Holding two pieces together is no mean feat whether you are engaged in woodwork, home repairs, or crafts. Doing so when some applications need to be done on your project is challenging as both of your hands must be too busy with all the work. Holding them together even after applications are done is tedious and impractical. Good thing, you could have an F-clamp (also known as bar clamp) to hold them for you. 

You could easily get your hands on one of these F-clamps with so much ease. However, you surely do not want to get wrong in your choice with so many options available online. What you need is the best F-clamp that will get the job done and give the best value for your money.   

We have, therefore, summarized in this article the 5 best F-clamps that were tried and tested to help you make informed decisions in your next purchase.

Best F-Clamps Comparison & Rating

F-Clamps

Features

Yost Tools F118 18" F-Clamp
  • 4 plate clutch 
  • 3/4" x 1/4" serrated steel rail
  • 2.5” throat depth
Jorgensen 6" Spreader/Bar Clamp Set, 4-pack,One-Hand Light Duty E-Z Hold Clamp/Spreader, 99216A
  • maximum load of 150 lbs
  • reinforced nylon jaw
  • throat’s maximum opening is 6-inch wide and 2 ⅜-inch deep
WEN 10236F2 Quick-Adjust 36-Inch Steel Bar Clamps with 2.5-Inch Throat and Micro-Adjustment Handle, Two Pack
  • micro-adjustment knob
  • ridged shaft to create 0.05-inch stops
  • 36-inch steel bar rail with 2.5-inch throat
Clutch Style Bar Clamp, 24 In, 2-1/2 Deep
  • two-piece clutch system
  • load capacity of 600 lbs
  • throat opens to a maximum of 12 inches wide and 2 ½ inches deep
TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader | 39180
  • trigger-operated ratchet
  • soft jaw pads
  • maximum capacity of 6-inch wide and 1.5 inches deep

1. Yost Tools F118 F-Clamp

Yost Tools F118 18" F-Clamp
Specifications:
97% Overall

Dimensions

23 x 5 x 1 inches

Weight

3.53 ounces

Material/s

Cast Iron Body with Steel Rail

Size and Style

18" F-Clamp

95%
Sturdiness
96%
features
97%
functionality
98%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Designed with iron body and steel rail.
  • Easy to adjust with 4 plate clutch.
  • The main handle is designed for comfort-grip and hence easier to handle as compared to wood handles.
  • Offers more torque for stronger grip.
  • Made with 3/4" x 1/4" serrated steel rail for better clutch.
  • Double-clutch plates on the cast iron arm for better grip on the steel rail and stronger clamping pressure.
  • 2.5” throat depth to allow working on a variety of projects.
  • Comes with a swivel jaw pad that could hold projects of various shapes.
  • Comes with a plastic cap on the swivel jaw pad to protect your projects’ surfaces from being marred.
  • Reliable tool at an affordable price.
Cons:
  • Protection pads on the clamp are easy to come off. If you have glue, though, that should never be a big deal.
Final Take:

Looking for a medium-duty F-clamp for home repairs and other DIY projects? No need to look elsewhere because Yost has it covered, with this sturdy and easy-to-use F-clamp. And, for a very affordable price at that. The soft rubber handle surface was definitely designed for users’ comfort. The mechanism also works quite smoothly. You’ll have no problem adjusting the clamp and once set, it stays in place. This one indeed has a really strong clamping force and holds pretty well. Further, you don’t need to worry about marrying your projects’ delicate surfaces because the tool is built with rubberized pads for cushion. If you know exactly that what you are looking for is a medium-duty F-clamp, Yost will give you the best bang for your buck!

2. Jorgensen 99216A Bar Clamp/ Spreader Set

Jorgensen 6" Spreader/Bar Clamp Set, 4-pack,One-Hand Light Duty E-Z Hold Clamp/Spreader, 99216A
Specifications:
95% Overall

Dimensions

6.5 x 3.35 x 14.37 inches

Weight

3.26 pounds

Material/s

High-carbon Steel, Glass-filled Nylon

Size and Style

6" Spreader/Bar Clamp Set

95%
Sturdiness
92%
features
98%
functionality
95%
ease of use
Pros:
  • A versatile tool that could be an F-clamp or a spreader.
  • Designed to accommodate a maximum load of 150 lbs.
  • Crafted with 1/8 X1/2 inch bar from high-carbon steel.
  • Easy to use advancing handle which was crafted with glass-filled nylon.
  • Clamp throat’s maximum opening is 6-inch wide and 2 ⅜-inch deep.
  • Designed with reinforced nylon jaw with replaceable and removable jaw pads for non-marring of projects’ surfaces.
  • Made with a quick-release trigger for convenient and easy clamping.
  • Permits joining of two clamps to have bigger capacity.
Cons:
  • The placement of the release trigger on the handle seems a bit counter-intuitive if you are used to other clamps. It requires some getting used to.
Final Take:

