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Best Clamps

Updated June 2022
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
Bessey
GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

This clamp is a perfect fit, balancing quality and price; our DIY expert likes the long reach, which works for large projects.

Pros

Delivers good holding force without the worry of warping or breaking parts off. Tightens well with no play in the mechanism, allowing for a precise hold.

Cons

Release button can be awkward to use. Will bow out a bit when clamping heavier materials together.

Best Bang for the Buck
IRWIN Quick-Grip Camps
IRWIN
Quick-Grip Camps
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One-Handed Operation
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A set of cleverly designed mini-clamps that our expert owns and loves.

Pros

This pack includes four Irwin mini-clamps that feature a 6-inch bar. They are equipped with non-marring pads which are designed to protect your work from damage. Each clamp is capable of delivering 150 pounds of clamping force.

Cons

Because these mini-clamps only have a 6-inch bar, they are best for lighter-duty clamping tasks.

Yost LV-4 Home Vise, 4 Inch
Yost
LV-4 Home Vise, 4 Inch
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Most Practical
Bottom Line

An inexpensive vise for the garage workshop that our expert recommends for smaller jobs.

Pros

Buyers like its utility and price. Included diagram makes mounting measurements easy. Rust-resistant. Clamps precisely enough to crimp wires.

Cons

Multiple reports of “slop” in the swivel pivot bolt, making it hard to tighten the vise. Metric bolts required to mount vise to your workbench. Some reports of breakage at the jaw. Unit is smaller than some expected.

MLCS 9001 Can-Do Clamp
MLCS
9001 Can-Do Clamp
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

A great assembly clamp; our expert notes that corner braces are a must-have for woodworkers.

Pros

Ability to “swivel” a bit, which is helpful when assembling frames or cabinet angles. Can tilt to hold different wood thicknesses. Versatile and sturdy. Lightweight cast aluminum construction.

Cons

Limits the size of what can be clamped; shims may help ensure a secure fit. Some users prefer a clamp that doesn’t give or shift when tightened. Doesn’t work as well on larger-dimension lumber.

Tekton 39180 Mini 6-Inch by 1.5-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and Spreader
Tekton
39180 Mini 6-Inch by 1.5-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and Spreader
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Best for Small Projects
Bottom Line

A versatile but small clamp for light projects that earns our expert's approval.

Pros

Suitable holding power for light- and medium-duty projects. Spreading feature can be easily engaged. Offers easy, handheld operation. Features quick-release button.

Cons

Reversed release and tighten controls take getting used to. Multiple reports of ratcheting handle breaking after a short period. Smaller than some expected, and a few owners find the clamp flimsy.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

65
Models
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64
Consumers
Consulted
12
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Researched
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Buying guide for Best clamps

Whether you work in a professional trade, like to tackle DIY tasks, or enjoy hobbies working with various materials, chances are you have used a clamp. Clamps, which hold two objects together with inward pressure, are invaluable to anyone who works with his or her hands.

Today you can find a clamp that will suit just about any job, regardless of the objects you need to join. But with so many clamps available, how do you choose?

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Regardless of whether you work with tools for a living, a hobby, or to fix things around the house, keeping a variety of clamps on hand will help you be prepared for any type of project that comes along.

Benefits of clamps

Whether you build structures for a living or you live for spending time putting wood components together in your workshop, you probably can’t accomplish everything you need to do without using clamps.

Clamps are necessary for many applications in plumbing, metalworking, woodworking, construction, and more. While some types of clamps can be used as permanent fasteners, others come in handy when securing pieces together with glue, screws, or nails.

There are many benefits to these useful tools.

  • Clamps are a must-have device for almost any trade, hobby, or DIY project that requires fastening two objects together.

  • Clamps are easy to use. Some can even be operated with one hand.

  • There are different types of clamps available for clamping everything from thin materials to large metal pieces.

  • Woodworkers use clamps to fasten pieces together while building tables, cabinets, shelves, and more.

  • Clamps are also useful for minor tasks around the house, such as attaching garden hoses to spigots or clamping toys together while you repair them.

  • Clamps can be used temporarily or permanently, depending on the application and objects fastened together.

Types of clamps

Different types of clamps are suited to different tasks and materials. Let’s take a look at the different types of clamps and their uses.

Hose clamp

Anyone who has worked with hoses has likely used a hose clamp. It’s one of the most common types of permanent clamps, and it is used to attach hose pieces together or onto fittings.

Clip clamp

Though not intended for heavy-duty use, these clamps are practical for clipping lightweight items together. Their design is similar to spring clamps, though they are limited to small household tasks.

