A Buying Guide – The Best Woodworking Clamps in 2020

If you ever tried woodworking, you know that the Woodworking clamps are an essential tool for this industry. These tools are suitable for various operations, but it is crucial to choose the right type. That might be hard when there are numerous clamp types on the market.

It is why we prepared a detailed buying guide on finding the best wood clamps for different projects. 

We’ll tell you everything there is to know about these tools – beginners will learn all the basics, and even advanced users might discover something new. 

1. Types of Clamps

Before selected a wood clamp, it is imperative to identify the potential choices. Therefore, we are starting by learning more about different classes of these tools. Check out this detailed information about various types of wood clamps and when to use them.

1.1 C-Clamp (G-Clamp)

C-Clamp on white background

Caption: C-Clamp on white background

C-clamps, also known as  G-clamps. They are our first pick because they are versatile and common among beginners and veteran users.

These wood clamps are affordable, and that makes them accessible for both DIY experts and professionals. You can use them for woodworking, but also basic metalworking. Although their price is budget-friendly, don’t expect these tools to be long-lasting. They wear off over time, and they also have a restricted working area. If you buy a deeper clamp shape, it will offer additional space for adjusting the clamp and the application. 

1.2 Miter Clamp

What if you need to position multiple workpieces at a specific angle and ensure they are not moving? That is where miter woodworking clamps come into play because they are capable of keeping up to three wooden pieces together. Therefore, you can achieve the desired 90-degree angle easily.

All users should do is to place the wooden material inside the clamp. Next, secure the material in the right position, and the tool will hold it as long as necessary. These clamps are often present when drilling miter joints but also for picture frames and moldings.

1.3 Strap Clamp

A strap clamp

Caption: A strap clamp

What if you don’t have a 90-degree angle but an irregular one? If that is the case, you want to go with a strap clamp. These clamps will work whenever their miter alternatives aren’t the right fit. It might be that your frame is of unusual shape, but you still need a tool to hold the pieces properly. 

Strap clamps are capable of working at odd angles. Therefore, you can expect them to meet your expectations and help achieve the desired results. 

1.4 Bar Clamps (F-Clamps)

F-clamps

Caption: F-clamps

If you are a DIY expert, you might be into making furniture or wooden tables. Therefore, you want to use premium tools on your projects, and F-clamps fall into that category. These are durable and long-lasting products, so expect their price tag to be a bit higher than usual.

You can consider F-clamps if you plan on using them in the long run. If you only use the tool once, the cost might not justify it. However, if you often handle DIY projects and make furniture, this tool is the right choice.

1.5 Edge Clamp

As the word suggests, the edge clamp is specific because you mount it on the edge of the wooden material you want to cut. That makes the tool suitable for straight cuts since it can maintain excellent precision and accuracy.

All it takes is to mount the clamp properly, and the experts recommend connecting it to a circular saw. Once the material is firmly in position, use the tool, and rest assured that the cut will remain straight. 

1.6 Pipe Clamp

Pipe clamps

Caption: Pipe clamps

If you want the best results from pipe clamps woodworking projects, this is a tool to include. Working with pipes can include demanding projects, and you often work with large materials. However, pipe clamps can handle oversized workpieces, and users can even consider applying it as a torque machine.

The biggest benefit of these clamps is that they can accommodate small pipes and large tubes. Therefore, the size doesn’t matter for these projects – the pipe clamps will hold the material in place while you are doing the required task.

1.7 Handscrew Clamp

It’s not as popular as it used to be, but you will still notice handscrew clamp in DIY garages and shipbuilding factories. If you are a do-it-yourself expert, you can find this tool convenient for making wooden cabinets. Therefore, this unit also has the name cabinet clamp because it can be useful when building these pieces.

You could say a handscrew clamp is a simple tool. It helps to keep the material for its edge while holding it to the bench, too. That’s not particularly versatile, but it can help with specific projects.

