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I have two Record vises I use. One is a large mechanic's vise like this one: http://www.recordtool.com/record/pi/repimv02.asp, and the other is a small engineer's vise like this one: http://www.recordtool.com/record/pi/repimv04.asp. Both of these are very high quality. They may cost a bit more than the cheap chinese vises you find at the discount stores but they are worth it.

The small vise has a plastic, non-marring, insert in the jaw. Its good for holding small pieces for detail work like filing or polishing. Its heavy enough that you don't have to mount it to a benchtop although sometimes a c-clamp will help steady it if you are being agressive. The large vise is heavy enough for any kind of work. I've found that a square of leather wrapped around the workpiece, rough side toward the workpiece, allows you to clamp a pistol frame tightly and do some fairly heavy work without it shifting or marring.
 
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