One can never have too many clamps in his workshop. This is because clamps are one of the few tools that do not use power, are quite portable, and work just like machines that make your woodworking much easier and quite fast.
When it comes to choosing the best clamps for woodworking, the market has numerous brands, types, sizes, and quality. Therefore if you are interested in buying, there are a few things that you need to consider buying the best woodworking clamps for you.
Woodworking Clamps 2021 Comparison Table
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IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamp, 8 Piece set
Bessey GSCC2.524 Clutch Style Bar Clamp
MLCS 9001 Can-Do Clamp
POWERTEC 20301 Quick-Release Toggle Clamp
Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clamp
How to Choosing The Best Woodworking Clamps
Consider these factors to choose the best quality clamps for your needs.
Like I said, there are quite some brands in the market. Some brands are reputable and trusted by customers for the quality they offer while some are just on the average. My recommendation is that when choosing clamps for you, settle on a reputable company to enjoy good quality, durability, and value for money.
For clamps, the materials used to make them is the most important aspect to consider for this is what will determine the quality and overall functionality of this fantastic tool. The material and build quality should be good enough to handle your woodworking needs even when subjected to harsh and constant use.
Even though clamps are designed to perform almost similar functions, they are not all built the same. The craftsmanship of the tool is what determines how easy or complicated using the tool will be. Choosing clamps with the right features and parts will ensure that you have an easy time using it. Remember that the best clamp should be well built, comfortable to handle, and easy to use.
Woodworking and general DIY projects differ and therefore will need different requirements. The fact is that clamps are also made in various sizes, and it is upon you to choose the right clamp size that won’t disappoint you when working on both small and large projects.
The cost of a product is usually determined by the brand, quality, size, and materials used to make it. Therefore for the best woodworking clamps, the price you get to pay for them is also determined by these four factors. What is of utmost importance is that you go for a clamp you can afford but also ensure that you don’t compromise on quality all in the bid to save money.
Where To Buy
Always buy your tools from reputable suppliers and retailers. You can choose to buy directly from the manufacturers or from the selected reputable retailers that will offer you the best woodworking clamps. Regardless of where you buy your tools, make sure that you trust the quality being offered.
It is always advisable to experiment beforehand anytime you want to purchase a woodworking tool. Considering the variety of options in the market, it is only wise that you read through reviews, and guides to find out which brands are much reliable and believable. Remember that reviews can be professional or customer-based, regardless, they all give you useful ideas on the reliability of a tool and help you decide whether you should buy one or not.
Type of Clamps
The kind of clamp you need to buy should be the first thing to consider when choosing a clamp. Like always, the options to choose from are quite extensive and without a particular type in mind, getting the best of this tool can be quite a challenge. Here are the typical clamps types you will find in the market and their uses;
Well, clamps are an overall versatile type of tool, but generally, C-clamps are the most versatile and also the most recognizable among woodworkers and DIYers. These tools come in sizes that range from 1- 8 inches and the size denotes the maximum opening width of the clamp.
On the other hand, the depth to the back of the clamp ranges from 1-4 inches; this depends on the size of the tool. While there are also bigger sizes available, the small tools are mostly preferred for daily use.
How about using this type of clamps? Using it is very simple, the only thing to keep in mind is to always put scrap wood between the clamp jaws and the surface of the material being worked on. The scrap wood acts as protective pads and for even distribution of pressure.
These are the natural type of clamps to use particularly for light-duty work where high clamping force is not essential. Spring clamps range from 4- 9 inches with jaw openings from slightly under 1 to 3 inches.
The spring clamps are the best suited where you need to add more than one clamp quickly, and the best quality of these comes with jaws covered with vinyl for protection against marring.
Bar and Pipe-Bar Clamps
These are clamps that are mostly preferred for carpentry work and are manufactured either with jaws mounted on a flat steel bar in lengths of 12-48 inches or with jaws designed to fit ½ -1 7/8 inch pipes.
On usability, it is quite easy. You just need to set the feed jaw against one side of the woodworking piece and slide the movable jaw against the other.
Some more advanced clamps allow you to use one hand to complete all the necessary steps for securing the clamp against the workpiece.
Top 5 Best Woodworking Clamps In The Market
These are some of the best clamps in the market regarding quality, size, overall functionality, and price. So read through to help you identify the best one for your needs.
1. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP – Mini Bar clamps
If you need an addition to your woodworking tool kit, then this IRWIN QUICK-GRIP clamp set (8-Piece) will be an ideal consideration. These are a great starter set of clamps that will allow you to get the most of your woodworking jobs done.
Although their size is limited to smaller projects, the clamps included here are of essential quality, and the best part is that it comes at a fair price.
Features and benefits
Any set of clamp needs to be of good quality. This IRWIN set is made of high-tech resin for an all-around construction that gives it the maximum durability and strength to withstand any form of working conditions. The one-handed minibar clamps are equipped with non-marring pads which provide you with an incredibly firm grip that protects your workpiece from sliding.
They are also a comfortable set to use with the quick release triggers that provide, a fast and easy positioning of workpieces and a pistol-grip design for increased comfort. It also features a ratcheting mechanism that allows you to adjust the pressure of the clamps which reduces the force you exert by hand to hold the material together.
Another great thing about this 8 piece set of clamps is the fact that they are backed by an IRWINs lifetime guarantee which assures of the quality and functionality. In any case that you don’t like or are not satisfied with the clamp, you are free to return it for a refund or exchange it for a better model.
I can confidently say that using these clamps is a breeze can you can’t afford to miss.
