Wilton Tradesman 1755 Vise Hands-On Review

Wilton Tradesman 1755 Vise Caters to a Balance of Strength and Size

We do a lot of projects from our shop in addition to the standardized testing we put our review tools through. Clamping is great when you’re benchtop allows for it, but there’s nothing like the security of a good bench vise. We set up a pair of Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise units to help us out for the kind of work we do day in and day out.

Pros

  • Quality build
  • Excellent strength for its size
  • Super-smooth operation and adjustments

Cons

  • Anvil might be a bit small for some users

Recommendation

The Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise is well-named. It’s a great fit for tradesmen across the board, whether you’re attaching it to your bench or your truck. If you use the anvil on your vise frequently, you might want to take a close look at the size on this model and make sure it’s large enough for your needs. As long as that’s in order, we think you’ll be pleased with the quality and strength of the build. 

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General Design

Hold on a Minute

The Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise is a 5 1/2-inch model, referring to the jaw width. It opens up to 5 inches with a depth of 3 3/4 inches. Most of the material we need to hold with the main jaws maxes out around 4x, though we may have thicker material from time to time. This size gives us all the clamping capacity we need on any given day plus some wiggle room if we’re working on something thicker.

The jaw inserts are reversible. They come with the serrated side out, and that’s the way we nearly always use them thanks to the grip. If you flip them around, they’re smooth, letting you reduce the chances of marring the surface while it’s held.

There are a pair of pipe clamps beneath the main jaws that are capable of holding 1/4-inch to 3-inch round material. That was a key consideration for us. When we’re moving between cutting lumber, pipe, and rebar in reciprocating saw tests, having one vise type to cover all of it is a huge benefit.

Wilton Tradesman 1755

Anvil

We don’t do much metal forming and shaping in our shop. But if that’s something you frequently tackle, the anvil is a reasonable 3 1/8-inch square and is designed to withstand your pounding on it.

We’ve heard from a few metalworkers that the anvil size is a bit small for some of their needs, so take a close look to make sure it works for you.

Wilton Tradesman 1755

Attitude Adjustments

Adjustments are pretty standard. A large steel slide bar turns to adjust the clamping force. Its solid construction really lets you put some torque behind it for serious clamping force in a vise this size.

The base swivels 360º and unlocks with a pair of smaller slide bars. You can’t get as much force behind these smaller bars, but you don’t need to. We have easily been able to lock them down without having the base shift on us.

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Built to Work

Materials

The actual jaw material is machined steel and Wilton adds a phosphate coating to the surface. The rest of the body is made from 60,000 PSI ductile iron that boasts twice the strength of grey cast iron. It results in strength that lets you worry more about the work in front of you than the security of the material you’re working on.

Gettin’ Dirty

One of the standout design features is that the Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise has a sealed design. We do a lot of drilling and cutting on these vises and it keeps all that debris from getting into the assemblies where it can foul things up. Additionally, it keeps the lubrication inside where it can do the work it’s supposed to without getting all over your materials. As a bonus, it also means the operation is super-smooth no matter how much sawdust we created.

Wilton Tradesman 1755

Digging even deeper into the mechanics, Wilton redesigned the spindle on the Tradesman. One of the specifics is the spindle nut. It has a longer build that helps smooth out the movement and increases the strength of your straight line pull. When you’re putting the kind of clamping force that we do on material, that kind of increase in strength makes a big difference in the life of the vise.

Installation

Installation is pretty straightforward. You need to grab 4 bolts and pre-drill 11/16-inch holes for them (there’s a paper template in the box). Wilton recommends 5/8-inch cap bolts that are at least grade 5. This vise is going to be around for a while, and going full grade 8 always an option.

Pricing

List price on the Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise is $589.99 and we’re seeing prices online closer to $500 if you look around. There are definitely cheaper models out there, but you’re going to give up some quality and strength to get the lower price.

The Bottom Line

The Wilton Tradesman 1755 vise is well-named. It’s a great fit for tradesmen across the board, whether you’re attaching it to your bench or your truck. If you use the anvil on your vise frequently, you might want to take a close look at the size on this model and make sure it’s large enough for your needs. As long as that’s in order, we think you’ll be pleased with the quality and strength of the build.

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Wilton Tradesman 1755 Vise Specifications

  • Jaw Width: 5 1/2 inches
  • Opening Capacity: 5 inches
  • Throat Depth: 3 3/4 inches
  • Pipe Jaw Capacity: 1/4 – 3 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $505.30

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