Woodworking can be a tedious and time-consuming endeavor. Everything needs to be lined up exactly right, and when you’re using wood glue and clamps, that can be difficult to achieve. Matters are made worse when you’re using inferior clamps that aren’t completely parallel, are difficult to adjust, or don’t have enough pressure to firmly hold your pieces together.
If you’ve ever been through the frustrating trials of gluing together a project and attempting to hold it together with clamps that were fighting you every step of the way, then you know just how important these tools truly are.
A solid best parallel clamp is a must-have because it promises to do its clamping job for longer than its expectation. And, that’s why we compiled 5 of the best parallel clamps.
The tools have not only been positively reviewed by their users but also been loved by them. So, without blabbering much, let’s start the review!
What Is A Parallel Clamp?
If you are reading this guide, I should assume you already know a thing or two about parallel clamps. But on the chance that you don’t, let us clear that out for you.
Parallel clamps are a set of 3-4-inch deep clamps that are fixed upon a steel bar. They can be moved across the bar to fix one or multiple numbers of planks or any piece of wood in between them.
Woodworking parallel clamps are special as the jaws don’t tilt as you apply more and more pressure. They will always remain parallel no matter how much pressure it applies to maintain your measurements.
This is very important for building parts that are supposed to fit in perfectly in a given frame, such as windows or cabinet doors, etc.
What Should You Look For In The Best Parallel Clamps?
These days, there are thousands of products for you to select. They can come at various origin and price. And your job is choosing the best parallel clamps among these products. And here are some features that you should consider.
Your Daily Tasks
You can only find the best parallel clamps once you find out what you want to do with this tool. So, before buying clamps, please answer the following question:
What material will you clamp?
What is the size of the workpiece?
What do you want to do with your workpieces?
How frequently will you use it?
After understanding your requirement, let’s choose the best parallel clamps base on your demand.
To keep your wood bar stable and secure, you will need perfectly parallel bars. Because you will place your workpiece between these bars, you have to make sure that these two bars are parallel entirely.
Of course, the producers will create the best parallel clamps. It can be bent because of packing and shipping problems. So, if you buy online, please reminds the sellers and check the product carefully. If you buy at the store, let the supporter pack it to make sure it is safe.
The best parallel clamps will be the most robust clamps. Do you want strong braces or a weak one that can easily be blended when working with hardwood? Of course, you will choose the first option.
We did make the same choice as you. So, in our opinion, we highly recommend the aluminum materials since it is the most durable and heavy use material for your work.
And after aluminum, you can consider the steel material as a replacement, but it is not the best. And plastic is the last option on your list.
Maximum Clamping Force
Never forget to check how much your clamping force the clamp can hold. In most cases, we found that the massive clamping force is a better choice because it can meet our small projects’ requirements and heavy tasks.
If the jaws can’t deal with the force, they will blend easily. And it means your parallel clamps can’t work well anymore. So, the maximum clamping force is an essential factor.
And the best parallel clamps should have a clamping force higher than 100 Ibs. You can pass the one below this mark.
Handle and Pads
About the handle, it should be flexible enough for you to move for a fast clamping movement. Sometimes, it is not easy to keep the workpiece at the right place, so you have to clamp right away once you move. And it would help if you chose the handle with a soft grip, too.
Not many users pay attention to the pad beneath the clamp’s foot, but it plays a vital role in keeping your parallel clamp stable during the whole working time.
Parallel Clamp vs. Pipe Clamp
While clamping is what both these tools offer, Pipe and Parallel clamps are quite different in nature. Here’s how.
Pipe clamps are usually used for clamping a pipe to an even and flat surface. There are two types of settings available in this case – a grip type and a non-grip type. Grip type clamp is used when you need the pipe to restrict its movements. Non-grip is used when you need a loose grip.
On the other hand, parallel clamps are named parallel because the clamp jaws are placed in a parallel position to each clamp when you join these parts together.
Although these clamps are more expensive than the pipe clamps, they are definitely more effective than the previous ones.
Our Top Picks
1. JET 70411 Parallel Clamp Framing Kit
Achieving a perfectly square glue-up has never been easier than with Jet’s Parallel Clamp Framing Kit. This kit includes two 24-inch clamps, two 40-inch clamps, and four framing blocks for 90-degree corner pressure. The blocks and the resin-coated jaws work together to provide mar-free pressure on the edges and fields of boards. The kit also provides a set of bench dogs for securing the clamps to a workbench.
Each of these parallel clamps can exert 1,000 pounds of pressure across a workpiece, thanks to their comfortably soft micro-adjustment handles. Jet’s Slide-Guide trigger also makes setup and breakdown easier. Additionally, users can reverse the adjustable jaws, turning these clamps into powerful spreaders.
- The glide trigger allows for rapid adjustment
- Protected by a lifetime warranty
- Non-marring jaw faces exert even clamping force
- Rail stops prevent the jaw faces from sliding
- Requires little force to fully tighten to 1,000 pounds of clamping pressure
- Far more expensive than competitors
2. Jorgensen 123ABC Cabinet Master 24-inch
You will find Jorgensen parallel clamps 123ABC perfect for different projects making it one of the best parallel clamps in the market. Be it for panel door, frame, cabinet, box, flat-panel assemblies, or any projects, it does its job amazingly that requires even applied pressure or squaring.
