The clamp is an essential piece of equipment needed for carpentry work and, truth be told, you can never have too many of them! Whether you're working on a simple project in your garage, like gluing together a frame, or are constructing a piece of furniture, you'll need plenty of strong and reliable clamps.
However, there are a number of things you'll need to consider, such as the size of jaws and how much pressure a clamp can apply. To help you decide, we compare the best trigger, screw and right-angle clamps for woodworking in the UK from top brands including Irwin, DeWalt and Jorgensen. Our top 10 has been comprehensively researched and features some of the most recommended woodworking clamps available online.
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When looking at woodworking clamps, there are two main types to consider: the trigger clamp and screw clamp.
It's also worth noting that we've included a couple of right-angle clamps, which are designed for fixing joints together. If you're building a frame and need to glue or peg two pieces together to form a corner, these are specially designed for this purpose.
If you're working with wood, there's nothing quite as versatile as a Dremel!
Depending on what you're working with, you'll need different sized clamps to effectively hold pieces of wood together and secure them in place. To find the right size, you'll want to consider both the width of the rail the clamps sit on when working with larger items, as well as the throat depth for individual planks of wood.
Most woodworking clamps have a throat depth of between 60 - 80 mm, which is more than enough to securely grip most pieces of wood. When it comes to the width, smaller clamps have a maximum jaw capacity of around 150 - 200 mm, while larger clamps can be over 500 mm. If you're unsure, aiming for 300 mm is a safe bet.
Right-angle clamps are a little different as they're designed to hold individual planks and beams rather than larger items. As such, they have a much narrower maximum jaw capacity and shallower throat depth.
If you're working at home or in the garage, pick up a folding work bench to save space!
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Quick-Grip Clamp Set
A Quick-Grip Set That Covers a Range of DIY Tasks
F Clamps Set
A Powerful Pair of Screw Clamps at a Bargain Price Point
E-Z Hold Mini Clamp Set
Versatile Set of Clamps and Spreaders for Small Projects
Ratchet Bar Clamp Set
Affordable Quick Release Clamps for General Purpose Woodworking
Steel Bar Clamp Set
Seriously Strong Steel Bar Screw Clamps With Multiple Disc Clutch Design
Right Angle Clamp
A Specialist Clamp Designed for Frames and Corners
A Budget Option Suited to Gluing Smaller Items
Quality Set of Mini Trigger Clamps From a Reliable Brand
Right Angle Clamp
Right-Angle Clamps With Ergonomic Handles
An Industrial Strength Pair of Quality Clamps From a Well Known Brand
Whether you're working in a specially built workshop or a folding table in a garage, our number one pick is the Quick-Grip Clamp Set from Irwin. It contains four trigger clamps in total, comprised of two differently sized pairs.
The larger pair boasts a whopping 590 mm maximum jaw capacity, meaning that it'll be big enough to handle large objects. However, the smaller set is still wider than many other options at 340 mm. So, with these clamps, you'll be able to tackle any project you have in mind!
If you're looking for the strongest clamps possible on a budget, then this pair of screw clamps is the perfect choice for you. With a clamping force of 272 kg, these easily top our list in terms of pressure, whilst being towards the bottom when it comes to cost!
You get two clamps for your money, one standard 300 mm, and a slightly smaller one at 255 mm. Better yet, the clamps are made from cast iron and are powder coated to prevent rust and corrosion, meaning you won't have to worry about leaving them in a damp shed or garage.
This pack of four E-Z Hold Mini Clamps from Jorgensen are ideal if you're working with smaller items like bedside cabinets or drawers. If you're looking for a set of lightweight clamps that can do a lot more than you would think, then they're well worth adding to your workshop.
What's unique about this set is its versatility as you can splice two of the mini clamps together to create a single 400 mm clamp. You can also swiftly and easily swap between clamp and spreader using the quick change button!
If you're a DIY enthusiast looking to turn your skills towards carpentry and basic furniture making, then this pair of ratchet bar clamps from WorkPro are a great first purchase. They represent fantastic quality for a trigger set, available around the £20 mark.
With an average clamping force and jaw capacity, these make for solid all-rounders that you'll always find a use for. For both professionals and hobbyists alike, these will prove a very useful as either you main clamps or as a supplementary pair for larger projects.
When it comes to strength, there aren't many options that can compete with these steel bar screw clamps from Jorgensen. Boasting over 35000 kg per inch of tensile strength, you won't have to worry about these clamps breaking.
They also feature a large grip handle and Jorgensen's multiple disc clutch design that allows the sliding head to hold securely at any point along the bar. This is the perfect choice if you're looking for strength and reliability, without wanting to break the bank.
If you couldn't tell from the picture, this right-angle clamp from Housolution is a little different as it's designed to hold corners together. It features a swing jaw design that allows wood blocks and beams of different sizes to be held together without issue.
As a more specialist clamp, this isn't going to be something that every workshop strictly needs, as you can achieve the same effect with other clamps. For ease of use, however, this is well worth picking up for anyone making furniture frames and the like.
Most of the woodworking clamps on our list are aimed towards workshop use or DIY. So, if you're looking for something a little lighter, this option is worth considering. The Bessey Crew Clamp may be small at 200 mm, but it's well suited for smaller projects.
While perfect for gluing models together, be aware that the lack of any real clamping force means it's not suited to serious work involving power tools. For the bedroom or a small studio, however, this can't be beaten for the price.
Irwin makes tools designed for professionals, and this pack of four smaller Quick-Grip clamps is well suited to a rugged environment. If you work in a professional capacity or are serious about your DIY projects, it's worth considering this set.
That said, for a set of smaller clamps, they are fairly expensive. If you're happy to pay for quality tools and equipment it's a good investment, but for those seeking a bargain, it may pay to go for a different option instead.
Just like the previous entry on our list, this right-angle clamp features a swing handle to clamp different sized pieces of wood together. However, these clamps differ slightly in that they have an ergonomic handle to comfortably position the jaw.
Usually buying two items in a bundle offers a discount, but this pack works out more expensive than buying two individual clamps. In fairness, you are paying for quality and ease of use, which may be more than worth it to some.
Avid DIY enthusiasts and working professionals will be very familiar with DeWalt as they make some of the highest quality power and hand tools available on the market today. A great choice for heavy use, these clamps have reinforced nylon bodies designed for active workshops.
While DeWalt tools are of exceptional quality, it's hard to ignore the drastic difference in price between this pair of clamps and the rest of our list. If you're a professional tradesman, it makes sense to opt for these, but the average customer will find more value elsewhere.
Written and researched by David Sexton
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