A Tokyo Vise

Greetings from Tokyo Japan.
I’m a Canadian who has lived in Tokyo for almost 33 years.
I’m a general contractor here, but I do many other things.
I weld, I have Arc, MIG, and TIG welders as well as a cheap air plasma cutter. I live in downtown Tokyo, but my workshop is not large, I have a shop-made fabrication table. I got an outstanding deal on an older well-loved large-ish vice. I have no idea how old it is, but it is in excellent condition.
After watching the video testing the new Fireball Hardtail vice, I was struck by how many of the things Jason stressed in the design are basically here in this vice. Yes, it has no swivel base, but that’s fine me.
I just thought some might want to see a good vice from Japan.
Cheers from Tokyo!

A good solid vice I bought used for about $25 USD

Opens to about 5"

Taken apart, the fit is very tight on the vice

The threaded rod or shaft of the vice

The nut, sorry the picture does not show, but the nut extends about 3-1/2" into the fixture.


Just a couple more pics…

The back side of the tail of the vice.

It even has an oiling port for the handle.


@Stu_In_Tokyo Nice looking vise, thanks for sharing the photos. I thought the nameplate information was also interesting but a quick search didn’t turn up anything on the manufacturer or product. The English text suggests to me that it was made for the export market & the style of lettering suggests it is since the 1980s. Do you happen to have any other information?


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Hi Larry.
This type of vise is still popular here in industry, they call it a “Pipe Vice”, a similar vice made by a company called Nabeya new sells for well over $600.
I can find these used in decent condition MTK vises for between $75 and $150 on Yahoo Auction here (like eBay over there). I don’t think it was made for the overseas market because I can find almost zero info in English and not much more in Japanese.
I guess the company is no longer in operation. The vise has the old JIS logo on it but that just means its older than 2008, but the JIS was set up in 1946, so I really have no idea when it was made, but I’d guess between the 1960’s and the 1980’s.

@Stu_In_Tokyo how old do you think that vise is? I’ve seen similar designs from Japan, curious which ones are the clones and which ones are the original.

The ones I saw probably came from a different manufacturer as it didn’t have all that casted in detail on the back of the body.

Thanks for the additional information Stu. Odd that it would be called a pipe vise as it doesn’t have the typical jaws that a pipe vise has, but maybe that’s just a term that means different things in different regions.


I do not know but I’d say between the 60s and the 80s. I’ve got an old drill press that I restored that was built in 1963 from a different company, but with a similar style of text cast into the body of the machine.
In the 60s when Japan opened up, everything western became very popular, and putting English on anything made it sell better. Many large companies even changed their company logo which was in Japanese to English to get with the trend.
I cannot know for sure, but I’d say from the build quality and the patina on the vice it’s at least from the 80s or even older.

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Hi Larry.
The term “pipe vise” I think comes from the round pipe like shape of the slide.

Love seeing these different ideas in vises