Myths busted – Do Quick-Release Vises Work?

DSC_0043Of Course They Do – and Exceptionally Well Too.
Today I read an article that stated that, “We invented iron quick-release vises, which won’t hold much of anything relating to woodworking.” Bemused by this, I wondered why it was said and then I wondered why hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of woodworkers used something that didn’t, according to the author, “hold anything relating to woodworking”. The quick release vise has indeed stood the rigours of testing for a century now and has sold over any other vise ever invented. One of the most noted was of course the Record quick-release vise.
So, I too have used quick release vises for 50 years now, and one of them was almost 50 years old when I got it. My Woden vise opens to a massive 16″ and it too is about 80 plus years old.
I simply don’t want anyone to be put off using cast iron vises that offer quick release options, absolute dependability, functionality and solid safe holding through and through. All of the ones I have used lasted, work effectively, save much time and can be installed in under an hour for a lifetime of us


  1. Generalizations like the one you cite are predictably incorrect. On the other side, there are quick release vises that don’t work well. I had an expensive new one from a prominent manufacturer that was terrible. I think the important thing is to get a high quality old one or buy a good modern one from a reputable manufacturer. Are there some you recommend?

  2. I just read that article on the subway home. I was a bit puzzled by the statement. I am a beginner and have only used the iron vise with out any problems. Its great with the clamp/dog setup you talked about. I don’t need dog holes and a tail vise. I guess I’m ok since my old vise isn’t a quick release anyway!

  3. Agree. My Record quick release vice has being working perfectly for 30 years or more. I didn’t know it was defective!

  4. I missed this. I was surprised that Chris Schwarz said this because his work is quite thorough and fair and whereas I agree some cast metal vises, cheapo’s especially, can and do have problems, most cast metal vises don’t and, as I said, they have been around for a century or more and were actually used more than any other type of vise by craftsmen throughout Britain and North America.

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