Parallel Clamps

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benandez

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Morning All!
A bit of searching shows some old posts comparing Bessey, Axminster and Rutlands parallel clamps. I was wondering if anyone has had any recent experience with the Rutlands clamps, or have they still got their negative rep? Also, is the only difference betweeen the K Body and UniKlamp the clamping pressure that you can exert?
 

Bingy man

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I have several Rutland clamps as per photos, the red are I’m sure from Rutlands with no issues, the green are Dakota clamps from Rutlands and again no issues ( not sure if still available) the grey / red are Axminster trade and these are probably my favourite, they have multi position handles which do seem to exert more pressure. Only real issues with axi trade is the cost hence why I only have 2 of these as yet .
 

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Argus

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Clamps can be very expensive...... (the good ones that stand up to repeat use and do not distort are anyway).

Many of us use them very occasionally and are often disappointed by the cheaper clamps based on an Aluminium extruded 'U' section.

However, regarding the cheaper clamps, one of the more useful tips to emerge from Paul Sellers' occasional instructional series shows how to reinforce the Ally bar with a tight-fitting piece of wood, running the length and also how to improve the sticky screw-mechanism.

Here's a link to some detail. The last picture has an extend arrow to show the process. It works, too. The piece of reinforcing wood adds considerable strength. It pays to shape the wood closely to the internal shape of the Ally bar and if it's a tight fit, a smear of oil and a tap works well.


Good luck.
 

recipio

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In general most clamps are too heavy for cabinet work and you can end up with a lot of expensive wall hangers gathering dust. Firstly the Dakota range has been long abandoned due to poor performance. I have some and never use them - the bar keeps sliding and they refuse to lock down. The Bessey UniKlamps are nice and fine for light work. For light framing and cabinet work I now use the Hatagane Japanese clamps available from www.fine-tools.de in Germany. Not cheap but they are the perfect blend of function and weight.
If you are into joinery I would consider the tried and trusted Record sash clamps . I see generic versions are available on Amazon for little money but I'd like to see the quality of the clamping thread - they would need to be as good as the old Records.
 
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Spectric

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I used to use Irwin XP clamps and thought they were great, but once I used the Bessey K body clamps I was amazed at how much more clamping force they could apply, made closing some joints much easier. Also the Bessey one handed clamps are so useful if you only have one pair of hands on a job, they were recommended by people on these forums so thanks.
 

benandez

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Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated!
I was aware of Paul's video on improving the aluminium sash - I do have some so I could try this and see how they work. I do have a couple of Silver line record style sash clamps but I find these are heavy and awkward.
I might end up going with the UniKlamps, they seem effective at a reasonable price point for quantity.
 

thetyreman

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don't get the cheap aluminium sash clamp sellers recommends, they are awful! they barely last 1-2 years before falling apart and you need to re-inforce them with wood so they don't make an irritating resonant noise, I threw mine away, I can highly recommend bessey uniklamps the black ones, they're the ones I currently use.

I've been thinking about making some of these they have the advantage of being very light weight and strong, you can make them to any size.

Pipe clamps are another option but it's hardly cheap in the UK especially if you buy the bessey stuff.
 

mikej460

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Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated!
I was aware of Paul's video on improving the aluminium sash - I do have some so I could try this and see how they work. I do have a couple of Silver line record style sash clamps but I find these are heavy and awkward.
I might end up going with the UniKlamps, they seem effective at a reasonable price point for quantity.
I have a set of old 900mm sash clamps that have worked well for heavy work for years. They are far too heavy for smaller work though and I seemed to always need them a bit longer. So my advice here is really think hard about what you want them for, now and in the future.

As I needed some longer clamps so bought a set of six 1500mm Aly U section clamps from Rutlands £99 in a sale and inserted the wood strengthener and 5mm plywood protectors on the clamp faces.
The wood strengtheners work very well and makes them useful for light work as they are nice and light and clamp up pretty well. I don't recommend the plywood faces though as it reduces the already limited travel on the screw end and seems to always be out of sync with the other end meaning I need to put more spacers in (though I haven't tried it without them yet and may try a thinner play). Then I bought four of these sash clamps from Axminster, again in a sale in March for £100
These are great quality and much better for heavier work such as doors and windows - great value.

I also have some old, smaller bessey clamps which are excellent for smaller items like boxes, drawers etc. but cost a fortune at a show many years ago and are still very expensive. My next purchase will be the K Clamp type so I am reading this thread with interest.
 

Oscar43634

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I have some of the Rutlands parallel clamps, not used them a huge amount but so far have been good.
 
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