Easy turn clamp

This clamp is easy to use and adjust, hence the name, thanks to its screw-in mechanism. It’s a good choice for DIYers and hobbyists, but an easy turn clamp isn’t ideal for heavy-duty fastening.

Bar clamp

Suitable for large objects, this powerful clamp provides consistent, reliable pressure for woodworking and metalworking tasks. A bar clamp holds components in place while they are permanently secured with glue, screws, welding, or other methods. Because of its shape, a bar clamp is sometimes referred to as an F-clamp.

Expert Tip

When using clamps that don't have soft bumpers, apply fuzzy chair leg bumpers to clamp heads to prevent denting surfaces.

BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Marman clamp

Also called a Marman ring, this heavy-duty clamp is made for tubular items like pipes and is used permanently to keep two sides fastened together.

Vise clamp

A vise clamp is needed for large, heavy materials and major jobs that require reliable, steady pressure. Vises are suitable for professionals, frequent DIYers, and serious hobbyists, and they make a practical addition to workshops.

Spring clamp

This type of clamp is one of the easiest to use. A spring clamp, also called a pinch clamp, can be used with one hand by squeezing the spring-operated mechanism. Though not intended for use on large, heavy objects or for keeping objects together for long periods of time, this type of clamp is the perfect tool for temporary use. As the name implies, a pinch clamp is ideal for fast, efficient clamping.

Mitre clamp

A must-have for builders, mitre clamps hold wooden joints together at precise angles until they are permanently fastened together with screws.

C-clamp

A C-clamp is also sometimes referred to as a G-clamp. Its name comes from its shape. This device works with a screw-type tightening mechanism. A C-clamp is for holding components together during woodworking and metalworking tasks.

Pipe clamp

Versatile pipe clamps come in handy when working with large pieces of wood and piping. They are adjustable and come in various lengths for working with materials of different sizes.

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Did you know?
If you are a novice woodworker, consider purchasing a quality pipe clamp. Pipe clamps are easy to use, adjustable, and ideal for distributing reliable pressure when working with wood.
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What to consider when buying clamps

Before you purchase a clamp, ask yourself a few key questions to be sure you make an informed choice.

  • Are you an expert or a novice? If you’ve worked with clamps before, you probably know what you need to get the job done. However, if you are fairly new to using clamps, carefully consider the task at hand to find the most appropriate clamp.

  • What materials do you work with? While some clamps can be used on a variety of materials, others are specifically geared toward metal, wood, tubing, or other materials.

  • How many clamps do you need? If you are a hobbyist or weekend DIYer, you probably don’t need an entire collection of clamps. On the other hand, if you work in a trade, such as carpentry, plumbing, or metalworking, you will need numerous clamps of several different types.

Expert Tip
To store clamps, hang them from a paper towel holder.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

How much do clamps cost?

Considering there are so many different types of clamps, prices vary. That said, here are some basic guidelines.

Budget-friendly

Clamps for basic tasks are fairly inexpensive, and they are usually available in multiples. Hose clamps, spring clamps, easy turn clamps, and clip clamps typically range in price from $7 to $20 for multi-packs.

Mid-range

C-clamps, bar clamps, and pipe clamps fall in the neighborhood of $12 to $35 for a single clamp. C-clamps also come in small sizes in sets of two or three for around $12 to $20. Clamp sets that include a variety of clamps are a good value for those who work with more than one type of clamp. These variety sets can be found for around $35 to $50.

Expensive

Clamps made for heavy-duty tasks are the most expensive. Marman clamps, larger bar clamps, vise clamps, and mitre clamps range in price from $15 to $100 per clamp.

Expert Tip
Use wax paper between clamps and wood surfaces when using glue to set a joint.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert
Most clamps are quite durable. When used appropriately, clamps should last for years.

FAQ

Q. What’s the best type of clamp for heavy-duty clamping?

A. A mounted vise not only provides stability, but it’s sturdy and adjustable. This makes it ideal for gripping large pieces of metal and wood.

Q. I like to work with C-clamps because they are easy to use. However, when I use C-clamps on some types of wood, they leave marks. How can I prevent this?

A. Try using a thin piece of wood, called a shim, between your clamp and the wood. The shim will take the force of your clamp while protecting your wooden components from indentations.

Q. I use more than just one type of clamp at my construction job. What should I consider to find the best clamps for my needs?

A. You can purchase a variety of clamps separately. However, purchasing a multi-clamp set will save you money.

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