What is a vise?

A vise can be described as mechanical apparatus utilized to support specimens rigid at a stable condition while drilling, sawing, filing, threading, and other such operations. Due to wide utilization of vise, it is generally employed in various sectors such as metal-working processes and mechanical engineering processes.

What are the types of vises?

There are the following four types of vises:

  • Bench vise
  • Pipe vise
  • Pin vise
  • Hand vise

Bench vise

A bench wise with movable and fixed jaws, body, nut and a handle assembly.
Bench vise

A bench vise is a simple holding device employed in most workshops. The two jaws can hold any work (material) by simply sandwiching the material between the jaws. It is most common in fitting shops where materials are machined to desired shapes and sizes. The tool has two parts; the first is a stationary part with one jaw and another is the moving part with the second jaw. The moving part is used to adjust the gap between primary and secondary jaws to accommodate the job. A threaded handle achieves the motion of this part. The function of this handle is pretty much the same as a screw jack. As we turn the threaded handle, it moves like a screw through the housing of the casing of the tool. This screw-like motion allows the secondary jaw to move towards the primary jaw. The point to note is that the screw connected to the jaws runs completely through body even if it is the stationary part.

The size, material, color, etc. may vary depending upon the make. Commonly vises are made of cast iron and are painted red, green, or blue for visibility.

The bench vise is also termed as parallel jaw bench wise of engineers. There are the following two types of bench vises:

  • Swivel base
  • Fixed base

Swivel base vise

Swivel base vise is used in the tool room, that the work can be located at any desired position. The most important feature of this vise is that it can be rotated in 360 degrees in a horizontal plane.

Fixed base vise

Fixed base vise is commonly employed in workshops. The base of the fixed base vise is permanently fixed on the working table with the help of bolt and nut assembly. Generally, cast iron is used to make the fixed base vises.

Pipe vise

A pipe vise with tommy bar, handle, base, movable and fixed jaws.
Pipe vise

As the name implies, pipe vise is utilized for holding pipes and round bars for cutting, threading operations. It is usually employed in plumbing work. The main body of the pipe vise is constructed of cast iron. It consists of two jaws, one is fixed, and the other is movable. The movable jaw slides inside the fixed one through a screw, bolt, and nut arrangement. The fixed jaw is fixed on a wooden plate, and on the fixed jaw, 'V' notches are provided for increasing gripping power. It grips the round stock at four points.

Pin vise

A pin vise with vise handle at the top and chuck head at the bottom of the vise.
Pin vise

Watchmakers utilize a pin vise to hold tiny wires or pin for servicing the watch. It consists of a handle and a chuck; chuck knurling is provided for grip. Inside the chuck, three jaws are equipped to gripe the tiny wire or pin. When the chuck is turned in the anticlockwise direction, three jaws go back away from each other and leave the wire or pin from the jaws of the pin vise. When the chuck is turned in the clockwise direction, three jaws come ahead and grip the pin or wire from all sides strongly.

Hand vise

A hand vise with two jaws and spring.
Hand vise

Hand vise is commonly practiced by key makers. Hand vise is employed to hold tiny things for filling and cutting purposes. It consists of two jaws; the first is movable, and the second is fixed. Both jaws are fitted at one end. The other end of both the jaws is brought together whenever needed with the help of a bolt and wing nut. In between two jaws, a spring is provided. The hand vise is generally made up of cast iron.

Safety measures to take while using the vise

Life is precious, so while working with vises, always follow following safety rules. Those who are not following safety rules are putting their own and others' lives at risk.

  • Always ensure that the nuts and bolts are appropriately fixed and tight.
  • At the corner of the vise jaw, don't put too much pressure.
  • At the base of the vise, don't weld any element.
  • Always be observant while practicing the vise.
  • On a small vise, do not bend a heavy-duty metal.
  • Do not divide into the jaws of the vise.
  • Always choose the material for the manufacturing of vise carefully.
  • Do not beat the handle of the vise.
  • Never take the jaw of the vise to be an anvil.
  • The vises cannot be repaired by welding or brazing process.
  • The joints and connections of the vise need to be made to be alert.
  • Do not use a cracked vise.
  • Do not open the vise wider than they are designed to use.

