Clamps are one of the vital tools for carpenter shop without which it is almost impossible to complete a woodworking project. Whatever you do such as drilling, gluing, chiseling and fastening etc. you just need a clamp to hold the workpiece to the workbench securely and tightly; otherwise, you cannot complete the task properly.
Keeping clamps in the collection is a must for every carpentry shop. Best woodworking clamps will let you accomplish your project successfully with less effort and much comfort.
Different types of clamps are designed to fulfill certain purposes. Some wood clamps are able to hold large size workpieces and some are small size; some are meant for tall objects, some are flat, some are irregular and some are regularly shaped objects and so on.
Because of the versatility of woodworking clamps in design, shape, size, working mechanism, it is easy to get confused while choosing the best woodworking clamps for your woodshop. A proper guideline and appropriate review about the trendy and top-ranked woodworking clamps can help you to get rid of this confusion.
8 Best Woodworking Clamps
1. TEKTON Ratchet Bar Clamp
TEKTON Ratchet Bar Clamp has been ranked at the top position of this list because of its amazing ergonomically design that let you complete a project easily, quickly and more perfectly.
The main parts of TEKTON Ratchet Bar Clamp include quick release button, trigger, reinforced nylon jaw, and soft jaw pad.
The quick release button of TEKTON lets you adjust the jaw at any of your favored position. You can apply any specific pressure consistently on the workpiece using the trigger of this clamp.
It has a strong jaw made of reinforced nylon to hold the workpiece securely and tightly. Once you set up the workpiece in the jaw it is perfectly locked and will not creep.
If you choose TEKTON Ratchet Bar Clamp for your workshop you never have to worry about the surface of your workpiece to be marred, because the strong and hard jaws of this clamp are covered with soft pads. So, there is no doubt that Ratchet uses a smart gripping mechanism.
TEKTON Ratchet Bar Clamp has an amazing capability to convert into spreader from a clamp and so you can use it to spread glue on the workpiece smartly. Just place the fixed jaw on the opposite end of the bar and convert your bar clamp into a spreader.
TEKTON is environment-friendly; it works smoothly and silently and does not cause sound pollution. You can use this clamp for crafting, modeling and preparing small projects.
2. Bessey BPC-H34 Pipe Clamp
Bessey is a renowned clamp manufacturing company. Bessey BPC-H34 Pipe Clamp is one of the Bessey’s most popular clamps available in the market. It is an H-shaped clamp consisting of a wide mouth jaw, a strong and high base, crank handle and spindle.
Bessey has been shaped their product in H-shape so that the clamp becomes more stable and does not tip over during working. Such shape is the secret of the dual axis ability of this clamp.
The jaw of the Bessey BPC-H34 Pipe Clamp is adjustable; you can hold both narrow and wide pieces in the span of the jaw. To protect your workpiece from marring Bessey has covered the outer part of the jaw with two soft pads made of rubber. So you do not have to worry if it is needed to give high pressure to the object.
There are threaded spindles which allow you to perform your task smoothly. The spindles are coated with black oxide. Its base is high enough to provide sufficient working surface.
It is a long-lasting, strong and stable product which can be used for various types of projects. For example, Bessey BPC-H34 Pipe Clamp is an ideal tool to clamp small pieces together.
3. Bessey LM2.004 LM Bar Clamp
Bessey LM2.004 LM clamp is a Chinese product manufactured for performing typical woodworking task such as gluing, nailing, holding the object and so on. That is why it is also known as general purpose woodworking clamp.
This mighty mini guy Bessey LM2.004 LM is a great replacement for different size C-clamp. Its slide tightening mechanism is preferred by many customers compared to the tightening mechanism of C-clamp. Moreover, it can perform any typical woodworking task faster than c-clamp.
This is a durable product having an ergonomically designed grip although it does not have any locking mechanism. Moreover, the clamp is easy to use and easy to install.
Bessey LM2.004 LM is a highly durable woodworking clamp having good quality cast jaw. Like another clamp, it also has a protective cap to prevent any type of mar on the surface of the object.
The large space between the two jaws of Bessey LM2.004 LM woodworking clamp has made it an ideal tool for laminating. It also provides good service to assemble two or more pieces together.
