Best Clamps

John Kopischke
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Regardless of whether you’re into woodworking, metalworking, upholstery, aerospace, or another trade, you’re going to eventually need some clamps for DIY projects. And of course, in real DIY projects we’re referring to home projects, not building a deck or house additions.

Clamps are one of those things that every household should have. They should be the sort of thing that you “let someone borrow.” You know, just to help a neighbor out or perhaps a friend that needs that one last clamp for the project.

I’m on the hunt for the best pipe clamps because I use them for all sorts of projects. A bench vise, clamp bars, and regular C-clamps are great, but pipe clamps rock! They are much more versatile.

A good example of useful pipe clamps I made recently are a vacuum lift system. I use them to quickly lift engines and other heavy parts. (view the project here.) Pipe clamps are even more useful than a crane because you can grow them to the length and force you need by bolting them together.

NameCategoryProduct
Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar ClampBest OverallBessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch SpreaderBudget PickTEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader
Pony 8510BP Cabinet ClawUpgrade PickPony 8510BP Cabinet Claw

1. Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Holds your workpiece in place while you tighten
  • Affordable
  • Easy to operate
  • Useful for many tasks
  • Durable
  • The frames are designed to look like they’re welded together, even though they’re pressed

Like the Bessey GSC4.523, the Bessey GSCC2.524 is a highly versatile bar clamp. Whether you’re using it to hold your work piece in place while you tighten other clamps or for clamping two workpieces together, it’s a great one to have in your toolkit.

2. Can-Do Clamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Can-Do Clamp

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Pros:

  • Extra strong and durable
  • Accommodates multiple sizes
  • Can connect multiple clamps for large jobs
  • Great, low cost alternative due to its durability
  • Great for woodworking projects or home renovations
  • Can be used on curved or irregular surfaces

The can-do clamp has earned its reputation as one of the most useful tools you could have lying around your house.

Its sheer versatility makes it a worthy “must have” for any homeowner. These rugged clamps can securely hold wood, plastic, metal, and just about anything else you could imagine.

If you need them to grab a crooked piece of furniture, they can. If you need them to hold something flat, they can.

3. Yost LV-4 Home Vise 4-1/2"

Our rating: 8 / 10

Yost LV-4 Home Vise 4-1/2"

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Pros:

  • Has a 4-Inch by 1/2-inch jaw
  • Great quality for the price
  • Screws are made from quality materials
  • Stands up to heavy use
  • Comes with 5/8-inch jaw inserts

The Yost LV-4 is a great vise that would do well in any garage, workshop or hardware store. This vise is great for professionals as well as remodelers, carpenters, hobbyists, and mechanics.

The Yost LV-4 Home Vise is made from cast iron, which serves as a durable base to clamp down anything, from wood to metal. It can withstand years of heavy use.

The operating screw that expands the jaw is made of steel, which means that it can exert plenty of force without snapping.

4. Pony 8510BP Cabinet Claw

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pony 8510BP Cabinet Claw

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Works on most surfaces
  • Can be used in tight spaces
  • Holds up to 30 lbs.
  • Holds tight on impact
  • Can be used as an alternative to nails
  • Portable
  • Excellent alternative to traditional caulking
  • Improves home security

Cons:

  • Can lock up when pressure is applied
  • Can be difficult to lock and unlock
  • Can accidentally release if too much pressure isn’t applied
  • Can be difficult to remove
  • May leave dents on surfaces

The result of a German innovation, these clever little clamps provide a great alternative to nailing things to your walls.

Pony Clips are great for hanging things from plaster, cinderblock, brick, and other thick materials. They’re easy to use because you just hook the hook around the back of what you want to hang on. Then, you press the button to open the claw, and secure it firmly on the hooks rim until it clicks.

Teachers love to use the Pony 8510BP Cupboard Claw in their classrooms when organizing their craft supplies. These clamps can also be used with a wide variety of accessories, and are perfect for hanging pictures.

5. Kreg KHCRA Automaxx Right Angle Clamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kreg KHCRA Automaxx Right Angle Clamp

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Pros:

  • The high cost of this tool makes it better suited for the professional or serious DIY users.

If you’re looking for extremely straight and strong joints there’s nothing better than the Kreg KHCRA Automaxx Right Angle Clamp. It comes with a 20 year warranty and is made from heavy duty steel.

