If you’ve ever invested any amount of time in a woodworking project, you know how essential clamps are. When you gather your stuff for such a project, the one thing that you absolutely cannot do without is a clamp!
That’s because working with wood requires joining or holding together separate pieces, i.e., clamping. A proper clamp does this job for us. In fact, a good bar clamp reduces your workload by 80%. Imagine!
There is such a wide range of bar clamps available in the market—different makes, types, brands, and so on. Whenever you are off to buy a clamp, you’re very likely to get confused and caught up in the wide variety of options out there. So we employed all our expertise in making a buying guide of the best bar clamps. But before that—
Why Should You Get a Bar Clamp?
A bar clamp is an unavoidable tool for woodwork. For any such project, you will constantly come across the need to either fix or attach or glue together wood parts. If you buy a good bar clamp, this necessity won’t become a burden and start haunting your mind.
Let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents
Comparison Table of 10 Best Bar Clamps
For your ease, we have summarized the items we are reviewing in the following list. This list will let you know about the brands, manufacturers, and the basic details of each product.
|Picture||Product Name||Primary Material||Weight||Price|
|IRWIN Tools QUICK-GRIP||Steel||2.75 Pounds||Check Latest Price|
|IRWIN QUICK-GRIP 1964758||Resin & steel||2.94 ounces||Check Latest Price|
|Yost 15036||Steel Bar with Heavy Duty Plastic Body||1.5 Pounds||Check Latest Price|
|Bessey BPC-H34||Black Oxide||1.1 pounds||Check Latest Price|
|TEKTON Mini||Nylon||0.19 Pounds||Check Latest Price|
|Can-Do Clamp||Aluminum||2.57 pounds||Check Latest Price|
|Bessey GSCC2.524||Nickel-Plated||2.1 Pounds||Check Latest Price|
|E-TING 4Pcs Hand Tool||Other||1.15 pounds||Check Latest Price|
|Bench Block Pipe Clamp||Havy duty Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic||1.85 pounds||Check Latest Price|
|Kreg KHC-PREMIUM||Steel||1.5 pounds||Check Latest Price|
The 10 Best Bar Clamps
After extensive research on reviews from experienced users, we made this list of the top 10 bar clamps. You will find all the details down below. So take a good look at the features and pros and cons before you decide which one works for you:
1. IRWIN Tools QUICK-GRIP Bar Clamp
If you are looking for a bar clamp with a large clamping capacity, this one is for you. The Irwin Tools Quick-Grip Bar Clamp has a capacity of 24 inches that will make your clamping sessions effortless. The quick grip handle is ergonomic as it is soft and large. This helps you apply more pressure with less effort. The item is durable and sturdy.
Irwin wood clamps are renowned in the market, and they’ve maintained the quality with this item too.
Overall, this one is perfect for clamping jobs. It will hold the wood parts in their places when you are, for example, making folding tables on your own. Frankly, it is an easy choice for all your projects due to its versatility. This clamp even comes in a number of sizes. So, you can pick the size you need.
- Dimensions are 1.2 x 5 x 27.6 inches
- Weighs 2.75 pounds
- Regular clamp with a clamping capacity of 24 inches
- Large, ergonomic soft-grip handle that applies high pressure with little effort
- Has an I-beam bar that reduces bending and curving
- Large clutch plates for extra durability
- Depth is 3 1/8 inches
- High-quality material
- Strong and durable
- Reasonable price
- Splendid grip handle
- Long clamping capacity
- Easy maintenance
- Bending and flexing-resistant
- Not suitable for smaller clamping projects
2. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP 1964758 One-Handed Mini Bar Clamp
This one is another outstanding bar clamp from IRWIN Tools. IRWIN Tools have some of the best clamping tools, and this one is no different. The clamp grips are comfortable, and the ‘mini’ size is not that small in reality. You’ll be surprised to see how effortlessly this small bar clamp carries the weight of wooden parts. For someone who needs a regular-use bar clamp, this item is a no-frills choice.
However, these clamps will not be handy for more extensive projects; they are excellent for small-to-medium tasks. These clamps will be fantastic, especially for working in small and confined spaces.
- Dimensions are 21 x 8 x 2.5 inches
- Weighs 2.7 pounds
- Clamping size is 6 inches
- The full set has four 6-inch sized one-handed mini bar clamps
- Unique pistol-grip design and a one-handed trigger for quick release
- Non-marring pads so that workpieces don’t get scratches or scuffs
- Resin construction with steel bars
- Minibars can evenly distribute 140 lbs of force
- Firm and comfortable grip
- Non-marring pads
- High implied force
- Quick-release bar clamp
- Unsuitable for bigger projects
3. Yost 15036 36 Inch 330 lbs. Bar Clamp
The name of this item says so much about this clamp. Yes, Yost 15036 bar clamp has a large clamping capacity of 36 inches. It’s one of THE 36-inch bar clamps. This ratchet bar clamp also works like a spreader. With its high clamping pressure, it can secure wooden parts easily.