Bessey LM2.004 LM Bar Clamp is one of the best options among the general purpose serving, good quality, easy and quick woodworking clamps within an affordable price.
4. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set, 4935502
IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamp set comes with multiple types of clamps together. It is a handy and high-quality clamp set perfect for completing a small project. It is 25 percent smaller than conventional clamp and that is why you can work in a confined space using this IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamp set.
Its quick release trigger lets you adjust your workpiece easily and quickly at your required position. All the clamps come with this set are very strong and durable as all of these products are made from of high-tech reinforced resin.
Its pistol grip design provides extra comfort during clamping. The protective cap ensures the safety of the object and without any worry, you can exert high pressure up to a certain limit on the object.
IRWIN used a ratcheting mechanism to let you control the amount of pressure exertion. So you do not need to use your physical power to exert pressure and this property has made IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set more comfortable to use.
Like another manufacturer, IRWIN does not give any warranty of their product rather they give guaranty. And you know what a company gives guaranty on its product only when they are confident about their product quality. So, you can IRWIN QUICK GRIP Clamp set without so much thinking.
5. Can-Do Clamp by MLCS
The name is enough to reveal the capability of Can-Do-Clamp manufactured by MLCS. It is a smartly designed woodworking clamp and hence the name is Can-Do-Clamp.
The major parts of Can-Do-Clamp are a pair of the clamp, a vise, a pair of swivel point, oblong holes and a sliding handle.
You can adjust the clamp without facing any trouble and the sliding handle is designed in T-shape so that you can exert pressure on your workpiece giving less effort.
But, you must have to be alert whether the pressure is spread on the surface of the object evenly or not because uneven pressure may mar the surface. If you are not a skilled person it is really very tough to pressurize the surface evenly.
MLCS has been designed their Can-Do clamp not only for the skilled person but also for the beginner. That is why they have added two swivel pads in their product so that you can so that you can easily provide pressure on the surface of the object.
You can never avoid the necessity of workbench in a woodshop. to mount the clamp easily to the workbench the oblong holes are kept in the design.
Because of the smart design Can-Do-Clamp is featured and recommended in WOOD magazine (12/1994 issue). Very few wood clamps you will find in the market having such achievement.
It is a metal made strong product which is easy to use, install and adjust. It is a great tool for framing, drilling, doweling etc.
6. TEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp Set | 91809
TEKTON produces heavy-duty metal made C-clamp which has been selected as one of the best C-clamps because of its high strength, the versatility of application and ergonomically designed shape.
TEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp Set comes with multiple C-clamps of 3 different such sizes that are widely used in the woodworking shop. So it is economical to buy a single set of TEKTON C-Clamp instead of buying separately.
Each clamp consists of steel screws, swivel pads and bar handles. Each of the parts is coated with a glossy coating to prevent the reaction between metal and moisture and also to increase its aesthetic beauty.
Steel screws help to hold the object securely and tightly. The screws are ACME threaded, do not stick or bind and glide smoothly.
The bar handle is designed in T-shape so that you do not have to give so much effort to pressurize the object.
There are swivel jaw pads which float in a low resistance ball and socket joint. This design is very helpful for even distribution of pressure automatically on the surface of the object.
It is a durable product which durability and quality are guaranteed by the manufacturer. You can perform many more tasks like assembly, fastening, gluing etc. with one set of TEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp.
Moreover, you can use this clamp for metal working like automotive application besides woodworking. So without any fear of lose, you can choose these multifunctional, strong and durable tools.
7. DEWALT DWHT83158 Clamp
If you are searching for a good quality bar clamp at an affordable price then you have come to the right place. DEWALT DWHT83158 Clamp can be one of the best clamps to satisfy your requirements.
DEWALT DWHT83158 Clamp is one kind of bar clamp. It is made of reinforced nylon body and heat-treated steel bar and that is why it is a strong clamp.
DEWALT DWHT83158 consists of a medium size trigger, deep throat, quick change button and adjustable wide jaws with jaw pads. Professionals like this bar clamp for one-handed operation. It helps to complete a task more quickly compared to other bar clamps. You can convert your DEWALT DWHT83158 Clamp into a spreader just pressing the quick change button.
