In this review, we take a look at the Top 5 gun vises on the market today. Compared to a bench vise, a professional gun vise and maintenance center is a huge improvement. While it is definitely a cheaper option, a bench vise is not the ideal method of securing your firearm while cleaning it. This is due to the sharp edges which can scratch certain sensitive areas of your gun. We’ll break down the best gun vise for each situation you’ll need.
The best gun vises come with padding and soft corners to prevent scratching your firearms. The rifle vise is designed for cleaning rifles & long guns, along with basic gunsmithing. In our comprehensive reviews, we looked at all of the most popular gun vises for sale today, and also the less popular ones.
One thing to keep in mind is that a gun vise is not a shooting rest. A rifle vise should never be used to hold your firearm for firing. The best gun vises are used for securing your rifle so that you can clean it and install scopes. The built-in maintenance centers on many gun vises make it so your tools, gun parts, and cleaning supplies from your gun cleaning kit are in convenient locations.
Check out our complete gun vise comparison summary below:
|CTK P3 Ultimate Gun Vise||????????||$$$$|
|Tipton Best Gun Vise||??????||$$|
|Tipton 110011 Ultra Gun Vise||????????||$$$|
|MTM GV-30 Gun Vise||??????||$|
|Lyman Revolution Gun Vise||??????????||$$|
CTK P3 Ultimate Gun Vise and Shooting Rest – Best Rifle Vise
We bought the CTK gun vise earlier this year to replace our old Caldwell model, and have been very impressed so far. This rifle cleaning vise is solid as a rock and doesn’t move at all when you’re cleaning your gun.
One of the things that is immediately noticeable is that this rifle vise is made out of solid material. Made from 1″ square steel tubing, there is very little you’re going to be able to do to make this vise move. It also has a huge crank handle for tightening the vise. Another bonus is that while it used to be sold separately, the CTK also now includes the P3 Ultimate Gun Vise Addon.
This CTK rifle vise also features closed cell foam padding in order to prevent your gun cleaning solvents from seeping into it. The padding is clearly high quality and should last a very long time.
Notes From the Field:
- Made in the USA by CTK Precision
- No cheap plastic parts – heavy-duty steel construction
- Use for installing scopes and cleaning all firearms
- Protective rubber feet won’t harm work surface.
- Closed cell foam padding to prevent CLP’s seeping into material
- Shooting Rest Attachment: Converts the Gun Vise to a Shooting Rest in seconds.
- Pistol Post Add-On: Great for cleaning pistols and short barrel revolvers.
Tipton Best Gun Vise – Best Gun Cleaning Vise
Tipton really knew what they were doing when it came to naming their gun cleaning vise. They literally named this model “Best Gun Vise” which is a pretty smart marketing move. The real question though is whether or not it’s actually true.
Tipton is very well known in the industry for their quality gun cleaning products, and it’s hard to argue that their gun cleaning vise is any different. While it is one of the more expensive gun vises on this list, it is one of the best thought out units as well. The adjustability of this gun cleaning vise is a great feature, and won’t disappoint.
While the entire unit is made of plastic, that doesn’t mean it feels cheap. There’s nothing that you would need to do while cleaning your firearm that this gun vise couldn’t handle. It takes about 10 minutes to assemble & is pretty straightforward. The adjustability allows it to fit pretty much any gun, and the clamping mechanism holds them nice and steady.
One thing that is worth noting is that while it is definitely solid, Tipton’s Best Gun Vise is relatively lightweight. To keep it from moving around too much you may want to use some clamps or even just a sandbag.
Tipton 110011 Ultra Gun Vise – Best Gun Cleaning Stand
The next generation of the Tipton Best Gun Vise, the Tipton Ultra Gun Vise is a beast. Featuring a rigid steel frame with a solvent resistant coating, you won’t be disappointed with this gun cleaning stand. It works with rifles, break open shotguns, handguns, and muzzleloaders. If you’re interested in archery, it also works for compound bows & crossbows. This added versatility was certainly a nice touch.
The Ultra Gun Vise is perfect for cleaning, gunsmithing, scope mounting, and just general firearm maintenance. It features adjustable clamps so it can handle a variety of gun barrel lengths. As an avid bowhunter, I can also appreciate them incorporating the ability to hold my compound bow. With all the gear that I already have on my workbench, having something that serves a dual purpose like this gun cleaning stand is awesome.
The Tipton 110011 Ultra Gun Vise in as the most expensive gun cleaning stand on this list by quite a bit, but in our opinion it is worth it. They took their already great Best Gun Vise, learned from it, and improved it. From the second you see this gun cleaning stand you notice there aren’t any others like it. There is a lot to be said about companies that are willing to take a risk & innovate, and Tipton is clearly one of those brands.
MTM Gun Vise – Best Gun Cleaning Station
Just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean that it’s “cheap”. The MTM Gun Vise & Gun cleaning station is an excellent example of that. Having been designed for rifles & shotguns, this vise & gun cleaning station includes a well thought out cleaning parts tray. The tray has individual molded compartments, with 21 brush holders & 11 other compartments for gun cleaning supplies.
While it is made of plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap. Made out of polypropylene, the MTM Gun Vise is plenty rugged enough to handle whatever you can throw at it. While there are certainly better options for a gun cleaning station out there, you simply aren’t going to find anything comparable to the MTM Gun Vise under $40.