2. Choose the Right Wood Clamps for Your Project

The best clamps for woodworking are the ones that fit your particular project. Therefore, it is imperative to pick an adequate unit for the material.

Before we head into a detailed explanation of suitable clamps for various projects, here is a quick table of appropriate tools.

ProjectClamp Type
Edge gluing panelsBar, pipe
Face gluingF-clamp
Assembling cabinetsParallel jaw
Attaching edge bandingBandy
Securing jigs & workpiecesPistol quick grip, toggle, Hand-Screw, T-track
Clamping around partsRatcheting band

2.1 Edge Gluing Panels

Edge glued panels

Caption: Edge glued panels

Does your project involve gluing panels by their edges? If that is the case, you can’t go wrong with a pipe clamp. Alternatively, you can try a bar tool, too. However, the primary concern is that there is sufficient length to cover the glue width. Also, it’s vital to find a clamp that can hold the panels in position well.

The best choice could be an aluminum bar clamp, but please note these can be expensive. However, if you want excellent stability with ease of use, this is the way to go. On the other hand, those who find the price to be more important can consider a pipe clamp to cover various lengths. However, make sure the material fits into the clamp.

2.2 Face Gluing

Apart from edge gluing, you can also face particular glue components. However, you won’t use a bar or pipe clamp. Instead, it’s vital to choose F-clamp because it allows for completing various projects. That includes bend lamination, making a table leg, etc.

The idea is that the point of force should extend from the material’s end. Therefore, it’s vital to pick a suitable jaw depth. You can consider piston clamps if you want to hold the panels firm in position. These units come with a 90-degree swivel handle to ensure additional leverage.

2.3 Assembling Cabinets

A professional assembling cabinets

Caption: A professional assembling cabinets

Cabinets are among the most common DIY projects that individuals handle at home. Therefore, your job will be easier that you choose the right tool, so make sure to go with parallel jaw clamps. The reason why you want to use them is to ensure equal pressure and positioning on both sides. That can be helpful when designing face frames and cabinet boxes.

The components should be perpendicular, so make sure to combine clamps with assembly squares. Therefore, a jig should place at the right angle. You position the clamp between the two pieces to ensure they remain perpendicular.

2.4 Attaching Edge Banding

Do you need to handle sheet materials? If the answer is yes, you want to go with a bandy clamp. Thanks to that tool, it will be easy to connect a wood edge to a panel. It is a frequent task, which is why these woodworking tools are popular among users.

If you go with a bandy clamp, it will feature an anti-slip pad and a band that moves between the two jaw sections. Therefore, it’ll be convenient to perform the task, but also ensure the cables don’t disturb you while operating.

2.5 Securing Jigs & Work Pieces

Would you like to secure a component by connecting it to another material piece, the tool, or a wood clamp table? If you want to secure jigs and materials, the experts suggest going with one of these:

  • Pistol quick grip – it will only take seconds to connect and detach the component, while the tool will keep it in place. 
  • Hold downs – it’s great if you are working with a bench. You can also choose T-track since it secures additional wiggle room to position the material properly.
  • Handscrew clamps – these are suitable if you need to keep the material at its edge. 
  • Toggle clamps – you can use them for tiny material pieces. 

2.6 Clamping Round Parts

Let’s say you have a box that features mitered corners. What if you need to wrap something around it, but you don’t know which clamp you need?

That is where a ratcheting band clamp comes into play because it’s capable of ensuring proper positioning and comfort while performing the task. Therefore, it’s the right choice for clamping around components.

Section 3.  Woodworking Clamps– How to Use Wood Clamps

Whether you use small or large wood clamps, it’s critical to utilize them properly. If you don’t have any previous experience, you could use a couple of tips on how to work with these tools. Therefore, we prepared a detailed guide, and here are the rules to stick to during the process

Use Scrap Wood

The first thing to do is to ensure that you won’t damage the material you are processing. That is why you want to find a material you don’t need. Place it between the workpiece and the jaws because the idea is to protect the primary material, and not tighten the jaws too much. However, if that happens, the only damaged piece will be the unrequired one, which means the main workpiece will remain in perfect condition.

