Much better than the cheap ones!
In looking for a cross-slide vise to help me position items on my drill press table, I noted that some of those that are for sale online cost only about $50.00. The reviews on them were terrible, with descriptions of problems like ill-fitting ways (slides), screws that are not securely anchored, and so on. Remarks included a "Made in China" label. Unlike those, this one from Wilton cost nearly three times as much, and with the brand Wilton, I thought it would be better. I am not disappointed.
The ways fit well. There is no rocking in them. All the surfaces that you want to be flat -- the bottom, the ways, the jaw face -- are machined flat and fit just right. The cross-slide ways are sufficiently tight that I keep the tightening screws loosened. However, if the ways were to move too easily you can tighten them to your taste, as each one has three tightening bolts (like set-screws) tapped into its side. The turning handles for the cross-slides have a rotating grip so that the handle doesn't slide through your fingers as you turn it -- a very nice feature. One jaw surface, but not the other one, has a vertical and a horizontal angle machined into it, for the holding of small round stock. (This has actually been thought out well: it is best to machine the angles in only one jaw face.) These angles are only about 4 mmm wide, so large round stock may not be held so stably in this vice. The vise came with three Allen wrenches for use on its various adjustment bolts.
The vice has slots on the edge of its base for bolts that will enable you to bolt it to your drill press table. The bolts that will fit are 3/8", but my table has 5/8" slots, so I'll have to use 3/8" bolts with washers in the table slots.
At their turning-handle assemblies, the jaw and cross-slide Acme screws are indexed with engraved markings. The engraved intervals do not correspond precisely to English or metric measurements, but there is engraved on the screws (near the index marks) a 0.1-mm adjustment gap, so you'll know approxmately how far you are moving the jaw or slide. There is slight hysteresis in the cross-slide Acme screws, which can only be eliminated by tightening their handle assemblies so tightly that the screws do not turn easily. Consequently, I have to leave the handles slightly loose, and cope with the hysteresis. Thus, this is not a precision vise. The hystersis will have no consequences in my use of the vise -- it affects only the measurement of how many turns of the handles I've made, not the cross-slide position.
There is no indication on the vise of what country it was made in. There is a small steel label attached to the top of the vise that says, "Wilton."
All in all, this vise is well designed, manufactured with high quality, and fully functional for use on the table of a drill press. It will make it easy to accurately position the metal items I need to drill. I expect it to last many years. I am very pleased with it.
ProsAccuracy of machined surfaces.
Stable firmness of cross-slides and jaws.
Comfort of turning handles of Acme screws.
Multiple adjustments possible.
Hysteresis (wandering) present in turning handles.