Once you buy this product you can use it for a long time. You can use them constantly without worrying about damage or deterioration of quality.
DEWALT DWHT83158 Clamp is able to perform multiple tasks. It can lie flat on the table perfectly to complete any small project conveniently.
The outlook of these clamps is attractive to draw one’s attention. They are a lightweight product and you can carry them taking in your toolbox easily from one place to another.
8. Evelots Sturdy Spring Clamp Set
Evelots Spring Clamp Set includes both large and small clamps including total 4 different sizes. It is an economical clamp set with multiple function ability. Only one set of Evelots Spring Clamp is enough to complete any project of spring clamps.
Like other clamps, these clamps do not use a screw to hold object rather they use the mechanism of spring to hold the object. They are made of high-quality strong plastic to bear a great amount of load. This strong and sturdy building material increased the longevity of this product.
The handle of the clamp is designed to provide more control over the gripping system to the user. They are a great tool for handling irregularly shaped objects.
They are very popular among artists because they are very convenient to secure paper canvases for painting, blueprinting, clamping fabric or backdrops, woodworking, painting, small arts, and craft projects.
Now, come to the point of price. Price of one set (for your kind information guys I would like to make you sure that Evelots provides more than a dozen clamps in a single set) is not very high rather reasonable to afford.
4 Compulsory Criteria to Check Before Buy
You must not avoid any of the 4 compulsory criteria discussed in this Best Woodworking Clamp Buying Guide while buying clamps for your carpenter shop because all of these criteria are closely related to each other.
1. Building Material
The material is the most important criteria you must observe and select properly because 3 important criteria that determine the quality of the clamp are closely linked to material type. These criteria include:
Load Bearing Capacity
Load bearing capacity of the clamp is highly dependent on the building material of the clamp.
The Flexibility of Usage
The flexibility of usage is closely related to the type of material. Clamps made from the hard material are difficult to adjust during working; on the other hand, clamps made from soft material provide flexibility during usage.
Durability depends on the building material type to a great extent. A hard but brittle material reduces the durability; on the other hand, a soft material increases the durability of the clamp.
So while you are selecting material for woodworking clamp “Hard material” does not always mean good quality material. But, you must not avoid the criteria “hardness”, hardness up to a certain level is essential; otherwise, it will not be able to bear required pressure or load.
The fact is building material must not be too hard that it hampers the flexibility of usage. Are these criteria making more confusion about selecting the building material of woodworking clamp?
Well, my dear friend, we have prepared this buying guide for you not to get confused but to take you an obvious decision. Just ask yourself one question and you will be able to take a proper decision-
What type of job or project you are going to start in your woodshop?
2. Jaw Size
The jaw is where you fasten your object for further working. Jaws are adjustable but they have certain limit to be adjusted, some jaws can be adjusted to hold small to medium sized object but not large size object; some can be adjusted to hold all small, medium and large-sized object. There is also variation in the design of jaw.
Handles are the vital part of clamps. A good handle makes your work easy, comfortable and quick. A smooth, well-varnished slick handle can attract your attention but in case of woodworking clamp, these are not the properties of a good quality handle.
Only the handles that are manufactured maintaining ergonomics (science that helps to increase working efficiency by decreasing operator fatigue and discomfort) rules are the handles of the best quality.
Do not worry if you do not have the knowledge of ergonomics. You can select an ergonomically designed handle by observing only 3 properties of handles.
Handles are made from different types of material such as metal, wood etc. Load bearing capacity variates with the material type. You should select the building material of the handle on the basis of your job.
Clamps with small handle are not suitable for easy and comfortable gripping. By grabbing the handle you can test which one is fitting best to the grip of your hand.
Surface Design of the Handle
Never choose smooth and slick handles. Handles with grooves or wrapped with a good quality rubber or coated with thick and rough material provides flexibility to gripping. If you mistakenly bought a clamp of the smooth handle then wrap hockey tape over it and it will provide you flexibility while gripping.
Some of the woodworking clamps are customizable. For example, pipe clams – you can increase or decrease the capacity of this clamp by adding or removing pipes from it.