The Firm Even Pressures

It is all about positioning the clamp properly. You don’t want the workpiece to fall through the clamp in the middle of the operation. Therefore, the initial requirement is to find an appropriate angle. Make sure to position it to the line where you will place the glue.

Next, you want to use a firm and even pressure if you use multiple clamps. That way, you ensure that the workpieces will remain in place during the entire project.

Clamp-On Tight

Using clamps to connect wooden timbers

Caption: Using clamps to connect wooden timbers

We can’t underline the importance of tightening up the woodworking clamps enough. Therefore, don’t hesitate to invest some strength to tighten the jaws. You don’t want them to move even the slightest during operation. It will take a bit of practice to determine the right tightening level. Therefore, you might consider using a couple of practice workpieces first.

Don’t Overdo It

As we said, it takes practice to find the optimal positioning. Therefore, you will need to clamp the workpiece on two sides, which is why the crucial thing to ensure is the pressure is even.

However, make sure you aren’t forcing the workpiece out of position. It’s all in finding the balance between not pressuring too much and ensuring the unit won’t move out of position.

Avoid Surface Damage

Did it ever happen to damage your workpiece while setting up the clamps? That is a possibility, which is why you should be careful. Here is a neat trick – you can consider using simply felt pads as protection to ensure you don’t damage the workpiece. Furthermore, it’s even possible to use milk caps or improvise another material for protection.

Apart from surface damage, it’s vital to ensure the workpiece remains clean.

Section 4. The Best Woodworking Clamps in 2020

Now that you are familiar with different types of woodworking clamps, it’s time to present the best units in the market. Here are some top suggestions in different categories, along with their advantages and downsides.

Sandor 3″ Metal Face Clamp Woodworking

Sandor 3" Metal Face Clamp Woodworking

Caption: Sandor 3″ Metal Face Clamp Woodworking

Features:

  • A three-inch jaw capacity
  • Excellent quality and durability
  • Suitable for various applications

Sandor offers a two-pack set of woodworking clamps with a metal face. These are C-clamps, which makes them versatile and suitable for various projects. You can mount the clamp in seconds, and it’s compatible with up to 2 ¾-inch thick materials. Therefore, it’s possible to use it in carpentry, woodworking, and simple repairs that involve sanding, gluing or carving. 

Evwoge Woodworking Clamp G-Clip

Evwoge Woodworking Clamp G-Clip

Caption: Evwoge Woodworking Clamp G-Clip

Features:

  • An attractive and ergonomic design
  • The grip is comfortable
  • Simple to adjust the desired clamping force

Here is a basic clamp g-clip for those looking for standard clamps to use in their garage. It’s perfect for DIY projects, and it comes with a comfortable grip. You can position the tool easily because of the ergonomic design. Furthermore, it only takes seconds to find the right clamping force and even pressure. The manufacturer used stainless steel as the primary material for the base, and the surface features colored aluminum.

IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps

IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps

Caption: IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps

Features:

  • A lightweight one-handed mini bar
  • Capable of distributing the generous force 
  • Easy to release the clamps

IRWIN designed durable mini bar clamps that are convenient to use. You only need a single hand to release the clamps when mounted. Fortunately, the product has a firm grip and comes with pads that protect the primary material.

It is a surprisingly sturdy clamp that uses 150 pounds of distributed force to keep the material in place. Due to its mini shape, it’s suitable for small materials and restricted areas. You will receive four clamps in a single pack. 

Maxpower F-Clamp

Maxpower F-Clamp

Caption: Maxpower F-Clamp

Features:

  • A 12-inch opening size with an ergonomic handle
  • Protective pads included
  • Suitable for heavy-duty projects

MaxPower F-Clamp is a steel product, which guarantees excellent durability and longevity. That also means you can use the unit for heavy-duty projects. It is capable of holding all materials that fit into its 12-inch opening size firmly in position. It’s nice to see that the manufacturer included protective pads. That guarantees you won’t damage the primary materials. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that MaxPower provides a lifetime guarantee on the item.

