As you learn more about the intricacies of woodworking, one thing becomes more apparent by the day: you can never have too many woodworking clamps! A woodworking clamp is a quintessential accessory in most, if not all woodworking projects, big or small.
In essence, you cannot complete a woodworking project successfully without the right set of clamps. For this reason, you have to invest clamps, but not any clamps, your woodworking clamps must be the best. Before we review some of the best woodworking clamps you could buy. But first,
Types of woodworking clamps
Angle Clamps – If you’re looking for clamps to use in your next cabinetry project, you must get angle clamps. The angle clamps are also ideal for building frames, boxes, joinery, drilling, and doweling, among other building works. Thanks to the design of the angle clamps, you can complete that impossible project seamlessly. Note that the angle clamps work well on woodworking projects that call for a bit of creativity and research.Strap Clamps – For your woodworking projects that involve unusual objects, irregular shapes, circles, or picture frames, you’d want to use a strap clamp. Basically, this clamp will handle any atypical project with a large area to be clamped or odd angles.
Bar Clamps – The bar clamp is designed specifically for large projects, tables, or furniture projects, among others. The bar clamp is the most common clamp in woodworking, and it tackles up to 90% of woodworking works. It’s the most expensive clamp.
C-Clamp – The C-Clamp is a popular clamp used for general woodworking projects, as well as metalworking. Because of the size and the C-shape of this clamp, its use is limited as it has little room for maneuvering.
Edge Clamp – The edge clamp is straight and used as a guide for straight cuts using routers and circular saws. The edge clamp is one of the best woodworking clamps ever created! You can use this clamp for straight cuts.
Pipe Clamp – The pipe clamp is easily the most versatile of woodworking clamps since you could attach the clamp to any pipe length for your small or even large projects. Thanks to its versatility, the pipe clamp is regarded as a torque machine. There’s no limit to how much this clamp can do.
Handscrew Clamp – This clamp features a traditional clamp design, and it’s common with shipbuilders and wood wrights. You could use it for cabinetry works too.
Miter Clamp – for projects that require holding down of two (different) pieces of wood together and at a right angle, you could use the miter clamp. It allows the clamping of fixtures at 90-degree angle. For clamping, slide the board of interest in then tighten your grip. The clamp will do the rest.
Top 5 Woodworking Clamps
Notably, the woodworking clamp you buy is determined by your woodworking project. But with the various woodworking projects you will be handling, you can’t have enough of the clams. The five clamps below are some of the clamps you might want to try.
1. Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clamp
If you’re new to woodworking and are unsure about the exact woodworking clamp you will need for the job; you could start your woodworking hobby with this Bessey clamp. It’s ideal for all woodworking projects including nailing, gluing, and any other joining steps that need to bring at least two wood pieces together.
Thanks to this general-purpose clamp, your first day of woodworking will be easier.
This Bessey LM2.004 LM Clamp is a 4-inch high-quality and adjustable bar clamp that’s easy to use. Thanks to its large span, you could use for woodworking projects like wood lamination or other projects that require the application of a substantial amount of force to more than one layer, once.
The efficiency of this clamp is further enhanced by its lightweight design, which allows the use of the clamp on delicate projects, and the ergonomic wooden handle/ grip which enhances comfort and control. It also comes with a protective (non-marring) cap, which prevents damage to the clamp.
Our favorite thing about this clamp is that it replaces the 1, 2 and 3-inch c-clamps. It’s 9x faster than the C-clamp. It boasts high-quality cast-jaws made of brightly drawn steel rails that are serrated on both sides. It also features a 2-inch nominal throat depth that comes with a 4-inch nominal opening.
- Great quality
- Easy to use
- Ergonomic handle
- A few shipping issues
- No locking mechanism
2. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP 1964758 One-Handed Mini Bar Clamps
If you’re looking for the best clamp set that offers great value for money, you might like this clamp set. As mentioned above, you cannot have enough clamps, which is why it would be an excellent idea to buy a set of clamps rather than a single clamp. If you agree with us, you might like the features of these 4 mini bar clamps.
These are regular clamps, but they boast a number of features. For starters, the clamps have non-marring pads which will grip to the material you’re working on firmly, protecting the workpiece from any scratches or scuff marks.
The clamps also feature a quick-grip design which allows these one-handed triggers to release your clams instantaneously. The clamp is easy to use.
Their sturdy resin construction features hardened steel bars which boost the shelf-life of the clamps while preventing bending or flexing. Thanks to the hard-wearing design of the clamp, one clamp delivers 140lbs force. This force is the reason why your work piece stays in place. The clamp distributes its force evenly.
- Four 6-inch one-handed bars
- Resin and steel construction for strength and durability
- Non-marring protective clamp pads protect work surfaces
- One-handed quick-release triggers
- 140lbs of clamping force
- Great for small woodworking projects
- Great rubber cushioning
- It’s not the strongest clamp on the market
- It wears down within a year
- These won’t work for large projects
3. Bessey BPC-H34 3/4-Inch H-Style Pipe Clamp
The H-Style clamps are excellent clamping options when you wish to clamp small pieces of wood together. So, if you’re looking for a clamp that will do this with ease, you could consider this Bessey BPC-H34. Bessey BPC-H34 has a large span, and it fits large/ thick pieces of wood. The large rubber pads at the end of the clamp protect the wood from scuff marks or scratches.
