Buying Clamps

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Forum topic by Ben posted 08-23-2010 12:43 AM 1752 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


242 posts in 2274 days

08-23-2010 12:43 AM

I’m a carpenter who has begun dabbling in personal furniture-making.

I have a few pipe clamps, and a few c clamps, but am now looking to add a few others.

So far my need for clamps has been mostly gluing up turning blanks for finials, pedestals, etc… and also for edge gluing table panels. I would also like the ability to glue cabinet frames.

I’m looking at adding the following:


i’m not really sure why i like the looks of these, and you guys please tell me if i’m on the right track.
I like the looks of the parrellel style because i would get nice pressure on gluing something like two 12/4X6” wide blocks together, whereas with pipe clamps i’m not sure i’m getting good pressure across the whole thing.
also, i think the “bar” is more ridgid than the pipe?

i guess there is no harm in going bigger and longer, as long clamps can always be used for short things, whereas small can’t go big.

right now i’m in the market for maybe 2-3 clamps.

thanks guys.

17 replies so far

View syenefarmer's profile


429 posts in 2498 days

#1 posted 08-23-2010 01:12 AM

I myself prefer the parallel clamps over the aluminum ones. Jorgy’s are great clamps and I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed if you choose them. Jet, my preference, and Bessey also make very high quality parallel clamps. Like I said, all three are very high quality clamps so you might want to shop around a little and buy whichever brand has the best prices. These style of clamps can get a little heavy when you get into the longer lengths so you might want to take that into consideration when buying. Buying clamps longer than what you’ll need for most of your projects, just to cover yourself, could get frustrating when you try and use them on smaller glue ups.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 3587 days

#2 posted 08-23-2010 01:32 AM

I have a few of each, but my ‘go to’ clamps are the Quick Clamps. I have over 20 of them and still run out. I wait till they are on sale at Home Deopt (2 for 1).

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Ben's profile


242 posts in 2274 days

#3 posted 08-23-2010 01:37 AM

what do you guys think of the bessey “revo” k body? looks like the “new and improved” model?
to me it just looks goofy.
trying to find the original k-body in 24-36” sizes.

any ideas?


View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#4 posted 08-23-2010 01:43 AM

I have a pretty big selection I would guess 200-250 or so. I have bought a good number of HF 3/4” pipe clamps when their on sale but I also have a couple dozen of the larger Irwin one hand clamps they are handy.
I have 30-35 Bessy clamps they are good clamps but If I had it to do over I would buy Jet or woodcraft sty;e parallel clamps with a trigger for easier adjustment. There are dozens of types of clamps I would suggest buy a couple of the type you decide on and see how you like them before buying a bunch of one kind.

-- Custom furniture

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 2554 days

#5 posted 08-23-2010 02:10 AM

I agree with Jim; ckeck them out before you buy to many of one kind. I love my Jet clamps, but I try to look for good sales on the packages with four clamps and the blocks. I would buy one of the other brands without the trigger if the price was right. You will never have enough clamps so always shop around for the sales.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

View swirt's profile


2105 posts in 2389 days

#6 posted 08-23-2010 02:52 AM

++ Jorgensen is American made. ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View Ben's profile


242 posts in 2274 days

#7 posted 08-23-2010 02:54 AM

@ swirt:

i was set to buy the jorgensen before i started researching and saw all the horrible reviews of their clamps breaking easily.

is this not the case, necessarily?

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 2553 days

#8 posted 08-23-2010 06:51 AM

I agree with Jim also, my favorite is Jet…

-- Rick

View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2609 days

#9 posted 08-23-2010 02:18 PM

Before you drop a whole lot of coin on a set of clamps, get several and test drive them. I’m glad I did. I’ve been checking out parallel clamps for the last few months. I’ve been working with the Jorgenson, Bessey Revo, Woodcraft, and Jet.

The one conclusion I’ve reached is that I hate the Jorgensons. They’re contantly getting “stuck” and won’t release, I have to smack the handle up to make it let go.

The only real advantage the Woodcrafts have a lower price, but not that much lower. They just don’t feel as well-made as the others.

Right now, I’d say it’s a toss-up between the Jets and Revos.

I’m torn on the Jet trigger mechanism, half the time it’s ability for the head to stay in one place is a blessing, the other half it’s an irritant. And it’s a little touchy getting it to slide, you have to apply the right pressure on both the trigger and handle. And I can’t decide if I like the non-round handle or not, you can only grip it at certain angles but those angles are slightly more comfortable than the Revo.

I really like the Revos, I think they’re a big improvement on the original K-bodies, especially the handles. They can get way more pressure on a joint than any of the others. But sometimes I wish the head would stay put.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2492 days

#10 posted 08-23-2010 02:36 PM

I find that I need a variety of clamps in my shop. My first choice is almost always the quick clamps that I can hold and tighten with one hand. They don’t have as much squeeze power so I often use them initially because of the convenience and then add pipe clamps for more squeezing power.

You are right that you can always use a clamp that is too long, but you will often find it awkward to do so.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2703 days

#11 posted 08-23-2010 06:18 PM

I have quite a few clamps, but don’t really favor any particular type
I use everything I have at some point.

I do like the 3/4” pipe clamps because you can use the same fixture and create any length you need. I have one 13’ pipe from a project I did years ago. It dosen’t take much room to store extra pipe and you usually have what you need on hand.


View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2343 days

#12 posted 08-23-2010 08:14 PM

Gross Stabil (German) also makes a great clamp, similar to the Bessey K’s, and the heads stay where you leave them. Somehow they stick better on the bar than the K’s.

I have 80+ K clamps and about a dozen of the Gross Stabil’s, but would buy more of them next time.
Perhaps they are not as well advertised, or red sells better than yellow and black?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2609 days

#13 posted 08-23-2010 08:49 PM

Where can you get the Gross Stabil parallel clamps? I looked a while ago and nobody was carrying them anymore.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Ben's profile


242 posts in 2274 days

#14 posted 08-23-2010 08:56 PM

thanks a lot for all the replies, fellas.
unless there are any strong warnings, i think i’m going to get the jorgensen cabinet master clamps.
they’re a reasonable price.
most online woodworking reviews are favorable, just a few on amazon bash them for falling apart.

otherwise, i’ll probably get the jets.


View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2609 days

#15 posted 08-23-2010 11:17 PM

Hmmm, I just looked at the Cabinet Masters on Amazon. They’ve changed the design very recently, I bought mine just six months ago and the mechanism looks different. I wonder if it was to fix the stickiness?

-- The Wood Nerd --

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