Why A Vise Is Essential for Any Blacksmith
Getting started in blacksmithing? You’ve taken the first step to some of the most satisfying work you can do with your hands. Experienced blacksmithing veteran? Some of this will most likely sound familiar.
Whatever your status, it is important to know what tools and processes are needed to be successful in your work. A vise is an essential tool to starting or completing your forge. Considering a new blacksmith vise for your workshop? Vises are interesting mechanical devices and play a key role in every smith’s work.
You may find yourself looking in the wrong places if you’re going in blind, so research is key to getting the most out of your forge.
What Is A Blacksmith Vise?
A vise, by definition, is a metal tool that is attached to a workbench designed to firmly hold an object in place while work is being performed on it. Or, in your case, when a blacksmith is heating it up and smashing it with a hammer (or twisting it).
These tools are created with two parallel jaws, one being movable to allow tightening and loosening of the object, and one that is stationary to lock the object in place from the other end. Most blacksmith vises utilize a screw and lever mechanism in order to tighten and loosen the jaws.
Why Do I Need A Blacksmith Vise?
We’ve all heard the saying “Work smarter not harder”. A blacksmith vise is one way to help you do just that. As a blacksmith, having a vise will allow you to keep heated items in place while you perform your work.
This is one of the most useful tool applications as it allows your focus to be on the object you are working on, and not on finding a way to hold it or an optimal position to place it while striking. But don’t get caught without a vise, as you will be attempting to work with extremely hot iron objects with no way to keep them in place. This can create a dangerous (And downright inefficient) workspace!
Types of Vises
Purchasing a sturdy and reliable vise will be an important step to make for your shop. The right vise will be strong, sturdy, and resistant to consistent hammer blows. Over time, having a high quality vise will save you time and money as you will not have to replace the mechanism or its components nearly as often and will have the ability to quickly pull iron from the vise and move on to your next piece of work.
So, what types of vices are out there? There are three primary bench vise options:
- Leg Vise
- Post Vise
- Machinist Vise
Which Vise Is the Best for Blacksmiths?
Generally speaking, a post or leg vise will be your best bet as a blacksmith. Different forms of vises tend to have different toughness, but these tend to be able to withstand more damage over time than the machinist vise.
Leg vises have legs added onto them, connecting directly to the ground (Usually bolted) and are able to withstand the weight and force of the work being done. It transfers force away from the device itself and into the ground, leaving the vise unaffected. These vises generally can withstand the harsh and continuous beating that a heavy forging operation will put it through without leaving the screw or other components in the blacksmith vise susceptible to cracking.
If you are new to blacksmithing, or if your current vise is beginning to lose its grip, you’re in the right place! We are sure you will find the right match for your forge in our blacksmith vises for sale.
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