This F-clamp is quite perfect for light-duty projects such as woodworking, craft, and model-making. It supports an easy and comfortable grip with its handle design and quick-release lever. It works quite well at holding your DIY projects. Further, unlike other F-bar clamps, the non-marring pads in this product are designed to stay and are quite challenging to pop off. So you don’t need to worry about losing them and gluing them back into the jaws. If these are not enough reasons for you to get this product, its versatility should. Not only could it transform from being an F-clamp to a spreader, but two of these could also be joined together to create a longer clamp. Joined clamps could provide more than the opening capacity of two single clamps (16 ½ clamping distance), so it’s like getting your third clamp for free.

3. WEN 10236F2 Steel Bar Clamp

WEN 10236F2 Quick-Adjust 36-Inch Steel Bar Clamps with 2.5-Inch Throat and Micro-Adjustment Handle, Two Pack
Specifications:
95% Overall

Dimensions

43.13 x 4.5 x 1.25 inches

Weight

2.6 pounds

Material/s

Steel Rail

Size and Style

36" Steel Bar Clamp 

95%
Sturdiness
95%
features
94%
functionality
95%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Features a 36-inch steel bar rail with a 2.5-inch throat for more versatility on projects you could work on.
  • Easy to adjust the design. All you need to do is slide the clamp closed and you’re all set.
  • Designed with a ridged shaft to create 0.05-inch stops.
  • Comes with a micro-adjustment knob for a more precise grip.
  • Provides protection to your projects’ surface with non-marring pads.
  • Two F-clamps offer approximately 1200 pounds of clamping force on your project.
  • Grip holds tight until you press the lever to release.
  • Nice tool at an affordable price.
Cons:
  • Opening the jaws to release your project may be a little challenging and requires some force..
Final Take:

If you are thinking of more varied projects, you might probably want to invest in a more versatile tool. WEN’s 36-inch steel bar clamp could easily adjust to a range of projects you probably have in mind. The clamp lives to its promise of opening to 36-inch length at maximum. It is sturdy and solid, and quite easy to tighten. I also love how the overall design comes together to provide a strong grip and precision. The 0.5-inch ridged shaft which ensures a strong grip on the arm is combined with the easy to handle micro-adjustment knob for better precision in locking your projects between the clamps. And once you have set the workpiece in place, this clamp means business at holding it in, making sure it won’t slip.

4. Bessey GSCC2.524 Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp

Clutch Style Bar Clamp, 24 In, 2-1/2 Deep
Specifications:
95% Overall

Dimensions

25 x 4 x 1 inches

Weight

2.1 pounds

Material/s

Nickel-Plated

Size and Style

24” Clutch Style Bar Clamp

93%
Sturdiness
96%
features
95%
functionality
94%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Designed with a two-piece clutch system to adjust the movable bottom jaw.
  • Comes with ¾ inch thick bar and 3 1/2 inch long wooden handle.
  • Includes protective pads for both the bottom and upper jaws to protect your projects’ surface from being marred.
  • The throat opens to a maximum of 12 inches wide and 2 ½ inches deep.
  • Has a load capacity of 600 lbs.
  • Great grip with a clamping pressure of 600.
  • Replaceable swivel type.
  • Designed with serrated steel rail for better clutch.
  • Powder-coated finish to  protect cast heads from corrosion and chipping.
Cons:
  • The wooden handle may be a little small and hard to grip.
Final Take:

What I like best about Bessey is that they are not afraid to tell you upfront what to expect because they are definitely going to deliver it. If you purchase a good F-clamp for light to medium-weight projects, that is what you will get. And for a very affordable price at that. To begin with, this tool has a really great grip. The two clutch systems work pretty well in holding your pieces together. Release the lever and adjust the bottom jaw up and down to fit the project you are working on. For better precision on the clutch, you could easily use the handle attached to the lower jaw for adjustments. Simple. What you ordered is what you get.

