Jaw Vice

What are Jaw Vices?

A jaw vice, also known as jaw vise, is a device consists of two parallel jaws for holding and clamping a work piece. One of the jaws is moveable by a lever or screw, and the other one is fixed. A jaw vice can be used to perform drilling, hammering, sawing, etc. on the work piece. A jaw vice can be attached on the work bench using suction or be permanently fastened onto a work bench. The active faces of the jaws designed to firmly grip the work piece and are usually removable. When working on a work piece with soft parts, jaws can be covered with leather or metal sheet to prevent the jaws from damaging the work piece. 

In order to firmly hold the work piece in the vice jaws, vices with smooth hardened steel jaws and flat based are used to achieve so. The vices are portable but can be fixed onto a work bench to become stationary. Vice jaws can also be customized in a way that the work piece of various shape and size can be held in various positions. 

Different Types of Vice Jaws

Vice jaws are a component attached to a vice to hold a work piece in place. Vice jaws can actually be made with a wide variety of materials. 

● Aluminum vice jaws: Vice jaws made of aluminum are designed to hold round, hexagonal or serrated objects. 
● Rubber faced jaws: Rubber faced vice jaws are designed to hold and protect irregular shaped objects with fragile parts. 
● Soft steel jaws: Vice jaws made out soft steel are perhaps the most commonly available. These jaws are particular designed to hold odd shaped objects with soft parts.
● Hardened step jaws: Hardened step vice jaws have stronger holding power with tapped holes on both ends. 
● Hydraulic vice jaws: Hydraulic vice jaws utilized foot pump for greater clamping power and are able to accommodate for different sized work pieces. Hydraulic vice jaws can provide clamping power for up to 5 tons (equivalent to 10,000 lbs.)
● Self centering jaws: Self centering jaws allow work piece to be held at the center of the vice. Self centering vice jaws are designed to hold medallions, pens notary seals and many other objects. They are also able to hold and engrave asymmetrical objects using clamps, jaws and pins.
● Magnetic vice jaws: Magnetic vice jaws utilize strong nitrile magnet to hold work piece in place. Oversized plate jaws are specifically used to hold oversized objects. 
● Tooth vice jaws: Tooth vice jaws have robust teeth that are meant to penetrate work pieces; they are normally meant for more aggressive applications.

Specification and Features for Vice Jaws

When you are browsing through a catalogue of vice jaws, you will notice that the product description will always include the following specifications:

● Materials used to construct the jaws
● Width of the jaws
● Length of the jaws
● Color of the jaws

As an example, you will very frequently come across metal vice jaws in stores that are made of aluminum and soft steel. They can be anodized, heat-treated, or coated with black oxide. Also, plastic vice jaws are usually made of polymers are resistant to abrasion and solvents to certain extent.

In terms of the features of vice jaws, inches (in.) or centimeters (cm.) are the most commonly used dimension units. Both parts of the jaws are kept apart wide enough for work pieces of various size to be held in place. Most vice jaws come in black or gray color, other vice jaws that are made of die-cast metal can be of different colors such as yellow, green, blue or red. 

Customizing Your Vice Jaws with Soft Jaws

Vice jaws are typically made out of hardened steel because they need to be as durable as possible. However, when you want to work on an odd shaped work piece with your vice jaw, you have the option of customizing your vice jaw with a DIY soft jaws. The soft jaws should be created to fit over your vice jaws and accommodate the odd shape of your work piece. A CAD or CAM software can be used to create the inverse of your work piece in the soft jaws.

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