quality mitre vise

Mark Rogers

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Dec 22, 2003
Dallas, TX
I just bought a superior brand mitre vise (3538) from United. The sales person said it was the same as another vise (5715) but cost less. I would like a vise with a smoother tilt and swivel. Any recommendations?

The more expensive one has nicer jaws, but the tilt/swivel part seems to be the same.
Please call me and we will work out something to satisfy your requirements.
The three work horse vises the previous owner had were ancient, and probably from United. They held up well, but I wanted four instead of three. I got two from Woodworkers warehouse for less than $40 each. They were much better than the ones I got from United.

My only complaint about the ones I got from United, over two almost three years ago, is that the jaws were held together with a cotter pin through a regular washer, instead of a lock nut while the older model. When I "cranked" down on the handles I snapped the cotter pin instantly. United took them back, great company that way!

The ones from Woodworkers, probably could get from Home Depot as well, have lasted since. I have to tighten the locknuts once in a while, but they are solid.

BTW whats wrong with getting a v-nailer?
Rarely use the vises anymore but am sure glad that I have some good ones!
I contacted Peter Ackerman at United and I have to say they have great customer service. They are taking full responsibility for this and bending over backwards to help me even though they did nothing wrong.


I have the v-nailer...the vise is just for trouble joins.

Same here. I use the v-nailer almost all the time, and the vises when I have that difficult frame. Also United is great to work with, I hope you didn't get hte wrong impression from my previous post. The vise I got from them wasn't up to my standards and they took it back. I'm sure the vise was adequate for most, or United wouldn't sell it!

If I were to buy a back-up vise I think I would go for the bigger jawed version. Meaning get the ones that can take a 6" moulding. They weren't in the catalog when I got the 2 vises (I don't think they were at least!).

But I do stick by my caveat, if the jaws are held in place with cotter pins I woldn't buy them! I'm too tough on my equipment and I know it so I have to buy with that in mind!
The cotter pins are indeed a drag .... I think I'm on my third or fourth set of heavy duty finishing nails in 'em ....

Hey, United ...! ... is there a retrofit available??
Framing Fool,

I don't think it is so much the cotter pin as it is the washer. The older model has a bigger washer, almost a bearing, that's like 1/4" thick. I think if you could put a nut between the cotter pin and the washer (not threaded on just stuck on) it might do you better.

Good luck Framing Fool.

Peter what say you? Send her a bigger washer from the Stanley 400 Vise? See if that solves the problem! If it does you could sell a repair kit!

Thanks Peter.
I had a cotter pin break once. I did not have one the same size (only larger) so I drilled out the hole a little bigger and it was fixed (stronger). I was too laze to go to the hardware store for the $.10 part. ;)
I had to replace my old Stanley 400 and wasn't happy with what I found at first. Ended up with one I got at Rockler Woodworking for about $50 or $60. It has a large nut at the far end of the handles, not a cotter pin. The problem I have with currently available vises is the quality of the castings. Even the one I have is a little crude compared to the old Stanley. Although it's better than my first replacement, it just doesn't seem as true and accurate as the Stanley was in its day.

:( Rick