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Thursday, January 20, 2022
F Clamps For WoodworkingBessey, Jorgensen, & Harbor Freight. F-clamp comparison and review!

Bessey, Jorgensen, & Harbor Freight. F-clamp comparison and review!

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Bessey, Jorgensen, & Harbor Freight.  F-clamp comparison and review!

Had to correct a wrong and go get some small F-clamps to replace the harbor freight mistake of last year. I show you what, why, and how the Harbor Freight budget clamps failed me so quickly. Plus the Bessey F-clamps I bought to replace them. A few words about some old Jorgensen clamps thrown in for good measure to give a bit of an f-clamp comparison and review.

I’m also adding a couple links to the new Bessey clamps that I review in this video, please check them out here:

Bessey 6″ clamp, with 2 1/2″ throat: https://amzn.to/2HGGViz

Bessey 6″ gear clamp with 2 1/2″ throat: https://amzn.to/37JLvYa

The heavier duty 3 1/2″ throated Bessey clamps and the 12″ Bessey gear clamps are available at Home Depot.

The 6″ Harbor Freight POS specials are available in my trash can until next Monday
Video Rating: / 5

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13 COMMENTS

  1. I just now subscribed.
    I appreciate your good use of the language.
    I too purchased a few (6-8-10?) years ago the Horror Fright clamps. I agree they’re pretty much junk. There are is however, a bar clamp they sell that can be retro fitted and be made usable. Good on ya!

  2. Just picked a 4pk 600lbs Bessey's for $25 at Hdepot (6" and 12"). Just started woodworking and I wanted to be in good company. Thanks.

  3. Nothing is more satisfying than using a good tool. I don’t understand how clamps that twist under clamping pressure make it to the shelf in any tool store. My worst Harbor Freight experience was purchasing a metric tap & die set, makes lousy threads. I keep it just to remind me that bitten once shame on them….

  4. The older Harbor freight clamps were better. I 100 percent agree the newer F style clamps are crap. Great video. I bought 2 Bessey quick clamps and I like them. I also have 4 Bora parallel clamps that slip. Get bessey and you will pay yourself back with less aggravation.

  5. Well, it seems my experience is at the other end of the spectrum. I prefer my HF F-clamps over the Bessey clamps I bought, and I've not been impressed with Bessey. The pads remain in place better with the HF clamps, and the Bessey wood hands provide next to no grip when tightening (added hockey-stick tape to improve grip). The Bessey clamps have heavier bars and do not flex as easily as the HF F-clamps, but if you're having to tighten so hard that you flex the clamps, then perhaps your wood fit-up for gluing needs improvement.

  6. Home Depot used to sell Bessey Tradesmen clamps. The Tradesmen line doesn’t use clutch plates, they have a hardened set screw set in the moveable part that engages a series of parallel grooves on the clamping bar. The clamping bar is more substantial (doesn’t flex much at all) than the Bessey GSCC clutch clamps I see at HD now. I’ve seen the Tradesmen clamps are available from Amazon, Acme, Woodcraft, and a few other places.

    The Tradesmen line has a variety of throat depths, and are available in a few different models from light duty to heavy duty. I’d avoid the light duty clamps as the clamping jaws are zinc and the acme screw feels pretty rough in the casting when trying to tighten the clamp. They work okay, but aren’t enjoyable to use.

    The main reason I prefer the Tradesmen to the models with the clutch plates is I don’t have to manipulate the clutch to move the handle part of the clamp. By slightly lifting the handle, the movable part can easily be slid in either direction on the bar, then pushing down slightly will engage the bar and a quick turn of the handle will get the clamp set.

    Anyway, you might want to scope them out and give them a try.

    As a side note, I rejected the Bessey GearKlamp for the same reason as you. That plastic pad was a non starter for me. Didn’t even consider buying them as soon as I saw what I consider a design fail. Had they changed that one part to metal, I would’ve bought a few and used them like I use Quick-Grip clamps now. I think the GearKlamp would be a winner if it weren’t for what appears to be its Achilles heel.

  7. Great review! I also have the older style HF clamps and the newer style. Both are crap but the older ones are less crap than the newer ones. I was looking around to find some good replacement clamps and thought I would check here on Youtube when I found your review. Very timely! I think I'm going to look for some Bessey F-clamps. Thanks again!

  8. Thank you. I was just looking for F clamps and had seen some cheap ones. After watching your video…i remembered the old saying. "Buy cheap, buy twice. Buy Qualitu, buy Once".

    No cheap and nasty clamps for me.

  9. I agree with your summary of the Jorgensen clamp. I have four vintage Jorgensen clamps that are over 50 years old. They have been used extensively (originally used to hold concrete forms together) for a variety of projects. After 5+ decades, they each still work perfectly.

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