Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Old Columbian 8" vice


Recommended Posts


I am new here, and have bought and sold old anvils before. Now I have a large Columbian swivel vise with jaws that opens to 8"

The swivel part is missing, but it works well. It is heavy; about 36 pounds

How do I determine what it is worth and are there ID markings I should see?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jaw width is going to be the stat which people tend to look at when pricing.  One can make a lightweight vice which opens half a mile, but it's hard to make a large-jawed vice which is "lightweight", even if the opening isn't massive.  I'm guessing from the photo that jaws are 4" wide.  That's actually a fairly light vice.  It's workshop sized rather than tradesman sized.  It doesn't cross over into the "drool to have it" range.

Since it's a bench vice,  pricing is not just against similar old vices but includes new cheap Chinese offerings.  It does get a boost for being older and American made but not a huge one:  People looking for a working vice can "tolerate" what comes from China, if needed.  

I don't see the lack of a swivel base as a detriment at all.  That's about the least-used feature of my bench vices.  

Obviously it's also location related.  In my farm community, there are quite a few good old american larger bench vices that come up from Great Grandpa's workshop.  Not so much when I lived in the city.  

If I had to guess based on my location and what has sold on the market, It should land somewhere between $ 75 and $ 125 full blown retail.  That would likely get dickered down by $ 25+ bucks for the actual sale price.  That assumes the screw and screwbox are good and that the mushrooming of the anvil portion is not significant enough to be considered excessive. Being a Columbian is nice, but it doesn't give a huge boost until you get a couple of sizes bigger.

Just my $.02 and obviously YMMV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's actually a 4" vise, not an 8" vise (jaw width is the standard) and it's been beat on quite a bit.  Columbians are solid vises, but don't command high prices, for a number of reasons.  One, they were always considered something of a value brand among American vises, and there were tons of them out there.  They also have hollow jaw towers, so they weigh less for a given jaw width than most of the competition.  A heavy 4" vise would be something like a Parker 824 that weighs in at 85lbs on a swivel base.

A 4" fixed base Columbian that weighs 36lbs is honestly on the small side.  I paid $60 for a really nice Columbian 604 a couple of weeks ago (that's a swivel base 4" model) if that helps give you an idea of value.

I'm not knocking Columbians....I have a 506 on a welding bench that's really handy (6" jaws, almost 90lbs).   I've had it on Craigslist for $150 for a month with no serious bites so I mounted it on a bench.  Here it's eating a 50lb Wilton C0:


This is an 8" vise (American Scale No. 58)...240lbs on the scale:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...

That’s not really that old that’s closer to their newest version of their bench vises maybe 30-40 years old  

G man I agree on standard is jaw width not how far it opens . I’ve come close to chewing out someone when I drove 40 min to buy a vise not knowing anyone would think to measure other way but now know to be clear what measurement I’m referring to as it’s more common than I thought 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Scrap rate to hundreds of US dollars depending on information you didn't supply. Like LOCATION and CONDITION!

I consider about 80% of a post vise's condition to be based on the state of the screw and screwbox, a good picture of the screw is definitely needed.  As this is an international forum on the World Wide Web, location helps determine if the estimates should be in Euros or Pesos or Australian Dollars or...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much it's worth would depend upon where in the world it is located & physical condition. Super condition is a relative term which others may not agree with. Pictures will be needed to determine that. If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend it.  READ THIS FIRST  It will explain a lot about the forum and help you in getting the best out of it.

I have a 1987 Chevy Z24 in excellent condition, can you tell me what it's worth with only that info?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...