Irwin Quick-Grip Clamps - Any Good?

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Forum topic by RevengeOfBigD posted 06-22-2011 07:39 PM 4434 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RevengeOfBigD's profile


2 posts in 2532 days

06-22-2011 07:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools clamp

Going off of project pics and what not, I notice a lot of people use Irwin's Quick-Grip line of clamps for woodworking. Are people using these because they’re good quality or just because their local hardware store(like Lowes) carries them?

16 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 06-22-2011 07:55 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I use them because they do the job. They aren’t a substitute for pipe or bar clamps, but they work fine for many clamping jobs. I also find them real handy for those “third hand” situations during assembly.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View cheffrey85's profile


21 posts in 2629 days

#2 posted 06-22-2011 07:55 PM

I think they work well enough, just be carefu,l I have had the screws come loose on some of mine and it will cause the end to slip. Just tighten them periodically and you’re good to go.

-- Jeff, Charleston SC

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 06-22-2011 08:11 PM

I imagine it’s a little of both. I have several pair, and as long as you aren’t putting too much stress on them, they hold well. They also don’t mark up your wood, which is huge. I also have several of HF knockoff clamps, which are a lot cheaper, but don’t work as well. It depends what I’m doing as to which clamps I use. Just sanding? I can use the HF. If I’m routing along a straight edge, I’ll never use the HF. Of course, if it’s critical, I might skip the Irwins and go to an F style to assure nothing will move.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#4 posted 06-22-2011 10:21 PM

They are great for light clamping situation, and handy because they only take one hand to put on. As others have said, they aren’t capable of the same holding power as an f-clamp or bar clamp.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2820 days

#5 posted 06-22-2011 10:36 PM

they work well for spontaneous clamping :)

The Oh! I forgot an extra ….........

They slide, crab….......,

and if the glue metal & Oak touch, you get a few unspeakable words popping into your head…...

4×3’ standard quick release
& 8×6” heavy duty (dont know why)
10x!2” light duty

All Irwin and I would not part with them, had two cheapo’s and they did not even last one clamping job.

You cant have enough, but you still need to have a selection of sash F, and G/C’s as well.

in a wet and warm Scotland

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2656 days

#6 posted 06-22-2011 10:53 PM

I’ve got tons of them b/c I can usually sneak a few into the basket undetected. I’ve also broken a lot of them. They’re not great, but they’ll perform reasonably well. If you compare the price to a bar clamp, it’s probably smarter to just start collecting bar clamps.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 3337 days

#7 posted 06-22-2011 11:21 PM

I have the little 12-inch ones(or 10? Heck, maybe they are only 8…I never measured one) and they are the handiest things going. I leave two clamped to the leg of my bench so they are always within reach for a quick 3rd hand. I agree with others about the HF knockoffs – had some of those snap the first time clamping with them – but they sure go on sale cheap sometimes and are hard to resist!


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View RevengeOfBigD's profile


2 posts in 2532 days

#8 posted 06-23-2011 03:14 AM

Great info. Thanks for sharing, guys!

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2639 days

#9 posted 06-23-2011 04:37 AM

I have 7 of them and use them often. I have 25 or 30 pipe clamps on the same rack that I also use often. There are different needs so you go for the clamp that fills those needs. I have only broken on of the clamps and that was my fault. I contacted Irwin and told them I had broken a clamp and wanted to buy the part to make the repair. They told me to take it back to the store and I could get a new clamp at no charge. I did and I got a new clamp. Mine are all the larger size…not the mini clamp. The one hand useage is what makes them desirable. Then of course as others have said they don’t mar the work. They have their place but they are best when bought on sale. I got mine really cheap last year from a Rockler sale.

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2820 days

#10 posted 06-23-2011 04:52 AM

I’ve seen the Irwins on sale and may try them. I have the Bessy quick grips and use them a lot, not so much for clamping glue ups but more for quick holds, the one hand operation makes them very useful.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2527 days

#11 posted 06-23-2011 05:14 AM

I just bought (and reviewed) this set for my home shop a few weeks ago. I currently work as a cabinet installer and we can never have enough of these for doing our install work. I agree with others that if you are trying to laminate some panels to make a table top or something you’d probably be better off with pipe clamps, but for little things they are great.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3316 days

#12 posted 06-23-2011 05:24 AM

I bought this style clamp when I first got serious about woodworking. IMO they’re not that good, I use them for outdoor projects now where I don’t care if I have to leave them out in the rain.

I pretty much only use Bessey and Pony pipe clamps now. Costly sure, but they do the job extremely well and I don’t find myself wising I had better clamps. Just more.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2934 days

#13 posted 06-23-2011 08:41 AM

Clamps are like extension cords; they always need to be just an inch or two longer.

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2518 days

#14 posted 06-23-2011 10:31 AM

i love them for install work…(often better than an incompetent extra pair hands!!).also for quick hold to the bench…i also like them for holding rails together for marking out etc. pretty handy for clamping a support on to the tenoner when doing extra long jobs.

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10348 posts in 3392 days

#15 posted 06-23-2011 02:59 PM

The Irwin XP600 is one rugged clamp and exerts 600lbs of pressure. The “One Handed Mini Bar Clamp” is capable of 150 lbs. Both are indispensable in my shop.

-- 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

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