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A collection of small clamps is invaluable in the workshop. (By small, I mean a clamp with a maximum jaw opening of 6 in.) The ideal small clamp, I suppose, would work perfectly in every imaginable application: Open and close quickly, tighten just as easily, and provide adequate pressure. It would clamp non-parallel surfaces, and it would release pressure easily.
I’ve yet to find that mythical clamp. But, after taking a close look at some 40 different types of small clamps, I ended up with the seven essential ones shown below. I’ve listed the number to include in a starter set. As you spend more time in the shop, buy a few more of the ones you find yourself using most often.
Excerpted from Small Clamps Everybody Needs, from FWW #199.
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