LumberJocks

Cheap clamps suck

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Christopher posted 2038 days ago 3883 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Christopher's profile

Christopher

573 posts in 2422 days


2038 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tip clamp

I recently bought six, twelve-inch clamps from Menards and I just came upstairs from clamping an important project thoroughly frustrated with them. As I screwed the clamp down it skipped thread under very little pressure. I only used them one other time to apply very light pressure to a nailer I was putting on a shelf. Then, to top it off the little round flat thing on the end of a clamp I was about to use literally fell off. They are the gray bar clamps in case you were considering buying some soon, avoid them.

I hope I can find my receipt.


9 replies so far

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2246 days


#1 posted 2038 days ago

The adage, “you get what you pay for” really seems to apply to clamps. I think the Woodtech brand, sold by Woodworker Supply, is about as cheap as I’ll go. They only have two slip clutches on them, but I haven’t had any fail yet. I are a medium to light duty clamp any way.

-- Tim

View bbqking's profile

bbqking

328 posts in 2225 days


#2 posted 2038 days ago

I use Bessey and Jorgensen, have had no problems except that on one 36” Jorgensen I just wore out an area of thread. They can’t last forever. Pipe clamp fittings I buy from Rockler. bbqKing

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2490 days


#3 posted 2038 days ago

I made the mistake of buying a bunch of cheap ones a long time ago. Yes, they do suck.

Bessey, and Irwin quick clamps work great for me, as do spring clamps.

Harbor freight usually has great deals on C-Clamps. They are cheap but still work good.

Click for details

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

View pastor_shane's profile

pastor_shane

30 posts in 2325 days


#4 posted 2038 days ago

I too thought I was getting a great deal on some (blue) aluminum bar clamps…the price seemed too good to pass up, but now I wish I had! I bought 6, and when I used them they hung up and I had to use a hammer to get them to move again. Trying to find a hammer is not something you want to be doing when you are in the middle of a large panel glue-up. Now they now sit on the back side of my clamp rack gathering dust. I went out and bought some 6 good ‘ol fashoined Pony pipe clamps and some pipe and am very happy with them. If I only kept my receipt!

-- Shane, Guttenberg, Iowa

View Eric's profile

Eric

873 posts in 2286 days


#5 posted 2038 days ago

It really depends. I’ve bought all of my clamps (f-style) at cheap-o hardware stores here – I think I paid like $5-$10 for each one – even the 4-footers I bought didn’t cost more than that. And I’ve had no problems with any of them!

I don’t think I could even justify buying a Bessey or Jorgensen – even just one! I’m just a cheapskate. :^)

-- Eric at http://adventuresinwoodworking.com

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2246 days


#6 posted 2037 days ago

One thing that I do when I do buy the cheaper clamps, in person, I run the clamp up to the end and tighten the screw, to make sure it doesn’t slip. Some will some won’t.

-- Tim

View gjd's profile

gjd

18326 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 2037 days ago

I have had ok luck with the f-style cheapos from HF. I bought quite a few of their too good to be true clamps that can be used as spreaders or clamps. You just squeeze the trigger and they tighten up. I don’t consider myself o have that great a grip but I have had 3 of them pop apart when I squeezed them too hard.

-- gjd Southcentral Wisconsin

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1865 posts in 2493 days


#8 posted 2037 days ago

I too have had good luck with the H/F F-Style clamps. Although I do have to admit I recently acquired a few Bessey K-Body clamps…. WOW what a difference…

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1797 posts in 2174 days


#9 posted 2037 days ago

A while back, Rockler had a sale on the 4 pack Jet version of the Bessey clamp. They were on sale for a month, so every paycheck I went there and bought a 4 pack for $100. I stopped at 4 packs, and then they put the 60”ers on sale, and I bought 4 of those! I considered Bessey, but with the 4 for $100 buck promo, I couldn’t go wrong! These Jet clamps are great, and I’ve not had one fail me yet. Plus, you can use them as spreaders even! Try looking for sales, of Jet promo’s. I’m lucky, I sell Jet where I work, and can usually find great deals on things before they actually occur.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase