6 Best Parallel Clamps for the Money – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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If you’re looking for the best parallel clamps to help with your next woodworking project, read on! The models we’ve selected here are not only great value (because of our diligent research!) but they also have a number of other fantastic features that will make them indispensable in a variety of scenarios.

 

Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp, 2-Pack

 

Welcome to our guide on the best parallel clamps. If you’re like me, you will have had your fair share of woodworking projects that haven’t exactly gone to plan?? Even now, after so many years of woodworking, something goes awry, and I’m left scratching my head wondering, ‘how did that happen?!

But, that’s part of the joy of it, to continue to learn and develop my skills. More often than not, I need more than one pair of hands in my workshop, especially when assembling and gluing my creation! The success of any project always depends on how well it is built and finished.

Fortunately, I have a decent set of parallel clamps that enables me to put the pieces together using just the right amount of pressure. These clamps are a real life-saver, and it means I can set it and forget it.

Woodworking is my absolute passion, and I recently had the need to look for a new set of parallel clamps and was struck by just how many there were to choose from! And this gave me the idea of researching the market, filtering down the top 5, and sharing this with you. 6 made it onto my list!

I have chosen my Best Overall and Best Value pick and written a review of each model. You can see them side-by-side in the comparison table where I have scored each one. At the end of the article, I have written a Buyers Guide, and this gives you some extra information to consider before making your final purchase decision.


Comparison of our Favorite Parallel Clamps


Top 6 Parallel Clamps – Reviews

 

1. Jorgensen Cabinet Master (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • The jaw opens and closes rapidly.
  • It is versatile.
  • It has an ergonomic design.
  • 1500 pounds clamping pressure
Cons
  • Expensive

 

Further reading: 10 Best Corner Clamps – Reviews & Buying Guide

 

2. Bora 50’’ Parallel Clamp

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has perfect pressure.
  • Comes with an anti-slip bottom jaw
  • The padded jaw protects the material from damage.
Cons
  • The bar is too short

 

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

 

3. Jet 70412-2 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is highly ergonomic
  • It has extra-wide marring jaws for even pressure.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • It is quite short

 

4. POWERTEC 71368 (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has a lightweight design
  • The reel end clip is removable
  • You can easily convert it into a 29-inch spreader tool.
Cons
  • Check for missing parts

 

5. Yost Tools K7040 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It is built to professional standards.
  • It has an ergonomic design
  • It saves on time and effort
Cons
  • It has small parts, which may be hazardous for small children.
  • Not the strongest parallel clamp

 

6. IRWIN Tools (2026500) 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • It has ergonomic handles
  • It is well made
  • It is relatively cheaper
Cons
  • Plastic rail stops tend to break

 


Video: Using Parallel Clamps


Parallel Clamps Buyers Guide

There are several parallel clamps available in the market, owing to the influx of manufacturers. Therefore, you should consider a set of factors before settling on one lest you fall for a low-quality product. 

Length 

This is perhaps one of the first considerations you should have in mind when buying a parallel lamp. The clamp you settle on should reach across the entire length of your project if you need to do an outstanding job. Ensure that the clamp you get is slightly larger than the size of your project if you would like to be on the safer side. 

Strength 

Is your parallel clamp strong enough to handle the type and nature of projects you are working on? Strength is an essential trait in a clamp since you need to firmly hold your project in place for an extended period or all through your project duration. 

The chances are that the pieces you are holding together will move and dry in the wrong position if your clamp is not strong enough, giving you a hard time since you have to start all over again. To save time and effort, get a tool that can hold your projects in place for the most prolonged duration. 

 

Yost Tools K7040 40

 

Surface protection 

Some of the clamps that we have reviewed can exert up to 10000 pounds of pressure, which is high. Remember that when this pressure is applied to wood or any other soft material, it may result in tremendous damage, which may leave gouges, scratches, marring, and any other type of deformations. This is where surface protection comes into a shield against all these. 

Most, if not all, of the clamps that we have looked at, have some surface protection covering the face of the jaws. This feature prevents damage, whether you are working on wood or concrete. Therefore, ensure that your clamp comes with adequate surface protection to help you avoid ruining your projects. 

Price 

This factor is dependent on your budget. We all know what we can spare and what we cannot. Even though parallel clamps perform the same function, a few models cost twice as much as others. This price difference is often brought by a set of additional factors, which we have looked at in our review. 

However, also keep in mind that some products are just overpriced. We would advise that if you come across a tool with the same features as the overpriced one, settle for it. Also, remember that cheaper devices may have certain drawbacks that you are better off not experiencing. 

Cheaper tools often have shorter warranty durations and even weaker parts, even though they may have the same features as the expensive ones. Also, certain brands sell their products at a higher price due to different factors. 

Therefore, if you are keen on brands, be ready to spend more than somebody who will pick an average tool provided that it has the features they are looking for. 

Ease of operation 

The main reason why people use tools is to ease operation and conserve energy. Therefore, your parallel clamp should be easy to operate if you need a good time. One of the most challenging processes for any woodworker is dealing with wet glue. 

Tow boards will not automatically stay on their own when gluing them together. In most cases, the glue can easily make them slide and fall apart, setting you steps behind. Therefore, when buying parallel clamps, ensure that ease of operation is one of your considerations. 

One should operate the best tool with one hand to give you an easier time to steadily hold the wood with the other one as you clamp it. Ensure that your clamp of choice has an easy-to-use locking mechanism like a glide trigger or even a flip-up handle. You will be able to fully tighten or loosen the clamp as you hold the wood still with the other. 

 

IRWIN Tools Record Parallel Jaw Box Clamp, 24-inch (2026500)

 

Pressure

Does your choice of clamp apply even pressure on your project? Parallel clamps have parallel jaws when tightened, ensuring that materials are held square and straight during woodworking. Working with unparallel jaws will pull your project out of the square, which is highly disappointing. 

However, some jaws are also made so that they are slightly unparallel when open but straighten out on tightening. Such clamps can help you achieve a tight fit. Therefore, ensure that your choice becomes completely parallel when the jaws are tightened to prevent your projects from being square. 

Brand/Manufacturer 

Several brands are offering parallel clamps owing to the high demand. If you are a first-time buyer, you should settle on reputable brands with good reviews from customers to save you the stress and disappointment of a faulty tool. However, you can discover and try the less famous brands once you know what you are looking for in parallel clamps. 


Conclusion

As I mentioned in the introduction, you won’t be short on choice as there are many parallel clamps to buy. But, some are total junk and a complete waste of money. There are not many features to differentiate them, so I looked mainly at the build quality and durability. From there, I whittled the list down to the six best currently available.

Of those, the Jorgensen Cabinet Master was the clever winner of the Best Overall prize. With 1500 pounds of clamping pressure, these will indeed hold your pieces together, and they remain to parallel once tightened to ensure even pressure. This gives you the best chance your project will turn out exactly how you want and not wonky or distorted. They aren’t that much more than some other models, so I do highly recommend them.

The Best Value award went to POWERTEC 71368. These exert up to 880 pounds of clamping pressure and are dead easy to use. They have features that make them easily adjustable, and you can buy either a 2-pack or a 4-pack. A problem is with their quality control as many customers complain about missing parts, so if they can fix that, you’d have a quality product for not a lot of money!

I hope you have found this guide about parallel clamps helpful? If you have any additional queries, please email me, and I’d be more than willing to help you further.


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Walter Snyder