Woodworker and associate editor Matt Kenney firmly believes that a good bench vise is as important as any tool in the shop. So, with the help of a shopful of college students, he set out to test 14 of them. Whether you choose a cast-iron vise or vise hardware, you want your front vise to hold work securely, open and close easily, clamp squarely to stock, and resist racking. Kenney found that important features also include a quick-release device and the capacity to add benchdogs. Included are directions on installing cast-iron vises and vise hardware.

From Fine Woodworking #205