I had a vise listed for sale on Craigslist a while back, and one day a nice gentleman called asking about it, but it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for. We chatted for a few minutes and it turns out I had exactly the vise he was looking for, a Wilton 1760 Tradesman. We met the following weekend and he bought it from me, and then asked if I wanted to see the vise he was replacing. Of course I was curious, and it turned out to be this Snap On 1740, which is about half the size of the 1760. He asked if I was interested in buying it and we wound up making a deal since he had no plans to use it considering his new purchase.
For those who aren’t familiar with Wilton and/or Snap-On vises, all of them are made by Wilton, which is why the numbers look the same. Wilton simply paints the “Snap On” vises red, and puts Snap On decals on the side. If you call Snap On to buy replacement parts for one of their vises, you actually get transferred to the parent company of Wilton. In fact, the part numbers cast into the main parts are identical, so they’re all Wilton vises, some just have different paint and decals, but you pay a lot more if you buy one from Snap On.
A Wilton or Snap On 1740 has 4″ wide jaws and weighs about 30 pounds while a 1760 has 6″ wide jaws and weighs about 70 pounds. Wilton slightly changed this line of vises a few years ago and decided to add half an inch of jaw width to all but the largest model. The new models are 1745, 1755, 1765 and 1780.
For those just learning about vises, you’ll note that this model has pipe jaws under the primary jaws. This is part of the reason why nearly every service truck driving around has a Wilton Tradesman mounted on it. The fact that the design is sealed from the elements, unlike most vises, and the fact they have pipe jaws makes them a no-brainer for field service work where you can’t always predict what you’ll be working on.
Anyway, back to this little red Snap On 1740. It was in good condition, but the cosmetics were long past their prime. I decided to restore it, but use one of Snap-On’s limited edition colors, Extreme Green. Snap On offers many of their toolboxes and actual tools in their limited edition colors, but not their vises. So, if you have a Snap On toolbox in Extreme Green, the only way to get a matching vise is to buy one, strip it down, buy the correct paint, and refinish it, which is exactly what I did. I ordered the paint directly from Snap On ($24/12oz can!) and called Wilton to get a set of factory Snap On decals for the sides.
This vise really only needed to be stripped to bare metal, primed then painted, along with wire wheel and polish work on all the bare metal parts. There were no broken parts or damage, and hardly any use marks to smooth out, so it went quickly. I think anybody who likes Snap On Extreme Green is going to be green with envy if they ever see this mounted on someone’s work bench!