The clamp features a wide base that enhances the clamp’s stability when handling small hand-held pieces. Its H-shaped foot assembly is elegantly designed to stabilize the clamp in a two-dimensional structure, and this creates dual-axis level stability. The clamp’s style means that you don’t have to worry about the clamps tipping over.
This clamp also sports an extra high base which has been designed intuitively to offer the industry’s highest clearance from your work surface.
The cast jaw enhances its durability, and its 4 soft jaw caps prevent damage on the workpiece. The clamp also features zinc-plated clutch components and a threaded spindle that is black oxide coated.
To enhance the function of the clamp, the crank handle clears of the work surface when you open and close the clamp’s jaws.
- Durable cast jaws
- Protective rubber pads
- Large clamping surface
- Padded jaws that prevent scratches and scuff marks
- Great clutching action and strength
- Lightweight but sturdy clamps
- They don’t last too long
- The threads in the shaft wear down with intense woodworking
4. TEKTON 39180 Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp (with 9-Inch Spreader)
If you’re looking for the best mini ratchet bar clamp that offers a continuous, trigger-operated ratchet while applying consistent and precise pressure, you could buy this TEKTON 39180 ratchet bar clamp.
The clamp is easy to use. Just press down on the quick-release button to slide the jaw freely in any direction/ position.
This clamp features strongly reinforced nylon jaw assemblies which hold the workpiece in place with ease. It also comes with soft-jaw pads which protect the workpiece from damage.
You might also like the versatility of this clamp because it allows you to convert the clamp into a spreader. For the conversion, you need to place the fixed jaw on the bar’s opposite end.
This clamp is also quite durable thanks to its drop-forged design, as well as the heat-treated steel jaws. You might also like its precision-machined pivot joints and jaws.
- Sized well for crafts, model-making, tight spaces, and other small projects
- Works as a clamp and a spreader
- Easy to use thanks to the quick-release button that allows the free positioning of the jaw
- The jaws lock in place easily
- Soft and protective jaw pads
- Undersized lever hands
- Weak internal parts made of plastic
5. Evelots Sturdy Spring Clamp Set
If you’re shopping for woodworking clamps for your photos, fabric backdrops, painting, green screens or other home improvement and crafts projects, you might want to try this clamp set. This clamp set features 15 spring clamps, and it’s an ideal fit for all your art projects.
One of the impressive features of this clamp set is the adjustable orange endpoints which will pivot and grip the odd-shaped objects, angles, and shapes.
The clamp set sports a strong and a durable spring mechanism which will keep the muslin clamp tightly in place, holding strongly for any of your woodworking and painting projects. The grip clips are also durable thanks to the construction out of hard and textured plastic, which offers a high degree of longevity and durability. The texturization of the handles give you an excellent grip, as well as a great deal of control.
You might also like that this clamp set is available in different sizes. In the set of 18, you will find 12 small and 6 large clamps, all capable of handling different jobs. The 6 large clamps have a length of 6.25 inches, and they can open up to a height of 2 inches. The smaller clamps, on the other hand, measure 2.5 inches (length) and they open up to 1.5 inches.
- Ideal for small art and home improvement projects
- Great spring clamps
- Durable plastic construction
- Good price
- Since they’re made of plastic, they won’t last too long or handle heavy woodworking jobs
- The flat orange pad flips around when in use
The Uses of Woodworking Clamps
As you know by now, woodworking clamps come in different shapes, types, and sizes. Thanks to these differences, the clamps do different jobs. Some of the uses of the clamps include:
Gluing of edges
If you’re working and you find that one wood board is shorter than expected and unable to complete the job at hand well, you’ll need a clamp to glue the edges together. A bar clamp allows you to clamp your wood pieces tightly until the glue applied sets on the wood. This strategy also works well when you wish to create wide boards.
What happens when your woodworking project requires the use of a chunk of wood that is thicker than the wood pieces available on the rack? Say you need a 3inch thick wood board, but you only have 0.75-inch wood? To stick the different wood pieces to attain the desired size, a clamp will help you glue the boards together.
Holding Parts during machining
When sanding or drilling, you will need to use good clamps to hold the different parts in place safety.
Dry-fitting before assembly
If your new woodworking project requires you to hold together four sides of a blanket chest as you mark and prepare to drill holes, the right clamps will come to your rescue and ensure that you safely and accurately finish dry-fitting. You realize that the alternative, in the absence of the clamps, is growing an extra set of hands! Therefore, clamps are the best woodworkers’ tools.
What’s the Best Woodworking Clamp?
It’s simple, really.
Check the construction design (materials used), the size, and how well that clamp will help you complete your woodworking project. And since the clamps are affordable, you don’t have to worry about the price of your clamp.