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.
1. Yost Tools F118 F-Clamp
23 x 5 x 1 inches
Cast Iron Body with Steel Rail
Size and Style
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
6.5 x 3.35 x 14.37 inches
High-carbon Steel, Glass-filled Nylon
Size and Style
6" Spreader/Bar Clamp Set
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
43.13 x 4.5 x 1.25 inches
Size and Style
36" Steel Bar Clamp
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
25 x 4 x 1 inches
Size and Style
24” Clutch Style Bar Clamp
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
10 x 4.3 x 0.7 inches
Size and Style
6” Single Clamp
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.