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Tool: AutoMaxx clamps

Manufacturer: Kreg

Price: $24-$29

Are you a pocket-screw fan? If so, you know that locking clamps are extremely handy for holding parts together during assembly. In fact, they’re almost indispensable. But they have one annoying feature: If you switch to material of a different thickness, you have to fiddle with the clamp’s adjustment screw to change the clamp’s capacity, then fiddle some more to get the right amount of pressure. No longer.

The new line of AutoMaxx clamps from Kreg—the company that revolutionized pocket-screw joinery—can clamp material of different thicknesses without any adjustment at all. You just set the amount of clamping pressure once and you’re good to go. Seems impossible? Well, it really works.

Automaxx clamps come in two styles: the typical two-jaw variety and the Bench Klamp. The two-jaw clamps come in two sizes: A 3″ version can hold material up to 2-7/8″ thick, while a 6″ version can hold material up to 4-1/4″ thick. The Bench Klamp is essentially a high-tech hold-down that mounts on Kreg’s Klamp Trak, Klamp Plate or a variety of other Kreg accessories. The Bench Klamp comes in 3″ or 6″ versions as well; they’ll clamp up to 2-1/2″ or 4-1/2″ respectively.

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