When you are working on your work bench, there are times where you need to hold or clamp something in place to work on a small part, and you need both of your hands to be available. What do you do?
This is when a mini vice, also known as the mini bench vice, comes into play. A mini vice is a portable light-duty tool which on the one end can be clamped onto your work bench, and the other end can hold your work piece in place. It usually has jawed clamp for plastic, wood or metal working; some mini vices have serrated jaws for better gripping capability on metal. Other mini vices have more unique features such as a rotation design to allow more ease of bench work while securely holding work piece in place.
A vice is a common mechanical tool used to hold a work piece in place for many metal working, woodworking and other manufacturing operations. However, not everyone can afford a huge stationary device for the bench working, which is why a portable mini vice for bench work becomes the desirable alternative solution. Moreover, keep in mind that dedicated woodworkers, welders or machinists should not opt for a mini bench vice as they are going to need a more specific type of vice that suits their line of work.
A mini vice is designed for smaller jobs such as crafts, arts, model making, woodworking and so on. It allows you to work with small parts while having enough spare hands to work effectively. A mini bench vice is perfect for crafters and hobbyist who frequently need to hold small parts and work piece in place for detailing, gluing, painting, finishing and soldering. It is also good for small-scaled woodworking job, allowing you to clamp on a wood piece for sanding, detailing, grinding, drilling, chiseling, etc. Therefore, a mini vice is actually one of the most user-friendly vices among its counterparts that anyone who needs to do some household DIY can use it.
There are several factors to consider in terms of features and functionality when choosing the best mini vice suitable for your work:
1. Lightweight and portable: For bench work that does not involve working with big work piece, you should make sure that your vice is lightweight and portable. A mini vice can weigh as little as 3 pounds and measure 1 to 2 inches in size, making it incredibly easy to move around and store.
2. Durability: Despite a mine vice’s light weight and small size, it can be made with quality heavy-duty material such aluminum alloy to maximize the durability of the tool. A durable mini vice should last for many years and does not break easily when being dropped on the ground.
3. Installation: Make sure that your chosen mini vice can be installed onto any type of desktops easily and securely. Not all mini vices will require you to attach itself to your bench through drilling or punching which could cause damage to your work bench. Most mini vice will allow you to simply clamp itself onto the edge of the bench securely. Some even don’t require clamping because they have a suction bottom which can be attached onto the bench surface to avoid possible scratching to your work bench.
4. Gripping: The holding end of the mini vice should be designed to grip a variety of parts with different sizes and shapes. The mini vice should also be able to hold the work piece firmly and securely. When it is no longer in use, the mini vice should allow you to loosen the gripped work piece easily as well.
There are things that you should avoid to ensure safety and the longevity of the tool:
● Do not start your operation without safety goggles on. Ideally, both your face and eyes should be covered to prevent things form getting into your eyes and nose.
● Always make sure your mini vice is securely installed on your work table to ensure stability during operations.
● Make sure your work piece is gripped firmly on the vice, but do not attempt to widen the gripping jaw more than it is designed to be.
● Keep a compatible distance away from your vice to ensure safety.
● Do not over tighten the clamping of your mini vice.
● Do not proceed to using your mini vice if you notice any damage or fractures on any part of the vice.Never attempt to repair a vice by welding or brazing.
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