Clamps You Need In Your Shop

Clamps for Every Application

Clamps come in all shapes and sizes and while many can be used for lots of applications, some are specifically designed to do some jobs better! Know the differences to get the best performance from your clamps.

The old joke is that you can never have enough clamps. I believe the real statement should be that you can never have enough variety in clamps! There are so many cool clamps to choose from today. Some are very specific in purpose and most of us wouldn't stock up on these clamps. But that's a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about clamps commonly used in the woodshop. And yes, I know, not everyone's shop is the same. So this list is general, please don't take offense if I've left out your favorite clamp.

F-Style Bar Clamps

One of the most common clamps in a shop is the F-style or small bar clamp. Even this category starts to get mission-specific by offering multiple jaw depths. Shorter jaw depths keep the clamping pressure closer to the bar, but sometimes you just need to reach in a bit further to clamp. As the jaw pressure moves further from the bar, the bar itself needs to get a little beefier to support the stress and to keep the clamp pressure as high as possible (600 lbs is normal). These clamps are usually in 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" jaw length and are commonly found in 6", 12" and 24" lengths. They do get longer, but many times a different clamp should be used when you're past 24". These clamps are often the workhorse in a shop and it will serve you well to have a nice selection of these in your shop.

One-Handed Bar Clamps

In the same size category, but with a twist, are clamps that can be tightened using one hand. This leaves the other hand free to hold things in place as you tighten the clamp. Controlled by a mechanism to close the jaws with just one hand, the quick, or one-handed clamps will get the clamp in place with one hand, but you still need to tighten the clamp to provide full strength. Often used to get things in place, rather than bringing great pressure to bear, these clamps are usually lighter-duty clamps, with less clamping strength (around 400-500 lbs). From Bessey GearKlamps, to the more common one-handed clamps, these clamps have made working alone much easier. You may not need dozens of these clamps, but four in a couple of sizes will do you well!

Parallel Jaw Clamps

When you need serious pressure for the job (and a little extra jaw depth), parallel jaw clamps provide lots of pressure (900 - 1,100 lbs) in a design that keeps the pressure even all along the length of the clamp jaw! Add to that the clamp's ability to stand on its own during use, and these clamps are the industry standard in gluing up panels from multiple boards. In a variety of lengths from 24" - 50", these are must-have clamps.

Pipe Clamps

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true standby at a bit of savings, don’t overlook the classic pipe clamp. Buy the clamp ends and mix and match with affordable lengths of ¾” pipe and you’re clamp selection becomes varied at a bargain price. And as an extra bonus, because you choose the length of pipe, you're able to make custom clamp lengths not available with stock clamps.

Spring Clamps

And before we forget, spring clamps are an absolute necessity in any shop. Available commonly in 2" and 3" lengths, when it comes to holding something in place for a test fit, marking a piece, or just a simple glue-up, spring clamps are your best friend!

Before you say you have enough clamps, there may just be a project lurking that will prove you wrong. Let Infinity Cutting Tools be your clamping headquarters.