Hello everyone. Today we will be reviewing the TEKTON 54008 8 Inch Swivel Bench Vise. Try saying that a few times fast. Here at ToughAssTools we don’t take the time to review a product unless it is a Tough Ass Tool and I can assure you ladies and gentlemen that the TEKTON 54008 vise is just that. This thing ranks up there with one of the better vises on the market and is overall cheaper than some of the other competing brands on the marketplace today such as YOST and WILTON.
The specifications on this vise are as follows:
- Length – Twenty inches
- Width – Ten and a half inches
- Height – Eight and a half inches
- Weight – Seventy-seven pounds.
- Country of origin – China
- Materials – Cast Iron
Without any further delay let’s dive into the facts on TEKTON’s 54008 vise:
First and foremost I’m going to mention the cast iron construction. I don’t know about you guys but I have had experience moving around cast iron blocks of materials before. (Ever try to move an iron steering gear core for a semi before? If not, I wouldn’t recommend it.) The point I’m trying to make here is that if something is cast iron that product is solid. It’s going to be heavy as all can be but it’s going to be around for a long long time as well. This vise comes with a thirty-thousand pounds per square inch density. What does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like. It can take up to thirty-thousand pounds of pressure. Now that sounds like a lot but again I will mention some of the other brands out there today like YOST have their units boasting upwards of fifty-thousand pounds or more.
I remember when I was a kid and I would be watching my father working with his vise. It was mounted on the corner of his cluttered workbench and that was where it stayed. There was no rotating it or trying to change position. It was bolted on there and for all intents and purposes it wasn’t going to move an inch let alone swivel from side to side. Well, things are different nowadays, or maybe my father had a terrible vise, either way the TEKTON 54008 comes with a one-hundred and twenty degree swivel allowing you to get your vise in the exact position that you want it. While this may not seem like a big deal right now there will be a time down the road when you’re working on something and thanking the Gods that your vise can swing over to where you need it.
The jaws on this vise are serrated or edged. If you look at the picture to the right they almost look like a diamond plated toolbox. Although it may look like a toolbox I can ensure you that it is much much tougher. If or when the jaws wear out on your vise they are easily replaceable. All you have to do is hop online and order yourself some more. If you’re lucky you may even be able to call TEKTON’s customer service and sweet talk yourself into getting a couple of free replacements.
One of the most important things that I can mention on this product is that it comes oiled. This is intentional. I repeat, this is intentional. There are so many reviewers out there that don’t realize that the oil or grease is necessary to preserve your vise and to prevent rust. It is a piece of machinery and it should be treated as such. When the product arrives you will need to wipe it down with a rag but be sure not to absorb all of the grease and oil. Remember, it is there for a reason! Most people recommend re-oiling your vise at least twice a year. If you are not sure what type of oil to use I would recommend Park Tool’s PolyLube 1000 Grease. It’s cheap and can be bought on Amazon by clicking here.
The vise comes with three mounting points, one in the rear and two on each side. When you purchase this product a template and instruction sheet will be shipped with it as well. This template will show you how to mount your new vise. If forever reason you didn’t get your template you can view it online as well by clicking here and going to Tekton’s official instruction manual. It is important to note that this product does not come with mounting bolts but these can easily be bought on Amazon or just by going to your local hardware store. (I prefer Orschelins, that way you can get some taffy while you’re there!)
The last Pro I’m going to mention on this vise, and the biggest one in my opinion, is TEKTON’s Lifetime Warranty. Yes, you heard right. Lifetime Warranty. What does that mean? Well it means that if your vise breaks or parts of it break TEKTON will send you out replacement parts or even a whole new unit for free. Most of the time Tekton’s customer service will only ask you for a photo of the damaged product and then after that you’ll be getting yourself a new product or part in the mail. It’s not all talk either. I’ve read multiple claims from reviewers saying nothing but positive things about their customer service. If you do need to file a claim or warranty TEKTON’s customer service phone number is 1-888-648-3371 or you can visit their claim page by clicking here.
Ok, so I’ve mentioned this before but yes this unit does not come with mounting bolts. Don’t be mad though. You have to realize that the manufacturer is not going to know what the thickness of your bench is or even what your mounting conditions are. Would you rather have them throw in some bolts that are too short for your bench? The template calls for 3/8″ inch mounting bolts but buyers have said that these do not fit exactly. Most users have gone with the 1/4″ bolts with washers. These can be picked up and purchased at your local hardware store.
It pains me to bring this up again but I would be amiss if I didn’t. The vise will come OILED! It is not a bad thing! Don’t be surprised when it comes with oil and grease on it. Ok, got it? Good. Let’s move on.
While some vises don’t even have a swivel this one has a one-hundred and twenty degree range of motion. While that may sound like a lot there are other units out there that have a full three-hundred and sixty degree rotation available. The Yost version for example. If you want that fancy three-hundred and sixty degree rotation then go for it. Just get ready to pay a lot more.
If you aren’t used to this by now then you should be. Like most tools this TEKTON is manufactured overseas in China. It seems like it’s almost a fact of life nowadays. The good news is that over the years and decades China has been improving their processes and their overall quality. However, one of the reasons Chinese product is cheaper is that they take shortcuts. Everything has to be done faster and cheaper and one example is the milling process. Milling is done to cut away any excess metal on the product after it has been molded. This is usually done at least a couple of times: Once to remove the excess metal and once again to soften the edges and to give it a more professional look. The Chinese skip that second step and so what you have is a perfectly fine product but with the possibility of razor sharp edges on the sides or corners of the vise. One reviewer on Amazon remarks, “I fixed the problem with a light filing to round off the edges on the vise jaws, the anvil, and on the telescoping throat -both in front of and behind the anvil.The casting files easily and it took just a few minutes to permanently fix the issue.”
There have been complaints on the packaging of this unit when being shipped out. Some consumers have complained saying that it was shipped in a standard box instead of a thicker heavy dutier one. This unit weighs in at around eighty pounds if you get the eight incher. Eighty pounds is not an easy object to ship through ground packaging. Usually the cut off for a pallet is around one-hundred pounds. Some customers have complained that the box shows up beaten and breaking while others have even said that the handle of the product was sticking out of the box when it arrived. Keep in mind that these are outliers but it is worth mentioning.
Overall, this is a good buy. If you’re looking to get a good light duty vise for a bargain price than the TEKTON 54008 eight inch vise is the one for you. Don’t take just my word for it though folks. If we look at Amazon we can see that there are one-hundred and thirty-eight reviews on this vise. Out of all of these reviews the vise has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. The only major complaint that I can find on this is the packaging and you’ll see those complaints as well when looking at the one or two star reviews on this product. While the packaging is a problem it is worth mentioning that this thing is cast iron. There’s not much that is going to break this. So, even if you have a banged up package upon arrival your new vise is most likely still going to work fine.
I hope that I was able to help in your buying decision.
Thanks for reading,
Alec John Johnson