- Free Plans and Projects
- Furniture Projects
- Jigs And Fixtures Projects
- Shop Projects
- SketchUp Models
- Shop Storage
- Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley
- Marking And Measuring
- Woodworking Glossary
- Workshop Tips
- Premium Streaming Video Site
- Experts Guide to Gluing & Clamping Wood
- Mastering Built-In Furniture
- Simple Live-Edge Slab Table
- CNC – Designed for Woodworkers
- Milling Your Own Lumber
- Advanced Bandsaw Techniques
- I Can Do That! – Simple Woodworking Projects
- Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill
- Tricks of the Trade
- American Woodworker Archives
- Shop Blog
- Chris Schwarz Blog
- People And Places
- Flexner On Finishing Blog
- Popular Woodworking Magazine
- Digital Editions
- Give A Gift
- Woodworking Magazine Reprints
- Premium Streaming Video
The Best Woodworking Clamps to Hold Your DIY Projects TogetherLast updated: 22 May 2022
Woodworking clamps are undoubtedly a valuable addition to any professional's, or a DIY enthusiast’s, tool kit. They simply make working with wooden materials easier by precisely holding everything in place. It is important to find a clamp based on your needs and preferences, and for accomplishing your desired results. So, we included a detailed round-up of the most premium-quality woodworking clamps in 2022 for adding to your arsenal.
Woodworking clamps are super-versatile tools. From assembling smaller items such as drawers to larger ones, like tables and doors, clamps will position every piece accurately in its desired place. And, they make work simpler, saving you a lot of time and energy. So, let's get straight into it and decode everything you should know about woodworking clamps.Show contents
Buying Guide: Woodworking Clamps
When looking for woodworking clamps for DIY projects, there are many elements that you should consider. Our nifty buying guide will serve as the ultimate go-to source for all the information you’ll need regarding woodworking clamps.
Why Do You Need Woodworking Clamps?
Clamps are versatile instruments used for temporarily holding two materials together and securing them in place. Multiple woodworking clamps are used for squaring up wood boards and gluing materials. Plus, some clamps can perform dual tasks, acting as both a spreader and a clamp.
Clamps are useful tools in many applications like welding, construction, woodworking, assembling furniture, carpentry, and metalworking.
Types of Woodworking Clamps
When looking for some handy clamps for your next woodworking project, the most important thing to consider is the type of clamp you want. So, before moving on to requisite features, here are the basic types of clamps you’ll need to understand. Because, with the right clamp, your projects will automatically become more precise.
If you intend on working on a project requiring edge gluing or welding, bar clamps can get the job done. They are designed for securing wood and metal pieces together while ensuring they don't taper their grip.
Bar clamps can hold several pieces together for extended periods, even while working on them single-handed. And, you can get them customized to any size you want, making them a popular choice for woodworking workshops.
Many people mix F clamps with bar clamps as both have a bar. The bar, used as a base for this clamp, is similar but the mechanism and function are not the same. F-clamps have a wide opening capacity and can easily be adjusted based on the application.
F clamps are not solely used for holding two pieces together either, they can also be used as stabilizers while more permanent fasteners are being applied. Sanders and clamping tables are perfect examples of using F clamps.
Pipe clamps are widely used in cabinet shops, piping, and woodworking. They are composed of pipe heads, called "jaws", for securing pieces together. This tool’s wide range of clamping applications allows you to replace pipes of different sizes. And, this tool is not very expensive and still offers a great deal of versatility.
Hand screw clamps
Hand screw clamps are two large wooden pieces fastened together with large, wood-handled screws. They are intended for upscaling your crafting or woodworking by holding materials while you’re cutting or assembling them. They cannot be used for edge gluing, but these tools can keep materials compressed while the glue dries.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Clamps for Woodworking
This section will help you determine how to zero in on the perfect clamp for your next woodworking project.
Clamps go through extreme wear and tear, demanding they be constructed with heavy-duty materials. Be sure that the clamp you choose is made with sturdy materials, ensuring the instrument will last for a long time. If you’re considering plastic-based clamps, then industrial-grade plastic can be useful for combating years of constant pressure.
Metal is also a good option, but you need to check out the endurance levels. Wooden clamps should be made using maple or oak for reliable strength and durability.
Types of clamps
Before investing, you need to ask yourself why you need a clamp. It is vital to know the exact purpose for finding the correct clamp based on your particular needs. Edge gluing, stabilization, welding, and face clamping are the jobs expected from most woodworking clamps.
So, figure out your intended purpose, and then pick the right tool that can help with your project.
Based on the type of project, you need to consider if a clamp has enough required force. This is because you may need a clamp for holding items for long periods, stretching up to hours, to accomplish tasks efficiently and quickly. Plus, your project’s precision and the overall result will diminish if your clamp lags in power or reliability.
Some projects require you to move a clamp at different angles, so your tool needs to move freely enough to accomplish such movements. However, increased maneuverability tends to reduce clamping power and durability.
Ensure that the clamp you choose has a perfect balance between clamping pressure and mobility. This way, you can optimize the benefits and utility of your tool.
Size is also an important factor when looking for the ideal woodworking clamp. A clamp’s purpose decides its size. Ensure that the clamp is large enough to fit into your hands perfectly, providing an ergonomic grip. The clamp shouldn’t be too small to affect your focus or too large to hinder its maneuverability.