6. Festool 491594 Quick Clamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Festool 491594 Quick Clamp

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Pros:

  • Non-marring clamp to secure a Festool guide rail to wood
  • Removes quickly with a screw-type quick-release mechanism
  • Can be locked in the open position
  • Has a removable protective cap

7. Corner Clamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

Corner Clamp

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Pros:

  • Extremely functional
  • Solid construction for sturdy clamping
  • Very durable and can be used for a long time
  • Affordable pricing
  • All positive reviews
  • Easy to use and can be placed anywhere
  • Can be used to clamp wood, metal, glass, etc.

Cons:

  • Three hands needed while placing and clamping
  • The screw can get stripped easily
  • Smaller than expected
  • No tool included for clamping
  • Can be used for heavy work but does vibrate

8. E-TING 4Pcs Hand Tool Toggle Clamp 201B Antislip Red Horizontal Clamp 201-B Quick Release Tool

Our rating: 8 / 10

E-TING 4Pcs Hand Tool Toggle Clamp 201B Antislip Red Horizontal Clamp 201-B Quick Release Tool

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Pros:

  • Budget Friendly
  • Sturdy

Toggle clamps are a staple for many DIY enthusiasts. They can secure various materials of all shapes. These clamps have a soft rubber padded jaw design that allows for a better grip without marring the material it is clamped. The ratchet allows for fast adjustment and precise angle positioning.

9. "IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps Set

Our rating: 7 / 10

"IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps Set

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Pros:

  • Steel construction for durability
  • Max load capacity = 30 lbs
  • Full lineup of screw in point and groove fasteners
  • Notched designs for easy clamping
  • Built to last

Cons:

  • Not enough leverage for bulky jobs
  • No magnetic tips

The IRWIN QUICK-GRIP is a good buy for the money and will handle most jobs around the house. They are built to last, and the plastic coating on the handles isn’t prone to failing or snapping.

The handles are a little on the short side, so the discomfort may be more noticeable when using a more bulky or awkward piece. The quik-grip is a fav with us here at Rock Your Life, they have saved us on many occasions and are a key tool in our tool box.

10. TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader

Our rating: 7 / 10

TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit very well over a long span.
  • Looking for the best essential tools you should have in your garage? The TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader is a must-have in your arsenal as it lets you clamp, hold and spread, plus it is 6 inches long and has a spreader bar that comes in handy when you need to clamp thin objects.

When it comes to nailing pieces down, the TEKTON Bar Clamp is your best option. Trust me if I tell you that you will figure out more uses for this clamp as time goes by. I just tell you that you will be surprised by its functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best clamps?

Clamps are used for a wide variety of work, from assembling furniture to clamping valves closed. They are very handy. However, with so many different types of clamps on the market, it's hard to choose which one to buy. Which clamp should you use for the project you have in mind?

What are the best bar clamps?

The best bar clamps are the ones that you trust with your most important projects. If you trust a clamp to hold your work, then it doesn’t matter if it is the cheap or expensive option. However, if you are a beginner or have a tight budget to work within then expect to get what you pay for.

You need to make sure that the clamps are strong enough to hold the load that they are designed to hold. The largest that you can afford will be the best. If they are the most expensive available, then you can rest assured that they are of the highest quality.

If you have a tight budget, then look for the best deals in the hardware store. They should come with comfort features that will ease hand fatigue and extend the period of time during which they can be worked.

What clamps do I need for woodworking?

A clamp can do anything from holding down your wood projects to fastening anything you can position a screw into. Clamps come in a wide array of sizes with a variety of connectors, screw types, and handles.

Here are some of the most common clamps to consider for your woodworking projects. Hopefully, you’ll find one you know will be useful for your next project.

Are Irwin clamps good?

Yes! The Irwin Tools clamps are actually great clamps. They are sturdy enough to carry just about any project you can throw at them. They are also very easy to tighten and loosen with their smooth ratcheting action, making it possible to squeeze some of those tight spaces most other clamps simply won’t reach.

Another great thing about these clamps is the price. These clamps are very affordable compared to some others on the market. The only downside is their weight. They are a bit on the heavy side compared to others I have tried, but they are still much lighter than almost all of the clamps on the market.

You might want to consider keeping a few of their smaller plastic clamps on hand for the smaller projects as you will find them easier to carry around.

Conclusion

With so many different types and makes to choose from, we take you through the considerations that we think are key for choosing best poultry clamps. We also review top clamps from different brands and decide which ones should be on top of your list to narrow down the choices.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar ClampBest OverallBessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch SpreaderBudget PickTEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader
Pony 8510BP Cabinet ClawUpgrade PickPony 8510BP Cabinet Claw