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Beware 'New' Zyliss Vises

treischl's picture

I have owned a Zyliss vise for years and have loved it.  I am 6'5, 300 lbs and have put my full weight on it tightening things, never a problem. BUT. . . recently my brother bought one at a show.  He paid about $250 for it and was all happy.  Of course we put it to the test and sure enough, I broke one of the vise jaws right off the bat.  When we looked it over some things were very obvious.  The jaws were NOT the original casting material.  My brother called and sure enough, they admitted that the newer versions were cast over in the far east somewhere.  They did make it good though, they had 22 of the older versions left and charged him an additional $50 bucks for one of them.

So, word to the wise, if you think the zyliss vise deal is too good to be true, you are right, it is.

I hate it when some marketing type just has to make things more 'profitable' by cheapening them up.  Sure, more sales, for a little while.

Napie's picture

(post #99320, reply #1 of 11)

I have had one for almost twenty years, greatest on-site tool ever, I use it all the time.  Too bad about them ruining them, new buyers will never know how great they are. 

RickS503's picture

(post #99320, reply #3 of 11)

past tense - were!  like a number of other tools

1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1



" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

juglans's picture

(post #99320, reply #4 of 11)

mufti's picture

(post #99320, reply #2 of 11)

             Thanks for the warning, as you say the originals are good. I have two, mounted each side or ends of bench they hold anything. Bought the first in 1970 for £12 at an agricultural show. Later fitted a ratchet spanner to speed adjustments.

81treehouse's picture

(post #99320, reply #5 of 11)

Thanks for the heads up.  It is a good reminder that one should NOT buy by brand name only and assume it is as good as Joe's next door or even like the one you purchased last year that grew legs and walked off. :-)

Companies constantly change and I'm sorry to say mostly for the worse.  It is called price competition.  Lower quality costs less.  Think Harbor Freight.  It is similar to Craftsman by Sears.  At one time, quality tools, fair price, good warranty, replacement parts available.  Now, low quality, low price, fair warranty, and miserable routine to get replacement parts.  The last time I tried for a replacement part, the comment was "We don't stock replacement parts for that item.  We just sold the new item.  It was made for us by someone else!"

Obviously, I do not buy any Craftsman stuff.  I have a lot of sockets, ratchets, and screwdrivers.  The last time a ratchet broke (the gear stripped), Sears gave me a bag of ball bearing, gears, springs, etc. and told me to fix it my self!  Remember when they handed you a replacement?  So I spent several hours learning how to find little ball bearing balls on a shop floor after the ratchet flew apart while trying to put the spring in.  Unhappy with Sears, you bet!

Sorry about the rant but be forewarned.


A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working -- yes, I'm retired!
A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working -- yes, I'm retired!
John_D's picture

(post #99320, reply #6 of 11)

I just took a ratchet to Sears for a replacement about three months ago.  They gave me a new one, along with a handful of new screwdrivers (I had a bunch of 'em that were worn out one way or another).

What happened to you is weird but it's not what will happen all the time...

My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
My goal is for my work to outlast me.  Expect my joinery to get simpler as time goes by.
81treehouse's picture

(post #99320, reply #7 of 11)

I will say they have been good about replacing screwdrivers but on my ratchet, it was a nightmare.

Another time, I took in a broken "easyout" and the broken plastic case.  They replaced the easyout but said the plastic case was not covered under their replacement warranty.  Gee, it probably cost them 20 cents.  Go figure their customer service attitude.

Oh well, I now don't buy from Sears -- too many other choices who still care about customers!

Just me.


A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working -- yes, I'm retired!
A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working -- yes, I'm retired!
gapfaff's picture

original Zyliss vice (post #99320, reply #8 of 11)

I know you posted this a long time ago but, FYI...I have a USED zyliss vice my father bought in 1971 in original box. not sure if I'd sell it but, I might for the right price. only thing missing is the slip on soft jawsotherwise it's complete and has original manual with it.

waljay's picture

For the right price.... (post #99320, reply #10 of 11)

Did you sell it?

handyted's picture

Zyliss vise (post #99320, reply #9 of 11)

Also, it has been a bit since your post.  But what would you like $$ for your vise.  


You mentioined that you are missing the clamp covers.  So you must have the vise, clamps x 2, end stop, turning centers x 2, drill holder, and turntable ?


Let me know, send me a pic if you like.  



user-3961545's picture

Zyliss Vice (post #99320, reply #11 of 11)

how can you tell if your buying an older one