What Are the Best Woodworking Clamps?
Having the right clamps for your woodworking jobs is vital. Whether it’s for gluing materials, putting drawers together, or making picture frames, a good set of wood clamps will help you achieve optimal results.
Depending on the project, the right clamp may be one of many varieties. So when searching for the best woodworking clamps, you should consider the following points.
Clamps come in many different sizes. Sizes are measured by the jaw capacity, which is the dimension of the largest span that the clamp can open. It’s important to consider all the clamp measures for your project.
If you are edge gluing a table, you will need a larger clamp, such as F-clamp.
The necessary clamping power depends on the weight and size of your object. And although more power seems like the best way to go, it’s not always the case. Too much pressure on your project can cause poor glue-ups, marks on the items, or even damage to the clamp.
F-clamps, pipe clamps, and C-clamps can apply pressure in the range of 400 to 2000 pounds per square inch, while spring clamps can apply significantly less pressure.
Although clamps can be made from a wide range of materials, the best clamps are made from high-quality materials. So when you are investing in better material, you’re investing in longevity and durability, which is important for any woodworker.
Ease of Use
Something important to keep in mind is the ease of use of the clamps. If you have to spend a lot of time using them, you should always consider whether they are designed for operation with one hand or two. In addition, if you will need to take the clamps to another job site often, consider clamps that will be easy to transport.
What Clamps Do I Need for Woodworking?
With plenty of varieties to choose from, it’s beneficial to understand which ones to purchase first and which ones are the most useful.
The first and main factor that comes into play here is the type of work you do. This will help you narrow down your search significantly.
However, the truth of the matter is that while it may not seem like it in the beginning, you will need a good selection of clamps to perform different tasks, especially if you are a professional. After all, no single type of clamp will work in all situations.
Let’s explore some of the basic woodworking tasks and the types of clamps you will need for them.
Holding Small Parts Together
For this purpose, you will need spring clamps. While they might not have a lot of power for holding, they are great for marking and gluing small parts together and are very easy to use. With a few sizes available, they will come in handy in many projects.
Attaching Jigs and Hold-Downs
For this type of project, F-style sliding bar clamps are called for. They are affordable, and you will need them for holding and grouping parts together and attaching jigs and hold-downs to the fence on the table saw.
Assembling Drawers and Panels
To generate some solid clamping pressure, you will want to consider longer F-style clamps. These are great for putting together drawers and panels, and they come with different reaches.
Assembling Furniture and Cabinets
To assemble furniture, cabinets, and gluing up large tabletops, you will need several larger clamps for the job. If you have plenty of building work to do and a good budget, we recommend opting for parallel-jaw clamps. If you have different circumstances, however, you can consider pipe clamps as they are less costly and come in different lengths.
What Is the Best Clamp?
When it comes to determining which clamp is the best, there’s no simple answer. As you already know, that’s because different types of clamps work better in some situations than they do in others. For your convenience, we have listed our top four favourites below.
- Irwin Quick-Grip One-Handed Clamps
Have you been on the lookout for wood clamps that don’t leave marks on your projects or that don’t need extra force to tighten? We think you’ll like these quick-grip clamps made by Irwin. These clamps are unique, and there are no other products like this out there. Some of their impressive features include non-marring pads, clamping power of 140 pounds, and a one-handed trigger.
- Bessey 3/4-Inch H Style Pipe Clamp
Bessey BPC-H34 is one of the best heavy-duty pipe clamps for woodworking. Its H-shaped design ensures additional stability, and the higher bases offer protection for your hands, which is important when working on big projects.
- Yost Tools F124 24″ F-Clamp
If you’re looking for a brace with a large capacity, Yost Tools F-Clamp is one of the best wood clamps you can choose. It’s well-known for its efficiency. This clamp is not only comfortable to operate, but it also boasts excellent clamping power and versatility when working with different shapes.
- WEN 10236F2 Quick-Adjust 36-Inch Steel Bar Clamps
These clamps feature a quick-adjust design where you don’t need to press a single button. If you’re looking for additional grip, the clamp comes with a micro-adjustment knob for your convenience. What’s more, thanks to the non-marring pads, no need to worry about damaging your projects. The 36-inch steel bar with the 2.5-inch throat will offer versatility that’s needed for a variety of projects.
Why Are Woodworking Clamps So Expensive?
When shopping for woodworking tools, you may have noticed that wood clamps can be quite expensive. Are you interested in finding out why? Well, read on because the reasons behind the pricing of wood clamps may surprise you.
The main reason for a hefty price tag is that wood clamps are typically made of good quality materials such as steel, metal, or iron. Of course, you’ll also find cheaper alternatives made of plastic, but they won’t be as long-lasting and efficient as those made of metal.
We always say that it’s better to invest in a good clamp one time and ensure that you can count on them, rather than buying new ones time and time again.
Durability and Quality
You may already know this, but manufacturers of high-quality clamps always make sure to offer woodworkers wood clamps that are as tough and durable as possible. This is not only important for the quality of your workpieces but also for your own convenience.
