LumberJocks

These Clamps Are Terrible

  • Advertise with us
Review by Patrick posted 12-09-2014 02:59 PM 4096 views 0 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch
These Clamps Are Terrible No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It’s right there in the picture. The clamping pads are not parallel. The tops are touching and the bottoms have a gap. I got these the other day and they simply don’t work. You can’t get even clamping pressure with pads that are out of whack like this. I mean it’s in the picture that they have posted on Amazon. Ahhh. I have Dewalt quick clamps like these and they are awesome. I also have Irwin F style clamps that are awesome. What happened to these?




View Patrick's profile

Patrick

41 posts in 1483 days



44 comments so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2298 posts in 2511 days


#1 posted 12-09-2014 03:25 PM

Are you sure that the pads are not designed to be like that? Vises are designed that way so, when tightened down, it helps offset any racking. I’ve used those clamps and never had a problem with clamping pressure, but the ones I used were about 5 years ago. I’m looking at the picture you posted, and I see the gap, and to me, I’d say that’s part of the design.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2738 posts in 3574 days


#2 posted 12-09-2014 03:34 PM

Had some of these… I think they are junk. They now hold up a 2×4 somewhere in my shed.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View BigAl98's profile

BigAl98

172 posts in 3180 days


#3 posted 12-09-2014 03:48 PM

When they first came out, they where pretty good…but like you say…they ain’t so good anymore. I’m buying Jorgensen bar clamps…on saile, they are worth the buck!

-- Al,New Jersey -To thine own self be true

View Al's profile

Al

24 posts in 1424 days


#4 posted 12-09-2014 04:03 PM

I agree that these are really bad. The pressure is very uneven on the pad itself and differs between clamps. I bought a few and a a couple the pressure is focused near the part of the pad closest to the grip. It’s just the opposite on the others. I’ve had them for a little while and got them before I really started doing anything that required any kind of precision. Steer clear of these.

-- -- I don't learn anything if you only give praise.... but that's nice too :)

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2187 days


#5 posted 12-09-2014 04:10 PM

I have a ton of Irwin Quick grips, ranging from the the low end, to the beefy XP600s. They all work well for their purpose, and the lack of parallel jaw pads hasn’t been a problem.

Lower-end (100lb – 150lb) quick grips are great for what I use them for – quick 1-handed clamping for utility purposes and not as much for glue-ups. The picture you have posted appears to be the lower-end ones. I have 6 of them, and quite frankly, I think that’s 2 too many.

I don’t know what to make of the mid-range SL300. They do a better job than the low end ones, but what they gain in clamping ability, they lose in sheer size and mass. They can be a bit awkward to use. I have 4 and I rarely (if ever) use them.

The XP600s are are different story. Pricey IMHO but they serve a purpose. I prefer them for glue-ups over F-style clamps because of the jaws have a lot more surface area than F-style clamps. They may be a bit awkward to use because of their size, and they are heavier than F-style clamps, but they work very well to hold properly milled workpieces together with just enough pressure for a glue-up. Be warned of over-tighting. You can exert too much pressure if you are over zealous and cause the glue-up to bow. I have 8 of them and end up using them quite often.

-- paxorion

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5756 posts in 2954 days


#6 posted 12-09-2014 04:28 PM

While I wouldn’t use them for a panel glueup, they do have some light duty applications around the shop.
Try pipe clamps or parallel clamps when you need greater clamping force.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 2583 days


#7 posted 12-09-2014 04:31 PM

I agree with BinghamtonEd… I always thought this was part of the design. Having said that though, even if it’s just a function of the cheapness, I’ve never had a problem with them as long as I use them for their intended purpose – light duty clamping. For me, they’re great at initial clamping because of the one-handed operation. I’ll then follow up with real heavy-duty clamps if the application calls for it. If you’re expectations are for really anything beyond that, then yeah, they are pretty lacking.

I also paid maybe $2-3 a piece for my collection of 4, 6 and 12 inch Irwin quick grips. Thta’s about what they’re worth IMO.

View Patrick's profile

Patrick

41 posts in 1483 days


#8 posted 12-09-2014 04:49 PM

I tried cranking down on these jokers and what happens is the whole clamp will pivot and rotate on the top part of the clamp. If it is indeed part of the design, it’s a bad design in my opinion. The Dewalts are light weight, easy to use, and clamp extremely well. I’ll just get more of those. I appreciate all the response.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10894 posts in 3570 days


#9 posted 12-09-2014 05:01 PM

I agree!! Except for light work, they are useless and take up valuable space.
I’ll stick with Jorgensons F style and pipe clamps.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View jshroyer's profile

jshroyer

80 posts in 1800 days


#10 posted 12-09-2014 05:07 PM

I actually like these clamps for all sorts of little work. I dont use these for big glue ups but if i am just hold a stop block, or doing a small glue ups they work great. I have around 6 of these and then 4 of the big ones that they make. Its perfect for my work. Then i have 7 bar clamps. I dont actually like the F type clamps because they always require something to prevent damage to the wood also they like to fall on my feet a lot and they end up hurting then.

-- http://semiww.org/

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1605 posts in 3095 days


#11 posted 12-09-2014 05:24 PM

Put me down as agreeing. I do have four of the “minis” which I do use a lot for light stuff, and they are fine for that kind of light pressure work. But my couple full size clamps are a disappointment. The word “clunky” comes to mind.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1678 posts in 2774 days


#12 posted 12-09-2014 06:12 PM

I have four of these and like them a lot. However, I typically don’t use them for glue-ups or other things that require a lot of pressure. I use them more as a “third hand” kind of deal. Holding a board in-place on the drill press or something like that. Definitely quicker/easier than using a bar clamp for those types of jobs.
They have their uses.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

9459 posts in 2433 days


#13 posted 12-09-2014 06:15 PM

I’m in agreement with Tedster ^

I have a decent number of these, and haven’t had any issues with them yet.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Richard's profile

Richard

1922 posts in 2832 days


#14 posted 12-09-2014 06:38 PM



The XP600s are are different story. Pricey IMHO but they serve a purpose. I prefer them for glue-ups over F-style clamps because of the jaws have a lot more surface area than F-style clamps. They may be a bit awkward to use because of their size, and they are heavier than F-style clamps, but they work very well to hold properly milled workpieces together with just enough pressure for a glue-up. Be warned of over-tighting. You can exert too much pressure if you are over zealous and cause the glue-up to bow. I have 8 of them and end up using them quite often.

- paxorion


I also have some of the XP600’s and they will put a Lot of pressure on a piece. Never understood why a clamp for Woodworking needed to be able to put 1000 lbs of pressure on a part.

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 3212 days


#15 posted 12-09-2014 07:00 PM

I have a couple of the older Irwin Quick Grip clamps and one of the newer ones, and I don’t think I’ll ever need more than that. They work ok for me but it’s true they don’t give nearly as much clamping pressure as F-clamps (or anything that tightens with a screw) so I just use them to add a little extra clamping in gaps or to hold something in place for a moment until I can drill a hole and drive a screw. I’ve probably used them as spreaders or jacks almost as much as I’ve used them as clamps. One of my 12” ones doesn’t seem to get as tight as the other any more; I think it’s damaged after lifting a commercial ice maker full of ice. In any case, they’re good for holding jigs in place but gear clamps are nice for that too and have more clamping power.

I also have a few of the XP600 ones and they give much better clamping pressure but I don’t think I’ll be buying any more of the XP600s since they were the same price on sale as the Jet parallel clamps I bought on Black Friday.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

showing 1 through 15 of 44 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com