Yost Combination Pipe and Bench Vise

Yost Combination Pipe and Bench Vise

This vice is cast iron, an invitation to break. I have broken my share and seen many more. Where I work, we have 40 yr old Wiltons. They are made of STEEL. Even their new ones that cost over $500 have not held up to these old ones. A new 4” STEEL vice from Winton is $1500 now. It’s sad that you can’t get a good vice for less than $1000 any more.

So you’re saying that it would be good for the home handyman/woman to do light chores. Especially if they don’t want to spend $1500 on a vise.

I’m curious which part of the vise fails and what exactly you are doing when it broke.

To answer a few questions here:

Yes, these vices are fine for home handyman type of work, but you do get what you pay for. These are LIGHTWEIGHT vices and DO NOT compare to any made from steel - and never will. Wilton vices are for industrial and professional shop work, and if all you need to do is cut a piece of window trim or file down the end of a door bracket in your basement or garage then you don’t need to spend $1000 to hold it still while you do it.

  • The most frequently broken piece on a typical vice is the clamping surface - which is why these are removable and replaceable.
  • Other common failures come from uneven clamping (e.g. - on one side of the jaw creating an uneven pressure). The way this is usually solved is for the manufacturer to provide only a short crank arm so you can’t get it too tight.
  • Another failure point is the jaw itself, but usually from hammering on something you have in the jaw.
  • And I’ve seen at least one failure from someone who was doing some hot work with a torch on a piece clamped in the vice and had to quench his work with some water because something caught fire as he was working.

I’m not recommending Yost in particular because I have not compared them for value/price/size with anything else. If this is what you need or want then it’s time to start reading some reviews.

Hope this helps, even if only a little.

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So since this has STEEL U Channel Bar and STEEL Serrated (Top) Jaws, that should cover the majority of the common breakage concerns TexasScout mentioned?

…and that’s why those parts are made from steel. But just remember the Prime Corollary to Murphy’s Law: “You can make something fool-proof, but not damned-fool-proof.”

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The key difference isn’t quite iron vs. steel but, rather, cast vs. forged, which just happens to correspond to iron vs. steel material. Cast tools are made of molten iron poured into a mold, whereas forged tools are made from a solid refined-steel ingot or billet pressed into a die under pressure or impact.

Cast items have a grainy/soupy random structure that can wind up with arbitrary weak points or just fracture, whereas forged items retain the strength and more uniform structure and integrity of the original ingot.

That said, cast iron is fine for home DIYers and light-duty pros who don’t wanna pony up for The Very Best (which may be overkill for their needs but will almost certainly never, ever break), and Yost seems to be a well-regarded brand as cast iron vises go.


The most common place fore these to break is the front clamp just above the tightening lever.