The 8 Best Woodworking Clamps of 2020

Making sure you keep your DIY projects secure as you work

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Our Top Picks
"Strong and versatile, this clamp can exert up to 1,100 pounds of force to keep your project in place securely."
"Get a good variety of clamps that are perfect for lighter duty jobs—all at a price that's well worth the investment."
"For a more customizable approach, consider these clamps, which can be slid onto a pipe the length of your choosing."
"For easy one-handed operation, consider this trigger clamp, which allows you to quickly and easily add or release pressure."
"Sometimes basics are best, like with this traditional C-clamp, which holds projects together securely without special features."
"Specifically to hold two pieces together for joining, this clamp is solid, but gentle enough that it won't leave marks on the surface."
"Easily apply and adjust inward or outward pressure with these one-handed clamps, which come in a handy set of four."
Best for Corners:
MLCS Can-Do Clamp at Amazon
"Get stable, even pressure when you're joining pieces at an angle from this clamp, which is specially designed to handle corners."

For projects large and small, woodworking clamps offer a secure hold during cutting, assembly, or bonding. While you might initially think of the simple but effective C-clamp, there are many different types of woodworking clamps, including bar clamps, pipe clamps, ratchet or quick-release clamps, and H-clamps—among others!

Whether you are a hobbyist, DIYer, or professional, you’ll want to have these top woodworking clamps in your toolbox for a quick and easy way to secure project pieces.

Here, the best woodworking clamps for any DIY project:

Best Overall: BESSEY 36 in. Clutch-Style Bar Clamp with Composite Plastic Handle and 3-1/2 in. Throat Depth

A versatile bar clamp like this 36-inch model from Bessey easily clamps material together or can be adjusted to use the spreaders to exert outward force that pushes material apart. This version offers strength and durability along with padded clamps that won’t mark surfaces and an improved comfort grip handle. While C-clamps are generally considered some of the most basic and essential woodworking clamps, a bar clamp offers greater width and isn’t limited by the narrow throat depth of most C-clamps. 

While the force applied by bar clamps varies based on the size and materials used, the average woodworking or metalworking project can be handled by this highly recommended bar clamp. This model from Bessey exerts 1,100 pounds of clamping force and is frequently described as both strong and versatile.

Best Set: IRWIN Clamps Set, 6-Pack

Beginning woodworkers quickly learn what more experienced craftsman have already come to know—having a variety of clamps is essential. To quickly start your clamp collection, the Irwin Clamps Set includes three varieties of clamps: one-hand bar clamps, spring clamps, and quick-grip handi-clamps. While this set is designed for light duty use, it has been a versatile and durable choice for all sorts of projects. 

Using the variety of included clamps gives you options for securing woodworking projects of all shapes and sizes. This set provides helpful assistance when operating tools like a table saw, drill press, router table, or bench sander.

Best H-Style: BESSEY H-Style Pipe Clamp Fixture Set for 3/4 in. Black Pipe

A pair of H-style or pipe clamps offer the ability to secure projects of various sizes, since the clamps themselves fit onto a metal pipe of your choosing. If you need to clamp a large tabletop, long shelves, or other similar projects, simply choose a pipe that is long enough for your purpose and slide the pair of H-style clamps onto opposing ends of the pipe. The Bessey H-Style Pipe Clamps are a top option and are available to fit both 0.75-inch and 0.5-inch pipe.

Instead of needing to have an array of long clamps for large projects, several set of Bessey H-Style Pipe Clamps, along with a few different pieces of pipe, is all you need to clamp projects of any sort.

The H-style design also allows air to circulate on both sides of the project, which may be important for glued, stained, or painted pieces.

Best Ratchet: DEWALT 6 in. 100 lbs. Trigger Clamp with 2.43 in. Throat Depth

A ratchet clamp uses a trigger system to quickly apply and release pressure, allowing for easier one-handed operation. The Dewalt 6-inch Trigger Clamp applies 100 pounds of pressure and has a throat depth of 2.43 inches. The jaws can be opened to a width of 6 inches, and you can also easily convert it into a spreader clamp.

Constructed of reinforced nylon plastic and heat-treated steel, this clamp feels solid and sturdy. This is a medium-duty woodworking clamp, though larger and more heavy-duty versions are also available from Dewalt.

Best C-Clamp: Husky 8 in. Drop Forged C-Clamp

One of the most recognizable types of woodworking clamps, the Husky Drop-Forged C-Clamp is a handy tool to have in your shop or shed. Constructed of drop-forged steel, this clamp measures 8 inches long with a throat depth of 4.61 inches and 760 pounds of clamping forces. Technically considered a "light duty" clamp, this Husky C-Clamp is still versatile enough to handle a wide range of tasks and users say it has hundreds of different uses around the home, garage, or shop.

You'll especially appreciate that the textured clamping face provides sufficient grip. Additionally, the 7/8-inch flat pad of the spindle that provides opposing pressure can be used with an additional larger plastic pad cover for more surface pressure. It adjusts easily and smoothly but stays tight once positioned. Additionally, Husky offers a lifetime warranty on this woodworking tool.

Best Face Clamp: Milescraft 3 in. Face Clamp

Useful in projects where you need to join two pieces of wood together, a face clamp is an important woodworking tool for craftsman and DIYers. The Milescraft 3-inch Face Clamp is a popular option if you need a clamp that is specially intended for use with pocket-screw joinery or on any task where you need solid clamping with no marks left behind. 

This face clamp from Milescraft has round, oversized clamp pads that apply distributed pressure. While several sizes are available, this model is suitable for use with material up to 2.75-inches thick. This face clamp offers both value and durability and is a nice addition to popular pocket hole jig kits.

Best Quick Clamp: Jorgensen 6-inch Spreader/Bar Clamp Set, 4-Pack

A quick clamp offers the convenience of being able to adjust the clamp by squeezing the trigger with one hand. If you’re looking for this convenience without losing strength or integrity, the Jorgenson 6-inch Spreader/Bar Clamp Set is a great option as a woodworking clamp for light-duty projects. Use these clamps to apply inward and outward pressure, since they’re adjustable to both spreader and clamp configurations.

The set of four quick-release clamps have a throat depth of just over 2 inches, along with a maximum opening of 6 inches. But if you sometimes work on larger scale projects, a unique feature of these Jorgenson clamps is the ability to use two clamps together for more than double the maximum opening width. For some people, the release trigger and hand grip were not the most ergonomic and required some getting used to, which is something to keep in mind if you will be using them often.

Best for Corners: MLCS Can-Do Clamp

If your woodworking project involves corners or other 90-degree angles, a right-angle clamp is a simple solution to securing any corner. The Can-Do Clamp is especially popular as a woodworking clamp for picture frames or cabinets, and it offers plenty of pressure and stability for your projects. The moveable jaws open wide enough to clamp down on material up to 2.75-inches thick. Reviewers especially appreciate the sturdy, aluminum construction of this angle clamp—along with the fact that it’s designed in such a way that no glue will drip down from the corner onto the clamp.

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