Steps for Using a Woodworking Clamp Properly
If you are a novice at woodworking, here are some ways to use clamps to their utmost potential:
Use flat surfaces
Always work on flat tables or surfaces. Because using these tools on uneven surfaces can lead to inaccuracy and improper gluing.
Spread glue evenly
Before clamping any joint, make sure to spread the glue evenly over the entire area. A glue roller or brush can help in this regard.
While clamping, glue can stick on the clamping surface, causing stains. So to avoid any damage, add wax between the clamps.
Change the clamp positions
To protect your surfaces from dents and warping, keep on changing the position of the clamp so that pressure remains evenly distributed.
Avoid using too much pressure
When using a clamp, only use the amount of pressure needed. Any extra pressure can lead to inaccuracy.
Reviewing the Top Woodworking Clamps in 20221– Best OverallCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
WORKPRO is one of the top-rated woodworking clamps for DIY projects, handling small, delicate pieces of wood very efficiently. This product works so well, in fact, it snagged our “best overall” award, owing to the extreme functionality and durability it provides customers. Its body is crafted using durable nylon and heavy-duty steel bars, making it a perfect tool for household repairs as well as construction sites. Another reason that professionals prefer this tool is its quick-change button design, instantly transforming the clamp into a spreader.
The squeezing force of this device goes up to 150 lbs and it includes a metal ratcheting mechanism, holding pressure for longer periods is a breeze for this clamp. This robust yet lightweight product features a flexible and non-slip design, enhancing its overall performance. A quick-release latch and an ergonomic handle also add to the device’s grip and agility.2– Most ErgonomicCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Amazon Basics woodworking clamp is an affordable and valuable tool that can be used for welding, pocket hole joinery, household repairs, woodworking, and more. This metal-constructed tool has its jaw open up to 3 inches wide, making it capable of holding materials 2-3/4 inches thick with ease.
One of the primary reasons this tool stands out among other woodworking clamps is the thumbscrew knobs fitted onto the handle, catering to quick and easy adjustments in jaw capacity. This product also comes with swivel pads, protecting delicate surfaces from damage and evenly distributing clamping force – all while holding materials firmly. The tool measures only 11 inches long, making it extremely compact and a handy tool for carrying around with you, anywhere.3– Most VersatileCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This 24 Inch Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp Set by POWERTEC is a true illustration of high-quality clamps for woodworking, gluing up tabletops, panels, wood pieces, and more. This premium tool provides a high precision clamping force of 880 pounds, at an ideal parallel angle of 90 degrees, keeping gear free of movement. Steel rail construction, with three removable jaws, switches the clamp into a full-fledged spreader, providing both rapid action movements and easy adjustments.
A built-in stand clamp favors one-hand use, and an ergonomic soft-grip handle adds comfort. And, non-marring and non-slip clamp surfaces prevent your projects from being damaged. Moving on to versatility, whether your project demands a secure locking system, use of a quick bar spreader, or evenly applied clamping pressure, this convenient tool will continually steal the show.4– Durable ConstructionCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
C CASIMR is the ideal go-to equipment for people that love playing around with wood. Being a super versatile clamping device, this product offers wide use in welding, furniture assembly, woodworking, welding, screwing, nailing, and more. This 90 degrees corner clamp is strong enough for tackling boards with thicknesses between 3/16 and ¾ inches. And, this tool is constructed with a dynamic combination of ABS and spring steel, imparting abrasion and impact resistance.
With an adjustable jaw opening from 5 cm to 22 cm, this device can help with assembling two boards of different thicknesses. Smooth, resilient, and strong high-tension springs prevent boards from moving while you’re nailing or gluing them together. The greatest thing about this four-pack clip clamp is they become a perfect little helper while you’re squaring up the boards single-handedly.5– Quality MaterialsCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
Wellmax is a complete set of heavy-duty metal spring clamps coming in 3 different sizes, enhancing functionality. Out of 16 pieces, four clamps are 6 inches, the other four are 4 inches, and the remaining eight clamps are 2 inches. These strong, vigorous, and anti-slip springs are powerful enough not to lose their grip even in cold and rainy weather conditions.
Reinforced, premium quality metal treated with a nickel-plated coating ensures sturdiness and a long-lasting grip. Ergonomic handles also alleviate hand fatigue and provide an easier grip. Plus, PVC-coated anti-slip tips offer added strength to the jaws, optimizing the whole unit. Regarding its outstanding features, it is one of the top woodworking clamps and is suitable for all kinds of projects, such as painting canvas, DIY jobs, setting up a photo studio, constructing backdrops, and more.
People Also AskedQ: What should be the average size of clamp used for making cabinets?
A: Clamp sizes between 12 and 24 inches are ideal for assembling panels and drawers. Also, make sure that the clamp is not overly heavy as it can distort assembly with its weight. Lightweight clamps are best for cabinet assembly.Q: How much clamping pressure do I need for small projects?
A: The most recommended pressure for the majority of projects is 250 psi. Pressure needs to be controlled because extra pressure can force glue out of wood, weakening the bond.Q: How long should I clamp glued items?
A: Leaving an item clamped for 40 minutes to an hour is highly recommended for an unstressed joint. On the other hand, stressed joints need more time to adhere properly. So, leaving them clamped for 24 hours will get the job done effectively.