The Best Clamps For Woodworking

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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

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.​

For irregular shapes, unusual objects, picture frames or circular work.  This is another one of those products that someone thought of after a lot of heartache.

The band or strap clamp is perfect for the atypical project with odd angles and a large area to clamp.  ​

​Watch tutorial below.​

These clamps were designed especially for clamping large projects, furniture projects, tables, etc…  Probably the most common clamp, the bar clamp will complete 90% of your woodworking projects.

These puppies aren’t cheap, but they are extremely versatile and you will certainly get some mileage out of them.​

​Watch tutorial below.​

Ideal for most general woodworking and metalworking applications.  I’ve used these clamps more often than not to clamp something to a table to keep it from moving.

C-Clamps are limited in their use because of their size, but they do offer a deep​ “C” shape that allows for a little room to maneuver.

​Watch tutorial below.​

Straight edge clamp used primarily as a guide for making straight cuts with circular saws and routers.

I’d love to hug the creator of this awesome clamp.  The funny thing is, woodworkers have been improvising with their own homemade versions of this for ages.

No more drawing a line with a straight edge and rolling the dice with your skill.  Now your cuts can be straight every time.​

​Watch tutorial below.​

Extremely versatile clamp attached to whatever length pipe you have for very large projects, and other general uses.  Pipe clamps are torque machines.

There is essentially no limit to how large of an object you can clamp with the pipe clamp.  You’re only limited by how much pipe you’re willing to buy.

​Watch tutorial below.​

An old-world traditional design used by wood wrights & shipbuilders that still proves to be a popular tool among cabinetmakers today.

​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

ImageProductPrice
Irwin Quick Grip 6 Clamp SetTOP RATEDIrwin Quick Grip 6 Clamp Set
  • $59.95
BUY ON AMAZON
TEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp Set, 1, 2 and 3-Inch, 3-Piece | 91809BEST BUDGET PICKTEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp Set, 1, 2 and 3-Inch, 3-Piece | 91809
  • $10.69
BUY ON AMAZON
Peachtree 3335 3/4' Pipe Clamp Fixture3/4" PIPE CLAMP FIXTURE
  • $13.99
BUY ON AMAZON

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

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

C-Clamps

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

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.  ​

Irwin Quick Grip 6 Clamp Set
  • Removable non-marring full face pads
  • Heat-treated steel barfor strength and durability
  • One-handed quick-release trigger and pistol-grip design enhances comfort and ease-of-use

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

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.

​Budget C-Clamps

C-Clamps are relatively inexpensive in most varieties.  However, TEKTON has a set of 3 heavy-duty C-Clamps for cheaper than you would expect.

Sale
TEKTON Malleable Iron C-Clamp Set, 1, 2 and 3-Inch, 3-Piece | 91809
  • Heavy-duty malleable steel frames with durable baked finishes
  • Nickel plated steel screws with swivel pads
  • Sliding T-bar handles

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.

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.

Peachtree 3335 3/4" Pipe Clamp Fixture
  • Wide base for stability
  • Raised handle for table clearance
  • Smooth, easy handle rotation

Last update on 2018-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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.  ​

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.​
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