Clamps are used to secure your wood piece and perform different cuts — but not if you don’t pick the right type with top quality. Poorly constructed clamps could easily result in loose grips and minimal tension. Thankfully, our team has compiled a list of the best woodworking clamps so you can improve your workspace.
Reviews of the Top Woodworking Clamps
1. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP Mini Bar Clamps
The Irwin Quick Grip Mini Bar Clamps are wood clamps that come with non-marring pads so you can tighten them around your workpiece without worrying about leaving marks. The pressure and release are easy with the quick-grip handles and are suitable for one-handed operation.
The bar clamp is very durable and strong with a resin and steel design that prevents bending and flexing. Just how strong is a bar clamp? Even though they are considered miniature, our experts found that the mini bar clamp can distribute 140 pounds of pressure, which is enough for most projects.
Each pack comes with 6 bar clamps that will tightly secure the object.
2. TEKTON ¾ Inch Nylon Spring Clamps
The Tekton 3/4 Nylon Spring Clamps come in a set of 10 and provide instant pressure to your wood piece. The spring tension design with one-handed operation makes these spring clamps excellent for DIY  projects that need some clamping power.
The construction is extremely durable with fiber-glass reinforced nylon that is a lightweight material that will not corrode or rust. The pivoting rotary jaw pads will adjust themselves for the most secure grip and the soft handle is ergonomic and non-slip, ensuring DIY enthusiasts and professional woodworkers alike can get the most use out of this spring clamp set.
3. Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose F Clamp
These Bessey F Clamps can replace C clamps and offer more versatility. With the capability for general purposes, these are the best woodworking clamps for smaller wood pieces. They each come with a protective cap that prevents marking on the materials and the ergonomic wood handle makes operation effortless.
Keep in mind that these are lighter duty clamps and are not suited for complex woodworking tasks. The F clamps are a package deal and have very sturdy construction. The brand still offers a lifetime warranty for craftsmanship and defects, although our experts feel you won’t be needing it with the heavy-duty construction.
4. Kreg KHC-Premium Face Clamp
Our experts like to include various options on our lists, and the next one is a very versatile face clamp. The face clamp is best for securing individual joints to keep them flush. The Kreg KHC-Premium Face Clamp has a 3-inch reach and is capable of securing materials up to 2-¾-inches thick.
The clamp pads on these woodworking clamps are extra large to help distribute the pressure more evenly. The flat surface of the clamp head won’t mark your materials while applying the pressure.
These face clamps can be adjusted to match the material thickness and the rubber handles are easy to grip to reduce fatigue in your hands.
5. Bessey BPC-H34 3/4-Inch H Style Pipe Clamp
Then there is the H-style pipe clamp, which helps to secure materials in your working area and maximizes stability. The Bessey BPC-H34 has a higher base for more clearance between the work table and your project. For extra durability, the H clamp features a cast jaw design with 2 soft jaw caps to alleviate the pressure and prevent marring.
The hand crank is easy to use and the spindle is highly durable and smooth in operation. The H clamp is made with zinc plated clutch parts and black-oxide coated threaded spindle.
6. Bessey Clutch Style Bar Clamp
If you are looking for a clutch-style bar clamp, then look no further than this product from Bessy. This tool is easy to use and delivers excellent results. It’s made with a cast head and features protective pads for both the top and bottom jaws to help with the pressure and to keep your materials mark-free.
The jaws are adjustable and the ergonomic wood handle makes operation easy. The durability of a woodworking clamp is crucial, and the clutch-style bar clamp is created with a powder-coated finish to prevent rust and corrosion. The zinc-finished rail and cast heads make the Bessey Clutch Style Bar Clamp reliable every time.
7. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP C Clamp
C clamps are perhaps the most versatile and efficient clamps. For the Irwin C clamp, the double-rolled thread is highly durable and it clamps much more quickly than other models. The large swivel jaw pad prevents marring on your wood surface and also provides more stability.
To provide users with a better grip, these quick-grip clamps have a larger swivel handle to reduce fatigue. The entire C clamp is made of steel, which heightens the durability and clamping power.
These clamps are easy to use and have a decent jaw capacity to ensure stability for your workpiece compared to some other types of woodworking clamps.
Woodworking Clamp Buyer's Guide
The secret to finding the best woodworking clamp for your workshop is to identify the types you need for your project and find products that are easy to use and durable. Our team is here to do a deep dive into the different factors to look for when searching for these woodshop tools.
Type of Clamp
First up, we have the F clamp, which can also be called the bar clamp. It earns its name due to the shape of the product and can be compared to a C clamp. F clamps are the best for securing wood pieces together for gluing. Woodworking DIY project options like picture frames require F clamps.
A bar clamp is similar to an F clamp in terms of shape, but it has a longer bar part which works as a handle to clamp the jaws together.
