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Soba Vice

I was at the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition and looking for a heavy vice for my milling machine (Amadeal XJ12-300). There are a lot of cheap vices around and you can find them starting at around 50 for a 3" swivel vice.

However, the cheaper vices have a very rough action. This Soba vice is very smooth indeed.


A 3" (76.2mm) swivel base vice.

Very nice thick gloss black finish with hardened jaws.

First impressions, heavy solidly made vice - just perfect for use in the mill.

The hardened jaws are removable and have machined horizontal and vertical grooves making them ideal for locating round bar stock for machining.

The swivel base has very cleanly marked graduations at 1° intervals.

The graduations run from a centre 0° position and are then marked every 10° plus and minus 90°s about this centre.

The handle can be removed very easily which is really essential when maching.

Again the handle is cast iron and finished in a thick gloss black paint.

With the swivel base the height is 105mm to the top of the jaws.

Without the swivel base the vice is only 75mm high.

OK, this is a large vice for this small mill, but size and weight does matter when it comes to milling operations.

I actually think this vice would be fine with much large milling machines and just would not look out of place.

Here using the vice along with the swivel base to machine the angled cutouts on my double-acting oscillating engine.

The swivel on the vice allowed me to carefully rotate the part to the correct position and then lock it in position.

The problem with the swivel is you set the vice up and get an alignment to with the table by swivelling the vice. You then machine a part and need to rotate by say 10° for the next operation when you realise you did not set a zero - easy use a piece of tape and create a reference point.

Price: approx 70 for this 3" (76.2mm) wide jaw version


Heavy, well finished machine vice. Easy to use on swivel base or if height is restricted without swivel. The closing action on the vice is very smooth and quite frankly a delight.

This vice was made by and sold under the trade name Soba. In this particular case I purchased this from

See also: Precision Tool Vice, Soba HSS 12mm Tools, Tools.