|Review by NiteWalker||posted 12-12-2012 08:07 PM||2555 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
- Bessey TGJ2.512+2K 12" 2 1/2" Opening Tradesman Clamp
- Brand: Bessey | Category: Clamps
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.