Saturday, September 9, 2017

Tool Review -- Groz Hobbyist Vise No. 35523/Busy Bee No. 9862

I'm glad I got this vise on special for $11.50, instead of the regular price of $15.99, because I found it to be a bit of a disappointment.

I have several Groz products in my workshop, and I've been very favourably impressed with them. The quality is superb, and the prices were reasonable. I wish I could say the same about the quality of this little vise. It comes with what I consider to be a defect -- the crank is extremely stiff to turn. The reason for the stiffness is the heavy-gauge reverse spring. Here's a close-up view of that.

That spring is way too forceful. It lends a heavy axial pre-load to the screw that makes the screw difficult to turn. The vise would be quite unpleasant to use with that reverse spring in it.

Fortunately, I had a suitable spring on hand for a replacement. Here's a view of my replacement spring alongside the original spring.

I installed that lighter gauge spring along with an additional thrust washer, greased the screw and all the thrust bearing points liberally, and the vise now operates more-or-less as it ought to.

Aside from that flaw, the vise is ok for what I paid for it. The moveable jaw's ways are sloppy, with nothing like the precision that one would expect from, say, a proper, full-size mechanic's vise. I guess you can't expect precision ground ways for sixteen dollars.

All-in-all, the vise is ok if and only if you're prepared to replace the reverse spring with something more suitable, as I had to here. I must say that I was unpleasantly surprised to encounter such a lame product with the Groz brand on it.

  • Jaw width: 2".
  • Screw: 3/8"-16.
  • Max. jaw opening with full screw engagement: about 1".
  • Max. practical jaw opening: about 1 3/8".
  • Benchtop clamp thickness capacity: 1 3/8".
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