Over the years I have been using woodworking clamps for a variety of projects, both for my wood carving endeavors and for work I was doing around the house. This is how I came to the idea to write bar clamp reviews and share with you what kind of the best bar clamps are there and for which purpose I used each of them.
In my experience, clamps always come in handy in the workshop and I was very lucky to try out different ones depending on what I was working on. Wood clamps come in different shapes and sizes, and there are spring clamps, corner clamps, pipe clamps, f-clamp, and c-clamp. In this article, I will go in-depth explaining what woodworking clamps are good for which kind of work.
- IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps, One-Handed
- Best for small portable projects. The value is good overall, and the clamps are strong plus lightweight.
- WORX Clamping Sawhorse Pair with Bar Clamps
- Best for big projects, such as furniture. These wood glue clamps are suitable for large and heavy projects.
- WEN 10206F2 Quick-Adjust 6-Inch Steel Bar Clamps
- Best for smaller creative projects. Easy to adjust, with quality steel bars, these two clamps are also very cheap compared to others.
- IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps Set, 8-Piece (IRHT83220) & QUICK-GRIP Clamps
- Best for working on simultaneous small-scope projects within the workshop. Many great quality tools in a single purchase.
- TEKTON 6 Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp
- Best for projects of small size that need a spreader as well as the clamps. Two tools are in a single set, portable, and easy to use.
- KREG TOOL KHC3 Kreg Wood Project Clamp with Automaxx, 3
- Best for professional woodworkers who need a powerful tool, versatile, and reliable for small projects.
In this post, I will cover only the best woodworking clamps. If you are interested in my reviews on other woodworking and wood carving tools, you can check out my previous posts such as Top 6 Tools for Engraving Wood, or Best Wood Burning Kits For Professionals. I would also recommend you to take a look at my reviews on wood stains – Top 7 Stains for wood Ultimate Review.
Ready to find the clamps for woodworking for you? Let’s get started.
How to choose the best clamps for woodworking?
When I review each wood clamp, there are several criteria I find crucial. First of all, I consider the size of the clamp. The jaw capacity of each tool is important because it says how much material the jaw can grip, and it helps me determine what I can do with this clamp. Throat size explains the depth of the clamps, and this is relevant because different clamps are needed when working on gluing a piece of furniture, while others are handier for small-scope projects.
The second important factor is clamping power. What I am looking for is a clamp that has optimal power to hold the wood still while I am working on it. However, applying too much pressure can damage both the wood surface and the clamp itself, so this is something to be careful about when using each tool.
C-clamps can be very small and portable, while other types such as pipe clamps or f-clamps for example, can be up to several feet wide and with these you can work only on large projects in your workshop. Depending on your preferences, consider whether you need to move your clamps around, or it is all right to have them in one corner of the workshop. Also, large clamps may require both of your hands to use them, which can be an obstacle. Others are light to carry and move, and you can maneuver with them single-handedly.
Safety is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly whenever it comes to woodworking projects. Some woodworking clamps set are made of plastic, while others are made of strong steel. To be safe, you should choose a durable, strong clamp, and maintain it regularly. That way it can last a lifetime.
Finally, I am considering the price and overall value of each wood clamps set. Since I prefer to buy a good product, I prefer quality clamps that I can use for many years ahead. However, sometimes the products are overpriced, in my opinion, so I don’t want to invest too much into a product that I should replace in a year or two after using it intensively.
IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps, One-Handed – Great quality clamps for small projects
From my experience, this is a high-quality tool and it is very strong and durable. Its bars are made of hardened steel and they are very strong and durable. These bar clamps are relatively small and easy to move, handy to use if you have a small workshop.
Handles are made of plastics, but they are reinforced and not easy to break. The jaw power is 140 pounds, which is enough for my small projects and it doesn’t damage the wood. The clamps are easy to bend and flex, so you can adjust them to any project.
- Firm grip, not damaging the work or the clamps.
- You can finish the work single-handedly.
- Quick-grip enables you to release the clamps as soon as you are finished.
- The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.
- Only suitable for small projects.
- Expensive for small wood pipe clamps.
To Sum Up
The overall quality of these wood bar clamps is great, and I cannot complain in that domain. The downside can be that it is suitable for small projects if you are looking for large or general use clamps. It is a bit overpriced, as well, in my opinion, but it will probably last forever.
WORX Clamping Sawhorse Pair with Bar Clamps – Great carpenters clamps for furniture design
This wood clamp set is designed for professionals and large-scope woodworking projects. It includes two bar clamps that can be detached and set up either vertically or horizontally, depending on what you need them for.
This is the best bar clamp for serious woodworking projects, for heavy and large wood material you need to keep in place. It keeps the pieces still, able to put a lot of pressure onto the wood, but it takes up a lot of room.
- A stable woodworking clamp keeps your work still.
- Two bars are adaptable to your project needs.
- Good for large projects such as furniture design.
- These carpenter clamps take up a lot of room in your workspace.
- They are quite expensive overall.
To Sum Up
These clamps are very strong and resilient. Useful for big projects and handy for any creative experiments you wish to do with big wooden blocks. Although, they are not portable at all and take up quite a bit of space in the workshop (you can unpack it and set it up again but in that case, you can damage the joints so I wouldn’t recommend that). They are pricey and cost quite a bit.
WEN 10206F2 Quick-Adjust 6-Inch Steel Bar Clamps – Two small f-clamps for portable projects
With this WEN set, you get a pair of two high-quality clamps made of strong steel that can apply a lot of pressure onto a small wooden block. With a 6-inch steel rail and a 2. 5-inch throat, these clamps are designed for easy work with small scope projects.
They have non-marring pads to protect your work and the bars from any damage, while you can easily adjust the clamps single-handedly. Both clamps in the set are f-clamps, designed to support 1200 pounds, and portable for carrying around.
- Two small clamps with high-quality steel in a single set.
- Great for small projects.
- Portable and easy to adjust to the wood.
- Reinforced with pads to protect your work.
- WEN tools usually present a great quality, although sometimes it happens to receive a bad series, in which case you would need to replace your tools and wait for another pair.
To Sum Up
What I like about these woodwork clamps is that they come in pairs. This means I can carry one with me while leaving another one in the workshop. Buying these two in a single package is a good deal since they are rather affordable and in general of good quality.
IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Clamps Set, 8-Piece (IRHT83220) & QUICK-GRIP Clamps – Set of many tools for working on several projects simultaneously
This bundle includes two separate sets, that include 4 c-clamps each. One set includes two handi clamps, plus two reisin spring clamps that can spread for two inches. C-clamps included come in pairs – two of which are 6-inches clamps, and the other two are twice as wide.
The second set of woodworking clamps includes two pairs of c-clamps. These are great quality tools, and portable when taken individually, although the entire set is heavy and difficult to carry along. They are suitable for small projects, and with either of these sets, there is little that cannot be done on a small scale.
- 12 excellent resilient tools in a single bundle.
- Different sizes of tools enable many projects to be executed single-handedly.
- Tools are portable individually and can execute a number of small projects.
- Lifetime warranty by IRWIN, a reliable manufacturer.
- The toolset is designed for small projects, and even with all the clamps applied it is a challenge to take any large wooden block.
To Sum Up
This is a great set with many tools that I used on different occasions. The combination of different shapes and sizes of the clamps enables me to work on many small projects at once. Each tool is easy to carry along, and the set is portable within the workshop.
TEKTON 6 Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp – Two tools that can easily adjust from a 6” clamp to a 12” spreader
These are the best pipe clamps when you need the clamp and spreader in a single tool. Two spreader/clamps are included in this package, easy to use and adjust with a single hand, but for the spreader, both hands are required. With these two woodworking pipe clamps, you can experiment with both softwood and hardwood, the pressure is handled with soft jaw pads, to prevent any damage to your project.
The clamps are designed to make my work much easier when everything is handled with the plastic holder and a push button. Nylon jaws are reinforced to be resilient, but they aren’t unbreakable and it takes some time to get used to this tool.
- Two 6-inch tools arrive in this package.
- Both tools can be used both as a clamp and a spreader.
- Easy to use and adjust to any small project.
- Not a very versatile tool, it can be broken more easily than the others.
- It takes some time to get used to the repositioning of the spreaders.
To Sum Up
For this woodworking clamp review, I have to highlight the tools are quite handy, but they require a more gentle approach when compared to the others. The combination of clamps and spreaders is very useful, especially when working on details within a small project.
KREG TOOL KHC3 Kreg Wood Project Clamp With Automaxx, 3″ – The best bar clamps for professionals
These Kreg clamps have one of the best pads I have ever used. The pressure with these pads is distributed evenly, and the clamps are basically non-destructible. These are very strong handheld clamps, three inches wide, and completely made out of strong steel material.
Although these are one of the most versatile and best wood clamps I have used, they might be a bit much for an average woodcarver. They are a great buy if you need a strong tool, but bear in mind that, because of its durability and quality, it is a lot more expensive than other tools.
- A top-notch clamp for small 3-inch projects.
- A powerful tool made of strong steel, unbreakable.
- Wide pads to protect every wood project from pressure.
- A very expensive life-long purchase.
To Sum Up
This is a strong yet lightweight tool, portable, and very durable. It is a great choice for woodworkers working on professional small projects, but it can be expensive for beginners.
Bessey BPC-H12 1/2-Inch H Style Pipe Clamps – Excellent and cheap tool for all project sizes
These H-style clamps are the only ones I have been using so far because they turned out to be everything I needed in my projects. These large wood clamps can be useful for all sizes of wood you are working with. They are adjustable and stable, easy to fix any wooden block.
The big metal structure of these large clamps for woodworking allows for experiments and a variety of projects that include small carving arts and crafts but also using them as woodworking glue clamps for furniture and big wooden blocks.
- A strong base of the h-style clamps, ensuring stability.
- Steel tool reinforced on the outside lasts for a long time.
- Jaw caps are offering great padding to protect the wooden material.
- The cheapest tool for the quality.
- The Chinese manufacturer sometimes produces a poor series, in which case you would have to return the tool if it happens that the base is unstable, or you encounter another issue with this tool.
To Sum Up
These are the best clamps for woodworking, considering the price. The h-style clamps are a good choice since they are not limited to the size of the project, and you can use them for nearly anything. They are portable and have great pads to ensure your wood is safe from pressure.
Choosing the best bar clamps is not an easy task, especially when there are so many factors to consider. Before ordering the woodworking clamps, it matters a lot for which projects you need them and whether a single pair would do the trick or you would have to purchase an entire set.
I hope you have enjoyed my bar clamp reviews, and that my experience helps you make the best choice for your workshop. If you are new to working with wood and wood carving, give a read to my other posts of different tools I have been exploring in my workshop.