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

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

Caption: TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp

Features:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Excellent for consistent pressure
  • Easy to release the jaw from any position

Here is an excellent product for all those who need a ratchet bar clamp. TEKTON implemented a constant ratchet action for optimal pressure at all times. You can release the jaw whenever necessary with the press of a button. The jaws are durable, and they come with pads that ensure you won’t damage the material surface. Additionally, users will appreciate that the handles are comfortable and non-slippery. 

3/4″ Pipe Clamp Fixture with Wide Base

3/4" Pipe Clamp Fixture with Wide Base

Caption: 3/4″ Pipe Clamp Fixture with Wide Base

Features: 

  • The wide base guarantees additional stability
  • A simple handle rotation
  • The enamel finish contributes to the durability

Peachtree Woodworking Supply offers a ¾ pipe clamp suitable for standard-sized tubes and pipes. You will usually handle these in your garage for DIY projects. Therefore, you will appreciate the added stability provided by the wide base. It is easy to turn the handle and find an optimal position. Finally, the baked enamel finish extends the product’s longevity.

Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp

Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp

Caption: Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp

Features:

  • It includes two clamps in a single pack
  • Suitable for 90-degree material clamping
  • A deep jaw depth

If you need parallel jaw bar clamps, Jorgensen has the right ones for you. The manufacturer ensured to secure an ergonomic design, and the result is a comfortable grip and secure holding of the materials. Therefore, these clamps are excellent for 90-degree clamping because they offer a deep jaw depth for optimal and constant pressure.

Section 5 Woodworking Clamps– Frequent Q&A

Do you feel like there is more to learn about woodworking clamps? Here are the answers to the most common questions asked by our visitors. You will learn a lot if you check out the questions below and read the answers carefully.

Which Clamp Type Suits the Common Purpose?

If we are talking about basic tasks, you will find that C or G-clamps are the most common choice. That’s because they are affordable and suitable for a wide range of tasks, especially those related to DIY projects in your garage. That is why they are the most frequent ones purchased by users. 

Now, you will also find that pipe, bar, and other clamps are popular, too. Therefore, it all depends on the project, so make sure to pick accordingly. 

Type of Metal Used in Clamp

Do you want to use clamps for metalworking? The general rule is that sheet metal is suitable for these clamps. So, what is the difference between the common woodworking units? Well, you will notice that the metal clamps feature a wider mechanism. Therefore, they are capable of holding sheet metals and similar flexible materials.

Which Clamps Are Easy to Use?

That is a good question, but you will find that most clamps are fairly simple to use. Some units, like G-clamps and even miter ones, are quite basic, and you will figure them out right away. On the other hand, it might take several minutes to position a strap or pipe clamp properly. However, as soon as you place it optimally the first time, you will feel comfortable using the product in the future.

What Amount of Force Is Suitable for a Clamp?

It is all about finding the right balance. Therefore, you don’t want to use excessive force because you don’t want to damage the workpiece. If you tighten it too hard, you might leave marks, which is why experts recommend using protective pads. On the other hand, you want the pressure to be sufficient to ensure the material doesn’t move during the process but avoid tightening it too much.

Summary

Woodworking clamps are extremely useful tools that can help both DIY enthusiasts and professionals. They simplify working with wooden materials and assist in achieving higher precision. If you want expected results, it’s vital to pick a suitable clamp for your project.

NCCuttingtools is a company that has a rich history of manufacturing various tools for individuals and corporate customers. We gather experts that can follow detailed instructions and prepare customized orders quickly. 

Our turnaround is fast, and you can trust that the tools manufactured will exceed all expectations. If you have any questions regarding woodworking clamps or you want to order premium-quality tools, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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