What is Woodworking Clamp Used for?
Woodworking clamps having simple to the complex design used for performing multiple functions. The most common tasks you can accomplish using woodworking clamps include:
Holding Objects to The Workbench
This is the basic task done by woodworking clamps. While chiseling, drilling or any other type of machining the object must be held tightly and securely to the workbench, otherwise, it will move and you cannot finish your task properly. Clamps hold the object to the workbench and let you finish your task without any disturbance of movement.
Dry Fitting Segmented Parts before assembly
Dry fitting is an unavoidable task for making any perfect assembly. You will not find any second option is as good as woodworking clamps to dry fit multiple parts together before starting the final operation.
Face to face Gluing
To hold segmented parts together face to face gluing is an important task done by a carpenter. It is not just applying some glue over the face of the segmented parts and keeps them touching each other’s face. You must have to ensure that there is no air between the face of the parts.
In case of small parts you can do this evacuation task using your hand pressure, but for medium and large sized parts hand pressure is not sufficient for evacuation although it may seem to you that there is no air but within a few minutes you will realize that the parts are not properly agglutinated.
Clamps are great tools to perform this face to face gluing task. They put a pressure on the glued parts and prevent the inclusion of air. Pipe clamps are widely used for face to face gluing purpose.
Edge gluing is a common task in carpentry project. Clamps hold the object tightly in one place so that you can apply glue easily over the edge and then you can press the edges together with the help of clamp so that they agglutinate strongly.
Carpenters prefer to use bar clamps, parallel jaw clamps or pipe clamps for edge gluing.
You can use clamps for lifting purpose also, for example, F-clamp can be used to lift an object and that is why it’s another name is speed clamp.
Some clamps are mechanically engineered in such a way that you can spread glue over the certain parts of the workpiece by simply pushing a single button.
Adjusting Irregularly Shaped Object
It is really very tough to accomplish a project by attaching an irregular shaped object together. But, as long as you have clamps in your collection this is not a tough task at all. For example, web clamps are used to adjust the irregularly shaped object.
Making a Right Angle
Making a precise right angle is not an easy task if you do not take the help of clamp. Miter clamps allow you to make a perfect right-angled photo frame or butt joints.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is clamp action?
Ans: To describe the basic functions of a clamp according to its design this term clamp action is used.
Q. What do clamping force and applied force mean? Is there any difference between these two terms?
Ans: Both of these terms are related to each other but, there is a basic difference between these two terms.
Clamping force means the amount of force applied to the object and applied force means the minimum amount of force that must be applied to the handle of the clamp to achieve maximum clamping force.
Q. How to measure the capacity of a C-Clamp?
Ans: To measure the capacity of a c-clamp you have to be concerned about 2 facts. One is the size of the span between the jaws and another is the depth of the throat i.e. the space from the centerline of the screw to the edge (inside part) of the frame.
Q. Do the clamps made by IRWIN have a warranty?
Ans: IRWIN provides a lifetime warranty to its clamps. They warrant their product to be defect free in material and workmanship under the condition of normal wear and tear. But, if you cause damage to the clamp because of misuse or alteration, IRWIN will not take the responsibility.
Q. Why some toggle bar features a design of low height?
To ensure maximum clearance for the convenience of working some toggle bar feature a design of low height.
Q. What are P-lock clamps?
Ans: “P” stands for positive. P-lock system is a special locking system that comes as a secondary locking mechanism in certain WOLVERINE and KNU-VISE clamps. It locks the clamp in the open or closed position and you cannot unlock them like typical clamps, you need a lever to unlock them.
A particular woodworking clamp cannot be the best woodworking clamp for all kind of tasks that a carpenter has to perform to finish a project. You have to select your required types of woodworking clamps for your woodshop analyzing the 4 compulsory criteria discussed in the Best Woodworking Clamp Buying Guide included in this article.
Do not get confused seeing a lot of variations of woodworking clamp. We have already done the basic work of selecting the best types of woodworking clamp by analyzing different types of woodworking clamp. Your task is just to determine your requirements and pick up the best woodworking clamps on the basis of your requirement from this list.