Apprentice Series Bench Vise for the Home Craftsman — Designed for Durability

I get phone calls virtually every day from the home craftsman inquiring about the “perfect” home bench vise.  More often than not, they will invariably complain that the last vise they purchased was a “piece of junk” and broke.  Whether or not you have had a similar experience, Yost has the right entry-level vise for the home craftsman — the Apprentice Line of bench vises.

Apprentice Vise Series — Improving Vise Design & Durability

As we developed this line of bench vises for the home craftsman, we researched the traditional vises purchased at big box stores to see how we could improve on their design and durability.  As a result of our research, we launched the Apprentice Series of bench vises.

Shown below are 3 characteristics that differentiate the Apprentice Series of Bench Vises from “Traditional” Bench Vises

1.  Increased Overall Strength & Durability

Close up of the Steel Bar and Main Screw

Close up of the Steel Bar and Main Screw

One of the first things you will notice about our Apprentice line is that the main bar is made from steel, rather than cast iron like most entry-level vises.   By making the vise bar out of steel, we increased the overall strength and durability of the vise.

2.  Enhanced Clamping Force

The second major difference is in the tolerances to which the vise is machined.  With many “traditional” vises, you will notice that there is a lot of side-to-side movement of the bar of the vise.  This side-to-side movement, also known as “play,” means that the vise will not clamp flush.  This reduces the clamping force of the vise, while also potentially damaging the part that you are trying to grip.  The Apprentice vise is designed to close flush and have minimal play while opening and closing.

Close up of the Machinist Jaws

3.  Added Weight to Enhance Durability

The durability of the vise is impacted by the weight of the vise.  The more material (greater weight) that you have in different areas of the vise, the more difficult it will be to break the vise.  The Apprentice Series of vises typically weigh 10-20% more than a “traditional Box store vise.”  For example, the Yost 445 Apprentice Series vise weighs 18 pounds, compared to a comparable Irwin 4″ vise weighing in at 14 pounds or a comparable Harbor Freight vise weighing in at 16 pounds.  This increased weight for the Yost vise enhances its durability when compared to the competition.

Give the Apprentice Series a Try — You’ll be Impressed!

These are three very important items to consider when buying a vise.  It’s what we focused on when developing the Apprentice Series.

If you are curious to see what others have said about our Apprentice line, check out some of the reviews below:

I picked this up for my dad for Fathers’ Day.  Neither of us are really what you would call craftsmen, but having only used our $25 special in the past, this feels like a huge step up.  Everything is over built with broad tolerances and the leavers are large enough to use without putting lengths of pipe on for leverage.  It seems like it’s going to be as sturdy as whatever you mount it to. – Mitchell H.

All large vises in this price range are imports.  For the price of this vise you will not find a better value. I purchased a Wilton and several others in this price range and returned them because of quality issues.  This vise is well built and should last for many years.  — Review

If you have questions on where to begin your search for a bench vise you can call, email, tweet, or message us.  Someone is always ready to assist you.

About Ryan

Ryan is the product expert for Yost Vises. Over the past three years he has been involved in the production and design of all new and redesigned products and is currently heading the team for launch of the next lines of products offered by Yost Vises.


  1. 2/7/15: Where is the “Apprentice” line built, and what is the standard warranty on this line of Yost vises? Please advise

    • “The Yost “Apprentice” line of vises is manufactured in China to Yost’s design and specifications. The warranty on this line is 1 Year.”

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