of Yost Vise products, including the 445 Vise. We consider this vise to be extremely high in value considering the quality of the manufacturer, quality of the product, feature set, and price.
The price does vary some from retailer to retailer, but typically the best prices are found at places like Amazon.com who oft have a highly competitive prices. All in all, this quality bench vise would make an excellent addition to any work bench and comes highly recommended!