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created 28/09/19

Hand-held work-holding tools

While our fingers are often the most versatile workholding devices, many parts are too small or fingers cannot exert sufficient force to steady parts. Therefore, various types of hand-held vices are available. Pin-vices are primarily meant to hold round parts, but if slotted cross-wise can also be used to hold flat parts. Pin-vices typically have a capacity somewhere between 0 and 5 mm diameter. Hand-vices are made in many different sizes. Jaws can be as small as 10 mm wide and up to 40 mm wide. The jaws are either smooth or serrated. There are two principal mechanisms: either the two jaws are hinged at some point or they move in guides and then are parallel to each other, which is preferable to protect the workpiece.
Originally, pin-vices were tool-holders for pins, needles, broaches, reamers, taps, and drills. They are used in a wide variety of scientific and technical contexts for this purpose.
In the following a number of pin-vices and hand-held vices from my workshop are presented.



 1 - Archimedes drill for watchmakers.
 2 - Slender modern pin-vice with hollow fluted brass body.
 3 - Slender antique pin-vice with hollow fluted brass body.
 4 - Shop-made pin-vice with walnut body and head made from an insert drill-chuck; these drill-chucks are unfit for their intended purpose as they usually do not run true.
 5 - Eclipse toolmaker's pin-vice with knurled steel body; these come in different sizes.
 6 - French-style pin-vice; these are closed with the sliding ring and have usually brass inserts in the two jaws that can be adapted to special needs;
 7 - Dito, here the jaws are replaced in hard-wood for delicate parts.
 8 - Antique laboratory pin-vice with fluted wooden handle.
 9 - Modern pin-vice with fluted wooden handle; these come in different sizes and capacities.
10 - Antique toolmaker's pin-vice for very delicate work in confined spaces.




 1 - Toolmaker's hand-held vice that is closed with a sliding ring.
 2 - Hand-vice with parallel serrated jaws moved by a screw.
 3 - Antique american style hand-vice; the jaws are closed by screwing in the conical body; the handle and body have been replaced.
 4 - Hand-held collet-holder; this uses horological lathe collets; the advantage is that work can be transferred between the holder and the lathe when it has the nominal collet diameter.
 5 - Castrovejo surgical non-locking needle-holder; they come in various sizes, this one is for eye-surgery.
 6 - Antique surgical locking needle-holder; these come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

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