I need some clamps. Inexpensive ?

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Forum topic by chetrog posted 06-28-2014 05:58 AM 2250 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 1337 days

06-28-2014 05:58 AM

I am very new to woodworking.I really don’t have a lot of clamps and I need to get some. I was looking at Home Depot and I was confused on why clamps cost so much. Im wondering if anyone could suggest where I should be looking to find a good deal. I have 4 Irwin clamps that are about 6” long. And have some small c clamps.They are ratcheting , and I like that. I need to buy at least four 12” clamps and four 24” clamps. I could buy some from Harbor Freight, but don’t know if that’s even worth getting. I appreciate any suggestions. I really don’t want to spend over $50, but I don’t know if that’s possible. Thanks for your time

-- I had a stroke a few years back, and sometimes the words dont come out as well as I would like.

29 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile


1725 posts in 1767 days

#1 posted 06-28-2014 06:09 AM

I love HF clamps. A lot of people do. You can’t beat them for the $.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2450 days

#2 posted 06-28-2014 06:11 AM

I have about 20 12” harbor freight bar clamps that I don’t need (I replaced them with bessey tradesmans).
If you’re interested, I could give you a killer deal on them.

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

View AlaskaGuy's profile


3791 posts in 2182 days

#3 posted 06-28-2014 06:17 AM

View DangerDoug's profile


72 posts in 1520 days

#4 posted 06-28-2014 09:09 AM

There may be some things around the house that will help you.
E.g. Tie Down Strap / Bungee Straps BUT #1 is weights!
Gym weights, buckets of sand, etc.
Yard Sale Time!!

HF clamps are cool – don’t over tighten them.

There have been some creative improvements in “pipe clamps” in the last few years:

View chetrog's profile


84 posts in 1337 days

#5 posted 06-28-2014 09:49 AM

Maybe I will check out the Harbor Freight clamps. I just assumed they would be junk. Sounds like i should see them first. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

-- I had a stroke a few years back, and sometimes the words dont come out as well as I would like.

View chetrog's profile


84 posts in 1337 days

#6 posted 06-28-2014 10:11 AM

I have about 20 12” harbor freight bar clamps that I don t need (I replaced them with bessey tradesmans).
If you re interested, I could give you a killer deal on them.

- NiteWalker

Thanks for the offer. I need to start a project tomorrow. I appreciate it though.

-- I had a stroke a few years back, and sometimes the words dont come out as well as I would like.

View DIYaholic's profile


19485 posts in 2548 days

#7 posted 06-28-2014 10:45 AM

As others have said, the HF clamps are a good way to go…
Just inspect each and every one prior to purchasing.
Make sure the “clamp ends” line up….
Check the handle for “slippage”, when cranking up the holding pressure….

I have over 2 dozen HF clamps, with only a few every having an issue.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View JayT's profile


5494 posts in 2084 days

#8 posted 06-28-2014 12:28 PM

The aluminum HF bar clamps, with some simple modifications can work really well. Eventually you will want to invest in some good quality clamps, such as parallel clamps, but until then, there is no reason not to go the HF route. I’ve got several that still get used.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3191 days

#9 posted 06-28-2014 12:33 PM

There are two lines of ratchet clamps at HF. Be careful to get the better ones – they look similar to each other.



I believe they have only those two sizes. I love mine.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View knotscott's profile


7820 posts in 3249 days

#10 posted 06-28-2014 12:47 PM

This style of bar clamps from HF are actually pretty good IMO….a darn good bang for the buck. I’ve got more than a dozen of various sizes and have very good luck with them. I’ve not had good results from the HF “quick grip” style clamps, but I seem to recall that they may have made some upgrades to them recently.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View helluvawreck's profile


29741 posts in 2740 days

#11 posted 06-28-2014 01:41 PM

Sometimes you can get some nice deals on clamps at IRS Auctions.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Rayne's profile


692 posts in 1413 days

#12 posted 06-28-2014 02:25 PM

Also check your local Lowes. They recently clearanced out all of their Bessey clamps for up to 75% off. Mine still has a few of the odds and ends along with Vices. There are a couple of threads here that have discussed it. Well worth looking into before HF. And also if you check Home Depot, they currently have a 4 F-clamp set from Bessey for $20. That’s a great deal. Just some additional resources if you need them.

View TheDane's profile


5348 posts in 3536 days

#13 posted 06-28-2014 03:03 PM

I don’t have anything against Harbor Freight clamps, but you can do better. Check out Home Depot, Lowes, your local Craigslist, and garage sales. A couple of years ago, I was on my way home from the grocery store when I drove by a garage sale that just looked inviting. I bought 8 Pony 3/4” pipe clamps (with 24” pipes) off the guy for $25. They were like new. The only downside was the ice cream melted before I got home … SWMBO was a little unhappy with me.

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

View MrUnix's profile


6193 posts in 2072 days

#14 posted 06-28-2014 06:45 PM

The HF racheting clamp/spreaders are junk.. but their F-clamps are great and significantly cheaper than the exact same clamps (only in a different color) from the big box stores. Having looked at them, I’m pretty sure they all come out of the same factory in China and are just painted differently according to who they are going to. They also have the rubber end protectors which the others usually only offer as a separate purchase ($5 for a set for 2 clamps).. Currently on sale, you can get 12 inch clamps for just a smidgen over $3 a piece with a 20% off coupon:

Here is a Jorgenson clamp that is identical and costs about $10 at HD:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View DangerDoug's profile


72 posts in 1520 days

#15 posted 07-12-2014 12:15 PM

Not working as thought.

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

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