Average Customer Rating: (6 Reviews) Write a Review
I have used a J.Stockard vice for about two years and have worn grooves in the jaws so I decided to upgrade after a friend from the UK told me about his experience with the Apex. Amazing vice it is rock solid, loads easy and turns smoothly. As always J.Stockard provides products and service of an exception value for the money.
I've been tying on this vise for 10 years now and it's worth its weight in gold. I've tied everything from 22 midges to 1/0 saltwater flies. No jaws to switch out just make a simple adjustment to accomodate the hook size. Smooth rotary function and best of all built in the good ol USA. My next vise will be its big brother the Anvil vise.
I've had my Apex for over a year now. It was my first vise, and for $100 I can't complain. The quality is good, fit and finish is good. Plenty of features for the money. Nice pedestal and c-clamp included.
There are a few design issues that could be improved:
1. Jaw design- The jaw holds small hooks (14-24) nicely and has a nice fine point so you have room to work around small hooks. it holds medium hooks (6-12) fine. I don't find it real adept at holding hooks larger than a 6. The jaw has two straight "grooves" for holding larger hooks. Unlike the curved grooves on a Dyna-King, these straight grooves tend to either bend the hook open or spit the hook out of the groove. I go to my son's $15 BassPro vise for larger hooks.
2. Jaw materials - My son destroyed my first set of jaws
in two weeks by feeding 1/0 hooks into the tip of the jaws. (Can't really blame Wolff for that!) To their credit, Wolff sent me a replacement set of jaws under warranty. After a year of careful (and proper) use, the tips of the new jaws are just starting to deform a little. Still usable, but I wish the metal was a little tougher.
3. Rotation Friction - I wish the vise had more friction when rotating the vise. Mine is sort of like an on/off switch. Either the vise is locked up tight. Or it is totally loose. When loose, the collet wobbles a little up and down. Maybe you could change the orings inside to make it a little tighter.
4. Set Screw on chassis - Opposite the thumb screw that turns the rotation feature on and off is a small set screw. This allows you to quickly change the vise from right to left hand tying. (Cool feature). The problem is that this set screw backs itself out when you rotate the vise. Then the collet falls out of the chassis! The good news is that a drop of blue loctite on the set screw fixes this problem.
In conclusion, the Apex really deserves 3.5 stars. For $100 it does a lot of things well. Just don't ask it to hold big hooks and be careful with the tips of the jaws.
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