The bar clamp category can be further separated into different categories including sash clamps, pipe clamps and T clamps. The pipe clamps resemble a regular bar clamp but instead of a bar they have a threaded pipe.
We also have the very common C clamp, which is very versatile and can be used for multiple projects. A carpenter will always have some type of C clamp in their arsenal. They are shaped like a C, hence the name, and can be used to hold any workpiece together. C clamps can have quick-grip releases or have a swivel handle for adjustment.
H style pipe clamps have extra adjustability and security. They come in two different parts that offer more strength. H style clamps can offer a higher base, which gives more clearance between the work table surface and your project.
There is also the face clamp, which is almost exclusively used for joinery. Unlike the H-style clamps, the face clamp is one piece with large clamp heads. This tool usually features a quick-grip function to help reduce fatigue, unlike the hand screw.
Spring clamps are the easiest to operate. They just require pressure application to open and clamp. Our team will remind you that spring clamps have the most pressure, which can be tough to operate for some.
With so many types of wood clamps, which one should you use? Our team suggests C clamps if you often engage in multiple types of projects. They are highly functional and provide a good grip no matter what it is you need.
Bar clamps, F clamps or pipe clamps are good choices for larger projects because they have a wider opening and throat capacity. They resemble the shape of a C clamp, which makes the pipe clamp or bar clamp just as versatile.
H style clamps are recommended by our team if you need clearance between the work surface and your project. There are many more types of clamps such as strap clamps, cast iron clamps, ones best for i-beam design, but no matter what clamp you choose, our team always suggests looking for quick-grips.
Aside from the type of woodworking clamps, a professional or DIYer also needs to consider the clamping force of the product. You may think the stronger the clamp the better, but our team says that’s not always the case. For example, if one clamp has too much strength, it could risk marking your workpiece and ruining your project.
The clamping force will vary depending on hardwood or softwood projects, but what’s more important than that is ensuring the presence of clutch plates. These plates or clamp heads are necessary on products to protect your material. Look for ones with a swing jaw design that makes it easier to use.
The key is to make sure you have enough strength to operate the clamps. Many spring clamps are so powerful it takes two hands to operate. If you can’t open the clamp, you may end up having to drag it off the wood piece, which could damage the surface if the clamp doesn’t feature protective caps.
You should also consider the durability of your woodworking clamps. You don’t want the product to fall apart in the middle of your projects. Different brands will produce various qualities, and our team suggests finding one made of steel or cast iron for the best bet.
Aside from the material, the finish such as powdered coating, will also guarantee a longer lifespan for your woodworking tool. There are options out there that can chip and have loose parts. To avoid this, our experts suggest going for projects with a long return period just in case they don’t live up to your expectations.
Taking care of your products before and after use will allow you to make the most of your investment. Clean your tool after use, keep it dry, and regular oil are musts. The oiling applies to a clamp that has metal parts. If your woodworking clamps have wood parts, then our experts suggest wiping them down each time.
The storage of your wood clamps will also affect the condition. All of your wood clamps should be stored in a cool and dry place to make sure moisture doesn’t seep in and cause the wood part to deteriorate or the metal part to rust and corrode.
Hanging them for storage will also decrease the chances of surface damage as the clamps won’t knock against other tools.
Most clamps are small enough tools to maneuver with one hand, but some can be large enough to require two-handed operation. The size won’t matter as much if you don’t plan on transporting the woodworking clamps from one job site to another. If you are constantly on the go, then our experts would suggest looking for one that can easily fit into your tool box.
Woodworking clamps should be versatile and easily transportable in size. There are even some options that are small enough to fit into your pocket. Our team suggests looking at the size of your projects and your workspace to determine the measurement of the clamps before considering portability. You want the product to perform to the best of its ability and not have to compromise the performance for the size.
What clamps do I need for woodworking?
You need C clamps for woodworking as they are the most versatile. However, the specific one you need will depend on the type of project you work on. Before deciding on the product, our team encourages you to assess the use of the clamp to narrow down the type you need.
Why are woodworking clamps so expensive?
Woodworking clamps are so expensive due to the material. The type of clamp may also affect the price. A pipe clamp can be pricier than a spring clamp, mainly because the pipe clamp is usually larger and requires more components, but there are many affordable clamp options on the market.
Our Top Pick For a Woodworking Clamp: Irwin Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamps
Our team’s top pick for the best woodworking clamp is the mini bar clamp set from Irwin. These clamps are powerful for such a small profile, with the ability to distribute 140 pounds evenly. Their quick-grip design makes them versatile and the high strength won’t damage your materials, thanks to the non-marring pads. These Irwin Quick Grip Mini Bar Clamps are the best choice for people looking for a small package with superior gripping power.