For your rough-and-tough jobs, you won’t find a clamp better than this. This one has a ratcheting design for applying precise clamping pressure. You’ll love using this item!
- Dimensions are 52.01 x 29.02 x 7.01 inches
- Weight is 6.85 pounds
- Clamping capacity is 36 inches
- Spread capacity: 44 inches
- Throat depth: 3-3/8 inches
- Can apply a clamping force of 330 pounds
- Rugged nylon jaw assemblies
- Heavy-duty material
- Doesn’t leave scratches
- High clamping force
- Durable and sturdy
- A bit heavier than other clamps
4. Bessey BPC-H34 3/4-Inch H Style Pipe Clamp
Bessey is a renowned brand for woodworking bar clamps. This H-style clamp of theirs is a hit item. This BPC-H34 model is known for its durability and potency. For your heavy wood-workloads, this will be very useful. Below we have given the specifications for this item.
Now, this one’s actually a pipe clamp, but it’s a magnificent clamping assistant nonetheless. The strength and the longevity of this item are praiseworthy, and if you’re looking into bar clamps, there’s no reason this one won’t meet your needs.
- Dimensions are 2.5 x 8.5 x 5 inches, and it weighs 2.95 pounds
- H-shape foot assembly for stabilizing the clamp in two dimensions
- Cast jaws for added durability
- Jaws have caps to prevent scratching the materials
- Zinc-plated clutch components along with a black oxide-coated threaded spindle
- Robust and durable
- Dual-axis stability
- Huge clamping strength
- Protective pads
- Smooth action spindle
- Finish is not smooth
5. TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp
The TEKTON Mini 6-inch mini ratchet with the 9-inch spreader is a perfect tool for small projects in cramped workspaces, for example, model-making. This mini bar clamp can apply consistent pressure to clamp and attach wood pieces.
The price of this clamp is quite reasonable. So, you can have more than one of these clamps in your workshop without breaking the bank! And they function remarkably well too.
This mini bar may seem ‘mini’ sized, but its performance comfortably beats many of the high-end bar clamps. This clamp is one of the best out there for working in tiny spaces.
- Dimensions are 6.1 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches
- Weighs only 0.2 pounds
- Trigger-operated ratchet for continuous pressure
- Strong nylon jaws and a quick-release button
- Fixed jaw can be placed on the other end of the bar for using the clamp as a spreader
- Dual-purpose tool
- Quick-release button
- Low clamping pressure
6. Can-Do Clamp
So this one is different in design than all the other clamps we’ve discussed so far. You’ll be surprised to know that this item was featured and recommended in OOD magazine.
Yes, it’s one of the best aluminum bar clamps! The movable jaws and the oblong mounting holes, along with the aluminum construction, make this item function astonishingly well.
This clamp is super solid and highly durable. This will not help you in your larger wood-clamping, but it will work great for small wood pieces! To know more, read the product features below.
- Dimensions are 8.7 x 8.6 x 2.4 inches
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Material: Aluminum
- Movable jaws with 2-3/4 inches wide frame capacity
- Clamps on both sides and two swivel points
- T-shaped handle for applying pressure
- Heavy-duty material
- Low clamping capacity
7. Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
This clutch-style bar clamp from Bessey Tools is a medium-duty bar clamp. That doesn’t mean it can’t handle high clamping pressures! The cast heads are powder-coated, and the comfortable wooden handle provides a soft grip. It has jaws that are covered with non-marring pads to avoid corrosion.
As you can tell, this clamp has got a lot of positives! It’ll definitely make your woodworking easier. It also won’t burn a massive hole in your pocket. So it can be the best bang for the buck for you. For smaller-to-medium projects, not many alternatives come as close to nailing it as this one does.
- Dimension: 4 x 25 x 1 inches
- Weight: 2.29 pounds
- Clamping capacity: 24 inches
- Clamping force: 600 pounds.
- Throat depth: 2-1/2 inches
- Bar and the cast heads have a powder-coating
- High clamping pressure
- Powder-coated finish
- Non-marring pads
- Comfortable grip handle;
- Jaw caps don’t fit the jaws snugly
8. E-TING 4Pcs Hand Tool Toggle Clamp
This one is another amazing clamp on our list. It features a vinyl-colored grip for identification and comfort. The efficient design ethos of this item will shock you. The solid construction and the anti-slip grip allow you to have complete control over your workpieces.
Despite being small, this clamp works fine for big projects. The construction and the performance make this item worth every penny it costs. Let’s take a look at some of its key specifications.
- Dimension: 5.9 x 1.4 x 3.7 inches
- Weight: 1.15 pounds.
