The Right Type of Clamp Can Be a Woodworkers Best Friend
Are you the type of person who is always tinkering with different projects in your woodworking shop? Then you know the importance of having the best woodworking clamps available to help make your projects go more smoothly.
Having the right clamp when you are woodworking can make such tasks as gluing, drilling, holding and stabilizing pieces of wood go much faster and get accomplished more easily. Woodworking is so popular you have a wide clamp selection available for you to buy but unfortunately not all of the products are good ones.
That is why we have taken the time to write this article. In it we will review some of the best woodworking clamps that are available in the tool marketplace. We will also give you some helpful insight on what to look for in a clamp so you will be able to select the right clamp for the type of woodworking task you need to do.
A Quick Overview of the Top Model Woodworking Clamps
Here are some great woodworking clamps that we will do in-depth reviews on a little later in this article
Last update on 2018-02-17 at 14:27 PST - Details
How to Select the Right Type of Clamp to Help You Do a Woodworking Task More Efficiently
Here are the key characteristics of woodworking clamps to consider when you go to purchase one:
One of the most important factors when selecting any clamp for woodworking is identifying what type of woodworking task you want to accomplish with it. Certain types of woodworking clamps are better at doing specific jobs than others. Here is a quick overview of the major types of woodworking clamps and what they are best used for.
These types of clamps are great for a quick means to hold some wood together while glue is setting up or for other quick wood clamping tasks. They work by activating the trigger on a pistol grip handle and then sliding it along a bar; the clamp locks in place when the trigger is released. The big advantage of these types of clamps is they can often be operated by using just one hand.
No woodworking shop is ever complete unless you have a few spring clamps available for you to use. These are clamps that are used for clamping pieces of wood very quickly when not much clamping pressure is necessary. They can be used for a large variety of different woodworking tasks.
This type of clamp is used to both lift your wood off the surface of the workbench or table and hold it in place tightly at the same time. They work great if you need to access all surfaces of a piece of wood while working with it or for drilling multiple holes through a piece of wood.
Corner clamp/Right angle clamp/90 degree clamp
These types of clamps are great when you are gluing or screwing two pieces of wood together in order to connect them at a right angle. An example of this would be holding two pieces of wood in place while building a drawer for a dresser.
Table/Workbench/General purpose clamp
This type of clamp is used for holding a piece of wood tightly against a workbench surface or table top. It works by attaching to the bottom of the workbench surface and the top of the piece of wood being clamped down. It has a variety of uses when you need to hold a piece of wood in place on a tabletop for a short or extended period of time.
Adjustable wooden clamp
Serious woodworkers choose these types of clamps when they are working with delicate pieces of wood that need to be glued together or held in place. They work great when you don’t want to damage the surface of such decorative wood finishes as cherry, maple, oak and walnut. Adjustable wooden clamps are very flat and wide so they apply pressure evenly to help avoid marking up the wood they are holding.
Clamp tightening method
Here are the main ways to tighten a clamp and what woodworking tasks these tightening methods work best for:
These clamps are popular because they activate so easily. That makes them great for quick wood holding jobs that don’t require much pressure. They are definitely not the clamp of choice when you need a piece of would to be held firmly in place while you exert high pressure on it.
You can see the spring in the clamp in this photo:
These are the toughest type of clamps to put into place and they require the use of two hands to work them. They are used when a piece of wood needs to be kept firmly in place for short or long periods of time. There is no type of woodworking clamp that will hold a piece of wood in place better than ones that use a screw mechanism to tighten them.
Sliding pistol grip
This is a clamp that is a middle of the road type clamp. It is easier to work than a screw style clamp but not as easy to work as a simple spring clamp. It also clamps a piece of wood much tighter than a spring clamp but not nearly as tight as a screw on type clamp. These can also be worked by using just one hand which makes them very convenient to use.
You can clearly see the pistol grip in the photo below that activates and locks this type of clamp:
Sometimes you need to put a clamp on very tightly in order to hold a piece of wood in place. When you do that you risk putting marks in the surface of the piece of wood you are working on. That is why it is nice to have a clamp model that comes with padded ends. These make it so you do not have to use a separate piece of wood or other material to protect the surface of the piece of wood you are working on to keep it from being damaged when you are clamping it.
Notice in the photo below that this clamp has rubberized ends so it won’t harm the surface of the wood pieces that you clamp with it:
A Video Introduction on the Different Types of Woodworking Clamps
Here is a great video on how different woodworking clamps are used:
Reviews of the Top Model Woodworking Clamps
Here is what we feel are the very best woodworking clamps you can buy in the tool marketplace:
What Clamp Impressed Us The Most?
Make no mistake about it, all of these clamps work great and that is why they made our list of the best woodworking clamps. We did however feel that one clamp in particular stood out among them. That was the IRWIN QUICK-GRIP One-Handed Mini Bar Clamp, 12".
This clamp had a lot going for it. It is lightweight and easy to use with just one hand for one. It can handle any woodworking clamping job up to 12 inches in width. This model Irwin clamp is built out of tough reinforced resin plastic and even the jaws on it are nicely padded.
Without a doubt it’s a clamp that you want available to use if you are into doing woodworking projects. We recommend you consider adding one or more of these to your woodworking tool inventory.