5. TEKTON 39180 Ratchet Bar Clamp and Spreader

TEKTON Mini 6-Inch x 1-1/2-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 9-Inch Spreader | 39180
Specifications:
92% Overall

Dimensions

10 x 4.3 x 0.7 inches

Weight

0.19 pounds

Material/s

Steel, Nylon

Size and Style

6” Single Clamp

92%
Sturdiness
90%
features
93%
functionality
93%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Two-in-one tool that could work as clamp and spreader.
  • Designed with trigger-operated ratchet to ensure consistent  and precise pressure.
  • Uses an easy-to-release button to adjust the jaw to your desired position.
  • Crafted with reinforced nylon jaw assemblies with a maximum capacity of 6-inch wide and 1.5 inches deep.
  • Comes with soft jaw pads to protect your projects’ surface from being marred.
  • Built with steel jaws which are heat-treated.
  • Jaws and pivot joint are designed for precision.
  • Handles crafted for comfort and secured grip.
  • Offers smooth and silent ratcheting actions.
Cons:
  • Release and tightening functions take some time getting used to, especially if you had been using traditional clamps. Once you got used to it, though, it’s not really a big deal.
Final Take:

This bar clamp is a really good product to look into if you’re planning on some lightweight projects such as models, and crafts. It applies consistent and precise pressure to hold the pieces you are gluing or assembling together. It is also quite easy to use,  With the quick-release button, you could easily position the jaw and lock it into place. It holds the clamping pressure pretty well for hours until your glue sets in. What you would like more about this, however (aside from its reasonable price) is that it is quite versatile. Well, of course right now, F-clamp may be all you need. But in time, you might also need to pull or press pieces apart. In this case, this same clamp could be converted into a spreader simply by moving the fixed jaw to the other end of your bar, and voila! You have a spreader, as well!

Best F-Clamps - Buyer's Guide

project

The most important thing that might need to take into consideration is that each of these F-clamps was designed with different capacities (e.g. light-weight to heavy-weight projects). It would save you from a lot of disappointment if you will check out if the tool is designed to accommodate the project you have in mind, especially in terms of load and throat capacity.

holding capacity

Many F-clamps would hold your materials together at first. However, you should probably be concerned as well with how long it could maintain that hold. This consistency in the clutch is a good quality you should be looking for in your planned purchase.

safety

We wouldn’t want to be around tools that are actually accidents waiting to happen. To ensure that, you should probably check into the product design, as well as the materials used to make sure that they are safe and non-toxic.

ease of use

Another quality that should be on your checklist is the ease of use. The handle’s grip, and ease of adjustment, and release of levers for tightening and opening the jaws are among the prime considerations. After all, you are purchasing this tool to make things easier for you- not to make it even more complicated.

cost effective

As you may have also learned over years of shopping online and offline, cost does not equate to quality. Hence, you need to remember that good F-clamps do not necessarily need to leave you broke. Some clamps deliver the same services at a lower price point. These are the F-clamps that you should probably check out.

Best F-Clamps - FAQs

What is the difference between an F-clamp and a C-Clamp?

C-clamp is among the standard clamps used for woodwork or metalwork. It is called a C-clamp because it is shaped like the letter C. However, if you need a larger throat opening, you might need an F-clamp which comes with a slider bar that could be used to adjust the opening capacity of the clamp to accommodate a wider range of projects.

What is an F-clamp used for?

An F-clamp is used to temporarily hold pieces together until more permanent attachments are applied to them (e.g. glue, screws). The adjustability of the jaws through the bar permits this clamp to accommodate bigger projects.

What are the best F-clamps?

The best F-clamps are those which have a good grip and could hold their clutch for an extended period of time. You might want to look into the clamping force of the tool that is about to purchase. The amount of clamping force you require depends on the projects you are planning on. If you plan on medium-duty projects, 600 pounds of clamping force should be just right.

What are trigger clamps?

Some F-clamps are designed with trigger-like handles. This comes with a quick-release lever that could be used to adjust the movable jaw of the clamp so you could fit your project between the jaws. Once positioned, the trigger could be used to tighten the jaws so your project is held firmly in place.

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Author

Jimmy Black started his career as a construction and carpenter foreman. After years of hard work, he decided to go on his own. Now, Jimmy is one of the trusted experts at SolidSmack who knows at first glance whether your hammer would do a great job or not. He still involves himself in various construction projects and works for individual clients. Behind formalities, he enjoys being a father to two lovely kids who keep on asking him why they can’t quit school and travel the world like Dora The Explorer.