Guide rail clamps

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TRITON

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Im thinking i should buy a pair of clamps for the guide rail, but what type. Ratchet, screw, quick clamp type ?
I like the look of the Bessey and Festool ones, the ratchet type, but before i hit buy, anyone got any experience of them ?
 
I use the Festool FS-HZ-160 quick clamps for my guide rails and MFT-style workstation. I have a pair of the Festool FSZ-120 screw clamps, but don't like them. They always managed to loosen when used with the guide rails, but the guide rail never shifted. The FS-HZ-160 are pricey (what a surprise), but work flawlessly for me.
 
I think the Makita clamps work with Festool because the rails are almost identical but the clamp or not to clamp decision is down to the individual, many say there is no need to clamp and is quicker but maybe when using parallel guides or rail squares there is more of a need, it is what you are comfortable with and I like clamping everything so it cannot move. £65 for one clamp is a bit harsh, you get two Makita clamps for £22 or a pair of the matchfit clamps for £56 which also are used in there dovetail slot system and therefore have other uses.
 
I have all 3 types and have used them a lot for guide rail clamping and for regular clamping (without guide rail).

For guide rail clamping:
- My favourite is "quick clamp" type. I reach for them first every time.
- My second (close) favourite is Makita screw type
- My least favourite (for clamping guide rail) is the ratchet/lever type. I only reach for these when I have no other option.

I find Ratchet/lever type clamp awkward to use for rail clamping, lever finds something that obstructs it most of the. Also lever part tend to slide down the clamp so (at least in my use) two hands have to be involved when clamping guide rail.

Makita screw type (not the quickest) but are the most versatile. They are compact (no lever sticking out), can be used with any Festool type rail (slight filing may be required) and work as regular clamp or on MFT top just as well.
Initially having to use the screw on Makita clamp seems like a waste of time, but after using Lever type Makita/screw type are a joy to use.

Having said that - quick clamp type would still be my first preference to clamp the guide rail.
 
£65 for one clamp is a bit harsh, you get two Makita clamps for £22 or a pair of the matchfit clamps for £56 which also are used in there dovetail slot system and therefore have other uses.

All of my Festool quick clamps were bought on sale or were included with some of the machines. The last purchase of four was in November 2020 from a UK Amazon vendor for £32 each and free shipping.
 
I have a pair of 1400mm Evolution rails that come complete with screw type clamps. I’ve found these to work perfectly. Recently my sister-in-law got her bedroom carpet replaced with a deep pile carpet plus underlay and needed 6 heavy doors (room, en-suite & 4 w’robe) trimmed by about 6mm to suit. Track & clamps worked perfectly - I wouldn’t have risked it without clamps.
 
I have the Festool quick clamps but hardly ever use them for clamping the rail, it's a faff making sure there is enough clearance for them underneath and the rail doesn't move anyway. It has to be a really critical cut, a slippery surface or a bevel cut for me to use them.

I do use them a lot for clamping stuff to my MFT style bench though, great for that.
 
I have Festool track and bought the Axminster clone of the Bessey ratchet clamps made to fit it.
They are great clamps. Very strong. Quite easy to use.
Two downsides to them :
1. The moving jaw is loose on the shank until you get some pressure on it. This makes them easy to use but also means that they rattle all the way open as soon as they're loose. This is a bit irritating.
2. The lever handle sticks way forward when the ratchet is fully released. This means that you can't clamp onto a table edge (or workbench built like one) if there's a supporting timber set less than about 5 inches back from the edge. This is annoying more often than you'd expect - like you can't really clamp a small job up on the end of your workmate ....

This week I had the chance to try the ratchet clamps that come in the Mafell track set. They're made by Bessey and are about £40 a pair in the Bessey flash sale right now. They are supposed to be universal so they'll fit Festool, Bosch, etc tracks too.
OK, not as strong and absolutely bombproof as the ratchet clamps sold by Festool and their clones, but usability is better and quality is still a good bessey one handed clamp.

20220904_202030.jpg
 
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Banggood do a product suitable for the Festool track:

VEIKO-2PCS-Quick-Ratchet-Track-Saw-Guide-Rail-Clamp-MFT-Clamp

Currently £32.96 (UK price) for a pair - free shipping.

I have 4 - used on my MFT table and they’re fantastic.
 
Banggood do a product suitable for the Festool track:

VEIKO-2PCS-Quick-Ratchet-Track-Saw-Guide-Rail-Clamp-MFT-Clamp

Currently £32.96 (UK price) for a pair - free shipping.

I have 4 - used on my MFT table and they’re fantastic.
I have a pair of those. Seem to be well made for what they are.
 
I have the Makita screw types. They were cheap, BUT, they are too big to use in my MFT as hold down clamps. I wish I bought ones that do fit
 
I use the Festool FS-HZ-160 quick clamps for my guide rails and MFT-style workstation. I have a pair of the Festool FSZ-120 screw clamps, but don't like them. They always managed to loosen when used with the guide rails, but the guide rail never shifted. The FS-HZ-160 are pricey (what a surprise), but work flawlessly for me.
When I bought 4 FSZ-120 about 4 or 5 years ago they were £19 /pr from FFX. They're the only Festools I own!
 

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