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No Jet clamps at 50% off; now what?

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Forum topic by Forseeme posted 12-06-2016 07:23 PM 3998 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Forseeme

27 posts in 775 days


12-06-2016 07:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamps bessey jet clamp

So I decided this past January that I “needed” some parallel clamps. Jet seemed the “best”, and many posts inidcated they ran a 50% off sale on Black Friday.
So I muddled along through the year using pipe clamps and Harbor Freight specials; but was looking forward to getting 4 Jet clamps on that amazing sale.
So…a week after Black Friday, and no sale (well, 10% or 15% is not really enough of a sale). Now what?

I can get the Jet set (two 24” and two 40”) for about $270
OR
The Bessey Revo’s (two 24” and two 50”) for about $180
OR
The Bessey Revo Jr’s (two 24” and two 50”) for about $145
OR
Peachtree (two 24” and two 40”) for about $145

I prefer to buy once and not regret. That said, I am very frugal. I know the Jet’s have the rep, but at almost $100 more, it’s a tough sell.

I have big hands, so the handles on the Bessey Jr’s can be a bit annoying. But if it’s a choice betwene the Jr’s and Peachtree, I would go Jr’s.

I’m probably leaving toward the Bessey Revo’s (based on price and rep). If cost were not a consideration, I would go Jet. I don’t mind the additional weight of the Jet’s (I’m using 3/4” pipe clamps now, so I probably would not notice)

Any opinions, or other suggestions?


35 replies so far

View HickWillis's profile

HickWillis

114 posts in 492 days


#1 posted 12-06-2016 07:48 PM

Between Bessey and Jet, go with Bessey. The Jet clamps are nice, but they aren’t $100 more nice, at least in my opinion. There isn’t enough there to warrant the steep price over Bessey.

You may consider waiting until right before/after Xmas if those prices aren’t current sale prices. Maybe a woodworking retailer will have a package deal or a coupon that might work for you.

I guess the only other thing to consider the size of the clamps. Do you need those sizes (more along the lines of the 50”)? Are you going to be gluing up panels that big where you would need that? If so, would your pipe clamps fit your needs with a longer pipe installed? I only ask because you might be able to find a better deal with different sizes.

-- -Will

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Forseeme

27 posts in 775 days


#2 posted 12-06-2016 08:17 PM

“Do you need those sizes (more along the lines of the 50”)”
Ehhh…If I were buying clamps off the rack I would get 24” and 36” (figuring if I needed to glue up a door, my biggest cabinet door would be 18” x 30”. But…then I would look around my shop for the biggest thing I had. Workbench is 42” high. If I ever want to make cabinets to match the height, and I want to clamp them up, I would need clamps bigger than 41” – so the 50”. I think clamps are like insurance – you can always see the possible need for more.
Realistically the 24” and 36” would be fine. I focused on the 24” and 40” because the jet had them as a set (with the corner clamp holders and benck dog supports as well). After dealing with pipe clamps rolling over all the time, the bench dog “peg” on the back of the Jets was something to look forward to. However, I assume the bessey’s are wide enough to stand on their own anyway.

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Kirk650

513 posts in 581 days


#3 posted 12-06-2016 08:27 PM

Get the clamps that Woodcraft sells. Very good and not too expensive. I prefer them to Bessey clamps.

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Forseeme

27 posts in 775 days


#4 posted 12-06-2016 08:45 PM



Get the clamps that Woodcraft sells. Very good and not too expensive. I prefer them to Bessey clamps.
- Kirk650

All I see on their site is Bessey and Jet. Am I missing something?

View brtech's profile

brtech

1005 posts in 2755 days


#5 posted 12-06-2016 10:45 PM

I feel your pain. I have participated in the 50% clamp special for two years, and was planning to get some more this year.

You missed the Zoro 30% deal. I got the Bessey 24s for $30 each.

I have both the Bessey’s and the Jet’s. I like the Bessey’s better, but the Jet is a very fine clamp. They both have their quirks.

One thing on length – the cost of longer bars is pretty small. If these are your first ones, I’d go for a couple of 36s and a couple of 60s. Then add smaller ones. It is a PITA to have that big 60” bar hanging off when you are only glueing up a 30” box or just a 24” door, but you can’t really make up for the lack of bar length when you need it.
There are links that gang two together to get more capacity, but they have issues in real life and you need twice as many clamps.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1003 posts in 1828 days


#6 posted 12-07-2016 12:03 AM

I’d say stick with pipe clamps for anything longer than the 40”. Even he 40s I have are so long they are a pain to walk around in my small work area. I don’t think I’d ever use 60s, but you may have more space. At least pipe clamps store away really small in a corner.