Its jaw has also been praised for its design. With this clamp, you can clip different materials together such as light metal, plastic, composite, wood. Moreover, the 24-inch tool also provides you with other jobs like general clamping, glue-ups of material as well as 90-degree clamping.
It also comes equipped with a secure locking system so that it can keep the jaws from slipping. Besides, the clamp features rapid action movement to ensure quick opening and closing of the jaw.
Furthermore, the handles will be very soft because of coming in 2-component molded material. They offer a firm and comfortable grip for good pressure. Plus, they also release and glide movable jaw to the desired point away from steel rail with ease.
- Can be used single-handedly
- Firm and comfortable grip
- Secure locking system
- Using as a spreader
- The big size makes it a bit unwieldy
3. Bessey KRJR18 K Body REVO JR 18-Inch
The clamps in this set offer some thirty percent more clamping force. They enable the head to be adjusted at the press of a button, and it achieves a powerful seven thousand N clampings force.
Also, it has two clamping surfaces to distribute force over a broader area. And, the soft non-marring jaw pads are included for fixed jaws and spindle pad. These clamps have alloy cast flames, has a powder coat finish on the frame, and are Zinc plated handle and thread spindle.
This product has thirty percent more clamping force, so you won’t have to worry about your woodwork falling while these clamps are holding it. The head can also be adjusted with one button, making it easier for you to use it since you won’t have to twist and turn mechanisms to have it changed.
- Has stronger clamping power
- Easily adjusted
- There are soft non-marring pads
- Flimsy packaging
- Fragile clamps
- The return process is terrible
4. Yost Parallel Clamp
The fourth product in our list is Yost K5000. This clamp is popular for its handy features and compact size. As a new woodworker, you are going to like these ones for the easy-to-use features. It can offer you 800 Ibs clamping force. And at a reasonable price, it is more suitable for an individual than a company.
This American product can offer you upto 800 lbs clamping force that is not enough for heavy and lengthy tasks. This one is perfect for DIY crafters only.
Yoast provides a 1.75 inch×4 inch jaw face that is a bit larger than any average clamp jaw with better ability to meet the purpose. It also has an oversized comfortable grip handle that helps in extra clamping. Lastly, these clamps are good for an individual rather than big companies.
- Cheaper cost
- Larger jaw for easy clamping
- Comfortable handle grip
- Excellent customer service
- Reputed brand
- Not for long term work
- Only useful for DIY beginners
5. POWERTEC 71368 24-Inch
The Powertec 71368 comes with two 24-inch long. The deep clamps help with the even distribution of pressure. With these, you can reach a pressure of 4000N easily. The Powertec 71368 is thoughtfully designed to ensure the highest durability and usability.
If you are looking for some cheap Woodworking clamps with excellent performance, then you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s a great tools for your woodworking projects. If you find the heavy-duty clamp it will be best.
The Powertec 71368 supports around 4000N of applied force for an excellent grip. This is more than enough for most carpentry needs, whether it be for professional or personal use.
- Cheap, Great design
- Great clamping force
- Deep clamps, Great build quality
- Quick adjustment
- Easy conversion to 29 inches by spreader tool
- Short bars, Limited functionality
How To Choose The Best Parallel Clamps?
Choosing the clamps that fit you the best isn’t an easy task. Just going with the best-rated parallel clamps, you can find in the market won’t do you any good. For knowing how to choose parallel clamps that are perfect for fulfilling your needs, you have to consider a few things.
The first thing you should look for is the bar length. This should depend on the purpose of your purchase. If you are going to use the clamps for building small furniture like cabinets, then you can go with a 24″ bar clamp. But for bigger projects, more extended parallel clamps might be necessary.
It is an excellent feature of a clamp. The sliding triggers help you to maintain proper clamping pressure and quickly fix the clamp lock. As a result, you will able to complete your task faster.
Make sure the parallel clamps you choose are built of decent materials that last long and are not very heavy. Poor build quality will result in bending and breaking of clamp parts, which not something to be desired.
Maximum clamping force
The higher the maximum clamping force of your parallel clamps, the better the performance will be. Greater clamping force ensures more reliable clamping and prevents nudging of the workpiece during work.
The handle should have a proper grip for easy clamping. It is preferred that the handle covered with rubber to allow maximum grip. Also, larger handles are handy as they help to provide greater torque during the fixation of the workpiece.
Parallel Clamps Tips
These clamps are versatile and suitable for many uses. Parallel Clamps are heavy-duty and offer excellent clamping power, which makes it the best wood clamp. They also have large throats that can hold up to 3 to 4 inches of wood. It’s probably the most expensive kind of clamp, but it’s worth the price for what it offers.
- When to Use This Clamp? Parallel Clamps are great for clamping or gluing up boxes or cabinets. They can always ensure that your products are square because they form a 90-degree angle around both of the jaws.
- How Many Should I Have? Since Parallel Clamps are a bit pricey than other kinds of clamps, you should at least have one 24-inch parallel clamp. It would be suitable for any woodworking project. If your budget allows, you can also buy two of each for the 40″ and the 50″ ones for added versatility.
An integral part of the woodworking is a best parallel clamp. It will cover and stabilise the workpiece. Some are excellent to hold a heavy load, and some are excellent for tightening large workpieces. In comparison, some are to achieve improved seizure efficiency.
We hope you can make your purchase choice simpler with our assessments. You will appreciate what would be the best, even with a few downsides in this research. After all, each clamp is above and above.