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I Forge Iron

Wilton 1760 or Ridgid forged steel 6in


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I have to pick one of these vises. I know Wiltons have a great history.  This vise was made in 89 so its not "vintage".  

The Ridgid is forged steel and has a nice sleek look to it. Opens longer ( 10 in vs 6 1/2 ish on Wilton), but the flip side is it also extends further out the back. The handle is quite a bit longer. The Wilton is ductile iron. 

Both the main jaws and pipe jaws on the Ridgid all one unit. The main jaws and pipe jaws on Wilton are replaceable. 

The striking surface on back of Ridgid is about 4 in square.  The wilton is about 3 1/2 in square. 

I don't want to choose the Wilton just because it's a Wilton or because everyone else has one.







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They are both nice vises but if I had to choose one it would be the Wilton because of the replaceable jaws.  If you want to avoid marring something you can fabricate softer jaws out of wood, copper, or brass.  For a temporary fix you can use a piece of leather over the steel jaws.  That is the only real significant difference I see between them.  Someone else may prefer the Ridgid because of the wider opening jaws but that wouldn't be something that I think I would use often.

You could do a coin flip and be happy with either one. 

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Ditto George for the same reasons. My knee jerk autonomic reaction is Wilton but both are top shelf vises. 

The "striking" surface is more of a legacy than useful striking surface. They're not suitable for striking much harder than straightening nails, certainly not forging. Bench vises are NOT anvils and just won't take it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Every shop i have ever worked in had Wilton vices. They are brutes that can take a beating. 

The thing i was looking at is the screw box. The Wilton is enclosed while the Rigid looks like it has an opening. With the amount of scale and debris in the shop i would go with enclosed to keep said debris out of the vice workings. 

My first "anvil" was the striking surface of an old Wilton that i broke the moving jaw on. It involved a stubborn U-joint and a 36oz ball pein... anyway it did not last long till it was replaced by something more suitable. 

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Thanks for the input.  As I was making this post,  taking pics of each, I started to lean towards the Wilton because, as stated, the replaceable jaws, enclosed box, ext. 

I was also noticing the 4 point mounting holes on the Wilton vs the 3 point system on the Ridgid. I highly doubt I will ever put either one in enough stress to get close to a failure point but looks like the Wilton is taking the lead. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would say the Rigid for these reasons.

Bigger jaw opening comes in handy more often than not..

The bigger gap under the jaws comes in VERY handy. Ran into this problem at work recently where I couldn't clamp a part well due to the Wilton having a small gap. The jaws would not close on the part before the part's body was hitting under the jaws.

How often do you replace jaws....not often. How often do you have to tighten replaceable jaws...a few times. If you need soft jaws it is quicker to make ones that drop over the standard jaws. And you can make them thicker because the jaws open wider.

As for the enclosed screw vs covered. I have yet to see a vise screw worn out from dust in the shop, and I have some old shop vises. The screw is never fully exposed, and covered on 3 sides. Grit would have to go under the rear section, then up to get stuck on the screw.

Both are good makes, but I like the Rigid features between these two.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got back to this posting. Watched the video.  Yes, very eye opening.  

I still have both vises and I do agree that the wider jaws and gap would lend itself to more flexibility regarding grabbing on to things. 

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