- Maximum force capacity: 198 pounds
- Package contains four pieces of clamps
- Material: cold-rolled carbon steel with a zinc coating
- Anti-slip grip
- Quick-release tool
- Clamp size is relatively small
9. Bench Block Pipe Clamp Stabilizers
This wood bar clamp is a set of four clamps. And you know what? These pipe clamp stabilizers are terrific. It will work like a charm for any of your wood clamping needs. They provided ample space for clamp head clearance, too. You can tell they put a lot of thought into this product.
I think this one is an excellent tool for clamping. You can easily try this one out: at such a small cost, you get four fully functional clamps. You get the stabilizing function as well, on top of outstanding clamping performance. It’s a wonderful tool!
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.9 x 4.7 inches
- Weight: 1.85 pounds
- Comprises four-inch pipe clamps at 90 degrees for assembly
- Mounting holes for fixed jigs
- Four pieces of wood clamps
- Material: steel bar with fiberglass reinforced plastic
- High-quality material
- Simple set up process
- Doesn’t have any coating for corrosion resistance
10. Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp
This bar clamp features a unique design compared to the rest of our list. It looks different but will do the job of clamping just fine. It’s super solid and performs. This clamp is available in two sizes: one with a 2-inch and another with a 3-inch reach.
For starters, it’s great for the price. This clamp’s unique design is impressive to anyone who knows anything about woodworking. Of course, it’s worth trying! Did we mention how reasonably priced it is? Below we have listed all the details.
- Dimensions: 10.9 x 5.5 x 1.7 inches
- Weight: 1.55 pounds
- Designed for pocket-screw joinery
- Clamping capacity: 2-3/4-inch thick
- Easy to use
- One-hand operation
- The blue handle falls off often
What to Look For When Buying Best Bar Clamps
Buying the product is the easy part. Finding the best of the bunch is definitely not. There are lots of clamps available in stores. So if it’s your first time buying one, you probably don’t know what to look for. Our buying guide helps you with all these things.
There are certain features that only the best bar clamps have. We discuss them in detail below:
You should inspect the material of the clamp you are buying. Most bar clamps are made of steel or some metal. Some parts of the bar clamps have plastic material too. Some are made of hard plastic, and some of soft plastic.
Try to buy the ones that have soft plastic as their material. Hard plastic tends to crack more often than softer ones. However, the metal parts are not prone to cracking.
The wooden parts of a bar clamp should also be checked carefully. The material should be hardwood. Now, it might be from oak or maple. To check the wood’s quality, try scratching the wooden parts with your nail. If they scratch easily, avoid them at all costs!
The handle of a bar clamp, too, is made of different materials. Usually, they are made of plastic or wood. You can choose any material you are comfortable with. Check for grip and comfort. Plastic handles are more prone to cracks, as we said. So always choose wood over plastic for clamp handles. These will hold up for years without breaking.
A bar clamp has to be sturdy. The steel bar has to hold the workpieces. So, it should be solid enough to carry the wooden parts’ weight. Bar clamps are bought mainly for heavy-duty clamping. That’s why they need to be strong and well-built.
Though woodworkers use bar clamps a lot, they also complain about the sizes. Bar clamps are the most versatile among all the clamps. But they are ideal for more significant projects, i.e., heavy-duty clamping. If you are working on a smaller project, maybe a regular-sized bar clamp is not what you need for that. So, before you decide on buying a product, check its size.
Price is something you cannot avoid considering. So, budget wisely. Spending a lot of money doesn’t always get you the best product. First, do the necessary background work and then select the suitable product within your budget.
Care and Maintenance
Bar clamps can be maintained effortlessly with a few simple actions: regular cleaning and oiling will increase your clamps’ life to a great extent.
- Cleaning: After working, always clean the clamps. Remove dirt and dust with a wipe cloth. Then wipe the tool with a dry cloth to remove moisture. If you see any glue sticking on the clamp, use linseed oil to remove it. Don’t use lubricating oil.
- Oiling: You have to oil certain parts of the bar clamp from time to time. This helps the tool to function properly. Apply a little oil on the joints and screws of the clamp every week.
- Storing: Store the clamp in a dry place. Humidity or wet environment will damage the clamp’s metal and wooden parts.
- Other things: A bar clamp has springs to hold and move the movable jaws. If you ever feel that the spring has lost its tension and can no longer hold the jaws in their place, replace the jaw and springs as soon as you can.
Now, why should you trust us? First of all, we did not pull the items from thin air! We talked to woodworkers, carpenters, and clamp sellers at length. We also asked them about the various bar clamps types and features. We’ve judged and evaluated the items that made it into our list from every aspect. In other words, you can trust us on this.
Now that you’ve read the whole buying guide, you can judge yourself. These are undoubtedly exceptional products. Besides, most of them are available at reasonably low prices. If you’re someone who is often involved in woodwork, it’s high time you bought your own bar clamp. Make your wood clamping enjoyable with these awesome tools!