The Best Clamps For Woodworking

The more you discover the world of woodworking the more you hear "you just can't have too many clamps".  I can't tell you how many times I have thought this or heard it reiterated from a fellow woodworker.  

Clamps are the quintessential accessory for most woodworking projects.  Something I learned early on is that without a proper set of clamps, you are extremely limited with what you can accomplish.

The Saw Guy is going to show you the applications for which woodworking clamps are used, the best woodworking clamps for beginners, and the best woodworking clamps on a budget.  


The Best Types Of Clamps For Woodworking 

Let's start by taking a few minutes to discuss the different types of clamps for woodworking and how each are used.​

  • Angle Clamp
  • Strap Clamp
  • Bar Clamp
  • C-Clamp
  • Edge Clamp
  • Pipe Clamp
  • Handscrew Clamp
best clamps for woodworking

Used for building boxes, cabinets, frames, joinery, doweling, drilling, etc..  Angle clamps are the solution for all of those impossible projects that usually require creating some type of jig to complete.  

There are several different type of angle clamps.  ​If you have a specific woodworking project that requires some creative thinking, do some research and you'll probably land on an angle clamp as a solution.  

Watch tutorial below.​

The clamp style you need will be determined by the woodworking project you're working on.  Just remember, you simply cannot have enough clamps.  The unofficial rule is that eventually you will come across a project that requires more clamps than you have.    


The Best Clamps For Woodworking For Beginners

With so many woodworking clamp options it is sometimes difficult to know what you should purchase first.  Someone just starting out in woodworking can get lost and overwhelmed with options.  

I believe your clamp selection should progress as your skills progress.  The fact is, you most likely won't be taking on projects that require specialty clamps ​when you first start. Therefore, let's focus on identifying the best clamps for woodworking that we know you will need as a beginner woodworker.  

Bar Clamps

best clamps for woodworking

The clamps you will undoubtedly use more than all others are bar clamps.  A medium to large set of bar clamps can be used on just about every sized project you tackle.  

The Pros
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes
  • Provides a good amount of torque
  • Extremely versatile
The Cons
  • Typically expensive
  • Cheaper versions (aluminum) have a tendency to bend and lose torque

Jorgensen 7248 48-Inch Heavy-Duty Steel I-Bar Clamp

Bar Clamps


C-Clamps

best clamps for woodworking

Probably the most widely used shop clamp is the C-Clamp.  However, the C-Clamp isn't just used for woodworking.  C-Clamps can be used in a variety of applications, and because of their simple design, are generally the most affordable clamps available.

The Pros​
  • Very affordable
  • Available in many different styles and sizes
  • Easy to use
The Cons
  • Limited woodworking project use due to size
  • Will lose torque over time

Grizzly G8091 C-Clamp 4-Piece Set

C-Clamps

These two styles of clamps are the first types I would purchase because they will get the job done 90% of the time.  Just remember, because clamps can be an expensive accessory, it is best to add to your collection gradually as you increase your skill level.  


The Best Clamps For Woodworking On A Budget

You've probably figured out by now that the best clamps for woodworking are kind of expensive.  For some, it's just too much to pay for something that holds things together...

You've probably also figured out that when something is expensive there are a number of economic options that will do the job (although probably not as well).  

Here are my picks for the best clamps for woodworking on a budget.​

​Budget Bar Clamps

Irwin is a great tool company that has come out with various tools that are relatively inexpensive.  The Irwin Quick Grip 6 Clamp Set is a great set of clamps for the woodworker on a budget.

The ratchet style clamp from Irwin works kind of like a caulk gun.  As you press the trigger the clamps will ratchet tighter and only release when the clutch is depressed.  ​

best clamps for woodworking

The Irwin Quick Grip 6 Clamp Set is a great ​place to start because it gives you various sizes and for the price of one high-end clamp (around $40).  

Irwin also makes larger varieties if your woodworking project calls for it.  ​The Irwin 24 inch Quick Grip Bar Clamp is a great example at about half the price of similarly sized high-end brands. 

best clamps for woodworking

​Budget C-Clamps

​C-Clamps are relatively inexpensive in most varieties.  However, TEKTON has a set of 3 heavy-duty C-Clamps for just under $12 which is even cheaper than you would expect.  

best clamps for woodworking

Pro Grade makes a 4 1/2 inch deep throat C-Clamp that many users find useful when the material you are trying to clamp is deeper than the typical 1"-2" C-Clamp.

best clamps for woodworking

Budget Pipe Clamps

The Peachtree Woodworking Supply Company has a 3/4" PIPE CLAMP FIXTURE that will work amazingly well and is cheaper than most brands.  A very simple design, but this pipe clamp gets the job done, and that's all that matters.

best clamps for woodworking

Bessey makes a H-style pipe clamp that can stand on it's own two legs (literally).  The feet on the Bessey BPC-H12 1/2-Inch H Style Pipe Clamp help to keep the clamp from tipping over while on your bench or ground.  

Bonus budget point: 1/2 inch pipe clamps means you only have to buy 1/2 inch pipe, which is much cheaper than 3/4 inch.  ​

best clamps for woodworking

Hopefully, this helps answer all of your questions about the best clamps for woodworking. As the saying goes, "you can't have too many clamps".

Click here for some incredible woodworking projects.​