SOmetimes you can find package deals on sale at Rockler too. So keep your eyes on their sales. Also, if there is a wood working show in your area, I have seen show specials at things like that before too.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Matt's profile

Matt

159 posts in 784 days


#7 posted 12-07-2016 12:16 AM

I got in on the sale last year and regret not buying more. The jets are great, I plan to add at least 4 more Jet’s to the shop (hopefully for Xmas!

Edit:
Just looking at Amazon – (And were on sale earlier)

A pair of the 40” Jet’s are $134.90 – https://www.amazon.com/Jet-70440-2-Parallel-Clamp-set/dp/B000UBF4K0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1481070783&sr=8-3&keywords=Jet+clamps

A pair of the 24” Jet’s are $108.32
https://www.amazon.com/Jet-70424-2-24-Inch-Parallel-Clamp/dp/B000UBH336/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1481070783&sr=8-2&keywords=Jet+clamps

-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

View 9x9's profile

9x9

60 posts in 1073 days


#8 posted 12-07-2016 01:40 AM

I jumped on the Zoro Bessey revo 30% black Fri sale

8 ea 12”——- 8 ea 24”——- 4 ea 50”

average price for all 20 clamps———> $31.27 / clamp

and got 4 extenders also for $39.44——-> $9.86 / extender

received everything except the 50” ones——- backordered

-- Youngsville, LA

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

132 posts in 640 days


#9 posted 12-07-2016 02:05 AM

I also bought some of the Bessey parallel clamps from Zoro on the 30%-off Black Friday sale. Sign up for Zoro’s emails—I would expect that you won’t have to wait too long to get a 20%-off deal, and with Christmas around the corner 25 or 30% might be coming soon, too.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

798 posts in 2898 days


#10 posted 12-07-2016 12:40 PM

The numerous Bessey clamps that I have purchased over the years have served me well. For the pricing that you listed, for me it would be a no brainer. I would not even think again about the Jet clamps. If taken care of, the Besseys will not have to be replaced in the future. It would seem that after losing their shirt on the past sales, Jet’s frugality finally caught up with them. You can’t train your customers to buy only when there is a deep discount, or you sell a lot less clamps at full margin. We want the very best deal that we can get for quality items, and are always searching for bargains; and the Jet sales certainly qualified for that. Buy the Bessys.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Forseeme's profile

Forseeme

27 posts in 775 days


#11 posted 12-07-2016 01:21 PM

Thank you for all the responses. I had expected a lot of “jet is the best, just buy them”. With all the good Bessel comments I think I am going to get the Revo’s.
I was on zoro’s email list and then bailed – they got too annoying. Now I suffer…

Regarding clamp lengths, while the longer clamps are not a lot more $$$, I do know the grief of having to walk around long clamps attached to a smaller project. I think I will get the 24” to start, and use my pipe clamps for the few times I need long clamping runs.

Thanks again for all the intelligent input. Yell if you see a sale!

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

369 posts in 1293 days


#12 posted 12-07-2016 01:47 PM

Have you considered making them yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than using homemade tools etc in the woodshop. I plan on making these over Christmas http://lumberjocks.com/projects/247058.

Good luck on your decision.

View BulldogLouisiana's profile

BulldogLouisiana

325 posts in 973 days


#13 posted 12-07-2016 01:56 PM

One of the best woodworkers I’ve met switched to these recently. He used to have all jet and Bessey. Plus, they are made in the USA!
https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/MS-ABAR.XX/Universal_Bar_Clamps

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

369 posts in 1293 days


#14 posted 12-07-2016 02:25 PM

Oh by the way I have 6”, 24” and 40” bessey and love them.

View brtech's profile

brtech

1005 posts in 2755 days


#15 posted 12-07-2016 02:50 PM

There is a considerable difference between a parallel clamp, which is the subject of this thread, and any of the varieties of clamps that have a short jaw. Those would include bar clamps and pipe clamps. Those Dubuque clamps are something I’ve had my eye on for a long time, but they replace a pipe clamp or the aluminium HF bar clamps that I use (which I like quite a bit, and think are one of HF’s gems). When gluing up a door, a panel or a normal table top, the short jaw clamps work fine. But when you have a drawer or a case or some other assembly with depth, the parallel clamp has a significant advantage. The first drawer I did after I got my first set of Bessey’s was an order of magnitude easier than the previous ones I had done with pipe clamps. You get even pressure all across the joint. They are more expensive, but worth it, IMHO.

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