Clamping System

A clamping system is generally used to keep the work tightly against the positioning components, and the cutting forces are generated while operation without causing destruction to the system. The diplomatic positioning, performance fatigue, and pace of progress are examined while creating a clamping system. A clamping mechanism should be consolidated into the fixture and jig. Conventional clamping in a fixture immediately affects the precision and quality of the work done and production series time.

Types of clamps

There are the following six kinds of clamps:

  1. Screw clamp
  2. Strap clamp
  3. Pivoted clamp
  4. Hinged clamp
  5. Swinging clamp
  6. Power clamp

Screw clamp

The screw clamps are usually employed for light clamping. By using a pad, the screw's clamping range can be extended. This clamping pad should remain fixed on the work piece while the screw turns and rubs on the tapered seat of the pad. The purpose of the floating pad is to prevent destruction to the specimen by enabling the screw to turn at the position of clamping of the specimen. The disadvantage of this clamp is that the clamping force mainly relies on the specimen and it differs from one specimen to another specimen, it is more time-consuming, and more effort is needed to operate it.

Strap clamp

A strap clamp is known as the most regularly employed and easiest clamp to use and it operates on the similar principle that is used by levers. The features of the strap clamp are as follows:

  • Often employed type.
  • Moderate loading and unloading.
  • Positive clamping.
  • The lever mechanism is applied.

Pivoted clamp

The pivoted clams are commonly situated at the middle to simplify their performance. The clamp can be stretched or released by employing a knurled-headed screw.

Hinged clamp or Latch clamp

The features of the hinged or latch clamp are as follows:

  • It works very speedily.
  • It is proper for a small job.
  • The principal characteristic of this clamp is the comfort and pace of direction.

Swinging clamp

In the swinging clamp, the specimen is clamped by a screw that is knurled at the top. As the name implies, these clamps can be rotated around a fixed position in the same plane.

Power clamp

The power clamping is used to simultaneously operate a number of clamps.

It can be divided into the following categories:

  • Fluid power clamping
  • Vacuum clamping
  • Magnetic clamping
  • Electrostatic clamping

Common Mistakes

Students get confused between the jigs and fixtures. The jigs are the work supporting mechanism that holds the workpieces and leads the cutting tool for a particular process, while the fixture is also a work supporting mechanism that holds the workpiece during a specific process but does not lead the cutting tool. The jigs are lighter in construction, while the fixtures are heavier in construction.

Students get confused between the swivel base vise and the fixed base vise. The swivel base vise has an additional swivel plate attached at the bottom, which allows the vise to swing in any circular direction, while the fixed base vise cannot rotate 360 degrees.

Context and Applications

The topic of the vise is very much significant in the several professional exams and courses for undergraduate, diploma level, graduate, and postgraduate. For example:

  • Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Technology in Mechanical Engineering
  • Workshop practice
  • Fitting shop
  • Clamping and holding devices
  • Workshop tools
  • Workshop machines

Practice Problems

Q1. Among the four options, which vise is used for holding circular shape objects?

(a) Bench vise

(b) Pipe vise

(c) Hand vise

(d) None of these

Correct option: (b)

Explanation: Pipe vise is one of the extensively utilized tools for holding circular shape objects like pipes, tubes, and others.

Q2: Which type of vise is used by watchmakers?

(a) Bench vise

(b) Pipe vise

(c) Pin vise

(d) Hand vise

Correct option: (c)

Explanation: Watchmakers use pin vise for holding small metal parts or sections for executing operations.

Q3: Which type of vise is used by key makers?

(a) Bench vise

(b) Pipe vise

(c) Pin vise

(d) Hand vise

Correct option: (d)

Explanation: Hand vises are effectively used by key makers for holding small particles tightly while executing processes like hammering, shaping, and others.

Q4: What is the use of pin vise?

(a) Holding the rectangular jobs

(b) Holding the keys

(c) Holding the small diameter jobs

(d) None of these

Correct option: (c)

Explanation: The vise, which is most efficient in holding small diameter specimens, is represented as a pin vise.

Q5: Among the four vises, which vise grips the specimen at four locations of the jaws?

(a) Bench vise

(b) Pin vise

(c) Hand vise

(d) Pipe vise

Correct option: (d)

Explanation: The shape of the pipe vise is like double V where each of them are having jaws. The jaws help to grip the specimen at four different positions.

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