If you love old tools and believe in the saying "They don't make them like they used to" you are home! Vintage vises are a great addition to your workshop, garage or basement hobby area. Beautiful in their own right, they are also just as functional, if not more than a new modern vise made in China, Taiwan or other far off lands. If you are new to the site and are looking for a used bench vise check out our Top 5 Vintage Bench Vises for 2022

Where to find old vises?

Like most collectibles, the thrill is in the hunt. Bench vises show up in the strangest places, but the usual spots are auctions, garage sales, Craigslist and more recently Facebook Marketplace.


Can you identify this vise?

The most frequent question I get on Facebook and Instagram. Grandpa may have had an old vise bolted to his workbench and now you are the proud owner but you have no idea on manufacturer, model number or value, I am here to help...

Vise Library - Now with searchable spreadsheet!

What is my vise worth?

Pricing vises can be difficult and the market varies by your location and the condition of your vintage vise. Click below to read about how I value a bench vise.

How Much Is My Vise Worth?

How do I restore a vise?

There is no better feeling than to restore a vintage bench vise to like-new condition. Part of the attraction for me to vises is the quick and easy restoration process which leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.

Restoration Tips

Types of Vises
  • Thumbnail Bench Vise
    The most common and versatile vises, the bench vise serves mechanics, machinists and tinkerers alike. Typically offered in 3" - 8" in jaw width some larger examples can reach 10" wide jaws and over 500 pounds.
  • Thumbnail Machinist Vise
    Generally designed to be mounted to a mill or lathe, the machinist vise are usually precision made tools that demand a high price at sale. Many swivel and some even has 3 axis of movement.
  • Thumbnail Drill Press Vise
    A less precise version of the machinist vise, the drill press vise is about holding parts for drilling only. Many have a quick release/adjust action to speed up part clamping for production work.
  • Thumbnail Wood Vise
    Designed to be mounted under a work bench, the jaws are typically made from soft wood and can be easily replaced. This allows clamping of wood without leaving marks on the work piece.
  • Thumbnail Pattern Makers Vise
    A wood vise on steroids! The pattern vise allows several more degrees of movement. The jaws swivel as well as the entire vise can be rotated above the table making this the transformer of vises.
  • Thumbnail Pipe Vise
    Used to hold water pipe for threading and cutting, the pipe vise is a plumbers best friend. While not as collectible as bench vises, some older examples are truely beautiful and well made.
  • Thumbnail Jewelers Vise
    Typically 2" wide jaw or less, the jeweler vise usually has an accompanying anvil for fine hammer work on jewelery. Examples can mount like a typical bench vise or often clamp to the edge of a work bench. Prices for Prentiss and Boley jeweler vises can bring top dollar.
  • Thumbnail Hand Vise
    A hand-held version of the jewelers vise, it's used most often for fine work on jewelery. When filing or other fine work is needed, a hand vise it a valuable tool to the jeweler.
  • Thumbnail Blacksmith Post or Leg Vise
    The strongest of vises, the blacksmith leg vise is made from forged steel or iron and designed to take heavy blows from a blacksmith's hammer. Some of the oldest vises made, the post vises can bring serious money for the largest and rarest examples.