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❈ Hand Tools: Woodworking Clamps

No single clamp - or type of clamp - will get the job done in every situation. Here's a quick description of the most common types of clamps to help you decide which you need for your shop.

Parallel Clamps

Parallel ClampsNon-marring faces maintain right angles, perfect for case and frame construction.

Pipe Clamps

Pipe ClampsOur Sure-Foot design and zinc pipe significantly upgrade these powerful woodshop workhorses.
Parallel-jaw Bar Clamps: These bar clamps have jaws covered with non-marring, non-stick plastic faces that are designed to remain parallel when the clamps are tightened. They tighten with a hand-screw mechanism and provide strong clamping pressure. Because the jaws remain parallel, these clamps are a popular choice for case construction and other applications where maintaining right angles is important. On some varieties, the jaws can be repositioned so the clamps can serve as a spreader, as well. Available in a variety of lengths.

Pipe Clamps: Designed to fit a specific diameter (most commonly 3/4") of standard threaded pipe, these clamps are infinitely adjustable, and their crank-handle mechanism can provide a great deal of clamping pressure. The length of pipe determines each clamp's capacity and maximum pressure. These clamps have long been a workshop staple and are great for edge-gluing boards. Care must be taken if used with black iron pipe, though, as the iron can react with the water in wood glue and stain wood that contacts it directly. At Rockler, we sell zinc-plated pipe that won't leave stains.

Bar Clamps

Bar ClampsOne-handed quick-release clamps and other options for a variety of applications.

Spring Clamps

Spring ClampsThe right size and strength for light clamping tasks, combined with one-handed ease.
Bar Clamps: An aluminum or steel bar, sometimes shaped like an I-beam, replaces the pipe as the backbone of this type of clamp, which comes in several varieties. One variety functions much like a pipe clamp, with a crank-handle mechanism. Another variety, called the F-style clamp, has deeper jaws and tightens with a hand-screw mechanism. Bar clamps also can provide ample clamping pressure, and the aluminum variety has the added benefit of being lightweight. Available in a variety of lengths.

Spring and Hand Clamps: Both of these are one-hand clamps. The user squeezes spring clamps to open them, and the tension of the spring applies the clamping pressure. These clamps are best for quick fastening and gluing jobs requiring only light clamping pressure. With hand clamps, the user squeezes the handles and the clamp locks; clamping pressure is determined by how hard the user is able to squeeze.

F-Style Clamps

F-Style ClampsGreat clamping pressure plus the capacity to locate pressure where it's needed.

Toggle Clamps

Toggle ClampsGreat for building jigs that will hold stock securely for all kinds of operations.


Handscrew ClampsClassic design and hardwood jaws are great for applying even pressure - even at odd angles.

Cam Clamps

Cam ClampsExclusive cam clamps give you quick release for clamping jigs and fixtures.



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