Best clamps for woodworking reviews

Clamps seem simple at first glance, but when you start shopping for them, you find a variety of different types of clamps that work for certain situations. Most often, people need clamps when they want to glue two pieces of wood together. But many times, you can use them to hold parts together while you work, hold a stop to a machine, or hold parts to a fixture. In other words, clamps can come handy as a temporary means of attachment.

Different types of clamps work better in some situations than in others. Here, we start with basics and work our way up to specialized clamps for complicated projects.

Best clamps for woodworking list

Clamps for woodworkingTypesMax CapacityThroat DepthPrice
Bessey LM2.004 LM
General Purpose Clamp
Bar clamps4 in.2 in.Check
Price external-link-16
IRWINQUICK-GRIPOne-
Handed Mini Bar Clamp
Bar clamps6 in.2-7/16 in.Check
Price external-link-16
TEKTON 39180 Mini 6
Ratchet Bar Clamp
Bar clamps6 in.1-1/2 in.Check
Price external-link-16
Neewer Heavy Duty Muslin
Spring Clamps Clips
Spring clamps2 in.2.5 in.Check
Price external-link-16
Kreg KHC-PREMIUM
Face Clamp
Face clamps3 in.3 in.Check
Price external-link-16

Basic Clamps For Starters

  • Spring Clamps

Spring clamps are often used for temporarily holding parts together or for gluing small parts. They don’t have much holding power but are really easy to use and work like a binder clip, which can be useful in many projects. They come in four sizes, and each size shows the maximum opening. For beginners, we can recommend sizes 2 inches and 3 inches. The smaller one is limited in what items it can hold but is easy to open with bare hands. The larger one is harder to open but have a larger capacity. You can get a pair of each and decide which one is better for your needs.

  • F-style

Most woodworking projects require F-style clamps. 4 inches and 6 inches are the most popular and used for attaching jigs, grouping parts together, holding parts, and attaching hold-downs. Then, there are larger F-style clamps. If you need to assemble drawers and panels, choose sizes between 12 inches and 24 inches. Heavier clamps will distort smaller assemblies.

There is also a variation of the F-style clamps that is called a Kliklamp, which tightens with a convenient ratcheting level (instead of a traditional handle). These are quick to use and you can control the amount of pressure you want to generate. However, they are pretty new and it can be hard to find them.

The longer clamps, such as 30 inches and larger, aren’t so popular for DIY woodworking projects since they can throw parts out of alignment. And then there are also “quick-grip” clamps that should be faster to use. In fact, it is often really hard to properly tighten them. If you’re choosing between F-style and quick-grip clamp, choose the first ones. F-style clamps let you adjust them with one hand by pushing with your thumb. If you’re just starting working with wood, stick to these basic ones – others will only slow you down.

Types Of Clamps For Experienced Woodworkers

These clamps will meet all your requirements for all woodworking projects; these are nice to have if you’ve already done some simple things and want to move on. The first are c-clamps.

  • C-Clamp

A few C-clamps are a necessary tool for many projects. Start by getting eight of them of medium length. Once you have stocked C-clamps, F-style clamps and spring clamps, you can move up to specialty types. If you need a clamp that is handy for both gluing and clamping, get these.

Sometimes, you can see cheap aluminum clamps on the market, and if you find a good deal, take advantage on it. Cheap clamps are perfect when you don’t need to generate a lot of pressure. Use them for small projects.

  • Pipe Clamp Fixtures

If you need to secure large parts or apply extreme pressure, you can make clamps from pipe fixtures. Take standard or galvanized iron pipes and thread the headstock fixture onto the end of your pipe. Then take the adjustable tailstock fixture and slide it onto the pipe’s end. You can choose the capacity of your DIY Pipe Clamps by choosing pipes of different lengths. You can also join different pipes for a total control of the clamping capacity.

The best thing about these clamps is that you can make clamps of any length by joining the pipes (and for the price of a few couplings!). Just remember to make sure that the threaded part of the pipe clamp should be in line with what you’re gluing. For example, when you’re putting tabletops together, you can keep the clamps in line by ripping strips to rest of the wood parts. You can also adjust clamps top and bottom to keep everything glued in line.

  • Deep Throat Bar Clamps

If you DIY Pipe Clamp Fixtures, you may not need F-style and spring clamps. However, you will still need deep throat bar clamps. These clamps have outstanding stretching capacity combined with deep reaching capacity, easily making them the most versatile. They come in many sizes and are irreplaceable by other types of clamps.

  • Hand Screw Clamps

These clamps are often excluded from the list of must-have clamps because you can do simple home repairs using other tools. But, if you like DIY projects and love tools that look cool, the hand screw clamps are for you. They have sturdy metallic handles and jaws made of maple that help you exert a lot of pressure. You can also adjust them, making it useful for both big and small projects.

Best Clamps For Big Projects

Moving on to larger projects, if you’re going to assemble furniture and glue wide parts, you need large clamps. And the best are parallel-jaw clamps. They are user-friendly and the jaws will be parallel as you tighten the clamps. However, they are very heavy and quite expensive; the price depends on depth. If it’s ok for you, get these and complete huge projects with ease.

Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clamp

If you need clamps with good pressure but not too cumbersome, these fit the bill. They are lightweight, small, with a good force and built quality suitable for most projects, and they’re not expensive. These are quality clamps that professionals and amateurs can use with ease and they are made in Germany (most cheap clamps are made in China).

clamps-for-woodworking

One thing that you should be aware of before buying these is the barcode stickers on handles. If you remove them, they leave a sticky residue that you have to clean off somehow (probably with alcohol). Not a big deal, of course, and it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes of your time but these stickers could be placed on jaws.

Things We Like

    • Very sturdy
    • Hold parts as long as you want
    • Allows to adjust tightness
    • Last through many projects

Things We Don’t Like

The bar doesn’t catch the jaw

IRWINQUICK-GRIPOne-Handed Mini Bar Clamp

These clamps are great for lightweight holding and gluing projects; they can handle up to 70kg of pressure. If you need a tool to work in tight areas, this is your best bet. Non-marking pads are a nice bonus. Use these clamps for general woodworking projects and they will last you for a good while.

best clamps for woodworking

The clamping cauls are made of metal to ensure advanced grip capacity. Another advantage is their small size, because you can take it with you. We can’t say these are the best for hardcore woodworkers, but if you’re anything else, this would be perfect clamps for all your projects.

Things We Like

    • Clamping pressure
    • Steel bar
    • Quick-release trigger
    • Fast positioning

Things We Don’t Like

Con-side covers can come loose with time

TEKTON 39180 Mini 6 Ratchet Bar Clamp

These clamps are essential for all types of woodworking; they are perfect for holding small and medium-size parts together. Constructed with a strong nylon jaw, they allow you to apply precise force and position the clamps in the desired place. They also have a convenient quick release button. Ratcheting action is silent and smooth. Jaws don’t leave marks or scratches in surfaces.

clamps woodworking

These clamps are backed with a lifetime warranty. Once set, jaws will not creep. When you are done with your project, press the release button to let clamps go of workpiece.

Things We Like

    • Useful in tight spaces
    • Durable
    • Securely holds small and medium-size parts together

Things We Don’t Like

Not suitable for big projects

Neewer Heavy Duty Muslin Spring Clamps Clips

These clamps have a 2 inches jaw opening, which is perfect for small projects and operation in tight places. You can use these every time you need quality spring clamps. They have a sturdy grip with convenient, gentle pads that allow you to adjust to the grip surface. Small teeth on the diameter ensure small objects are secured. Flat pads hold wood parts together while the glue dries.

clamps-for-woodworking

The 2 inches jaws are sufficient to fit most objects. The inclusion of 6 clamps is more than enough to ensure the most stable placement of the items. Overall, these clamps are great for your crafting needs. You can use them conventionally, for many projects. The only downside that we’ve mentioned is their stiffness when compared to other clamps, which makes opening a bit difficult.

Thins We Like

    • Rounded handles
    • Comfortable grips
    • Reinforced nylon construction
    • Steel pivot for better durability

Things We Don’t Like

More stiff than other clamps

Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp

These are classic face clamps with amazing reach and capacity. They are specifically designed for small projects, with a deep throat that enables you to clamp directly over the line, ensuring a flush seam. With these clamps, you will forget about misalignment.

best-clamps-for-woodworking

They also have the vise-grip action so you can easily engage and disengage the clamps with one hand. They work great for most home and shop projects that require clamping without marring. They ensure even distribution of force and hold pieces in place during assembly.

Things We Like

    • Deep throat clamps that stiles easily
    • Soft-grip handles
    • Convenient operation
    • Adjustment knob dials

Things We Don’t Like

Some may want a bit longer depth of the arms

What To Consider Before Buying Clamps

The main criteria you should consider is the type of projects you are going to do. For example, if you need to clamp several boards, you can use bar clamps but F-style clamps will do it much easier. And bar clamps are better to clamp at the edges. In short, the right clamp for the right project makes everything much easier.

Materials

Unlike hammers and chisels, there is not as much to look for in terms of materials. Most of the clamps are made of quality plastic that can last for years. However, try to avoid hard brittle plastic because it cracks easily, so look for softer materials.

Metal parts aren’t that important in clamps, so they don’t have the same hardness as chisels but make sure to look for cracks and damages. Speaking of wooden parts, for example, hands of clamps, they should be made of hardwood. Oak or maple is what you want to look for. If you can’t say whether the quality of the wood is good, try to scratch it with a finger nail. Quality wood doesn’t scratch easily and will serve you longer.

The winner

best-clamps-for-woodworkingWhile searching for the best multitask clamps for your woodworking projects, we strongly recommend you to take the Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp into consideration. They are great for clamping wood to the bench to hold while carving, gluing or sanding.

They are also great for router tables to work benches and allow your hands to handle the work piece and not the clamp. They are easy to engage and disengage with one hand. Its 3.5 inches depth makes it a deep throat clamp, which can handle most projects with ease. These are very versatile clamps and are perfect for all types of projects.