One would think that woodworking is centered on cutting wood and nailing one plank to another, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, in situations where gluing and fitting are needed, the best is always a couple of quality wood planks.
Even though the clamping itself is fairly simple, there are numerous different wood clamp types which require different caution and different project types. Because clamps are often wrongly used and somewhat stigmatized, we’ve decided to take matters into our own hands and clarify the conundrum around them.
If you intend to use wood clamps, finding the best ones should be your quest. In this article, we’ve decided to take a look at the best wood clamps on the market and analyze all the ways in which wood clamps can improve your projects. They are fairly immense and we hope they’ll aid you in your future woodworking endeavors.
Uses For Wood Clamps
Although they are one of the simplest tools out there, wood clamps have a plethora of distinct uses and ways to be applied to any woodworking project. They are the staple of every workshop and contain lots of benefits for both the look of the project and the degree of difficulty at which you’re doing it. These are just some of the uses of this brilliant tool:
- Wood-to-wood gluing – Many times there is a situation where you have to get a thicker plank or a bigger chunk, and your only option is to glue two pieces together. When administering wood clamps, you make sure that the pieces stick as fast as possible and as strongly as possible.
- Edge connection – Sometimes, a piece is neither wide nor long enough for the project. The only solution is sticking them together. Choosing the best woodworking clamp will make sure the bond is tight and durable.
- Dry-fitting parts before the actual construction – Before you connect the parts with actual glue, you’re going to need to take some time and experiment with different connections, to see how they fit. Clamps can help you dry-fit multiple parts of wood, to give you a picture of how to connect the parts afterward.
- Holding parts when working on them – When working with dangerous tools such as drills, sandpaper grinders, and similar workshop aids, it’s important to know that your project won’t fly away or move and risk being damaged.
- Increasing the precision of cuts and holes – If the piece is held firmly, you will have the best possible position to conduct precise incisions and insertion. Although sometimes it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is a big difference if you’re looking to improve the quality of your projects.
A Guide To Different Types Of Clamps
When you’re looking for the best woodworking clamps, there is often a myriad of things to consider. Most would agree that the most important one is the type of the clamp itself.
If you’re looking to perform edge gluing, you’re going to need pipe or bar clamps. If your goal is gluing a few boards to hold them while the glue adheres, your aim should be an F-clamp. By choosing the right type of wood clamps, your woodworking projects will be more precise than ever. These are the basic types and the differences between them are:
- Bar clamps - If you’re intending to perform some edge gluing, there’s no better aid than the famous bar clamps. They are custom ordered and can come in just about any size you want. Some consider the fact that they have a bar connected to them a big downside, but they still remain popular in workshops around the world.
- Pipe clamps – You can easily construct your own set of pipe clamps, by getting all the necessary clamp pieces and applying them to parts of the pipe. If you’re persistent in collecting such clamps, you can create a formidable collection of various length clamps which can become useful during some later projects.
- F-clamps – People often mix them up with bar clamps, just because they resemble them given the fact that they have a bar as a base of the whole clamp. What is different is that F-clamps fixate the clamps far away from the main part. The distance is usually 2-3 inches and it can allow you to reach parts further than the regular bar clamps. They’re also known for their versatility – you can not only hold wood while gluing it, you can also have them as stabilizers during some modifying work. Clamping tables and sanders is also an excellent use of the F-clamp. This versatility makes them a valuable addition to any workshop or tool box.
- Hand screw clamps – They are usually comprised out of two big pieces of wood, which are connected by wood-handled screws. You should always have them in your toolbox because they do a wonderful job with clamping projects to benches. Edge gluing is not the strong suit of these wood clamps, as they have limited capacity.
What To Consider When Buying Wood Clamps
The entire process of choosing the best wood clamps doesn’t have to be either a stressful one or a confusing one at that. A thing that can always aid you and help you find the right solution is knowing exactly the type of work you need the wood clamp for. In order to help you with your choice, we’ve decided to round up all the crucial factors that matter when looking for the best woodworking clamp.
- The right type of clamp – When pondering about which wood clamp to purchase, ask yourself this – for what do I exactly need this clamp? Edge gluing, face clamping and work stabilization all require different types. Picking the right one can immensely help you with any project.
- The material of the plank itself – Most clamps, usually F-ones, are made of plastic nowadays. This isn’t your regular material, but an industrial grade type of plastic meant to withstand years of constant pressure. Metal is also a good option, but they don’t take a lot of beating, so you won’t need a hard one. Hand screw clamps should have their wooden parts preferably made out of oak or maple, to ensure maximum strength and safety. The strength of the wood is determined by scratching it, in case the exact kind isn’t specified anywhere
- What are the handles made from – Nowadays, even the best wood clamps can have handles made out of extremely strong wood. Any other material can last for years. The first thing you should do when assessing the state of a clamp is to look if the handles have cracks or structural weaknesses.
