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Anvil Atlas


First Impressions.  Did the vise come in an attractive package?  Was it well packed and would the packaging serve as storage for the vise?  4.17


Directions, literature, parts lists and documentation?  Does this vise come with a set of directions that explain care and maintenance of the product?  Are there illustrations of the parts in case you need to order an accessory or replace a missing part?  Are there well written directions explaining calibration and set-up of the vise?  3.67


Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  4.17


C-Clamp quality:  Is the clamp well designed?  Did the clamp provide a solid, immobile mounting system for the vice?  Did it remain tight through a long session of tying?  Did it mark, or have the potential to damage the surface of the table to which it's clamped? 4.33


Vise stem finish, adjustability and length. Is the vise flexible in placement for a number of tiers and table heights?  3.83


Smoothness of operation of vise jaws.  Were they easy to open and close?  Are the jaws easy to calibrate for various hooks?  Do the jaws remain in the calibrated position or is it necessary to readjust the jaws after a few flies?  3.50


Rotation and adjustability.  Is the vise capable of rotating?   If so, was the rotating mechanism smooth and robust?   Use N/A if this vise doesn’t feature rotability.  4.00


Jaw grip, hold and clearance.  Does the vise hold the hook stable under both vertical and horizontal pressures?  Is there access to tie on any type of hook in the normal size range?  Can it reliably hold different sizes of hooks?  All vises must hold a minimum of size 20 to 2/0 to rate a 4 or better unless they are purposed designed and labeled as being designed for a specific hook size (tube, midge or saltwater, for instance). 4.33


Accessories. Is the vise capable of being customized with a bobbin cradle, material clip, background card, parachute tool, waste receptacle, etc.?  A good vise should have a material clip included as part of its design. 3.83


Reviewer’s Choice.  There is no category for this.  This is a gauge of “goose-bump” factor.  Did you like this vise?  Could you forget about the tool and do the job? 4.17


Country where manufactured?  USA





4.00 Overall Rating

MSRP   $149.95

Jim's Comments -  If the Anvil Apex is the Hummvee of fly tying vises, the Atlas is the Deuce and a Half Truck. The design shares a lot of the characteristics of a medieval war hammer. Holding the unit in your hand makes you wonder whether or not you could drive 12 penny nails with it. This vise too, is all about the stainless steel look. The jaws are identical to the Apex design. The entire jaw assembly can be adjusted, in it's holder, on the vises head, to accommodate centering the axis of different sized hooks. It can actually be removed if you don't like the direction the cam goes but I tried it both ways and found the factory setup to work better. The rotary axle is set into two plastic bushings and the tension of the vise can be set with a knob at the back end of the axle. The rotation can be set to a specific angle with a set screw. There was a lot taken into consideration on the Atlas. The rotation handle can be mounted in one of four different positions. The set screw can be switched to the other side for lefties. It too comes with a very large pedestal base and a c-clamp. Both functioned well. Of all the true rotary vises, I'm kind of taken with setting the tension by tightening the head axle. I liked it on the Danica and Griffin Mongoose vises as well. The Peak vise uses a Delran tip on it's set screw to set the rotary tension and I'm not sure I appreciate the possible longevity of such a system. It's a tossup between the Danica and the Atlas as to which is the smoothest true rotation. I really liked this vise but my reservations about the jaws remain. It's a great bargain at the price and, while it's not the most portable tool, in the competition, it's a rock solid vise, with very little to complain about.

Jim's Rating - 4.60


Joe's Comments - This is a very solid product. It looks like it will last a million years, there's no skimping in the quantity or quality of the machined metal. I though the operation of the rotary feature and the jaws was a little rought, but I agree with Jim when he says this will break in over time. I think the company would be well served to mention that in the included directions, such as they are. This vise lost a little bit from me because it doesn't come with a bobbin cradle. I can't understand the utility of a full rotary vise without one - you can't use some of the rotary tying techniques. That said, one can easily get and attach a bobbin cradle. I just think it should be included. The jaws certainly held everything I threw at them and were particularly adept at holding some little #14 nymph hooks as I tied up some string chironomid midge larva for bluegill fishing. Overall I'd say this is a very solid performer. A good value.

Joe's Rating - 3.60


Mark's Comments The Atlas Anvil looks like something right out of Star wars with its futuristic look and sleek finish.  It's a great looking vise! Even better, the Atlas is made right here in the heartland of Indiana, so there is that made in the good ole USA thing going on as a bonus. The vise also comes with a pedestal base and the C-clamp is made of machined Aluminum, so its sleek and light. The jaws are very pointed and the advertising says down to a #32 ( sorry, about a 24 is my limit) but it looks like it really could handle a 32 with plenty of room to work. I liked this vise but the rotary was a little lopsided meaning it was tight on the top swing and a little looser on the bottom half -  but it's adjustable which is a nice feature. The cam lock was a little rough but perhaps a little oil and use would make this better. It held perfectly though and I would recommend this to anyone.

Mark's Rating - 3.80

BACK TO $100 TO $150 VISES






Manufacturer's Comments

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