Both metal and wooden vises are equally useful in their own right. I got a metal vise a long while ago (salvaged from my father in law) which I use all the time to do metal work, I also made a couple of magnetic jaws to use this for small woodworking and delicate projects as well. I got the idea here: http://hamiltonroberts.com/mechanics-vice-jaw-covers/
About a year ago I found a Stanley 702 vise on ebay. This thing is extremely useful, versatile, portable and I picked it up for about ten bucks. It screws to any bench or tabletop and based on which corner you put it on you can use it left or right handed.
|The Stanley 702|
|Vise jaws prior to cork addition|
It is an L shape so you can clamp vertical or horizontally. I added some self stick cork to the jaws to keep them from marring my work and it also helps grip the workpiece.
|Used for boring!|
For a future series on the blog I plan to build a Roubo style workbench and I have purchased the Benchcrafted "Glide Leg Vise" and their "Tail Vise." I'll be walking through the installation during the bench construction. These are exceptionally well built, they were shipped promptly and arrived flawless. Now to see if I can actually do enough woodworking to get them installed on a bench!