- These clamps are not of the best quality, and therefore they tend to lose torque over time.
- Limited to smaller projects.
These sets might not have the best clamping force, but they are a good quality set for holding things down around the house, etc. The price is great, and the minibars allow you to work even in enclosed areas.
2. Clutch Style Bar Clamp – Best Project Clamp
It is without a doubt that Bessey makes some pretty impressive bar clamps and this GSCC2.524 (2.5-Inch x 24-Inch) model is no exception. Yes, it is a reputable brand, and its tools are quite affordable. What’s more interesting about this clutch style bar clamp is the fact that you can use it to handle a variety of woodworking projects.
It is solidly built, has an excellent and consistent finish, holds pretty firm, and as previously stated, and is very affordable.
Features and benefits
The best feature of this medium duty Bessey clamp model is the quality and durability offered. The tool features durable powder-coated cast iron fixed and sliding jaws with zinc finished rails all of which provide for a reliable clamping experience. The cast heads also add to its durability as they are protected against corrosion and chipping even when put under constant use.
Together with the zinc rail finish, the tool also features a 2-piece clutch plate system that allows you to open and close the lower movable jaws. This means that the clamp can be easily repositioned to give you a better working angle.
On these clamps, both the top and bottom jaws have protective pads that prevent marring with an ergonomically shaped handle that is also wooden to give you a comfortable grip when holding pieces together.
- Some customers complain that the jaws of this clamping tool are not perpendicular to the bar.
- There are also complaints that the tool has a tendency of bending when tightened a lot.
Overall, this Bessey clamp is a well-made, easy to use, and budget-friendly tool with a nice clamping force ideal for use in both small and medium woodworking projects. These are the best clamps for the money.
3. Can-Do Clamp – Overall Best Clamps
This is one of the few woodworking clamps that works as it is advertised. Although they come in smaller sizes than what is advertised in pictures (which is understandable), Can-Do Clamp is a great value tool to have in your toolkit.
Features and benefits
This is the do it all kind of clamp, talk of versatility and this tool will deliver. You can use it to work on various applications like framing, drilling, and dowelling. The basic tool works well in clamping two pieces of wood that are being joined at a 90° corner.
It also sets up instantly with its pieces being easy to assemble and get it to clamp wood with the best force it can give. In other words, this clamping tool does not waste time or give you difficulty clamping; its sliding T-handle secures quickly and with high clamping pressure allowing you to work on projects with ease and minimal waste of time.
It is also easy to use making it an ideal tool for amateurs getting started on using woodworking clamps. The tool features movable jaws that allow for easy repositioning and oblong mounting holes that enable you to easily and quickly mount the clamp on a workbench.
It is also worth it to mention that it is a precise tool that will work as expected to give you ample time and stability to work on projects. It also features a sturdy and long-lasting aluminum construction.
- This is not the best clamp for gluing wood and also for heavy-duty projects.
For its price, the MLCS 9001 clamps are a good buy. It offers value for money as it does exactly what it is meant for and that so with precision.
4. Horizontal Toggle Clamp – Adjustable Rubber Tips
Powertec is a brand that is familiar to many woodworkers and DIYers. The brand produces good quality and durable tools that work just as they are advertised. For a tool that can hold down workpieces with plenty of pressure, this Powertec 20301 clamp is the ideal choice.
Features and benefits
It is a tool that will provide you with a rock-solid grip against workpieces. The 500lbs holding capacity is enough to force for installing on tools like jigs and other movable bases. With this tool, you don’t have to worry about slippage of tools or materials when working.
The sturdy construction that features cold-rolled carbon steel and zinc plated coating provides for durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. This will ensure you a long-lasting hold for your working projects
This easy to use tool is best for both professionals and novices in the industry. It is a retracted clamp that allows for vertical removal of the headpiece with a maximum holding force of 500lbs complete with adjustable rubber tips.
Besides its sturdy construction, the tool also has a lovely design for the eye that is low enough for maximum clearance.
- There is little to not like about these clamps.
This clamp is a handy tool that will provide for versatility, easy adjustability, durability, and maximum holding force at a reasonable price.
5. Bessey LM2.004 LM – Best Cheap Clamps
At under $5 retail price one is tempted to believe that these are probably the poorest quality clamps in the market. But well no, the fact that they made it to this list is because they work just fine. For novices at least, these clamps are an ideal choice to get you started and get used to using clamps for holding pieces, gluing, and other general-purpose clamping needs.
Features and benefits
These are easy to use. The tool is packed with features such as an ergonomic grip handle that not only provides you with a firm grip when handling it but also gives you the maximum comfort you need to work continuously.
The tool is made with good quality materials. The cast jaws and steel rails provide for maximum durability and dependability. It also has a protective cap that prevents damage to the material when clamping.
It is also not just easy to use but also to install and is equipped with a lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship. So you don’t worry about the tool breaking apart or failing to function as in any case these happen, you are covered by a more than reasonable warranty.
- The red protective cap tends to come off easily.
- It is obviously not of the best quality but also not of the poorest quality
Like I said, do not judge this tool based on its price tag, trust its workmanship and functionality and get to enjoy its long-lasting holding power and ease of use.
Regardless of the size of your project, there is a clamp that can be used to make work easier. Since the beginning, clamps have proven to be indispensable tools for woodworking. It is almost as if woodworking would be non-existent without a set of clamps to glue wood together or simply fastening pieces of wood.
Just ensure that you get the best clamps that you can afford and enjoy a simplified woodworking experience.