Not impressed with this vise

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Review by Mike Lingenfelter posted 02-12-2008 05:19 AM 12734 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not impressed with this vise No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have bought several products from Lee Valley/Veritras, and I have been very happy with them. So, I expected a lot from them, when I bought this vise. For what I paid for this bench vise, I’m not that impressed. I took the picture for this review showing how the handles can get out of alignment. The problem is that the set-screws that lock the large screw and handle together are undersized. The use of set-screws I feel is the real flaw. The friction from a couple set-screws isn’t going to give you that much clamping pressure. The set-screws are always slipping. You then have to remove the front cover to adjust the handles and tighten the set-screw down again. I wanted a vise I can really clamp down on. If I put too much pressure on this vise I can easily twist the handles out of alignment.

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Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4970 days

6 comments so far

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Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 4668 days

#1 posted 02-12-2008 05:58 AM

Mike, I’d send an email…..I have two of those vices, and never had a problem. I know LV will take care of you no matter what it takes.

If you’d prefer the “do it yourself” method, once you get it aligned, pull out the set-screw, strike a mark with a center punch through the hole, and drill a recess hole for the set screw to lock in to. Unfortunately, the set-screw are a required evil on this vice, as an indexed stop would be problematic if the maple faces moved or the bench wasn’t perfectly suare or the chain stretched.

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

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11295 posts in 4730 days

#2 posted 02-12-2008 12:25 PM

I would think Lee Valley will go out of its way to make it right. That has been my experience with them.

View grovemadman's profile


684 posts in 4627 days

#3 posted 02-16-2008 02:06 PM

Lee Valley has excellent customer service. I would call them and explain the situation you are having. Most everything you can buy from them is returnable.

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4970 days

#4 posted 02-20-2008 05:13 AM

I know Lee Valley is a good company, I have bought many items from them I’m very happy with. I will still buy Lee Valley products, I have a long wish list waiting to be purchased. My comments were on the design of the this vise, which I feel has a real flaw in it. A vise is meant to be clamped. Sometimes you need to give it a good tight turn. I don’t want to be worried about it slipping, because of some small set-screws. There isn’t much Lee Valley can do for me, unless they have redesigned the vise.

I have had the vise of over a year now and have learned to deal with it’s flaws. I just think for the price, it would have been designed a little bit better. Other people have had good luck with, which might show I’m just picky. The bench and vise are going to be replaced shortly. The current bench and vise will go to my brother, he isn’t as picky as I am :).

For those of you that have had good luck with the vise, please write a review. My review doesn’t have to stand as the last word on this vise.

View JWatriss's profile


1 post in 3619 days

#5 posted 11-01-2010 08:25 PM

I had a similar problem.

This is how I solved it.

It’s not a problem for most people, but it’s not uncommon, either. Still, even when it was having issues, I wasn’t really displeased with this product. Even when it’s all perfectly set up, I found that I still had to tighten each handle a little bit, because there’s a little bit of slack in the chain, and one side was always a bit looser than the other. The joy of having the chain is that you can use it to spin both screws more easily for moving the chop in and out more quickly, without needing both hands to do it. You’re right: sometimes you just have to give the vise a good, tight turn. But I think it’s better to do that with each handle on each screw… not by tweaking the right handle really hard. Doing that will eventually damage the brass locking pin.

Lie-Nielsen builds hardware for another twin-screw vise, but it’s designed simply to be a non-racking vise, with a fixed distance between the screws. In the case of the Veritas, you have the option to make the vise as wide as you want… just keep adding chain. The set screw design is what allows this versatility. So, I think the set screws are a required evil. Because of all the variables involved in tapping the threads on the inserts that bolt to the bench, and any slight deviations in any other part of laying out and building this vise, with more or less width when you cut the chop, etc, there’s no accurate way to predict where the set screws are going to hit the threaded rod. So, there’s no real accurate way for the factory to drill mating recesses for the set screws to lock into.

I admit being annoyed that it wasn’t “perfect.” But considering the amount of work involved in building the vise to begin with, adding another step wasn’t a big deal for me. This is not plug and play equipment… it takes time, work, and a little bit of fussiness to get it set up right. In this case, this is just an added step that they didn’t cover. But we’re woodworkers. Problem solving is part of the hobby.

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157 posts in 2131 days

#6 posted 11-28-2014 06:36 PM

I would be interested in hearing from other users of this vice, as I have talked with other unhappy users.

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