Do I really need "K" body clamps?

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 03-19-2014 09:34 PM 1716 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3241 days

03-19-2014 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: clamp

Although I do have some Bessey K body clamps, I rarely use them. When I need a clamp, I usually reach for a Jorgerson F clamp and even a HF F clamp. The K clamps I have are 50” and they are heavy. I like the F clamps because they are lighter to handle. I don’t see why I need the 1000# clamping power of the Besseys. Anyone else have thoughts on clamps? I think the Besseys are overkill. They are capable of squeezing all the glue out of a joint if clamped real tight.

13 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#1 posted 03-19-2014 09:39 PM

I don’t use them very often either, but when I need them they sure come in handy.

Most recent example was when I was puling my daughter’s TV cabinet together …
Click for details
... the carcase was a complicated glue-up that needed to be square. The K-clamps helped me get the job done right.

But you are right … reefing too hard on them can result in a glue-starved joint.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3740 days

#2 posted 03-19-2014 09:49 PM

My 50 inchers hang most of the time – I really like the K-body style clamps, I have 2 and 3 footers that are used a lot.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2575 days

#3 posted 03-19-2014 09:55 PM

They’re definitely a luxury, but a nice one.
I’m getting some 24” and 12” revos pretty soon.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 1635 days

#4 posted 03-19-2014 10:24 PM

For most glue ups f clamps are fine. I use bessey tradesman clamps. Most time I just need to apply pressure but on an entire cabinet or entertainment center like above, you need square pressure. In these cases it’s k body only. I’m a bessey fan but I hear jet are the best

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#5 posted 03-19-2014 10:27 PM

I haven’t found anything that matches the surface area of a large parallel clamp. Compared to a dinky little “F” style clamp, it is no comparison. They also have a nice long reach, so you can clamp over other pipe clamps etc.
Ultimately one or two types of clamps will be used more, and those are the ones we should add to the collection.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2349 days

#6 posted 03-19-2014 10:29 PM

I like mine but I use the 24” most often, much easier to handle than the long ones.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2444 days

#7 posted 03-19-2014 10:59 PM

I have never used them so I don’t know exactly how different they are to the regular (cheap) clamps I have ,I,m sure they are built better ,grip better and squarely but have been managing without them so far.

To me it seems like the difference between a regular pushstick and the Grr ripper,nice to have but not a must have.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Mark E.'s profile

Mark E.

387 posts in 3740 days

#8 posted 03-20-2014 12:00 AM

Definitely not a ‘must have’, but they do have a lot going for them as others have mentioned. I use my Bessey and Jet parallel clamps more than any other clamps.

And, just to start some controversy, you really can’t apply too much clamping pressure and starve a glue joint. If you apply enough glue, per the manufacturers recommendation, you will never starve the joint of glue by applying too much clamping pressure.

-- Mark

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2575 days

#9 posted 03-20-2014 12:09 AM

Mark, I also believe you can’t apply enough pressure to starve a joint. I’m pretty sure it was proven a myth in one of the ww mags.

The jets are nice but the bessey revos have the best handles I’ve ever used on a clamp. The jet handle is hollow and can shatter if dropped. Also, I’ve seen a few people mention the jets losing pressure (eg. clamp tight overnight and the next day clamps are loose).

I’m so happy with my bessey tradesmans that have the same handles as the revos, that’s where my money goes.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2881 days

#10 posted 03-20-2014 12:24 AM

I have a good collection of parallel clamps, mostly Jorgenson but also a couple of Bessy’s. I do a lot of edge gluing and parallel clamps give me the best results. Personally, I prefer the Jorgenson clamps to Bessy; I don’t like the serrated bar on the Bessy clamps; it is a pain to clean glue off!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2255 days

#11 posted 03-20-2014 12:35 AM

I just completed this project and was really happy that I had a pair of 8’ Besseys. However, I use Irwin clamps frequently for light clamping needs. I think it comes down to using the right tool for the job.

-- Art

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 1635 days

#12 posted 03-20-2014 12:57 AM

Art very nice job on that headboard

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#13 posted 03-20-2014 11:45 AM

The K bodies are a joy to use, and I really like them. But to the point of a glue starved joint…I’m pretty sure that’s not likely. I crank them down as hard as I can and never had a problem. Like Nite walker said, this was refuted in a test one of the mags did. I also have a smattering of the Jorgies, and like them. Deeper jaws, a smooth bar that easier to clean the glue off, and a longer screw. But they are even heavier than the K’s… a problem they all share with pipe clamps.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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