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Clamps - Best bang for buck?

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thetyreman

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Stay away from 'Dakota' clamps sold by Rutlands. I learnt the hard way that they are not fit for purpose -- the mechanism keeps sliding rather than grip the bar. Its not just me -- there are loads of complaints online. Just sayin' :rolleyes:
I thought they discontinued them a few years ago?
 

recipio

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Apologies, I should have checked the website. They are gone from Amazon as well so it looks like they listened to customer complaints.
If I were starting out again I would buy Hatagane Japanese clamps from www.fine-tools.de They go up to 900mm and are beautifully made. Another hard earned lesson is that most bar clamps are too heavy for the job - these are ideal but a bit pricey of course.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Beau

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URKO are my goto clamps. They are on the heavy side but are as reassuringly solid as an old record G clamp with the speed of an F clamp
 

Ttrees

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Lidl do decent f clamps for 9 euros.
I think its a choice of three sizes now that they sell, since design seems to have changed in the last 6 months.
The newer black thread isn't as long and the foot quite as well made, and handles are a tad bit slippery, might need a skuff with sandpaper,
Quite heavy duty, the bar is still the same and has heavy profiled shape on all three sizes.
These are heavy!, you'd want to be a blacksmith to damage them.
I didn't look at the feet on the smaller ones to see if they were better than the poundshop or cheapest silverline variety though.

Choice of three x smaller ones, 2 x 80mm throat, or a single beast of a one.
I have gotten spoilt with about 10 of these now, and use them for everything as the handles are nice and chunky and easily grabbed.
Often residing near fully extended on an old chair to be at hand.
Powerfix Profi F-Clamp Set1 - Lidl — Great Britain - Specials archive
 
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TheUnicorn

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slightly off topic I know as you weren't looking for quick clamps but I bought a pair of the heavy duty irwin quick clamps from wickes recently, 12" ones were £12.50 a piece, by far the best price I've ever found them, and these heavy duty ones are so much stronger than their little brothers.
 

Rorton

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I’m struggling with Bessey uniklamps at the moment, after a short while they don’t seem to grip on the centre bar, so unable to tighten them. Will invest in some k clamps I think
 

JSW

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Lidl do decent f clamps for 9 euros.
I think its a choice of three sizes now that they sell, since design seems to have changed in the last 6 months.
The newer black thread isn't as long and the foot quite as well made, and handles are a tad bit slippery, might need a skuff with sandpaper,
Quite heavy duty, the bar is still the same and has heavy profiled shape on all three sizes.
These are heavy!, you'd want to be a blacksmith to damage them.
I didn't look at the feet on the smaller ones to see if they were better than the poundshop or cheapest silverline variety though.

Choice of three x smaller ones, 2 x 80mm throat, or a single beast of a one.
I have gotten spoilt with about 10 of these now, and use them for everything as the handles are nice and chunky and easily grabbed.
Often residing near fully extended on an old chair to be at hand.
View attachment 92616
I also have a pair of the large Lidl clamps, those things are industrial! But Oh my, the clamping pressure you can achieve with them is out of this world :D

My go-to's are Solo clamps, I'm from a Joinery background, so everyone had a pair of Solo's in there tool box at the time. The original Orange Solo clamps that I have, are still going strong after 30+ years of use, and Axminster do them nowadays, which I also have a pair of. Prefer the orange originals, but thats perhaps because they've had so much use, and are worn in, so the bar slides really nicely, the Axy one's not so much, still decent though.

Axy Solo Clamps
 

RueFondary

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In my experience, the large Lidl F clamps are quite good especially for the price. They will rust compared to the equivalent Bessey which are my gold standard for this type of clamps. The small Lidl F clamps are not as good IMO.

I'd stay well clear of the Lidl quick clamps (the Irwin quick grips mini from Screwfix for instance are significantly better while being very affordable).

Regarding the Bessey Uniklamps, I also experienced the lack of grip. A thorough cleaning solved this issue for me, but I won't buy any more as they are no patch on the Bessey KRE parallel clamps (They are heavier and much costlier though, but they do last longer and have useful accessories)
 

johnnyb

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I love my jorgenson clamps. they are a bit like a properly made aluminium sash clamp and are superb. I've no idea where they are made or if they are still available.
 

johnnyb

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just checked and pony jorgenson make a huge range and I'd say they are good quality. the 24inch aluminium sash clamps are £24 but they are significantly better than chinese stuff.
so I reckon they are best bang for buck!
 

Chris_Pallet

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Nice forum chat, I had rutlands in my basket but got rid and managed to get a deal in the flash sale on besseys with all the recommendations. 1000mm x4 £100 delivered.

.
I totally get buy cheap buy twice, I broke 2 of my aldi specials yesterday. Never again!
20201008_125456.jpg
 

Ttrees

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I might have to make some bolt on extensions for my clamps, some flat bar stock and a pair of holes would do the trick, as I used up nearly all of mine for this job.
If you can find those workzone Aldi clamps, (black handles), they are the best value prob a tenner for a 600mm and a 3 or 400m one, or two of those medium sizes.

The blue ones are 600mm Silverline which can be got cheaply, but the achilles heel on these are the feet.
I peined the heads on them as after a few uses, the heads came off some.
This worked so far, but the clamps have a lot more tendency to walk.
They have a nice feature with a tommy bar, so can fit into awkward spots.
Some of these are damaged now, and I am not sure if I damaged them from
the peining or from heavy use
(Some of the tommy bars don't flip outta the way so easily now.)

I would try to grab the thread now, instead of the slotted ends being placed upon a sledgehammer head...
 

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