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Discussion Starter #1
I am not sure if this is the best place for this so feel free to move it if necessary.

Anyways, I am looking to get a bench vise for our shop. One of the main purposes of this vise will be to hold chainsaw chains in place so they can be sharpened. So because of that, it doesn't need to be a super high quality vise like an expensive Wilton but I also hate to buy junk as well. I am sure it will get used for other stuff too but nothing real abusive, at least that is the plan.

Tractor Supply has Larin vises for $30 for a 4". I know these are made in China and look pretty cheap as well. Would I be wasting my time buying one of these even though it will not see any real abuse? What about the vises that Sears carry? I would assume the Craftsman would be better than the Larins in quality. I would like to buy USA without breaking the bank.

I just don't think I can justify spending several hundred on a vise like a Wilton when it will not see much heavy abuse. I have searched craigslist and there wasn't too much on there. I realize you can probably find them at yard sales and auctions but I just don't have the time running around to the auctions.
 

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I don't understand why one would use a 4" vise to sharpen a chain, unless you will be holding the bar with it. I always just tighten the chain on the bar, and sharpen it sitting on a log, or standing at the tailgate of the pickup. I don't remember ever sharpening one in the shop on a saw. We whet at each fillup wherever we are. Two or three strokes per tooth there, or some greater total if you wait until it gets dull. I just hold the bar with my left hand, and file with my right, both ways.

I have one of the little clamps that you stick in a log, but it's not worth the trouble to drag around in the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't understand why one would use a 4" vise to sharpen a chain, unless you will be holding the bar with it. I always just tighten the chain on the bar, and sharpen it sitting on a log, or standing at the tailgate of the pickup. I don't remember ever sharpening one in the shop on a saw. We whet at each fillup wherever we are. Two or three strokes per tooth there, or some greater total if you wait until it gets dull. I just hold the bar with my left hand, and file with my right, both ways.

I have one of the little clamps that you stick in a log, but it's not worth the trouble to drag around in the woods.
I am either holding the bar with it or another clamping device. One main reason for using a vise is to get it at the right height for me. I need to be standing straight to sharpen a chain. I can't be stooped over at all or it will kill my back. For that reason, I don't sharpen in the field much.

I just want a decent vise that will not break the bank.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I sharpen the chain on the bar in the vise

I grab the bar below the chain so I can rotate the chain each time I sharpen a tooth. It doesn't have to come off the bar and it's at chest height for easy sharpening. I use an old Craftsman rotary tool with 3/16" round stone. Takes about 5 minutes to do a chain.
You can also use a round file.

I have a Larin vise, not bad for the price. I use an old 5" York vise. I got mine from this here:
http://www.wttool.com/index/page/product/product_id/42437/product_name/WT+5%22+Quick+Action+All+Steel+Vise&update_continue_shopping=true

Here's a whole bunch of other choices:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch?escapeXml=false&ipp=24&storeId=6970&Ntt=bench+vise
 
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