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The Dawn 60163 is an Australian made 4" (or 100mm) cast engineer's vise which we are reviewing today!
If you have read our Dawn 60153 vise review the top part of ths 60163 will look familiar - that's because it's the same vise, with the addition of a swivel base (part number 65193).
This vise is from 2017 and has a sticker celebrating 100 years of Dawn being in business:
I don't know whether the gold lettering is something that was introduced after the previous review, whether it was something special for 2017 or whether it's something unique to the 60153 but it looks quite sharp:
The two fasteners for loosening or tightening the swivelling plate is similarly coloured:
This has the same jaws as the 60153 - case hardened steel jaws with a vertical notch for holding non-flat objects:
The nut is replaceable and is hidden inside the body where it should be protected from debris:
A view of the screw from the underside - also well shielded from chips and debris:
The bottom of the swivel base:
The fasteners you saw above are threaded, and thread into the round swivel base:
As you tighten them the vise base is held against the swivel base, rather firmly:
If you are interested in our thoughts on the 60153 vise (and the relevant part numbers of the various components) you can find them in the separate review here; on this page we will focus on the 60163 variant and it's swivelling nature.
The swivelling design seems to be of good quality and the vise has not rotated in an undesirable fashion under normal use in our experience (we did not subject the vise to abnormal use just to test). When combined with a quality vise like the 60153 the swivel base makes for a versatile vise, allowing for a change of work angle without having to loosen and re-adjust the work piece inside the vise jaws.
Curiously, the 60163 is actually more expensive than simply buying the 60153+65193, at least from the supplier we queried - the two ordered separately would be $278+GST where the 60163 is $340+GST. I queried Dawn to see whether the 60153 provided in the 60163 kit was any different to the standalone 60153 and they assured me that the vises were of the same strength.
Should you buy the 60163 (or the swivel base for your 60153)? If a 4" vise suits your needs the Dawn options are very well made, Australian-produced vises and are well worth considering. The swivelling feature is very handy for some work, and allows you to reposition the work piece in ways that may not be possible given the vise's orientation and/or work piece shape. If this is something you think you'll need the Dawn options - while not the cheapest with this feature - are well worth considering if you are in the market for a quality vise that ought to last a long while.
You may be interested in some of our other tool reviews - check them out here.
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