In this review we answer the question, “which bow vise should I buy?” We have researched and tested five different bow vises to find the best for you!
Looking for a bow vise that will fit the wide limbs on your bow? How about a vise that works with guns as well? We have taken a close look at most of the top bow vises available on the market today in a side by side comparison in order to save you time in research and analysis to find the best vise to use for working on your bow. Spoiler alert…all of these vises are great products. However, we provide information about each that might help you decide which bow vise is best for you!
Having just returned to bow hunting after 35 years of rifle hunting, I purchased a new bow and this past year I was constantly making adjustments that caused me to have to modify the sight, the rest, etc. using Allen wrenches. Each time I made an adjustment, I would carefully position my bow on the table to keep it flat and steady, but the angle was terrible for making most adjustments. I decided in order to work on my bow, I need a solid bow vise that can move in three dimensions. Why struggle with make-shift solutions when there are some great bow vises on the market to make your life easier! Plus, this is probably a once in a lifetime purchase since these vises are all so solid! So, I assembled 5 different bow vises, mounted each to a plywood base, and started testing them.
The features I was looking for in a bow vise include:
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip
- Quality and warranty
A feature that I did not appreciate at the time I started the review was the ability for the bow vise to be used for other purposes, such as being able to use it for working on a rifle. If you are dropping $150-$300 on a solid piece of equipment to use for working on your bow, you might want to consider a vise that is multipurpose. With that said, the following bow vises are Top Shelf and will serve you well for maintaining your bow and ensuring your equipment is up for the challenge.
RAM Products Micro Bow Vise
ABOUT THE MICRO BOW VISE
The Micro bow Vise made by RAM Products might be one of the first bow vises that hit the market and could be the most widely used bow vise out there. I believe it first hit the mark in 2002. This is one solid “red” beauty. The red u-shaped iron is stout!
The Micro Bow Vise attaches to the corner of your bench and can move in three dimensions. Plus, the device has a level system built into it so you can get whatever you are gripping in the vise into a level position before you begin working on it. See the photo below.
This leveling adjustment is performed by adjusting the two four-wing knobs. You can also loosen the two wing knob as well and the top portion of the vise can swing 180 degrees. The bow clamp on this vise is heavy duty and it will not harm your bow limbs while keeping your bow firmly in place. Also, you can use this with a wide limb bow, which is a feature the company recently added to keep up with changing technology. See the photo below.
Additionally, you can rotate your bow 360 degrees in this vise. This vise is low profile so it is easy to work around when affixed to your bench. I really enjoyed playing around with the adjustments on this bow vise and I can’t imagine anyone not being happy with this incredibly well engineered vise.
- Stability – as solid as they come
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment – very easy to use and adjust; the two wing knob must be tightened pretty tight to hold the clamp rod firmly in place and, as a result it can be a little tough to then loosen when you want to change the position
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions – you can adjust in 3 dimensions
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip – the clamp uses a rubber pad and fuel line tubing and the bow limbs fit in securely so they will not get scratched or damaged
- Quality and warranty – this bow vise is solid and you won’t have to buy another one. RAM Products offers a one year warranty on the vise, but they will answer any question you have and they will help with replacement parts as needed. They are happy to hear from you. Also, you may be happy to hear that they have not yet had to deal with a warranty issue on this vise.
COST: $151 to 199.00
WHERE TO BUY: RAM Pro Vise or the RAM Micro Adjust
BAP Bow Vise and Workstation Bundle
ABOUT THE BAP Bow Vise
The BAP Bow Vise is made by Baker Archery Products. Each bow vise is made one at a time in BAP’s shop. This is one of my favorites of the bow vises I tested. The simple yet flexible engineering of this bow vise is as beautiful as the neon green is striking. The BAP team really thought through this design and it shows. Their bow vise even comes with a workstation for holding parts and tools while working on your bow. We mounted the workstation a little different than BAP shows in their photo, but that didn’t impact its performance at all.
This vise sits noticeably higher than some of the others so it will definitely be important to choose wisely where this will be located on your bench. This vise only has two adjustment mechanisms and you can position your bow in any position or direction with one simple movement of the lever in the center of the vise. The ball joint allows for fluid adjustments in all directions.
The clamp on this vise is much more than a bow clamp. It can extend out several inches.
Also, this thing is designed to clamp down on the grip of the bow rather than the limb of the bow. This feature makes the bow vise equally functional for working on a rifle, handgun or anything else that can be clamped into the vise clamp. This thing is also very solid once it is affixed to the table or bench.
You can also use the micro adjust plate (optional) to finely adjust the position of the horizontal plate connecting to the ball joint (installing a scope on a rifle). Additionally, the vise has a hinge which allows you to vertically position the vise as well to avoid having it stick out away from the bench when not in use. There is an easy release pin that connects the vise to the base, so you can order more than one base and move the vise from base to base, if desired (e.g., if you wanted to have one in your camper for use in the field and one in your shop).
If you purchase the BAP vise you will not be disappointed. This is a great product.
- Stability – as solid as they come
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment – very easy to use and adjust and the longer lever on the adjustment mechanism for the ball joint makes adjusting this very simple
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions – you can adjust in 3 dimensions with no problem
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip – the clamp has a rubber material on the inside which will protect the surface of your bow, your rifle or whatever else you place in the clamp
- Quality and warranty – this bow vise is solid and they offer a one year warranty, though I can’t imagine needing to use the warranty for this vise given how sturdy it is
WHERE TO BUY: BAP Bow Vise
OMP Versa Cradle Wide-Limb Bow Vise
ABOUT THE OMP Versa Cradle Wide-Limb Bow Vise
The OMP Versa Cradle is made by October Mountain Products. This vise is one of the most attractive vises on the market…perhaps because of its design or maybe because I’m partial to orange and black.
