What’s the best milling vise for CNC machine shops? During product selection, there are several factors to consider. First, machinists need to choose a precision vise that meets all of their workholding requirements. Quality vise manufacturing is important, too. CNC machine shops also need to decide whether they want a workholding vise with a quick-change jaw system. Not all of these systems are the same, however.  

Good Enough Machine Vises vs. The Best Milling Vise

Many vise manufacturers make a 6-inch machine vise that’s “good enough”. In fact, many CNC machine shops may keep using a workholding vise like this for years. If you want the best milling vise, however, you need to choose one that’s made of materials that add to the vise’s rigidity. The best precision vise is also made to tight enough tolerances to hold your workpieces accurately, securely, and repeatedly without damaging your parts.    

Made in the USA by Winn Manufacturing, the 6” Winn Speed Lock vise features a ductile iron base and has wear surfaces that are flame-hardened for long life. To ensure proper mounting to milling machines, this workholding vise maintains an accurate relationship between the base’s location slots and the solid jaw mounting block. The base height is held to 2-7/8 +/-.0005. All machined surfaces are held square and parallel within +/-.0005.

Comparing Quick-Change Jaw Systems

Many vise manufacturers offer add-on master jaws that convert a standard vise into a milling vise with a quick-change jaw system. These add-on jaws are made from custom bar stock to fit the master jaw plates. By contrast, the standard Winn Speed Lock 6” vise comes with a patented, integrated quick-change jaw system. That’s an important part of what makes Winn Manufacturing’s Made in the USA product the best milling vise you can buy.

The Winn Speed Lock uses a standard vise jaw with an industry-standard 3-7/8” hole spacing for its bolt-pattern. The jaws lock into place with a standard 1/2-13 cap screw and a round nut. If you have custom vise jaws with this hole spacing, you can use them with the Speed Lock system. The change-outs take 30 seconds or less. You can also mount the Winn Speed Lock vise jaws on the back of the mounting blocks. Most master jaw system don’t support this feature.

Buy the Best Milling Vise

Some CNC machine shops claim that they don’t change their vise jaws very often. That’s why they say that a quick-change jaw isn’t that important. When it’s time to change jaws, however, these machine shops may find that the process is time-consuming. Consequently, machinists may be less likely to change vise jaws – and not use the right vise jaws for the job. With the Speed Lock system, however, jaw changes are easy and workholding is secure.

Are you looking for the best milling vise on the market? Then it’s time to take a closer look at the 6” Winn Speed Lock.  Here’s how.