Bar clamp is a multi functional woodworking clamp comes in varieties of design, size, construction material and functionality. Bar clamp is also named as speed clamp because of the versatility of its function. Because of its F-shape, it’s another name is F-clamp.
Bar clamp consists of two jaws, a swivel shoe, spindle, handle and rail or vertical bar. It comes fully assembled, you have to do nothing but opening the box and pick the clamp. It is most commonly used for woodworking.
Because of having huge versatility it may seem quite difficult for one to select the suitable bar clamp for one’s project. People also face troubles to recognize the best bar clamp from its huge varieties.
Analyzing the properties of best bar clamps we have sorted out 6 best bar clamps and 9 vital tips to select the best bar clamps suitable for your project.
Why Use a Bar Clamp
You can use a bar clamp for both as woodworking clamps and metalworking purpose. For example, you can use it for-
- Screwing or gluing
- Welding or bolting
- Pushing objects apart from each other and
6 Best Bar Clamps
1. TEKTON Mini Ratchet Bar Clamp with Spreader
TEKTON Mini Ratchet Bar Clamp is a super strong clamp operated with a trigger. It has a quick release button for easy operation.
Its jaws are made of strong reinforced nylon and that is why it can take high pressure. But, high pressure may cause damage to the object. That is why both of the jaws are covered with soft pads. Moreover, it gives you the convenience to apply the precise and consistent pressure you need.
It is a 2 in 1 type of clamp. You can convert it into a spreader at any time you need simply by placing a fixed jaw on opposite end of the bar. Like traditional, clamps you do not have to slide jaw using your hand. The quick release button lets you slide the jaw at any position freely.
TEKTON Mini Ratchet Bar Clamp is a long lasting product and so no problem occurs even if you use it continuously. It is a great tool for project assembly. For example – you feel very comfortable while using it for model making or crafting. You can also push pieces apart from each other by loosening wingut.
The clamp is not so big in size and can fit in any congested area. So, if the space of your woodshop is not very wide, you can use this bar clamp without any problem.
2. IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamp
IRWIN is a renowned company who has been started their operation since 1885 and still doing their business with popularity and goodwill.
IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamp is a lightweight bar clamp designed to complete the one-handed operation. It consists of a pistol grip of exclusive design and a quick release button. It lets you complete your operation quickly and saves your valuable time.
When you apply pressure on your workpiece using IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamp it helps you to distribute pressure evenly over the surface of the object.
IRWIn always cares for your workpiece and that is why they have added a soft cover over the jaws of their product so that it does not mar during working.
The resin construction with hardened steel bars has enabled IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar clamp to provide service for a long time. Its construction material has introduced two amazing property into it – one is resistance to bending and another is the prevention of flexing.
One single package of IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar clamp comes with more than 1 product. They are a complete solution to any woodworking operation related to clamping. In a word, IRWIN Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamp is a perfect choice for small-scale usage.
3. Bessey GSCC2.536 Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
Bessey is a world famous brand manufacture high quality, pretty and stylish bar clamp. Bessey GSCC2.536 Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp is an ideal clamp for small to medium scale use.
The sliding rail is covered with zinc coating. The powder finish has increased its aesthetic beauty and has given it an elite look. Its handle is made of wood. A rough and thick coating is given over the handle for the convenience of gripping.
The jaws are designed to prevent any damage on the object during the application of pressure. It has a deep throat and you can apply a great amount of load without any worry.
It does not slide off during working as there is a rivet through the bar of the clamp. It is designed to resist any kind of corrosion and chipping.
Bessey GSCC2.536 Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp is a complete solution for a wide range of woodworking & DIY projects, for example – gluing, holding or screwing and so on.
Bessey GSCC2.536 Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp is not so pricey rather it is economical, so you do not have to think so much about your budget during purchase.
4. Yost 15036 Bar Clamp with Spreader
Yost is one of the famous companies of clamping products has been started their journey since 1908. Yost 15036 Bar Clamp is a popular bar clamp among woodworker and metal worker. Yost has been used high strength steel and reinforced nylon to manufacture Yost 15036 Bar Clamp.
Since Yost 15036 Bar Clamp is made of very strong material it can bear approximately 10% more load than any other conventional bar clamp. There is a ratcheting system in the main jaw which lets you utilize the maximum jaw pressure.
You can use it both as clamp and spreader. You have to do nothing but pulling down the latch located on the front stationary jaw. Then slide it off the bar and place the jaw on the opposite end of the bar. Check that the jaw latches at the right place properly before using the clamp as a spreader.
It is also a durable product which does not damage for continuous usage. As a proof of the quality of their product, Yost provides their product with a guarantee period. So you can happily purchase Yost 15036 Bar Clamp with Spreader without any fear of loss of your hard-earned money.
5. Jorgensen Cabinet Master Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp
Jorgensen Cabinet Master Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp is high quality has a wide range of usage. You will feel no difference whether you are clamping the workpiece at the tip or deep in the throat and hence the name is Jorgensen Cabinet Master Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp.
The jaws are manufactured from reinforced steel and hence it is capable of taking a large amount of load. The jaws are capable to perform both the opening and closing operation within a short time.
Moreover, it is engineered in such a way so that the load can be distributed evenly over the surface of the workpiece. The handle of this clamp is ergonomically designed for easy and comfortable gripping. It is made of wood which is easy to torque.
One single package of Jorgensen Cabinet Master Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp comes with more than one bar clamp and perfect for flat panel, frame, box, cabinet etc. If you are working on such a project that requires sureness or evenly applied pressure then Jorgensen bar clamp is a perfect choice for you.