For instance, many woodworking tools and accessories, such as sandpaper, are consumable and have to be bought on a regular basis. One excellent pair of wood clamps, on the other hand, can last for an impressively long time without needing to replace it. So even though you may go a bit over your budget, this may be more cost-effective long-term.
Supply and Demand
Another factor that can affect the prices of woodworking clamps is the relationship between the supply and demand of the clamps. For example, if there is an increase in supply, prices tend to drop lower. But when there is a decrease in supply, prices tend to rise higher. Now, when demand for woodworking tools increases but supply remains the same, the prices go up and vice versa.
Parallel Clamps are an essential tool for any woodworker. These clamps are named parallel because the jaws remain parallel to each other when you tighten them.
They are versatile heavy-duty clamps that are highly valued for their clamping power and capacity, as they can hold up to 3 to 4 inches of wood.
Uses and Benefits
The most important objective of parallel clamps is that they make it much easier to hold and grip objects that are difficult to grasp when working on them. This is important because some pieces can slip and break, especially if they are fragile. Parallel clamps will also help you complete the work much faster and easier.
They are great for clamping or gluing up boxes and cabinets and are suitable for any woodworking project.
They can also be used for many other purposes:
Holding objects in place. This is the most basic function of any clamp, and parallel clamps provide strong support.
Welding. These clamps are effective when it comes to melting and shaping parts made of metal.
Metalworking. Parallel clamps make it easy to hold two metal pieces together and join them.
Lifting objects. You can use parallel clamps to lift work objects off the ground and have a better view of them.
How To Use Parallel Clamps
To use parallel clamps, you will need to insert your object between the two clamps to tighten the purposes by pulling from the two opposite directions.
All parallel clamps feature a fixed jaw at one end of the bar and a sliding one that moves along the bar. When it comes to most models, the sliding jaw crashes into the fixed jaw when held vertically and often cannot be controlled. Some, however, include a trigger that can be used to tighten the jaw without backsliding.
Best Parallel Clamps
Parallel clamps are a must-have tool when it comes to professional woodworking projects in order to keep your workpieces secure and safe.
When looking for new parallel clamps to add to your selection of tools, there are more than a few options that can suit your needs. So if you are still considering, here you will find out which ones to choose from and what features they include.
Bessey K-Body Revolution Parallel Clamps
Bessey is the most popular clamp among parallel woodworking clamps. One of the main reasons why we recommend this clamp is that it’s made of high-quality steel, and it’s designed to handle clamping of up to 1700 lbs, which is extremely useful in any woodworking project. Thanks to the many useful features, you can rely on it to keep your work object safe.
Bora Parallel Woodworking Clamp
This woodworking clamp features a 3.5-inch wide padded jaw, which provides even pressure of up to 1,100 lbs. It helps ensure that no damage is caused to the material and comes in various lengths: 12″, 24″, 31″, 40,” and 50.”
JORGENSEN Cabinet Master 24 Inch 90 Degree Parallel Steel Bar Clamp
This parallel steel bar clamp boasts protected castings, reinforced steel, and a reverse head, which make it easy to use and adjust. With the ability to handle 1,000 pounds of weight and the maximum capacity of 24 inches, it makes for a strong and durable parallel clamp.
POWERTEC 71368 Woodworking Parallel Clamps 24-Inch
We recommend this parallel clamp for its many benefits. It’s an excellent affordable option for those on a limited budget who don’t want to compromise on quality.
This 24-inch parallel jaw clamp set comes as a pack of 2 pieces. With a clamping force of 880 lbs, a handle with a soft grip, cold steel rail, and removable jaw pads, it’s a durable and easy-to-use clamp.
Bessey is one of the most popular clamp brands out there. They are recommended for both professional woodworkers, as well as DIY craftsmen. And although they can run more on the expensive side, they have proven to be of high quality, especially because most Bessey clamps are made of high-quality profiled steel, which makes them strong and long-lasting.
They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and mechanisms, so there is a wide selection of various clamps that are suitable for many different projects. For your convenience, below are some of the types of woodworking clamps Bessey offers.
● Bessey Angle and Mitre Clamps
Perfect for clamping pieces with various thicknesses and angles directly into the joint.
● Bessey Pipe Clamping Sets
High-quality heavy-duty pipe clamps for large woodworking projects.
● Bessey Body and Area Pressure Clamps
A wide range of body and area pressure clamps, which are, essentially, a great selection of parallel clamps.
● Bessey Edge Clamps
Edge clamps that provide the necessary pressure to clamp the sides of your piece firmly.
● Bessey GearKlamp
A unique selection of one-of-a-kind transmission clamps.
● Bessey Lever Clamps
Lightweight, quick-release clamps that can be used for a variety of work applications
● Bessey Band Clamps
Lightweight clamps with straps designed to surround the whole workpiece.
● Bessey Screw Clamps
An assortment of sturdy clamps that use a screw mechanism.
● Bessey One-Handed Clamps
Woodworking clamps that allow you to operate with one hand.
● Bessey Rafter Clamps
These rafter clamps were designed for repeat angle cuts for stairs and rafters.
