Most usefull Wooden Hand screw size?

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Forum topic by eruby posted 11-16-2010 06:26 PM 8509 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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79 posts in 2741 days

11-16-2010 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp

I am in the market for a few wooden hand screws. I have seen sizes anywhere between 4” and 14” and would like to buy a couple that will actually get used. For example, I have learned that I hardly use F style clamps longer than 18” I have a couple but I prefer to use parallel clamps and pipe clamps for applications that call for longer reach.

I plan to use these things to extend my vice and allow me to clamp longer boards vertically to my bench and am sure I will discover plenty of other uses for them.

Which size hand screw clamps do you guys find you reach for most often and conversely which size is not that useful.



-- Eric - Baltimore MD

12 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18248 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 11-16-2010 06:50 PM

Smaller ones for me. Regular clamps for bigger stuff.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View swirt's profile


2646 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 11-16-2010 06:54 PM

Hard to say with any certainty without knowing what kind of things you plan on doing with them. That disclaimer aside, I have 8”, 10” and 12” handscrews and I use them all, but if I had to choose just one size I would go with the 10”. They are my happy medium.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2847 days

#3 posted 11-16-2010 06:54 PM

I have a couple 10 inch hand screw clamps that I use quite often. I mostly use for clamping small pieces. I have never needed bigger then 10 inch.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2892 days

#4 posted 11-16-2010 07:44 PM

10 or 12” usually here as well, although a few 6” come in handy once in awhile.

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

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2747 days

#5 posted 11-16-2010 07:53 PM

I’ve got them from the smallest up to 10 inch, all in pairs and one 14 inch monster I found in a 2nd hand store from a high school woodshop..It’d been used at some point as a welding clamp !.. It’s basicly a show piece, used as a hanger for other clamps.
But most used are the 8” and 10 ” ones.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 2736 days

#6 posted 11-16-2010 08:23 PM

The simple solution is to buy two of each size. A fella can’t have too many clamps, after all. ;-)

Once you catch on to the idea of using these in combination with other clamps, they become addictive.

View eruby's profile


79 posts in 2741 days

#7 posted 11-16-2010 09:23 PM

Thanks for the input and I am surprised by the general consensus. I was expecting as many opinions as replys.
Sounds like the 10” clamps might be a good place to start. The buy “two of all of them” suggestion is tempting hmmm

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 3991 days

#8 posted 11-17-2010 01:49 AM

I mostly use 10’s & 12’s. I’ve got a few 6” ones, but they are a bit more of a specialty item. BTW, Harbor Freight often has good prices on them.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View eruby's profile


79 posts in 2741 days

#9 posted 11-17-2010 02:45 AM

Robert are the Harbor Freight hand screws one of the HF Gems? buying stuff there scares me.
If so I will have to keep an eye out for the sale

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2889 days

#10 posted 11-17-2010 05:15 AM

My handscrews are HF (2 of each size) and I would recommend them to anyone. Yep, made in China, look at where the ones from “other” vendors are made. Them and the corner clamps are some of HF “gems”

-- Life is good.

View swirt's profile


2646 posts in 2938 days

#11 posted 11-17-2010 05:38 AM

In my opinion Jorgensen or Dubuque Clamp Works handscrews are the most solid (both made in USA). My one harbor freight handscrew is better made than the ones sold by Rockler. The threads on the HF are better.

-- Galootish log blog,

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2747 days

#12 posted 11-17-2010 02:51 PM

If you’re into adaptations and build your own.. Lee Valley sells Jorensen kits, as below..:)

Somehow in my challenged fashon I got the text, but not the pictures ..oh well..

With these kits, it is easy to make your own handscrews.

The instructions include plans for making jaws exactly like those used on Jorgensen clamps, or you can custom-build jaws for round or irregular shapes, or extra-deep, long or thin jaws to suit other specialized applications.

Kit includes the same hardware that Jorgensen uses in its handscrews: Acme-threaded rods and barrel nuts for one handscrew clamp, plus instructions (but not wood).

Clamp sizes (maximum opening/jaw length) listed below.

Made in USA.

The 2”, 3”, 8-1/2”, 10” and 12” Kits are not stocked at our retail stores but can be ordered for pick-up.

1+ 4+
13F02.24 $9.20 $8.45
13F02.26 $10.80 $9.95
13F02.28 $12.10 $11.10
13F02.30 $13.80 $12.70
13F02.32 $17.80 $16.40
13F02.34 $18.20 $16.75
13F02.36 $22.40 $20.60

12” Kit (16” Jaw), each

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

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