Lee Valley Assembly Clamps

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Forum topic by ChuckV posted 01-27-2012 03:13 AM 2139 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3521 days

01-27-2012 03:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lee valley clamps

I just noticed these clamps on sale at LV:,43837,43838&p=68986

I am guessing that these are new and this is an introductory offer. The ViseGrip-like mechanism is intriguing.

I am wondering if anyone has any experience using these clamps that they would be willing to share.


- Chuck

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

8 replies so far

View boxcarmarty's profile


16173 posts in 2354 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 04:56 AM

I’m sure they operate like any other quickgrip clamp. I have several different ones and I love them. Not a bad price…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3890 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 05:40 AM

Looking at them they seem like a pretty good idea. It’s not a true pistol grip, it looks like you ratchet ( move) the clamps head as close as you can and close the clamp almost like a vice grip tool. I think they would have better holding strength than the pistol grip quick clamps. I wonder though how tough the ratchet system is. Knowing LV it’s probably a good system.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3521 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 11:27 AM

I agree Betsy. This is the feature that I am curious about. I have not seen any other clamps using this type of clamping action.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Porchfish's profile


823 posts in 2526 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 04:29 PM

Well I was curious myself and contacted Lee Valley to castigate them for not listing the country of origin. They said the concept is new (dial in pressure) but has been thoroughly tested out. Steel and aluminum construction and made in Taiwan to the specs of a US investor ! slightly better than made in mainland china , in my book ? I bit on it and ordered the set. They haven’t shipped yet. When I get them I will gladly run through a quick use test and post my thoughts. I needed some additional clamps to replace lost and “borrowed” clamps. Home depot and Lowes feature made in mainland China poop that I refused to buy….ok, so I’m not a purist….needed clamps now and had no other sources. I ordered a set of 24” clamps last year from woodcraft after being assured that the brand involved was always made in USA….sent them back after discovering USA had been mis-spelled China ! Oh well ! Maybe a manufacturer will see the demand and return production to the USA… sad lesson is just because a you have purchased a product before that was made in USA , doesn’t mean that they still manufacture that product here ! And please don’t tell me I could have gone to harbor freight and saved a few bucks. I learned a long, long time ago that cheap things are expensive ! Think about it ! It is a fact in more ways than one !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3068 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 04:56 PM

I have not had experience with these clamps. I suspect very people have since it sounds like this is a new product.

My standard of reference are similar Irwin clamps. Those clamps sell for about $33 and $36 for the 18” and 24” respectively. Hence, if these clamps are as good as, or even close to as good as, the Irwin’s this is a good deal.

As an FYI – I own one Bessey quick grip (one hand) clamps like this and do not like it. All clamps are not the same and, sometimes, even the Big Names disappoint you. If curious – The Bessey clamp has a switch for choosing compressing or expanding. That switch slips out of place on a regular basis and you end up in neutral. It’s very frustrating to be ready to clamp down with one hand and have to stop and put the clamp back “in gear”.

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

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3521 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 05:12 PM

Thanks everyone. Porchfish – I am looking forward to seeing your review.

After thinking a bit more about how these clamps work and how I work, I do not think that they are for me. When I clamp either a panel or a case, I tend to put just enough pressure on the clamps to hold things together. Only after that do I increase the pressure in a balanced way. I determine the final pressure by tactile feedback, watching for glue squeeze-out and checking for squareness/flatness of the piece.

With all my current clamps, I can increase the pressure with a twist or squeeze of the handle. But, with these new LV clamps, the pressure is pre-set. As I understand it, if you later want to increase the pressure a bit, it is like working with a pair of ViseGrips. You would completely release the pressure, turn the thumb wheel, and then re-clamp. There is no tactile feedback as you reset the pressure. When I use a ViseGrip, there is always some trial and error until I get the pressure that I desire. I would not want to completely remove a clamp during a glue-up in order to adjust the pressure – I am usually panicking enough at that time.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View khamilton's profile


8 posts in 2315 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 08:29 PM

i was wondering the same when i got the email notice. I looked at these yesterday when i went in to pickup a cap iron that was backordered. i was prepared to buy them at the introductory price, but i really didnt like the feel and how they work, for some of the same reasons ChuckV mentioned. I also didnt think they felt all that great quality wise, so i passed on them.

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3521 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 09:29 PM

khamilton -

Thanks for the information. I didn’t notice that you had already posted about these clamps before I did – sorry ‘bout that.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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