● Bessey Spring Clamps
An excellent range of high-quality spring clamps that will help you hold small objects together.
● Bessey Table Clamps
Find the right table clamp for woodworking projects that involve attaching tables and desks and secure fastening of guide rails.
● Bessey Toggle Clamps
Bessey offers a good range of toggle clamps, which will hold your wood objects in the right place and position.
Types of Woodworking Clamps
Trigger clamps are known for being small, handy, and lightweight. To recuse the risk of damaging your piece, they come with plastic pads around the jaws. Due to the main material used being plastic, trigger clamps are perfect for small woodworks. They feature a handle for tightening or loosening the grip quickly. It’s never a bad idea to have a few pairs ready to be used.
Pipe clamps are heavy-duty clamps that are popular for being sturdy. The clamp and the pipe need to be obtained separately because various pipe lengths can be used. However, keep in mind that tube thickness needs to be the same as the clamp. Pipe clamps are an excellent choice for larger projects, such as making a glue-up for a tabletop.
C-shaped clamps are primarily made of metal, and they have been used for many years. They come in a wide range of sizes and boast a handle that needs to be turned to tighten or loosen your piece. C clamps are a good choice for clamping softwood and hardwood and are often used for industrial applications.
Bar clamps essentially work in a similar way to pipe clamps, with the main difference being a smaller size. They come with paddings on the jaw for wood protection and a turning knob, which is used to adjust the pressure of the grip on the workpiece. They are excellent for all-around use and various projects.
Corner clamps help secure the corners of your piece while linking them together. While they do come in different sizes, they are typically small in comparison to other clamps. Corner clamps hold two objects at a 90° or 45° angle before attaching them, which helps ensure square corners. They are a great choice for making shelving joints, cabinets, drawers, boxes, and frames.
Best Clamps for Glue-Ups
When it comes to glue-ups in woodworking projects, you need to plan your steps ahead and take your time to get it right because there’s no going back once the glue has set.
To finish the project before the glue dries, you’ll need the right tools to hold your pieces together. This is why clamping the necessary objects has proven to play an imperative role in achieving optimal glue-up results.
So which types of clamps are best for glue-ups? Let’s find out.
Pipe clamps are one of the most useful clamps when it comes to gluing up a piece of furniture or a workbench that’s too big for another type of clamps, such as parallel clamps or F-style clamps.
Wooden hand-screw clamps have been in use for many years and are still considered to be very useful. They work great as cauls during panel glue-ups, and they are commonly used for smaller workpieces.
As you already know, parallel clamps are known for their impressive clamping power and versatility, which is why most woodworking shops will have them—a truly great tool for furniture or panel glue-up tasks.
Ratcheting clamps may not be as powerful as some other woodworking clamps, but they are very convenient. With its quick-release trigger, you can easily clamp two pieces of wood together with one hand. Perfect for glue-ups that don’t need a lot of pressure.
Spring clamps make for a very affordable option that is great for glue-ups that require very light pressure and holding more delicate pieces.
C-Style clamps offer plenty of clamping pressure that can be used for plenty of woodworking tasks. But when it comes to glue-ups, they come in extra handy for keeping panels flat during gluing processes.
Best Woodworking Clamps UK
There are plenty of great woodworking clamps to choose from, which can make it difficult to decide which one to go for, especially when it comes to a specific type of project. And as you now know, not only are there a lot of clamp types, but also plenty of various price ranges. So after taking all this into consideration, sometimes all you want to do is just see which one is the best and most recommended for your intended purpose.
This is why we thought we’d make your life easier and share our list of best woodworking clamps that can be purchased in the UK with you.
Here are some of the highest-rated clamps for woodworking based on different online platforms and our own recommendation:
Best spring clamp: WORKPRO 16-Piece Nylon Spring Clamp Set
● Tight and long-lasting hold
● Finish protected with pads
● Comfortable grip
● Three jaw sizes
Best pipe clamp: Bessey BPC-H34 3/4-Inch H Style Pipe Clamp
● Adjustable clamping width
● H-style base for stability
● Crank handle
● Soft jaw caps for damage prevention
● Threaded spindle
Best parallel clamp: Bessey KRJR18 K Body REVO JR, 18-Inch Parallel Clamp
● Large surface jaws
● Accurate 90-degree angles
● Removable pressure caps
Best corner clamp: Housolution Single Handle Right Angle Corner Clamp
● Right angle clamp, made of premium
● Premium aluminium alloy die-casting material.
● Single handle with an adjustable jaw
Best C-clamp: IRWIN 225123 Deep Throat C-Clamp
● Deep throat
● Larger handle
● Double-threaded screw
● Larger swivel pad
Best F-clamp: WORKPRO Heavy Duty Quick Slide F Clamp
● High-quality metal
● Quick Slide Design
● Durable handle
● Cast iron jaws that resist corrosion
Overall best: IRWIN IRHT83220 Quick-Grip Clamp Set, 8 Piece
● A set of three types of clamps: mini bar clamps, spring clamps, and handi-clamps
● Quick-release triggers
● Reinforced resin