LumberJocks

Excellent Clamps

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Review by NiteWalker posted 596 days ago 2221 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent Clamps No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For a long time I’ve been looking for a good 12” clamp for my boxes I build. I’ve been through a few before I tried the Bessey Tradesman clamps, and I wish I had sooner.

I tried the regular duty jorgensen 3700 series clamps. Those were ok, but you had to pay extra for clamp pads. But the dealbreaker for me was that the bars flex way too much for a 12” clamp. I also tried the heavy duty jorgensen 3700-HD series clamps. Those are great and have no bar flex at 12”, but they’re too heavy and cumbersome to use at 12”. The clamps I’ve been using the past year are the blue and gray harbor freight bar clamps. They’ve been doing the job just fine, but if I really crank down on the handle, it will sometimes separate from the clamp. It’s an easy fix using 5 minute epoxy, but not in the middle of a clamping job. Also, the bar does flex a bit under pressure, but not nearly as much as the jorgensen 3700 medium duty clamps. For the money, those are great. The other bar clamps I looked at (rockler sure foot F clamps and wetzler) were too expensive for what they are.

So with woodcraft’s promo of $10 off $25 I grabbed a couple of the tradesmans to try out, which I did.
These clamps are simply the nicest bar clamps I’ve used in all my woodworking. The jaws, bar, thread and handle are all very substantial, yet the clamp doesn’t weigh much at all. Only a tiny bit more than the harbor freight bar clamps, but not nearly as much as the heavy duty jorgensens. The handle is fantastic. I found tradesmans with the classic wooden handle for a bit less, but after using the clamps with the new composite handle (called a “2K” handle by Bessey) I’m hooked on those. They’re solid, beefy and have rubber inserts molded in so they have plenty of grip for clamping down really good. I feel I can bear down on them enough to distort the wood and the clamp will keep on going.

In use, I saw no bar flex at all when clamping my boxes together. This is pretty impressive with how light the besseys are compared to the heavy duty jorgensens. Also, the bessey tradesmans include plastic pads for the clamp jaws. Even those are impressive. They don’t fall off and don’t leave oily markings like the jorgensen and harbor freight clamp pads can.

So I’ve found my ideal clamps for most of my projects. I ordered 16 more of the 12” tradesmans and will fill out my collection with 6”, 24” and 36” tradesman clamps later on.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.




View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1181 days



6 comments so far

View dub560's profile

dub560

606 posts in 1517 days


#1 posted 595 days ago

I have terrible experiences with these clamps…in my opinion they need to recall them (they start engaging very late)

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1181 days


#2 posted 595 days ago

I had that problem too until I figured them out; I found that if you push towards what you’re clamping on the bottom part of the movable jaw (the part that rides on the bar) while tightening them they catch right away. Easier said than described, but once I got used to doing that second nature, they worked just fine. I don’t think it’s a defect, it’s the way clutchless clamps work.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View prattman's profile

prattman

440 posts in 722 days


#3 posted 594 days ago

Love my Bessey’s

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View dub560's profile

dub560

606 posts in 1517 days


#4 posted 594 days ago

no more bessy’s for me—that’s for sure(sometimes they work using that method and sometimes I curse a lot because they don’t catch properly) I’ll try the jets when I get some money, might just put my bessey’s on craglist this week and use that cash for jets instead—I heard they are good.

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1181 days


#5 posted 594 days ago

I actually looked at the jets but it seems every place I found them is clearing them out and selection is limited.
Mind you I mean the f style bar clamps; their parallel clamps are everywhere. I’m not jumping on the parallel clamp bandwagon just yet; very expensive ride.

Time will tell if the besseys will continue to perform as they are now.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View dnick's profile

dnick

892 posts in 986 days


#6 posted 587 days ago

Really impressed with the 16” & 6” Bessey tradesman clamps I have. Haven’t used anything better.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

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