Cheap clamp source

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Forum topic by daddywoofdawg posted 02-03-2014 08:12 AM 1635 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View daddywoofdawg's profile


815 posts in 664 days

02-03-2014 08:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp clamps

I have few clamps and would like many more as all of us do,but as you know they are spendy.I check CL and ebay,but I’m wondering if anyone has found a Cheap clamp source?

18 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2716 posts in 2131 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 08:29 AM

Not sure where you live but Harbor Freight sells some descent clamps. I use them all the time and they do fine.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Garry's profile


101 posts in 804 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 11:13 AM

Don’t forget Ebay. Many items can be clamped using wedges against blocks temporarily screwed down to the bench top.

I also use clamps made out of PVC pipe. Cut 3” or 4” PVC into split rings. The width of the ring determines the stiffness of the clamp. Works great.

You can even add handles like this one.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View Jim's profile


119 posts in 3087 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 11:37 AM

I bought this set several years ago. I don’t use them a lot but they work just fine.

-- Jim in Cushing Oklahoma

View paxorion's profile


1089 posts in 1134 days

#4 posted 02-03-2014 02:58 PM

The HF F-style clamps are great buys in the 6” and 12” range. Anything longer and they don’t perform too well. See my review:

Pipe clamps were my go-to in the 12+” range. I have both the Bessey-clone HF pipe clamp fixtures which are very affordable, as well as Jorgensen Pony pipe clamp fixtures.

As of this point, I’m sufficiently stocked on F-style and pipe clamps for my usage. My latest clamp acquisitions are a few Jet parallel clamps during their 50% off sale, and will probably wait for another sale before I get more.

-- paxorion

View bondogaposis's profile


3448 posts in 1440 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 03:08 PM

Good clamps aren’t cheap, look for sales, just buy a few at a time eventually you’ll have enough. Well maybe never enough but enough to get by.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View dbhost's profile


5426 posts in 2321 days

#6 posted 02-03-2014 03:16 PM

The Harbor Freight Pittsburgh line of F bar clamps have been pretty decent. Avoid their quick clamp copies unless you are willing to fix the pivot pin with a rivet when they break, and they will. Although with a coupon at $1.99 each for the 12” quick clamps, it might be worth your time to look up the process and fix the pin on these to have some decent clamps…

Avoid their corner clamps like the plague. They might as well be tin foil…

The pipe clamps are pretty good for the price as well…

If you like / use handscrew clamps, the HF units are pretty good too. I have a couple and like using them…

For corner clamps, I like the Jorgenson Pony corner clamps. Not free, but certainly not super expensive when you buy them in multi packs on Amazon…

My Irwin Quick Grip 12” clamps came from Home Depot on a Black Friday sale and they weren’t much more than the HF cheapies. Might be worth your while to wait to buy them on sale…

Also check Craigsllist in your area frequently. I see folks selling out clamp collections from time to time for not a lot of money… Although you should be careful with that. I have seen a lot of garbage come up for sale too…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View bannerpond1's profile


386 posts in 987 days

#7 posted 02-03-2014 03:19 PM

As with most tools, you get what you pay for. I would decide which clamps I thought were the best for my shop and then try to find the best price on them. Buy a couple at a time, or only what you need for the project. Next time, you buy a couple more.

I have found that buying something purely because of the price is not the way to go.

-- --Dale Page

View JADobson's profile


538 posts in 1200 days

#8 posted 02-03-2014 04:19 PM

Up here in Canada, Princess Auto is the place to go for clamps. When the go on sale, every couple of months or so you can get some really great bar clamps for cheap cheap cheap.

-- James

View wseand's profile


2716 posts in 2131 days

#9 posted 02-04-2014 01:45 AM

Took me a second to figure out what the hell you were making, some sort of UFO, S&M, thingy.
Then I Scrolled down a bit and saw the rest of the pic, Still have no idea. :~)

great ideas for PVC. Never would have thunk it.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View gfadvm's profile


13939 posts in 1779 days

#10 posted 02-04-2014 02:17 AM

Harbor Freight has several decent clamps as stated above.

Ratchet straps make good band clamps on the cheap.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View widdle's profile


1634 posts in 2088 days

#11 posted 02-04-2014 02:23 AM

I find cheap to be expensive …

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 665 days

#12 posted 02-04-2014 02:24 AM

harbor has good c clamps, alum bar clamps, pipe clamps, and f clamps are ok not as rigid as the pony or bessey when you get over 24 inches but work ok…their quick clamps are mediocre if not requiring heavy clamping..this I would recommend Irwin or bessey…for the cheap.. harbor freight is good for the recreational wood worker anything for daily use I would buy the better a few at a time

-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View Garry's profile


101 posts in 804 days

#13 posted 02-04-2014 09:23 AM

Here's another idea for shop made clamps that work as good or better than store bought.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View gtbuzz's profile


424 posts in 1530 days

#14 posted 02-04-2014 02:09 PM

dbhost already said it once, but I’ll add to it. The Harbor Freight quick clamps are absolute garbage. I bought several for $1/$2 each at a recent sidewalk sale and after using them a while, I’m realizing I would have made better use of my money had I just tossed it out the window of the car.

Even working as they’re supposed to, they don’t provide very much clamping force. After a few uses, half of them barely work at all. The release on them is awful too. Had to use a pair of pliers, or I’d risk cutting my finger.

My recent “best clamp value” purchase were these:

I picked up a bunch of those over Black Friday for $13.33/set, but even at $21 (it’s also very easy to find a Lowe’s 10% off coupon code), they’re still a pretty decent deal (about $3.50/clamp). I’ve got a bunch of nice parallel clamps and bar clamps and these will never compare to those, but I do really like them because they’re easy to use one-handed.

View CharlesA's profile


2651 posts in 886 days

#15 posted 02-04-2014 03:13 PM

Garry, those corner clamps are great. Have to make me some.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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