The clamp is designed to accommodate wide-limb bows and is designed with pads that will protect the surface of your bow limb while your bow is firmly clamped into the vise. The pads are made of santoprene. The clamp is simply to use and it is easy to get your bow in and out of the clamp jaw.
The adjustment mechanism on this vise is also quick and easy. You simply move the lever toward the base of the vise and it loosens the ball joint. You can then position your bow at any angle. The ball joint allows for 360 degree rotation for maximum flexibility.
This vise is heavy duty and simple to use. I would not hesitate to affix this vise to my workbench, nor would I hesitate to recommend this bow vise.
- Stability – sturdy and stable
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment – very easy to use and adjust
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions – you can adjust in 3 dimensions with easy due to the ball joint design
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip – they use santoprene material on the clamp to protect the bow limb
- Quality and warranty – this bow vise is heavy duty and they offer a generous limited lifetime warranty to the same owner. OMP will repair or replace your bow vise if any materials are defective.
WHERE TO BUY: OMP Vise
EZ Vise Bow Vise
ABOUT THE EZ BOW VISE
The EZ Vise is made by Last Chance Archery. This vise allows you to move your bow pretty much anywhere and in any position you would like. This vise is also one of the most interesting and innovative in terms of engineering. With one lever, you can lock down the vise or unlock it so you can move it around. Once you have it in the position you want, you simply turn the lever and the entire vise locks down. It locks down all joints with the single lever.
It is impressive how this vise works. The EZ vise takes a little time to get used to using, but once you figure it out, it offers tremendous flexibility. As you can see in the photo, the vise has two ball joints and a hinge joint, so you can position the clamp in any direction you desire. It also allows you to position the bow at different heights, more so than some of the other vises.
The EZ vise clamp is designed for wide-limb bows and is very simple to use. The clamp uses hose material to protect the limbs of your bow. You have to insert the bow limb properly so it stays secure when you tighten the clamp knob. The design of the limb carriage requires a little more precise positioning to avoid cams and other items on the limb.
If you have not used an EZ vise in the past, you should definitely consider this one for your bench.
- Stability – stable once locked in, though there is some give or bounce when the bow is in place if the arms are extended (merely due to leverage); I also found that when I extended the arms out, the weight of the bow was greater than the tension in the pivot points and bow would not stay in one place; this was not an issue the the arms are not extended
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment – very easy to use and adjust once you are familiar with its incredible flexibility in orientation; though it took me a little longer to figure out how to best make the vise work for me
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions – you can adjust in any direction
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip – the clamp is made of hose material to protect the surface of the limb
- Quality and warranty – this bow vise has more moving parts but appears to be high quality; the vise comes with a one year warranty
WHERE TO BUY: EZ Bow Vise or at Last Chance Archery
EZ Green Bow Vise
ABOUT the EZ Green Bow Vise
The EZ Green Bow Vise is another vise made by Last Chance Archery. This is probably the simplest bow vise we tested and is priced around $100. If you want a simple bow vise that functions more like a bench vise or bench clamp, this is a great vise for you. The EZ Green features 360 degree rotation on both its axis adjustments and the levers are very easy to use. The longer lever handles make it easier to add tension or remove the tension when adjusting positions.
The clamp section can also move forward and back and side to side. Each rod can extend in and out of the sleeve within which it is positioned, allowing for more maneuverability. This bow vise also works great with wide limb bows and uses hose material to protect the bow limb when it is in the clamp. Like the EZ Vise, you need to position the bow properly in the clamp carriage to be able to clamp it down effectively. Also, you need to make sure your bow has enough room between the limb and the carbon or steel to accommodate the clamp sleeves.
- Stability – sturdy and stable
- Ease of use and ease of adjustment – very easy to use and simple to adjust
- Ability to adjust to hold the bow in multiple positions – you can adjust 360 degrees in 2 directions
- Protection of bow limbs or the bow grip – the clamp is made of hose materials to protect the surface of the bow limb
- Quality and warranty – this bow vise is heavy duty and they offer a limited a one year warranty
COST: $128.68, sometimes you can catch it at $99.00!
WHERE TO BUY: EZ Green Bow Vise
As I mentioned above, all five of these bow vises are solid and will serve you well in holding your bow firmly in place in order to work on you bow. So, which one would I buy? That is a tough call. I wish I could mount all five on my bench and use all five for a year. Then, I might be in a better position to really differentiate the finer details of these vises. The easiest to use of the five were the OMP, BAP and then the RAM. With that said, If I had to narrow it down to two, I think I would choose the RAM Products vise and the BAP vise.
I like the RAM Products Vise because it is so low profile and has micro adjusting features to really get to a level position, when needed. The vise is super solid, simple to use and easy to work around on your bench. However, I really like the versatility of the BAP vise and how easy it is to adjust in just about any direction you want with one simple lever. Plus, it also has a micro adjustment mechanism for finer tuning position. Adding the ability to use the vise for my guns make this bow vise really stand out to me. While I have not used the vise long enough to know whether the tall riser on the BAP will be a benefit or an issue (it stands pretty tall), I suspect that height will come in handy in many situations.
So, between the two, I would purchase the BAP. With that said, I am confident that I would be happy with any of these five bow vises…any one of them would function great for bow setup and adjustments.
Stay tuned for more reviews of top shelf gear at EAGLE CAP OUTDOORS!