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Worth every dollar I paid for them

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Review by paxorion posted 65 days ago 2726 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Worth every dollar I paid for them Worth every dollar I paid for them Worth every dollar I paid for them Click the pictures to enlarge them

OK, so my title might be a bit misleading. As a hobbyist, I don’t think I would be able to justify spending that healthy chunk of change on clamps if I paid the full retail price. Like many others, when the JET parallel clamps went on sale for 50% off during Black Friday 2013, I pulled the trigger to buy some, and I picked up the framing set (2×24” and 2×40” with the clamp blocks and bench-dog pins). Since I started using the JET parallel clamps, I’ve definitely noticed my woodworking improve, as the clamps have given me much better control during my glue-ups. A few points to share about the experience:

The Good:
  1. I love using these clamps so much, I find myself using them even when another clamp would suffice, just because I prefer using these clamps.
  2. I’m able to pull off my glue ups far more easily. Once the bar was waxed, the clamp slides very smoothly, and the handle turns with very little effort.
  3. Edge glue-ups is one thing that I have struggled with (getting them as flat as possible). The parallel clamps just feels easier to work with than my many pipe clamps (picture 3 is a panel glue-up for a step stool project). There’s a combination of reasons, between the smaller contact point to avoid staining, to the larger profile making it easier to position, and even the scale on the bar.
  4. I continue to be amazed at how well the clamp blocks balance the clamps. When I slide the clamps into the upper slots, I can easily reach under with my F-style clamps to tighten up cauls (when needed). In addition, the bench-dog pins are properly sized for the clamp blocks, if extra support is needed to keep the clamp from tipping out of the clamp blocks (longer pin for the upper slot).
  5. Customer service was very pleasant and accommodating to work with. The 40” clamps I received had a problem with the slide-glide trigger than kept sticking (see point #1 in “The Bad”). A few emails later, I received a pair of replacement clamps and was allowed to keep the old ones!
The Bad:
  1. The slide-glide trigger takes a little bit of getting used to and is another possible failure point. Case in point, in the set I received, on both 40” clamps, the trigger didn’t operate well. Whenever I pulled the trigger, the lock would stay engaged preventing me from moving the clamp head. JET customer service took great care of me (see point #5”The Good”) and I ended up with 6 clamps (4 in good working order, 2 in not ideal working order).
  2. Despite the Sumo-grip being easy to work with, I wouldn’t call them a class leader for comfort. The Bessey 2K handle still takes the crown IMO.
  3. The clamps are heavier than some other parallel clamps I’ve used (e.g. the original Bessey K Body). The extra mass isn’t an issue when the clamps are resting on a stable surface but they aren’t the best answer when clamping something off a stable surface. My choice (currently) for this application, is the Peachtree parallel clamps
  4. Like I mentioned before, at full price, a hobbyist like me probably wouldn’t justify the cost.

In summary, I can’t wait for the next time they have an awesome sale like this so I can stock up on more.

-- paxorion




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paxorion

540 posts in 650 days



14 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2702 days


#1 posted 65 days ago

Thanks for the review.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3050 posts in 778 days


#2 posted 65 days ago

Thanks for the review. This narrows down my search of which clamps to get.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1182 days


#3 posted 65 days ago

The 2K handles on the besseys are what swayed me towards them. They’re amazing.

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

View DoubleJ's profile

DoubleJ

9 posts in 1818 days


#4 posted 65 days ago

What kind of wax did you use for the bars?

-- JJ, Ohio

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

540 posts in 650 days


#5 posted 65 days ago

DoubleJ – I use Crystal Clear Paste Wax

NiteWalker – Yea I was kinda on the fence which way I wanted to go (Jet or Bessey), but at the sale price, I knew it couldn’t be beat. Long-term, I hope to have a spread of both Jet and Bessey parallel clamps. Jorgensen’s are a maybe (I’m not a fan of the maple handles, they feel slippery to me).

-- paxorion

View NormG's profile

NormG

4004 posts in 1609 days


#6 posted 65 days ago

Glad to see they have met your needs

-- Norman

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1182 days


#7 posted 65 days ago

I’m with you on the sale price; I have a bunch of bessey 2-packs in my amazon cart waiting for the magic numbers lol

I have a couple of jorgensen’s HD bar clamps (very heavy and nice) and the maple handles work fine and don’t really slip, but they’re definitely not as nice as the bessey 2k or jet handles.

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

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

540 posts in 650 days


#8 posted 65 days ago

I have Jorgensen F-style clamps, and while they are certainly more solid and well made than my HF F-styles (i try to reach for those first when I need a 6” F-style clamp), solid maple handles just aren’t my thing. Or maybe the shape of their handles dont work well with my hands?

-- paxorion

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1182 days


#9 posted 64 days ago

The handles on the standard f style clamps is definitely thinner than the HD or cabinetmaster handles. I don’t like the standard jorgensen f style clamps.

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

View mmax's profile

mmax

145 posts in 2060 days


#10 posted 63 days ago

I’ve had mine for several years and really like the quick release feature. I think they are much easier to use than the Besseys.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View Roger's profile

Roger

14177 posts in 1409 days


#11 posted 61 days ago

Thnx for your review. I’d like to have a few of these. I wish they would have a 50% off the 50% off sale

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View WoodworkGuy's profile

WoodworkGuy

60 posts in 1399 days


#12 posted 59 days ago

I picked up two 40” during that sale. They work pretty well, but I will have to try the wax. I have an outstanding order for two 31” Jet parallel clamps for $50 through Amazon from sometime in Feburary. Still waiting, but for that price..,

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4380 posts in 897 days


#13 posted 57 days ago

Nice review, thanks.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

540 posts in 650 days


#14 posted 57 days ago

The wax does wonders. I picked up on the tip from Marc Spagnoulo (Wood Whisperer) in his clamp guide video to wax the bars to keep glue from sticking, but discovered the added benefit of improving the head movement. It’s easier to slide them, and the ridges on the bar still works as a mechanical stop to prevent slippage when clamping.

-- paxorion

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