The vise jaws on most metalworking vises (sometimes spelled vices) is made of hardened serrated steel. This increases it’s durability and allows it to handle most metals with ease. Despite this, vise jaws wear out over time, especially if you are working with materials harder than the materials of your vise jaws (hard scratches soft).
Luckily, swapping out your old jaws with new ones is super simple. Most metalworking vises (like my yost 750-DI) have jaws that are held on by two little screws.
Turn those screws counter clockwise until they come out. Pull the jaws off your vise. Put your new jaw pads on, and re-screw the two screws by turning them clockwise.
Viola, that’s it! Just make sure to choose jaws that are the appropriate jaw width for your vise.
How to make your vise jaws last longer
As I said earlier, hard scratches soft. Having jaws that are made of a harder material than your work projects will help your jaws last longer. The downside is that having harder jaws increases your chances of marring your work project.
Another thing you can do is avoid clamping with excessive force. This will make every part of your vise last longer, not just your jaws.
When to replace your vise jaws
Replace your jaws when they become uneven, or the serrated edges become smooth. If it feels like it’s getting harder to clamp objects down, it’s time to replace them.