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Types of Clamps and When to Use Them

Types of Clamps and When to Use Them

Who would have guessed that holding two pieces of material together could get so complicated? With countless variations of clamps, it can get hard to keep track of which one to use for your job. There are clamps for metal working, wood working, lifting, and special occasions.

Rules for clamping:

  1. Always use a piece of scrap wood between the clamp jaws and wooden parts to prevent damaging the part.
  2. Apply clamp load perpendicular to the part to prevent slippage.
  3. Always use at least two clamps to prevent rotation.
  4. Do not overtighten the clamp. Overtightening can damage the clamp 

Dimide Clamp:

The Dimide Clamp specializes in combining speed and power through impact wrench compatibility. Designed for the high torque loads applied by an impact wrench, the Dimide Clamp is a reliable clamp that is perfect for squeezing parts together, preventing part-slippage, removing the clamp bottleneck from a production line and more. The Dimide Clamp also has both a removable round handle and a hex head. This allows the clamp to be easily adjustable while fitting in tighter gaps and for using a large variety of drivers including ratchets, impact wrenches, torque wrenches, breaker bars and more. The clamp also comes with a copper plated screws and feet and zinc plated plates. This preserves the clamp by preventing weld spatter build up and rusting.

Ideal for:

  • High load
  • Fast action
  • Welding
  • Metalworking
  • Machining

C-Clamp (Aka G-Clamps):

C-Clamp

The popular C-Clamp is the standard go-to clamp for many occasions. Its simplicity and availability are unmatched. Every clamp collection starts with a few sizes of C-Clamps. Due to the popularity of the C-Clamp, various designs are available for different occasions.

These designs include:

  • Standard C-Clamps: Most common clamp
  • Double Anvil C-Clamps: Distributing even load
  • Quick Release C-Clamps: Fast action
  • Copper Coated C-Clamps: Prevent weld spatter build up
  • Deep Reach C-Clamps: For long reach
  • Locking C-Clamps: One handed use

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Low cost

F-Clamps (aka Bar Clamps)

f-clamp

The f-clamp is designed for a wide opening capacity. The f-clamp has a slider bar that allows the opening capacity to be easily adjusted to satisfy a wide range of applications. This has made the f-clamp another very popular clamp and is used when a C-Clamp's opening capacity is too small.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Welding
  • Metalworking
  • Large opening capacity

Pipe Clamp Fixtures

Pipe Clamp

The pipe clamp is similar to the f-clamp, except instead of using a sliding bar it uses to a sliding pipe. This allows for the pipe clamp to fit any opening capacity you need as long as you have the appropriately sized pipe.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Welding
  • Metalworking
  • Large opening capacity

Parallel Clamps

Parallel Clamp

Also similar to the f-clamp, the parallel clamps allow for large opening capacities. Ideal for woodworking, the clamp jaws remain parallel under increased loads to give a large distribution area and prevent leaving dimples in the wood.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Large opening capacities

Quick Action Clamps

 

Quick Grip Clamp

Quick grip or quick action clamps are very popular today. They can be tightened using one hand by pumping the push handle. They are also similar to f-clamps in that their clamp opening capacity can be varied. 

Ideal for:

  • Speed
  • Single Handed
  • Woodworking

Locking Clamps

 

Locking Clamp

Locking clamps are another very popular clamp. They are fast and be used one handed making them ideal for welding.

Ideal for:

  • Speed
  • One handed
  • Welding
  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking

Sheet Metal Clamps

 

Sheet Metal Clamp

Sheet metal clamps are similar to locking clamps, except they have a large surface area at the clamp jaws which make them ideal for clamping sheet metal and similar materials.

Ideal for:

  • Sheet metal
  • Metalworking
  • Speed
  • One handed

Locking Chain Clamps

 

Locking Chain Clamp

The locking chain clamp is similar to the locking clamp but allows for applying a clamp load in tight spaces since you can squeeze the chain in and around a pipe or anything else that is near another surface. The chain also allows the it to clamp a variety of shapes because it will wrap around the object and apply pressure when the chain is tightened.