The gun cleaning station on this gun vise is very well thought out, and reading the reviews on it you’ll notice that most people agree. Many people are also quite surprised by how well it actually secures their firearms considering how inexpensive it.
Notes From The Field:
- Best for rifles & shotguns with 28″+ overall length
- Great gun cleaning station to store all your cleaning supplies
- Adjustable clamps to securely hold down your firearms
- Rubber foot pads to prevent from sliding & damaging your work surface
Lyman Revolution Gun Vise – Best Gun Cleaning Rest
They say save the best for last, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with the Lyman gun vise. It is incredibly easy to use, adjusts quickly, and is simply a well thought out gun cleaning rest. Unlike many other gun cleaning rests, the Lyman gun vise actually rotates to allow you to easily clean the bottom of your gun.
This Lyman gun vise is very adjustable, and can even incorporate many different styles of pistols. Other gun cleaning rests like the MTM gun vise don’t adjust small enough to handle pistols, but this one definitely does.
Similar to the other models on this list, the Lyman gun vise is constructed of high quality plastic. The metal rails allow you to adjust it to any length and coming in at under 10 pounds it weighs less than most other units on this list.
The padded fittings are very well made and won’t scratch your firearm. They are also resistant to even the best gun cleaning CLP’s, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Also worth noting is that you get some incredible bang for your buck with the Lyman gun vise. Coming in at under half the price of Tipton’s Ultra Gun Vise, this is a great option for an inexpensive gun cleaning station.
Notes From The Field:
- Padded, CLP-resistant clamps for securely holding your firearms
- Quick, easy adjustment for any firearm length
- Features a plastic parts tray for storing your gun cleaning supplies
- Rotating feature to allow you to easily clean your entire gun
What Makes For A Good Gun Vise
Like any product or industry, there are a lot of “bells & whistles” out there that the marketing folks throw at you. Sometimes they’re legitimately great features, and other times they’re just a fancy, proprietary term for something that everyone else has as well. We’ll cover what we look for when we’re deciding what makes for the best gun vise out there.
Solid Clamping Mechanism
This probably is a no-brainer, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. The best gun vise is going to have a rock-solid clamping mechanism so that you’re gun never risks falling off your workstation. You worked hard to earn the money to purchase your firearm, and the last thing you need is for it to fall off the table when you are trying to take care of it.
The best clamps will obviously be made out of metal, but you can still get by with plastic ones. In the lower price ranges, you’re probably going to be looking at plastic clamps. This is more than okay, but you want to make sure you’re buying a gun vise with a clamp made out of a quality polymer. The term “plastic” really doesn’t do a good job of describing how strong something is since there are such a huge range of materials with different mechanical properties. Just like copper & steel are both considered metals but wildly different, so are different types of plastics.
Having strong clamps are great, but if the frame is weak they aren’t going to do you any good. The good news is that a gun vise & maintenance center is never intended to be a shooting platform, but you still want to be working off a solid base. Many of the gun cleaning vises we reviewed are made largely of plastic. Like we discussed above, this is okay as long as they’re using quality materials.
The best gun vise is going to be built on a metal platform. Even if the components on top of it are plastic, starting with a strong foundation is key. Gun vises like the Tipton Best Gun Vise, Tipton Ultra Gun Vise, & the Lyman Gun Vise are all built on a metal rail system. This provides a strong base to work off of and ensures that nothing down low is going to fail while your attention is elsewhere.
Every gun enthusiast knows that guns come in all different shapes & sizes. For that exact reason, the best gun vise is going to have some major adjustability to get you a secure hold on your gun. Clamping in the wrong location while cleaning your gun can really get in the way, or worse yet provide an insecure clamping location. Having your gun vise on slides is really going to help you get into the right spots. This makes your cleaning session that much easier.
Solvent Resistant Surfaces
Your contact surfaces are more than likely going to get pretty well coated with CLP & gun cleaning solvents over the course of their lives. The best gun vises will have closed cell foam to resist breaking down over time. Gun oils like CLP’s can react poorly with the wrong materials, and you definitely don’t want that to be the case on your investment. Tipton & Lyman have proven to use good foam over the years.
Built In Maintenance Center
There’s a very good chance you aren’t as organized as you’d like to be. The right gun vise is going to have a built in maintenance center to help with that. These will feature different compartments to house different items from your gun cleaning kit. Whether it is your cleaning rods, gun mop, brushes, or solvents, a good gun vise will have a maintenance center to organize all of these.
Best Gun Vise – Our Final Verdict
After looking at the different options on the market today, we’re confident picking a clear winner. The Tipton Best Gun Vise ran away from the competition for a couple of reasons. The solid frame that we talked about will instill confidence in any firearm enthusiast. We also really liked how easily adjustable the vise was.
The price range is also considerably easier to stomach than gun vises like Tipton’s Ultra Gun Vise. This isn’t to say that Tipton’s Ultra Gun Vise product isn’t any good – far from it actually. It’s simply a matter of assessing a “bang-for-your-buck” value, and we feel that Tipton Best Gun Vise provides more of than the other products on the list.
So go ahead and grab this gun vise knowing that its the best gun vise & maintenance center of 2018. TIpton did a great job with their gun vise, and we know you are going to like it.