Milling Vise Recommendations

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SirJohn

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I am in the market for a milling vise. A Kurt appears to be the vise of choice but at a premium price. Is there an equivalent economical vice produced that has the same qualities as a Kurt, preferably a Canadian supplier?
 

SailplaneDriver

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Check Precision Mathews. They have some "better" quality controlled 4" thru 6" Chinese clones. I have a 5" and it is good for the price.
 

trlvn

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same qualities as a Kurt, preferably a Canadian supplier
This is for a Craftex CX600 mill/drill, right? I think a 6 inch vise would be too big so you'll probably want a 4 or 5 inch size.

A lot of people seem to like screwless vises (aka grinding vises) especially in the somewhat smaller sizes. I don't have any direct experience with these though.

Also, Kurt does offer "second" quality vises at drastically lower prices from time to time. A couple of guys in Canada have grabbed these when available and been very happy with them.

Craig
 

Badhippie

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Wilton makes a decent milling vise. I have 2 6 inch Kurt’s and yes they are one of the better ones out there but if you don’t want to spend that kind of jack. The Wilton is a pretty trade off
 

timo_gross

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I would get one of those compact cnc vises,
1663409918808.png
The advantage is that they can be also mounted on the side and some of them can be reasonably small.
drillpress.jpg
I use what they call a "drillpress vise". The sales said, "you cannot use that for a milling machine" then I showed him the picture of the machine and he said "that is not a milling machine". ( "that*s not a knife!" :) ) and it works fine, if your spindle is less than lets say 2 hp.
A midsize CNC rips the part out of the thing ....

The screwless vises (aka grinding vises) are usually quite accurate and comparatively cheap if the size is big enough and the clamping force high enough.


Greetings Timo
 

bdrmachine

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Work holding is not gist a matter of price. You also have to look at the access to the part that your vise gives you. You can't go wrong with a quality Kurt vise but, if I need to machine 5 sides of a part in 1 setup I love my V562X from 5th-Axis.
 

packrat

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I have seen a few KURT voces show up on our local classified ads, but it was too late as I had a import one all ready,
but would say buy the best one you can afford...
 

SmithDoor

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I am in the market for a milling vise. A Kurt appears to be the vise of choice but at a premium price. Is there an equivalent economical vice produced that has the same qualities as a Kurt, preferably a Canadian supplier?
I use to buy for all my mill Kurt.
In retirement I use a low cost milling vise. It work just as good as Kurt vise.
The Kurt is good for production work but they are heavy too.

Dave
 

Lloyd-ss

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If you get the fixed jaw accurately squared up with the table and spindle, and properly secured to the table, even the cheaper vises will work fine. You aren't going to be hogging at max machine power for 80 hours a week. Put the extra $$ somewhere else.

I like to keep the amount I spend on machine accessories proportional with the original cost of the machine.
 
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I use several sizes screwless vises or grinding vises. They are nice and you can use them upright or on either side. Because all sides are flat and square these vises are very friendly in positioning and reference measuring. The main problem with the so-called cheap drilling vises is that the moving jaw has so much play that it will on closing push the work up. Some colleagues rework those vises to improve the downholding qualities, but you will not get them nearly perfect. The best and most expensive vises will on closing push with force the work down. As I do mostly light work I use good medium-priced vises and I tap the work securely in place with a leaded 'dead' hammer after closing the vise. For me that works fine.
 
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SPOTTER

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I have 2 VERTEX vices, they are excellent quality / price.
 

ShopShoe

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I have a Kurt clone 5-inch vise as my main milling vise. I also have more than one of the drill-press vises and a "screw less" vise I made following plans available online. A Kurt would be better, but I do have to watch the budget. I use the 5-inch most of the time, but sometimes one of the other options works better.

The 5-inch is designed to not push the work up, but that feature requires that the mechanism inside is well finished: I took mine apart and cleaned and put some time in re-finishing the parts before reassembly. IMHO, something well worth doing. (Sorry, can't find a link for you today. I can post a text narrative of what I did if you're interested, but I don't want to take it apart again for pictures.)

BTW, perhaps it takes longer to set up some of these things. I quote Tom Lipton here "You need to use your dial [test] indicator a lot." And don't forget, sometimes direct clamping of the work to the mill table or a tooling pallet is actually the best setup.

--ShopShoe
 

kstrauss

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I have a Kurt clone 5-inch vise as my main milling vise. I also have more than one of the drill-press vises and a "screw less" vise I made following plans available online. A Kurt would be better, but I do have to watch the budget. I use the 5-inch most of the time, but sometimes one of the other options works better.

The 5-inch is designed to not push the work up, but that feature requires that the mechanism inside is well finished: I took mine apart and cleaned and put some time in re-finishing the parts before reassembly. IMHO, something well worth doing. (Sorry, can't find a link for you today. I can post a text narrative of what I did if you're interested, but I don't want to take it apart again for pictures.)

BTW, perhaps it takes longer to set up some of these things. I quote Tom Lipton here "You need to use your dial [test] indicator a lot." And don't forget, sometimes direct clamping of the work to the mill table or a tooling pallet is actually the best setup.

--ShopShoe
I believe that you are in Canada. KBC Tools is having a sale on Kurt stuff this week. Not cheap but 30% off their usual prices.
 

SirJohn

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I believe that you are in Canada. KBC Tools is having a sale on Kurt stuff this week. Not cheap but 30% off their usual prices.
Thanks for the KBC tip, I didn’t realize this tool supply company existed so close. Question now is, has anyone had experience with a 4” KBC Griplock milling vise? Apparently a Taiwan knock-off of a 4” Kurt at 50% of the price.
 

kstrauss

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No experience. I choked at the price but bought a 4-inch Kurt from KBC years ago and it has worked well. At 65 pounds or so I find it very difficult to move a 6-inch vise on/off my mill table.

Someone mentioned half-price sales of Kurt seconds. How do I learn of the sales. I don't see anything on the Kurt site.
 
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I am in the market for a milling vise. A Kurt appears to be the vise of choice but at a premium price. Is there an equivalent economical vice produced that has the same qualities as a Kurt, preferably a Canadian supplier?
I have a Yuasa vice that at least equals th Kurt if not better. I've used most of knockoff vices and also have a Grizzly. It's pretty much unusable on the Bridgeport so I use it for a table vice.
 

DDoty

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I bought a new KURT a year ago and it had a rough spot in the lead screw right out of the box, I was super disappointed after spending all the extra cash to get it. I am sure they would of fixed it but sending it back seemed daunting. I would not spend the premium again having received a substandard vise for top dollar. I'd look elsewhere and save a few dollars, of coarse everyone's needs are different.
 

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