Who Makes the Best Parallel Clamp?
They seem identical, but a head-to-head test tells a different story
Synopsis: There’s no question that parallel clamps have helped make glue-ups easier since they were introduced about 15 years ago. Their large jaws make workpiece denting much less of an issue. And because the jaws are square to the bar and parallel to each other, parts aren’t as likely to slide out of alignment when the clamp is tightened. Plus, dried glue is easier to remove from the plastic jaws. But who makes the best version? Tim Albers tested six clamps—from Bessey, Irwin, Jet, Jorgensen, Woodcraft, and Woodline. Overall, he found a mixed bag. Several clamps were disappointments; but a couple stood out as top performers.
life in my workshop got a little easier about 15 years ago, on the day Bessey introduced the first parallel clamp, called the k Body. Ever since then, parallel clamps have become my main squeeze for a variety of clamping tasks.