Pipe clamps 1/2" vs 3/4"

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Forum topic by Matt Schnurbusch posted 07-12-2008 05:44 PM 3835 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Schnurbusch

36 posts in 3846 days

07-12-2008 05:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp

So my next question is:

Is there really a need to spend the extra bucks on 3/4” clamps or will 1/2” suffice. I mean I know they’ll clamp, but what is the benefit of 3/4” over 1/2”?

Thanks in advance.

Can you tell I’m in a purchasing mood?


-- - If you can't have fun doin' it, it aint worth doin' - Matt

25 replies so far

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4403 days

#1 posted 07-12-2008 05:47 PM

Mine are all 1/2 inch. Work fine. I guess they might flex over distance but that has not been a problem.

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

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4049 days

#2 posted 07-12-2008 05:57 PM

I use 3/4. They don’t cost that much more and they don’t flex when gluing up wide panels and tops. The flex can cause things to get out of whack.

Just o .02

-- Scott - Chico California

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 07-12-2008 06:06 PM

I don’t have pipe clamps, so take this with a grain of salt.

I often make decisions based on what I call the “regret principle.” In other words, think about which decision might give you more regret in the future, and then choose the other course of action. So for your dilemma:

Which one might you regret more 10 years from now – buying 3/4” and finding out that 1/2” would have done you just fine all along (regretting the extra expense), or buying 1/2” and finding out that it sure would have been nice sometimes to have those 3/4” ones (regretting the inadequate strength)?

I guess you can tell which way I’d decide this one!

-- Eric at

View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 4048 days

#4 posted 07-12-2008 06:26 PM

I use 1/2” clamps but..I went with sch 80 pipe to eliminate the flex.
It would have been cheaper to go 3/4”

-- .

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4222 days

#5 posted 07-12-2008 06:27 PM

I look at it like buying a 1/2” socket set versus a 3/8” set. Maybe a little bit more for the 1/2” set but the capability far succeeds the difference.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View woodnut's profile


393 posts in 4286 days

#6 posted 07-12-2008 09:38 PM

Matt, I have both 1/2” and 3/4” and I find that I use the 1/2” more because they are lighter , I have 4’ pipes on mine. Most of my glue up requireing clamps are cabinet doors and I have not had an issue of flexing yet. I would only suggest to not buy the black pipe. They seem to leave stains on the wood more than the silver pipe. Hope this helps.

-- F.Little

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3907 days

#7 posted 07-12-2008 10:08 PM

Here’s a tip out of my workshop.

There are little clips for hanging things simple bent spring metal. These work great for grabbing the pipe (the one that stains wood) as well as providing a gap that prevents the wood from touching the pipe.

Screw these to a small board that has been 45’d on 2 sides. Then you can make a rack to hold the clamps by having these slide into matching miters (like a french cleat).

View Raymondz's profile


64 posts in 3847 days

#8 posted 07-12-2008 10:44 PM

Both have their good/bad points.

They all seem to have been mentioned here. It’s now a personal choice.

Let us know what you decide and and your reasons, please.

-- - Ray

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3881 days

#9 posted 07-13-2008 08:35 AM

I mostly have 3/4” but I have a few 1/2” pipe clamps as well.

The 1/2” a lighter weight which I like. The bars deflect
under medium pressure.

I have K-body clamps too. I only use pipe clamps when
I can’t use my other bar clamps because I am using them

3/4” pipe clamps deflect too – so it’s not as if 3/4” are
the same as bar clamps.

View Matt Schnurbusch's profile

Matt Schnurbusch

36 posts in 3846 days

#10 posted 07-13-2008 02:11 PM

Has anyone tried the Grizzly pipe clamps? Trying to save a little money, but I know I’ve tried to do that in the past and not had good luck.

-- - If you can't have fun doin' it, it aint worth doin' - Matt

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4533 days

#11 posted 07-13-2008 02:46 PM

I have both 3/4, & 1/2”, but I use the 3/4” the most.

Check out these 48” aluminum clamps @ $9.99 from Harbor Freight.

You won’t need to buy pipe which seems like a good buy.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4002 days

#12 posted 07-13-2008 03:01 PM

i use both and i use 1/2” for smaller than 4’ and 3/4” for larger than 4’. haven’t had any problems yet but if i am gluing up like 5’ or something i want that 3/4” pipe.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3956 days

#13 posted 07-13-2008 03:10 PM

Most of my clamps are 1/2” but I have a few 3/4”. They both serve there purpose: 1/2” are lighter and work better for shorter clamping distance, but the 3/4” work better for the longer clamping distance where the 1/2” pipe flexes too much. Get both and you won’t regret it. You can never have too many clamps.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 4146 days

#14 posted 07-13-2008 03:16 PM

I too have both the 1/2” and 3/4” pipe clamps. I have more of the 3/4” size.

As has been said, the 1/2” pipe will bend a little under a fair amount of pressure. The 3/4” are much more stout. However, they are both good for different jobs. I use the 1/2” for lighter jobs and they work very well.

Probably the biggest difference is that the 3/4” clamps have a much larger and nicer clamping screw and handle. This makes it easier to apply more pressure with the clamp and to also release it easier.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3986 days

#15 posted 07-14-2008 02:02 AM

All mine are 3/4”. Main reason: I do not have to look for a extra piec of pipe when I need a longer clamp. If you do get both, make sure you get some extra pipe of both sizes for extensions and keep them seperate. The other nice thing about 3/4” is that they have the ones that can be reversed for seperateing peices.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

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