Ideal for:

  • Metalworking
  • Speed
  • One handed
  • Varying shapes

Kant-Twist Clamps 

Kant-twist Clamp

 A favorite by many machine shops and welders, the Kant-twist clamp delivers load using two parallel jaws, preventing the jaws from walking. The handle positioned perpendicular to the clamp load also prevents the clamp from twisting (Kant-twist) while being tightened.

Ideal for:

  • Welding
  • Metalworking
  • Machining
  • Woodworking

Wood Hand Screw Clamps:

Wood Hand Screw Clamp

The wood hand screw clamp is a traditional woodworking clamp. The jaws pivot to allow clamp at varying angles. 

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking

Spring Clamps

Spring Clamp

Spring clamps are fast and very affordable. However, they deliver little clamp load and have a very limited opening capacity. This makes them ideal for holding down a tarp or preventing movement in one axis that isn't receiving any load.

Ideal for:

  • Affordable
  • Woodworking
  • Speed

Sash Clamps

Sash Clamp

Similar to parallel clamps, Sash clamps are used to glue up wide panels and large assemblies. 

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Large Assemblies

Bench Clamps (aka toggle clamps)

Bench Clamp

Bench clamps screw down onto work tables. This allows for quick clamping of an assembly. They are ideal for use with a wood table and can also be used with other tables through the use of attachment accessories. 

Ideal for:

  • Assemblies
  • Woodworking
  • Welding

Miter Clamps (aka Corner Clamp)

Mitre Clamp

The miter clamp is ideal for connecting corners together for assemblies.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Assemblies

Picture Frame Clamps

Picture Frame Clamp

The picture frame clamp is ideal for clamping together rectangular assemblies such as picture frames, table supports, window frames and more.

 Ideal for:

  • Woodworking
  • Assemblies

Edge Clamps

Edge Clamp

With three separate screws, the edge clamp can control its position in two axes. This makes the clamp ideal for holding down parts for a butt-weld or for gluing an assembly.

Ideal for:

  • Welding
  • Woodworking    

Cabinetry Clamps

Cabinetry Clamps 

The cabinetry clamp aligns two adjacent cabinets so that the face frames are flush, allowing you to screw them together. They achieve this by applying clamp load in two axes.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking

Table Clamps

Table Clamp

The table clamp is to be used with an accompanying welding table. These are used for welding assemblies and allow for single handed clamping with speed.

Ideal for:

  • Welding Assemblies

Web Clamps (aka strap or band clamps)

Web Clamp

Web clamps are best for awkward shapes. The corners are used to lock into the band to apply a load to the assembly. These clamps are used primarily for woodworking of furniture.

Ideal for:

  • Woodworking  
  • Transportation hold downs

Beam Clamps

Beam Clamp

Beam clamps are used for lifting steel beams and plate. 

Ideal for:

  • Lifting

Scissor Clamps (aka slab tongs)

Scissor Clamp

The scissor clamp is another lifting clamp. Through the use of its scissor action, this clamp exploits the weight of what is being lifted to apply clamping load.  The clamp also provides rough clamping jaws to better dig into the part it is lifting and improve its grip.

Ideal for:

  • Lifting 

Vertical Plate Lifting Clamp

Vertical Plate Lifting Clamp

This clamp employs rotating teeth that use the weight of what is being lifted to apply an increased load, preventing plate from slipping.

Ideal for:

  • Lifting  

Pneumatic Power Clamps

Pneumatic Power Clamps

Pneumatic power clamps use compressed air to apply a clamping load. These clamps are used for production runs and machinery.

Ideal for:

  • Large production capacity
  • Speed

Hydraulic Clamps

Hydraulic Clamps

Similar to pneumatic clamps, except these use hydraulic power or pressurized liquid to apply a clamping load.

Ideal for:

  • Control
  • High clamp load

Hose Clamps

Hose Clamp

Hose clamps are used to seal a hose onto a fitting. These are popular for irrigation or automobile hoses.

Ideal for:

  • Pipe fittings

Cable Clamps

Cable Clamp

Cable clamps are used to hold cable along a path. 

Ideal for:

  • Cable guides and supports

Ground Clamps

Grounding Clamp

Grounding clamps are highly conductive and used to ground electrical current. 

Ideal for:

  • Electrical grounding

Know any clamps or clamping guidelines we missed? Please comment below and we will be sure to update this list!

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