Review: Muskoka MagnaVise

~By: Lance Dean | October 16, 2014



Before I start this review I want to say is that I was not compensated from Muskoka Lifestyles Products in any way for doing this review.  I was not asked to do this review and the vise used in this review I paid for. 

 
Muskoka Magna Vise

hile at the Wasatch Fly Tying Expo in Sandy, Utah, I decided to invest in the Muskoka MagnaVise. The attraction to the bold profile, magnetic base and unique looking jaws of the MagnaVise was too, strong to fight.  My only question was would the attraction remain after tying on it? 

 The MagnaVise is created by Muskoka Lifestyle Products.  Muskoka is owned by Matthew Plott who according to his site has “30 years in the outdoors and 20 years' experience in fabrication, product design and manufacturing”. (http://www.muskokalifestyleproducts.com/about-us/).  And again from the Muskoka Lifestyles Products website (http://www.muskokalifestyleproducts.com/magnavise.html) the jaws of the MagnaVise are built with medical grade hardened stainless steel. The website also claims that the vise holds hooks from size 10/0 to 20 and that it has a true rotating head.

Magnets under Muskoka Magna Vise
Magnets in the bottom of the Muskoka MagnaVise Base.
I want to start with the most unique feature of this vise – the magnetic base.  I like tying on a pedestal more than a clamp.  The problem with this is the only pedestal that I have found that fits my tying preferences is the pedestal by Peak Fishing.  I love how the Peak pedestal keeps my vise were I place it even when I am tying Musky flies that require a lot of thread torque. The pedestal of the MagnaVise weighs 2 lbs. 10oz. The Peak Pedestal weighs 4 lbs. 14 oz.  That means that the MagnaVise pedestal is 2 lbs. 4 oz. lighter than the Peak Pedestal. (To see my review on the Peak Rotary Vise click here.) The MagnaVise Pedestal may be lighter than the pedestal I generally use, but the magnetic MagnaVise base holds the vise very stable while tying. 

The MagnaVise definitely looks extremely strong.  I am not going to put the strength of this vise through the ringer because I don’t want to risk breaking it to the point of no repair. So, let’s just say that I have used the MagnaVise regularly since April and have not had any issues as far as parts breaking or falling off the vise.

Muskoka Magna Vise Jaws
Adjustment of these screw is needed to tie on heavy duty hooks.
The jaws of all the vises I have seen have rounded tips, but the jaws on the MagnaVise have squared edges.  These squared edges give the MagnaVise some its attractiveness.  I have tied size 26 TMC 100 hooks on the MagnaVise and I think that I could get a 4/0 Mustad 3707DT to fit in the jaws, but it would take some adjustments to the set screws on the jaws of the vise. Not quite worth the effort to me when I can adjust my Peak Vise to hold these hooks with ease.  Without making any adjustments to the vise I managed to get a size 2 Umpqua U301 hook in the vise without much effort. I believe I could have gone large if I had larger fly tying hooks.  Without having to make adjustments to the screws I think I could put a 1/0 or 2/0 hook in the jaws of the MagnaVise.



Muskoka Magna Vise
MagnaVise set up for 360 degree rotation.
The MagnaVise does have a rotary feature and it can be used with a bit of adjustment and getting used to.  To effectively use the rotary feature the jaws need to be adjusted so that they line up parallel to the pedestal.  The jaws are designed to hold the hook while the jaws are at this angle and still allow access to the bend of the hook.  The tension of the rotary feature of the MagnaVise is determined by a nut-like knob that when tightened increases the difficulty of the rotation of the jaws and when loosened increases the ease in which the jaws rotate. I have read a couple reviews where a complaint about a handle for the rotary feature of the MangnaVise; however, I do not think that a handle would make it any harder or easier to rotate the jaws.  I like that turning the knob will rotate the jaws with ease.  Muskoka Lifestyle Products does offer a handle for the MagnaVise, but I really do not think that it needs it.

The one thing that I wish was offered was a way to put a waste collector on the MagnaVise.  Most vises have a 3/8” stem and the MagnaVise is no different, but the magnetic base that allows you to raise the vise to a higher level is about 5/8” wide. So the standard waste collector won’t fit right on the vise.  This is my biggest complaint with the vise.

Muskoka Magna Vise Jaws
MagnaVise Jaws
As of this writing, Muskoka Lifestyles Products offers this vise at $189.99. http://www.muskokalifestyleproducts.com/magnavise.html.  After using this vise for a few months I think that this is priced about right.  I say this because I think that the idea of using the strong magnets on the base is an excellent one that has the potential to change my tying setup for the better.  I am thinking about mounting a piece of sheet metal to the bottom my tying station and using the magnetic base more frequently.  

The Muskoka MagnaVise has a sleek, bold look.  It holds many hooks in many sizes and Muskoka has a unique approach to the rotary feature on the MagnaVise vise.  The magnetic base is an extremely sturdy way to mount the vise that I really like. However, there are three things that I think need to be addressed by Muskoka Lifestyle Products, they are:

  • ·         Finding a way to make a waste collector compatible with the base of the MagnaVise
  • ·         It takes too much time to change the jaw settings to tie with heavy duty hooks like a 4/0 Mustad
    3707DT
  • ·         I noticed that there is no materials clip for the vise and that finding one that would be compatible is unlikely due to the shape of the jaws on the MagnaVise

Muskoka Magna Vise The fact is that the MagnaVise is a great vise.  I think that the issue with the waste collector and the materials clip are minor issues that could be addressed by Muskoka with minimal cost. I am not sure the jaws can be made to adjust easier or not so, I will just be happy tying everything but big musky flies on it.

Thank You Muskoka Lifestyle Products for making such a nice vise.







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2 comments:

  1. there's never been a time I've had the need or use for a magnetic base. I can't for the life of me see the need.

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  2. Thanks for reading my review.

    Let me start by saying that I do not enjoy using a clamp on my vice so, with that being said, I have noticed that sometimes when I am tying big streamers, the pressure I place on my vise makes it so the vise lifts off the table. The magnets on the vise are strong enough that if I had a metal bench top the vise would not move when tying these types of flies. That is why I like the magnetic base so much.

    ReplyDelete