Best Bar Clamps for 2022 | 7 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

The first thing you need to do when starting a project is to gather your tools-one of the essential tools that every carpenter needs is a clamp. Clamps are used to assemble pieces of wood, join two boards together, and do general clamping work. The best bar clamps will hold hefty loads without slipping or breaking under pressure.

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

This article will look at 7 different bar clamps that have been rated as some of the best in 2022. You can use these reviews and buyers’ guides as an excellent source for making your decision on which bar clamp is suitable for you!


Best Bar Clamps Comparison Table:

CLICK any image to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon


7 Best Bar Clamps Reviews

 

1. WORKPRO Bar Clamps for Woodworking (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 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 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 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

 

6. Jorgensen 24″ One Hand Clamp

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Superb quality
  • Easy to use
  • Clamping and spreader mode
Cons
  • Expensive

 

7. TEKTON 36 Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 6 to 36-inch size options
  • Clamp and spreader
  • 2 piece set
  • Perfect for small projects
Cons
  • Lacks instructions

Video: Tool Talk: Clamps

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Bar Clamps Buying Guide

When it comes to clamping down your workpieces, you can never be too safe or too prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this bar clamps buying guide – so you can find the perfect tool for the job at hand.

Bar clamps come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one common goal: securely hold workpieces together until the glue dries.

As a carpenter, you’ve probably used your fair share of clamps in the past – from ratchet bar clamps to plastic spring clamps. However, their critical differences make them suitable for specific tasks and situations but not-so-good for others.

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Size:

To determine the best bar clamp for you, you need to know what size is most appropriate. Typically, larger clamps are more versatile and suitable for different projects – but they’re also heavier and harder to handle. Smaller ones may not be as strong or durable as their larger counterparts, but they’re lighter and easier to handle and are better for smaller projects or working in tight spaces.

If you need to use them regularly, we recommend investing in a range of sizes to cover all bases when needed.

Construction Material:

The bar clamp’s material also plays a role in its capabilities – some are designed specifically for specific materials (i.e., wood). If you plan on using your clamps often, it’s best not to buy cheap or plastic ones; they may break after a single use and will certainly not be as durable.

The materials of a tool are essential for two reasons. First, the weight and size can impact how easy it is to carry around; secondarily (and more importantly), these qualities affect durability.

Typically, metal bar clamps are the best option for durability – but you also want to ensure that they’re rust-resistant so that they don’t rust or break down over time. Plastic ones may work well in some situations, and if your clamping needs are light, they may also be a good option.

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The clamp bar is made from steel, either hardened or carbon. This rigid material will resist wear and tear even when under high pressure; however, it’s heavy, so you’ll want something light enough for your task at hand! Some clamps use aluminum as their main component, making them more affordable and folds easily during use – not ideal if what we’re working on has any weight attached to its end.

Hardened resins and nylon materials offer a robust build, but you may want to ensure your handles have some soft layers because they can be hard. The clamp’s body is the part that attaches onto bars- usually made from reinforced nylon or an amalgamation thereof; however, it could also be fashioned out entirely in resin for ultimate durability! Regardless though – both types come with their downsides: while certain types (like those found on coasting boards) make great grip surfaces, due care must always take when handling them as these tend not only abrasive against the skin if applied too much force/pressure at once.

bar clamps

Versatility:

As we mentioned earlier, bar clamps come in all shapes and sizes (you can get them from 6 inches long up to 36 inches), so their versatility depends on what you’re working with. If you have large pieces of wood to work with or need to hold several items at once, a more oversized clamp will probably be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you’re working with smaller pieces or need to get into tight spaces, a small clamp will do the trick. And if you need something in between, there are plenty of medium-sized bar clamps to choose from.

When shopping for clamps, you’ll need to consider the throat depth. The bigger this is and can handle wide workpieces without slippage or movement when in place on your project. But if they’re very narrow, make sure that any clamp size will fit since it may sway back-and-forth with whatever force there happens too much room under tight spaces – which would cause damage!

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Type of mechanism:

When you need to keep a project stable and secure, it is best to use your hands. The most basic way is to push the trigger until the clamp locks into place. You do not want it too tight, though! Some clamps also have an extra clamp to tighten for even more security.

It would help if you tightened the clamp with your hand as much as possible. You then lock it and use the screw to get more pressure. This makes sure that the clamp is tightly closed. If you want to keep your workpieces sealed while using it, find one with this extra screwing mechanism.

Quick-release lever:

The quick-release lever is a great feature to have on your bar clamp, as it allows you to quickly and easily remove the clamp from whatever you’re working on. This can come in handy if you need to make quick changes or adjustments to your project.

Just be sure that the quick-release lever is easy to use so that you don’t have to struggle to get the clamp off. And be careful not to lose the lever, as it can easily fall off if it’s not attached correctly.

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Spreader:

Sometimes, when you are fixing something or gluing it together, you want to keep the ends of two things (like two pieces of wood) at a specific distance. A spreader helps with this by ensuring that the ends of things are kept parallel while glued together. This can help ensure that everything turns out square.

You can turn some bar clamps into spreaders. This is because both ends are the same. They can be closed or open, using the exact mechanism as the clamping mechanism to make a precise finish.

Pressure:

Some manufacturers list the clamping pressure. This number shows how much weight they can put on each of the pieces you are working on. If the numbers are high, then you have less chance for movement. A typical range is 150-600 pounds.

Clamping pressure is the force that holds the pieces together, so they don’t move. Too little clamping pressure will make the pieces move. Too much clamping pressure might cause damage to the workpiece, but you can correct it by loosening the clamp.

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Non-marring pads:

The jaw of the clamp is what holds your piece. The pads are on the jaws, and they are on your wood. If the pads are sharp or hard, they can hurt your material. Look for clamps that have soft pads to protect them from getting hurt.

Some clamps have replaceable pads. The pads should be easy to find and purchase, but not all are. That is why many buyers need to order a new clamp instead of getting a new pad.

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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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Walts DIY is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Walter Snyder