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Forum topic by FancyShoes posted 01-12-2017 05:01 AM 1206 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FancyShoes's profile


592 posts in 1599 days

01-12-2017 05:01 AM

Is there a difference between 1/2 pipe clamps and 3/4?

Is there a preference? I personally dont see why that would make a difference. 1/2 is only $3 cheaper, but I am also sire the 1/2 pipe is also cheaper.

Just wanted some thoughts.

14 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 01-12-2017 05:16 AM

1/2” is cheaper as you mentioned both from the clamps and the material pipe perspective.

If you are working with shorter lengths, there is not a huge difference, but once you start to go longer (where pipe clamps starts to become a very good solution) the 1/2” will start to show the flex and limitation of how much tension it can support.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Woodknack's profile


12455 posts in 2615 days

#2 posted 01-12-2017 07:43 AM

I have only used 3/4” but for most of my glue ups I’m sure 1/2” would be fine and lighter, easier to handle.

-- Rick M,

View Arcola60's profile


100 posts in 2618 days

#3 posted 01-12-2017 09:30 AM

I have both. The 1/2” are easier to work with. But, as mentioned the 3/4” will not flex on the longer spans. Most of my glue ups are smaller pieces, so the 1/2” are my go to clamps.

Ellery Becnel

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 760 days

#4 posted 01-15-2017 03:03 AM

I have been known to abuse pipe clamps and 3/4” holds up very well. I will clamp tighter than any woodworking needs, use them as spreaders rather than clamps and other silly things.

Knowing myself, I don’t have any 1/2”.

If you use them the way they are intended, 1/2” should do well unless you are clamping really long and/or coupling several pipes to get the length you need.

View Dwain's profile


582 posts in 4094 days

#5 posted 01-15-2017 03:28 AM

I have a lot of 3/4” pipe clamps in my shop. I never started using 1/2” I figured I buy as I go, I might as well get the ones with fewer limitations. It’s three dollars! I usually buy two or three at a time as needed. I have about 30 pipe clamps now. All 3/4”. I’ve never felt overworked by them, or that they are unwieldy. I am happy with the 3/4” pipe clamps.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View FancyShoes's profile


592 posts in 1599 days

#6 posted 01-15-2017 03:36 AM

Thanks guys. Are the one ende threaded? I woud like to not nee threaded ones to cut down on cost of pipe. I can cut my own.

View JackDuren's profile


388 posts in 1194 days

#7 posted 01-15-2017 04:02 AM

You can use Irwin 3/4 clamp kits which don’t require threaded ends…

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5824 posts in 2643 days

#8 posted 01-15-2017 04:21 AM

I have a few 1/2 inch pipe clamps, all just under 32 inches. They are lighter weight and at that span don’t flex so in this regard they work well. The 3/4 inch pipe clamps are all 36 inches and up with feet made so when they are lined up on the table they are all the same height. HF sells aluminum bar clamps that if you add a piece of wood to the inside to stiffen them up work good, you would have to make feet for them as they are bare bones clamps but the price is low enough to get several and not have to get 1/2 pipe clamps them the pipe as well. Lots of options, cannot say I have a favorite, really depends on what is being clamped.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Rayne's profile


1122 posts in 1774 days

#9 posted 01-15-2017 04:23 AM

Thanks guys. Are the one ende threaded? I woud like to not nee threaded ones to cut down on cost of pipe. I can cut my own.

- FancyShoes

Big box stores will cut the threads for you along with cutting the long ones down to size you want for free. I bought 1 long pipe and got 3 pipe clamps out of them with no additional cost.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1136 days

#10 posted 01-15-2017 04:29 AM

wood butcher nailed it. Anything over 3 feet is best clamped with 3/4 inch pipe.

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 760 days

#11 posted 01-15-2017 07:33 AM

Yeah, plumbing stores will thread a cut end for you. You can also get a manual pipe threader for something like $80 or $100 if you will do more than occasional pipe threading.

If you know you will never need a clamp longer than a certain length, you don’t need threads on one side.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5815 posts in 3048 days

#12 posted 01-15-2017 07:38 AM

I use 1/2” pipe clamps with Bessey H style clamp heads. The 1/2” pipe is quite a bit lighter and easier to maneuver. I use them in 24”, 36”, 48” lengths. I have also coupled 1/2” pipe up to 8’ in length with no problems. If the pipe wants to flex slightly, you can put a scrap of hardboard between the coupling and workpiece to prevent marring.

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

View jjo's profile


6 posts in 847 days

#13 posted 01-21-2017 10:26 PM

3/4 is better stronger on longer glue ups

View Gentile's profile


321 posts in 2053 days

#14 posted 01-22-2017 05:12 PM

I have both 1/2 and 3/4 inch…
I tend to use the 1/2” more just because they’re lighter, weight wise.
3/4” for bigger glue ups.

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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