The Five Best Wood Clamps: The Reviews
After a grueling few months of research and testing, a decision is to be made. Now that you have a substantial amount of knowledge about the inner workings of wood clamps, it’s safe to say that you are ready to make the big choice.
We’ve taken into consideration all different types of gluing and drilling, so these wood clamp models are truly the best of the best when it comes to everything. We hope that this list will aid you in finding that ideal wood clamp for you!
IRWIN tools present yet another facet of the tool world in which they excel in. Cheap and efficient has always been a staple of their products and this excellent wood clamp model just further proves the claim. We’re looking at one of the best wood clamps on the market currently.
- The non marring pads helps to hold a firm grip in order to protect the wood work in process.
- The one hand triggers provided on the clamp ensures an instant release.
- Using hardened steel bars, the product helps to prevent any amount of flexing and bending.
- Just so you don’t have to worry about holding it too tight, a clutch lock mechanism allows to clamp smaller workpieces.
- It helps you to work in small workshops on workshops.
- Made of resin bodies and hardened steel bars, it ensures strength and durability to its workers.
- Leaves no dent after the job is done.
- Excellent with short and easily reachable parts of wood.
- The product life is almost a year. After few months, it loses the grip.
- There micro clamps are way too small.
ATE Pro went with a different approach with this wood clamp model. Instead of applying some innovations, they’ve decided to both lower the price and remain to the values of old-school, traditional wood clamp models. That reliability is just what makes this one of the best wood clamps available.
- With three different lengths to choose from, you can accommodate your purchase to the exact needs in the workshop.
- The wooden parts go through a special strengthening process and remain immune to scratches and strain.
- Stainless steel to go along with the wood makes a great combo.
- Excellent value for the price, promotions are offered.
- Wood is able to withhold immense amounts of pressure.
- Screws remain intact for a long time, good for securing the project during drilling.
- There are some issues with the size of the clamp, there aren’t many sizes to choose from and in one instance, the jaws couldn’t open as much as they should.
Bessey made an excellent move and decided to put out the ideal medium-duty clamp that can be administered to any project, be it heavy industrial work or just regular home use. At a reasonable price, you will surely get one of the best wood clamps on the market
- A nickel plated bar ensures a certain amount of flexibility, without compromising the toughness of the metal.
- Cast heads for the screws are easy to grasp and are almost impossible to get stuck.
- Jaws are iron coated that easily slides. These can be used to hold metal together while doing work on it.
- It’s not a heavy duty clamp, so there is a certain amount of caution to have before working with it.
- Improved simplicity of use, it takes only a few seconds to master the workings of this wood clamp.
- A good warranty is included, which is unusual for wood clamps.
- Aside from wood, metal and some other materials can be easily clamped.
- After a few months of use with metal, slipping may ensue.
- Packaging is not always well executed.
Despite the rising number of innovations with wood clamps, Grizzly stays true to their persistence in producing the best wood clamps in old-school fashion. With a strengthened structure and some added metals in the alloy of the screws, this wood clamp can surely compete with the best of them.
- Strengthened maple wood for the ultimate experience of classic wood clamps.
- The weight stands at 1.5 lbs, which makes it strong enough for work and light enough for transport.
- A good 12-inch capacity, makes it versatile and useful in even some bigger projects.
- The return policy is very generous when confronting errors.
- Excellent quality and especially simple for beginners to work with.
- Very resilient screws in comparison to previous models.
- When it comes to the size of a project, this wood clamp can easily accommodate.
- The wood starts chipping after about two months of use.
Tekton might be a relatively unknown brand to most people, but this American company is already legendary and very valued amongst professionals. This latest model had no problems in entering the best wood clamps list. It is a bar clamp that is ready to take on the most challenging tasks in any environment.
- An extremely heavy-duty clamp with soft jaws that holds the piece of work and protects it.
- The position of the jaw is appropriate that eases the functioning of quick release button.
- Strongly helds the work pieces intact with each other by using efficient mini ratchet bar clamp.
- Easily converts into a spreader simply by loosening wingnuts.
- A wide range of work makes it a great investment for future endeavors.
- Ideally suitable for performing small-time projects or crafts.
- It provides hassle free support to its users. It is used to build, fix, remodel or restore..
- Trigger part made of plastic gets deformed on applying excess of pressure.
- The red tips does not remains fixed for a longer time.
- Release button does not works properly, as expected.
The Verdict – Which One To Buy?
After the numerous tests we’ve conducted, it’s safe to say that selecting a clear cut winner was a borderline impossible task. To be clear, all the wood clamps on this list are top notch and the only reason to prefer one over the other is personal taste.
However, our recommendations would be:
- The IRWINQUICK wood clamp is excellent if you’re thinking of making an investment for the future. It can perform any task given and is good for more difficult tasks.
- If you’re looking for simpler stuff, we would recommend the Grizzly wood clamp, as you get the best bang for the buck and many months of excellent performance.
Regardless of your choice, we hope that you select the best wood clamps for you and that you have much success in your woodworking endeavors!