February 26th, 2009

Magnetic Soft Vise Jaws

Here’s an handy and affordable product that everyone can use in their home workshop. When working with a vise you have to be careful not to mar or gouge the item you’re clamping. People will use cardboard, old carpet, even scrap leather as “padding”. All those options can work, but magnetic soft vise jaws are a simpler solution. These come in matching sets, sold for $12-$20.00 by a variety of vendors. Measuring 4-6″ long these have an upside-down L-shaped cross-section. The are formed from a semi-soft polyurethane that won’t scratch metal (or gouge wood). Simply mount the plastic pieces over the metal jaws of your vise. The soft jaws are held in place by magnets embedded in the backside of the plastic. If you wish, you can saw off the ends of the soft jaws for a better fit on smaller vises.

In todays’ report, we highlight two kinds of soft vise jaws, one with pre-formed channels and the other with flat edges. The first unit, made by Wilton, is bright yellow, with shaped channels to hold various items. Shown below, these soft jaws will hold Wood, Metal, Tubing, and more. The Wilton jaws cost $13.69 at TrueValue Hardware stores (item 606400).

Soft Vise Jaws

For those who prefer polymer vise jaws with a flat edge (no channels), Graham Tool Co. makes a nice set of Soft Vise Jaws, priced at $19.95. Graham’s bright red vise jaws feature a flat contact surface with shallow, diamond-pattern serrations. The Graham soft jaws feature powerful rare-earth magnets, so they secure to your metal vise more securely than most other types of plastic jaws.

Soft Vise Jaws

NOT for Barrel Removal/Installation
Soft vise jaws can hold a barrel for fine work, such as engraving. However, they are not designed to resist large torque loads. Soft jaws are NOT suitable for barrel removal and installation. For those tasks, use a dedicated barrel vise with the appropriate clamping insert.

Similar Posts: