5 Best Bar Clamps for 2021 – Reviews and Buyers Guide

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Have you ever seen a bar clamp and wondered what it’s for? Interested in learning more about building with wood? In this guide, we will answer all your questions. Then you can decide which type of clamp is best for your project.

bar clamps

Welcome to our review of the five best bar clamps to buy. One of the essential tools to own, especially for woodworking, is a bar clamp. The right bar clamps make your project easy, whereas having the wrong clamps can ruin your work, which means you will have to redo parts of your project, which will be a waste of time and money.

Clamping or attaching parts tightly requires bar clamps. This helps to reduce 80% of the workload. This is the reason why bar clamps are the most used amongst all other types of clamps.

It is essential to have the correct bar clamps, and with so many on the market, it can be confusing as to which ones are the best buy. To help you to choose, we have compiled a comprehensive review and Buyer’s Guide on five of the best bar clamps on the market.


Best Bar Clamps Comparison Table:


Best Bar Clamps Reviews

 

1. WORKPRO Bar Clamps for Woodworking, 6 pack (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Versatile
  • Non-marring removable pads
  • Quick-release trigger
  • 6 pack 4 x 6 inch, 2 x 12 inch
  • Clamps and Spreaders
Cons
  • None!

 

Further reading: 13 Types of Clamps – Which One is Right For You?

2. IRWIN (1964758) QUICK-GRIP 6 inch, 4 pack Clamps (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Quick-release one-hand triggers
  • Non-marring removable pads
  • Sturdy, strong, and durable
  • 4 x 6-inch clamps
  • Full lifetime guarantee
Cons
  • Not suitable for large projects

 

3. WEN (10236F2) Quick-Adjust 36-Inch, 2 pack Steel Bar Clamps

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Steel
  • Non-marring removable pads
  • 1200 pound clamping force using both clamps
  • Micro-adjustment knob
Cons
  • Difficult to open up

 

4. Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cast heads
  • Protective pads
  • Adjustable
Cons
  • Flimsy
  • Bows under pressure

 

5. LERAMED Bar Clamps

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Strong and durable
  • Set of 8 in various sizes
Cons
  • No rubber pads

Video: Tool Talk: Clamps


Bar Clamps Buyer’s Guide

The main things to look out for when considering buying Bar Clamps are size, durability, strength, and materials.

Size

When buying bar clamps, buy a size or two above what you will need. This is because you can hold smaller projects in large clamps but not the other way round. But remember, clamps that are too heavy on a small project can be detrimental to the work and cause distortion and even breakage. The throat depth also needs to reach over the job sufficiently. For minor work, this is not usually an issue, but more comprehensive pieces ensure that the clamp can gain a reasonable distance over the work for even pressure distribution.

Durability

Bar clamps need to be sturdy and robust. The steel bar needs to have enough sturdiness to hold the weight of the project, as most clamps are bought for heavy-duty clamping. Another consideration is the jaws. Jaws on a clamp come into contact with the surface of the wood. So all the pressure exerted transmits to the piece via the clamping faces on the jaws. 

Small jaw faces mean the pressure is concentrated to a tiny area, resulting in the work becoming damaged if clamped directly. In contrast, more prominent faces will not cause indentations because the spread of pressure is over a wider area.  

Strength

Strength is a significant factor. Sheer clamping force is essential, but it is equally important to invest in bar clamps that won’t flex when you put them under loads. Flexing reduces the amount of force transferred to your project piece and also reduces the clamp’s life.

Also, if you use bar clamps a lot, be sure to buy clamps that will last. Otherwise, you will be forever replacing them, which is not cost-effective.

Material

Bar clamps are mainly made out of steel or metal with a powder coating that gives strength and sturdiness, but some will have plastic material. Soft plastic is preferable to hard plastic as this tends to crack. Hardwood handles are the best. They are comfortable, won’t scratch, and will last for years. 


Best Bar Clamps Conclusion

All of the five-bar clamps reviewed will do a decent job, but some are better than others, and the price isn’t always reflective of how good the tool is.  

Our Best Value bar clamp is the Irwin 4 pack. These bar clamps are sturdy, strong, and durable, made from resin and hardened steel for the price. The non-marring pads ensure the piece is not scratched or scuffed. The one-hand quick-release triggers make the job quick and easy, and the clamps provide 140 pounds of clamping force. These clamps are ideal when working in confined spaces and on small to medium projects. With a full lifetime guarantee, these bar clamps are worth considering.

Our Best Overall bar clamp is the Workpro 6 pack. Made from high-quality steel bars and a reinforced nylon body, these bar clamps provide excellent impact resistance, making them ideal for use on construction sites. They act as a spreader, too, making them very versatile. The non-marring pads can be removed and replaced, made from a flexible material with a non-slip texture that enhances the overall clamping force. 

With a quick-release latch that allows quick and simple adjustment to the locking of the wood clamps, an ergonomic handle for comfort, six-packs with 4 x 6-inch clamps, and 2 x 12-inch clamps, good reviews, and middle of the road price range Workpro Bar Clamps have it all.


The Best of the Rest

The WEN (10236F2) Quick-Adjust 36-Inch, two-pack Steel Bar Clamps are made from steel with non-marring pads and 1200 clamping force when using both clamps. A quick-adjust feature makes the job more accessible, and the micro-adjustment knob helps to provide additional grip and precision. These WEN clamps have pretty good reviews, but some say they are not easy to open up but do slide well. They are also suitable for larger projects and are in the middle price range, so worth examining.

The Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp has a powder-coated finish with zinc rail and cast heads. You can turn the handle to give subtle changes to how hard you want the clamp to grip on the project piece and has protective pads on the top and bottom of the jaws. The Bessey clamps come in a range of 1-5 packs and have various price ranges. Reviews are fair, but some do say they are flimsy and bow under pressure.

The LERAMED Bundle of 8 Bar Clamps has a 2.5-inch throat and large clamping capacity. Made from cast iron jaws with powder coating and a steel slide, these clamps are resistant to corrosion and chipping solid and durable with a hardwood handle. The clamps come in 2 of each size, 12 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches, and 36 inches. The downside to these clamps is they do not have effective non-marring pads to prevent scratching and scuffing. They do have reasonably good reviews but are the most expensive out of all the other bar clamps we reviewed.

We hope these reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you understand bar clamps a little more, and you are now better informed to buy with confidence.


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Walter Snyder