You can use this clamps for projects of a huge variety of materials such as- wood, light metals, composites, plastics, and also alloyed materials.
6. Yost Tools F124 F-Clamp
Yost is doing clamping business for a century and has been produced a huge variety of clamping tools with unique features and functionalities. Their Yost F124 F-Clamp is a great addition to their clamping products.
It is a medium size F-clamp which is perfect to clamp both small and medium duty project. It has a deep throat too and screw travel holds the workpiece easily and securely.
Its handle is made from good quality plastic which can take the great amount of load, provides better torque and is rough enough for easy grip.
Its swivel jaw pad is designed to hold objects of various shapes. To prevent any damage to soft objects Yost has added a plastic cap on both of the jaws.
Its arms are made of cast iron and there is a pair of the clutches to grip the serrated steel rail. This design is very helpful to hold the arm at the right place for better clamping pressure.
Yost F124 F-Clamp is not pricey rather affordable. Once you buy a single piece of Yost clamp you can use it for a long time. Moreover, Yost provides a guarantee of their product, so there is no space of doubt of the quality of their product.
9 Vital Tips to Buy the Best Bar Clamp
Construction material is the most important thing that influences other properties of any product. Generally, two types of materials are used to manufacture bar clamps – steel or aluminum. Construction materials determine or influence 3 properties of bar clamp which includes-
Load Bearing Capacity
- Aluminum dents, ding or scratch more easily than steel whereas steel does not warp, deform or bend under pressure or heat as quickly as aluminum.
- Steel is approximately 2 and a ½ times denser than aluminum and so it is heavier than aluminum.
So, I think you already have understood that steel made bar clamp has more load-bearing capacity than aluminum
made bar clamp.
Aluminum is more resistant to corrosion than steel. Aluminum does not need to cover with any type of coating to resist corrosion but steel needs special coating over its body to resist the attack of rust.
Price of construction material has a great influence on the price of the product. Although the price of aluminum and steel is continually changing on the basis of global supply and demand, cost of fuel, availability of iron and bauxite ore generally steel is cheaper than aluminum.
If you choose a small bar clamp and your workpiece is large or medium in size, it cannot hold the workpiece tightly and will create a disturbance during working.
The conventional measuring dimension of bar clamps generally ranges between 6 to 36 inches in length. But there are also some giant size bar clamps that can measure more than the conventional dimension.
I already have mentioned that bar clamp has two jaws – one is fixed and another is adjustable. This adjustable jaw is available in 2 different styles.
- Some jaw comes with only a simple trigger to lock or unlock the object. You can tighten and loosen the adjustable jaw using the strength of your hand with the aid of this trigger.
- Some jaw comes with an additional screw along with the trigger to lock the object more securely.
Sometimes the surface of the object mars on the place where the jaw holds it due to excessive pressure. To prevent this damage some bar clamps come with a soft protective pad on each of the jaws.
Rail or Vertical bar
You should check whether the rail or vertical bar is smooth or not. Since the adjustable jaw moves up and down over the rail, it must be smooth enough to ease the movement.
The convenience of gripping and the maximum load you can exert on the object depends on four factors related to the handle including-
Design: Design or Shape of the handle determines how easily you can grip the handle and control it to lock or unlock an
Size: Size of the handle should have congruency with the size of your palm; otherwise, in spite of being well-designed, a handle may cause trouble during working. So while buying a bar clamp, check it whether the size of the handle fits your palm or not.
Construction material: Metal, wood or high-quality resin is used to manufacture the handle of the bar How much pressure you can exert on handle depends largely on the construction material.
Surface quality: A smooth handle is not a good handle for bar clamps rather a rough handle is convenient for work. So you must choose handles with covered with rough material or grooved handle.
Screws are small but important part of the bar clamps because you cannot tighten or loosen the object without its help. So you must check whether the screws are of good quality or not.
Perfection in the flatness of bar clamp is very necessary, otherwise, you will find that your object is tottering during working if you have to lay down the bar clamp on the workbench.
Depending on the quality, functionality, design and size price of the bar clamp varies. Determining your requirement find out several bar clamps that can fulfill your requirement. Now, among them select the one that fits in your budget.
Q. Can I use the bar clamp to separate two pieces apart?
Answer: Yes you can use bar clamp both to unite and separate your work piece.
Q. For what type of materials I can use bar clamps?
Answer: you can use bar clamps for wood, metal, composite, polymer or alloy.
Q. Can I keep two pieces of the work piece at a perfectly parallel position using bar clamp?
Answer: Yes, you can keep two of your work piece at a perfectly parallel position during working.
Q. Can I convert any bar clamp into spreader?
Answer: No, you cannot I convert any bar clamp into the spreader, only the bar clamps are specially designed to convert into spreader can be converted.
Bar clamps are easy to use, come fully assembled, versatile in functionality, lightweight and compact and can handle from small to a large project.
If you are a professional carpenter or a DIYer you must need to keep a collection of clamps. Choosing the best bar clamp speeds up your work and also makes it easy.
It is not a tough task to find out the best bar clamp no matter whether it has hundreds of varieties if you can sort out the basic criteria on which you should pay attention to.
We have sorted out those basic criteria and on the basis of these criteria, the list of 9 Vital Tips to Buy the Best Bar clamp is prepared. And to make your work easier, we have sorted out 6 best quality bar clamps trending in the market from which you can pick the perfect one for yourself.