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Peak Rotary Vise

First Impressions.  Did the vise come in an attractive package?  Was it well packed and would the packaging serve as storage for the vise?  4.00

 

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?  4.67

 

Vise fit and finish.  Is this a well finished product?  Did it communicate quality right out of the box?  4.83

 

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?  4.50

 

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?  4.33

 

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.  4.50

 

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. 5.00

 

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? 4.83

 

Country where manufactured?  USA

 

 

4.40 Overall Rating

MSRP   $143.95

Jim's Comments -  If there is a gold standard in the sub-$150 category, the Peak vise is it. While I'm only slowly coming around to liking cam-lever operated vises, this is a truly well engineered piece of American design. I tied everything from a #20 midge up to a 2/0 streamer with no problems. The vise is available in either a c-clamp or pedestal base configuration for the same price. I liked the base, but you could probably press bearings with the supplied c-clamp. It's easily the most massive c-clamp I've ever seen for a fly tying vise. Definitely, no wobble there. I only had a few minor complaints. I didn't like the fact that you needed to use Allen wrenches quite a bit, and the relative shortness of the vise post made it difficult to work around the waste basket I normally use. I disliked the bobbin cradle. The bobbin cradle required some modification to work properly. I had to sand down the block where the set screw is tapped so it would index the cradle arm. After that it worked fairly well I also didn't like the use of snap rings to change out the vise jaws. I'm sure I'm not the first person to send one of those tiny rings flying off into orbit. Knurling the cam adjustment knob would be advisable, as well. Most of these are very small concerns compared to how truly functional this vise is. I only really enjoyed tying on a handful of vises in this shootout and the Peak was right at the top of the list.
Jim's Rating - 4.50

 

Joe's Comments - What can I say but "WOW" - this is a great value. The vise is a finely built piece of machinery. I could find very little to criticize. You can select an excellent c-clamp or pedestal base and still come in under $150. The manufacturer says the standard jaws are designed for size 2 to 20 and they are correct. Forcing the standard jaws to hold a 1/0 hook resulted in some vertical slippage under tension - no big bass bugs! Okay, so the guy who designed it told the truth and I tried to make it do more... can I be critical of that? If you want a vise you can live with forever, you're a serious tier, and you don't want to spend a lot of money, you can stop your search here. I don't know how these guys do it - and made in America too!!!

Joe's Rating - 4.30

.

Mark's Comments This is a masterpiece of USA made technology! When you open the small heavy cardboard box, you are quickly lost with all the diagrams and instruction sheets and small baggies full of cool goodies that took me a while to figure out what they all were. This is a beautiful looking vise, well polished and it feels like quality - no questions there. Ok, a few points for such a nice vise; the packaging seemed weak as it comes in a cardboard box.  The packaging just didn't hint at what I found inside. While not included in the base model of the vise, it definitely has one of the most comprehensive lists of optional features I've seen.  I enjoyed this vise.  It doesn't hurt that I can wave a flag and point out what good ol' made-in-the-USA manufacturing can do when both heart and thought are put into building something!

Mark's Rating - 4.40

 

 

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Manufacturer's CommentsI had a chance to read over your review and I am happy you like the vise!  We strive to make the product as close to perfect as possible so any observations you have will be helpful.  A rundown of the items I saw in the review is below:

We used to knurl the adjust nut but then decided that you only adjust it when there is no pressure on it so we eliminated that step. We do continual improvement on our products to keep the price down and the features high.

The riser accessory will let you raise the vise up and we decided the stem length based on a study of industry standard lengths (there really is no standard) and what we observed for a comfortable fit. Taller people will want a slightly higher version (use of the riser will address this) and shorter people might want a lower version (the c-clamp addresses this).

On the packaging front, we discussed alternatives but typically people toss the shipping box after opening it. Retailer typically do not display the vise in the box so very little money is put toward fancy packaging. We do have a vise pouch which is just now ready for sale for those interested in transport of the vise in either the clamp or base model. Watch the website for when the vise pouch and the other new accessories are released.

We have tried several different ideas on the jaw change out and at the moment the e-rings are the best solution for our price point. They run about $0.05 at Ace Hardware should you shoot one across the room and are easily replaceable nationwide. This is probably the single item people ask about an option for that we have yet to address. We are working on a potential upgrade solution but the standard vise price point below $150 does not allow us much room.

Our target for the vise was a full featured, affordable life time guaranteed vise manufactured in the USA with a wide range of accessories at a reasonable price. I think your reviews agree that we hit the nail on the head and our customer base is in full agreement with your assessment.

Our profile plate, waste catcher, vise pouch, Rotary Tying Techniques DVD and tool Caddies are all new items that will be released this summer. Keep an eye out at www.peakfishing.com to see when new items become available.

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