Best Parallel Clamps for Perfect Glue-ups

by Joost | Updated on:  August 23, 2021
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Surely you don’t want your project to get delayed just because you couldn’t place the surface properly. That’s why you are looking for the best parallel clamps. But finding the perfect match won’t be that easy.

Parallel clamps are made for heavy-duty use and have a unique mechanism. As these clamps are used for various purposes, they are designed differently. Those clamps which are meant to handle regular-sized workpieces, may not be good for heavy loads or giant workpieces.

If you pick up a parallel clamp which is good but not suitable for your work, surely you won’t be able to get the best performance. It means you have to precisely define your need and then select the tools.

Best-Parallel-Clamps

Just sit back and relax! We offer you the one-stop solution in lieu of brainstorming while surfing several websites.

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Parallel Clamp buying guide

To pick the best one is not everyone’s piece of cake. Though it requires much research, you don’t really have to do it. We are here to provide you a comprehensive buying guide.

A few things are to consider to get the best parallel clamps. Let’s discuss them point by point.

Parallel bars

To keep your workpiece secure, you need perfectly parallel bars. Your workpiece is placed between them. So it means you need to pay much attention to this point. Make sure that the bars are perfectly parallel. Sometimes the bar bends due to shipping or packing problems. If this happens do knock the door of the seller. Never compromise in this very crucial point.

Jaw Design

The jaw is another important element of the set. The jaw holds your workpiece and ensures safety. The jaw must be strong enough to apply pressure and to hold objects. Besides, flexible and soft enough for the ease of your work and to protect the object from getting damaged. So, do check the jaw very carefully. It should not be bend or damaged.

Spreader

Sometimes you need to spread your project rather than squeeze it. Then the spreader comes into play. Make sure that the bar clamps you are buying have a spreader option. This will help you by giving extra service.

Material

You need strong parallel clamps for support. Strong material increases durability. Aluminum is the best option for durable and heavy use. But it makes the clamps expensive. Plastic materials are not for heavy use. Then what remains? Yes! “Steel”. Always prefer steel components over the plastic to ensure that the clamps can hold a heavy load. Do prefer soft grip for comfort and easy operation.

Maximum Clamping Force

Do check how much clamping force the jaws can hold. Sometimes you need massive clamping force. If the jaws are not meant for dealing with that force, they will gradually bend. So, the maximum clamping force is surely an important point.
It is expected of a parallel clamp to have a clamping force greater than 1000 lbs. Anything below that might prove to be troublesome.

Pads

Try to be sure that the product has soft rubbery pads beneath the foot. These pads ensure slip-proof clamping and stable the whole project.

Handle

The handle should be free enough to move for a fast clamping experience. Soft grip on the handle is always preferable for comfort.

Best Parallel Clamps Reviewed

From thousands of options, we chose the best products for you. Here’s a comparative review that helps you to find the best parallel clamps so far in the market.

1. Jorgensen Cabinet Master

Whether you are an amateur or professional Jorgensen Cabinet Master is ready to meet your needs.

 Why pick this?

Jorgensen Cabinet Master has proven to be superbly versatile being applicable in working with panel doors, cabinet, box, or even any flat surface just as any cabinet claws would do.

You don’t need to worry about the pressure distribution on your workpiece. As it has perfect parallel jaw design for precise clamping of any kind of materials. It helps you to place the surface of your workpiece properly.

It comes with 3¾ inches of deep jaws to distribute the pressure perfectly giving you an extra 30%  clamping area thus ensuring safety for oversized panels. You can clamp any surface keeping the clamps in a horizontal or vertical position.

Screw travels 10% faster which provides rapid action jaw opening and closing. Hence ensuring easy setting or removal of workpiece.

It has an ergonomically designed 2 component molded handle with a soft grip. This handle ensures fast screwing along with extra comfort.

 Drawbacks

You get all these premium features but have to pay more money. This product is more expensive than others. Besides, these clamps more precisely have plastic jaws with steel reinforcement.

Check on Amazon

 

2. Bessey KR3.524 24-Inch K Body REVO Fixed Jaw Parallel Clamp

The superb design ensures flawless clamping with comfort.

Why pick this?

Bessey’s preferred for better ergonomics,  giving you a  pleasing working experience than others. Its excellent rubbery grip has proven that this product is of no exception for Bessey.

It can handle a huge 1,500-pound clamping force that translates to a 7000N clamping force. That is a bewildering number for a clamp of this magnitude. Hence, you’ll have no issues with your heavy-duty projects and massive workpieces.

You get perfect parallel jaw design that ensures 90-Degree glue-ups of any material.TK-6 clamps give you the flexibility to work with different surfaces.

It has pads that are designed to protect material surfaces. Two rail protector pads designed to keep clamped material from contacting rail surfaces. The rail protector pads snap off when not needed.

Steel alloy rail is there for safe, secure and slip-proof clamping. It has spreader to meet your needs.

Rapid action jaw opening and closing-simply. Screw travels really fast ensuring flawless clamping. Besides comfortable gripping can be experienced as it has ergonomic designed 2 component molded soft-grip handle.

These clamps can handle a heavy load, ensures much safety and comfortable grip. Great!

 Drawbacks

The clamping mechanism is sometimes annoying – getting the clamp to “lock” into position so that the screw will apply pressure. Comparatively heavy- you may face difficulties to move these clamps. Not suitable for giant workpieces as it only has a 24-inch rail option.

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3. IRWIN Tools Parallel Jaw Box Clamp

48 inches

Why pick this?

You’ll have a comfortable time using this clamp especially due to the ProTouch ergonomic grip. It’ll reduce a lot of stress and strain on your hands. And then there’s the trustworthy locking mechanism, it quite securely holds the workpieces in place.

Having a 3¾ inches jaw depth this clamp has a substantial pressure distribution. Speaking of jaws, the clamp’s jaws can be extended to an astounding 48 inches. This makes all the difference and adds a heck of a lot of versatility.

You’ll have no issues doing corner joints due to the machine precision 90-degree angle on the clamp. Though corner clamps also a nice option to make a corner joint. Another rationality for that is the bewildering 1150 lbs of clamping pressure. The clamping pressure alone says how much of heavy-duty clamps that this is going to be.

Apparently, the clamp having a Resin body prevents glue adhesion. I need not say how handy those features gonna be. Having your glue stuck to the clamp is a gruesome experience.

Drawbacks

It’s a fantabulous feature that the clamp comes with a resin body, but that doesn’t make a difference if it doesn’t last all that long. So, after a while, this clamp might just turn out to be like one of those regular everyday clamp having glue stuck to it. This way the metal of the clamp degrades overtime.

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4. Jet 70450 50-Inch Parallel Clamp

Handles giant workpieces smoothly with its huge 50-inch rail.

Why pick this?

Jet 70450 50-inch is a sturdy 50-inch clamp ideal for both clamping and spreading. If you want to increase the length of the rail, you can!

Non-marring composite resin jaw faces ensure safe 90-degree clamping. At the same time, the movable rail stand and end stop will ensure that you will get the perfect measuring.

The best thing is that it is very easy to adjust to the desired point. On the other hand, the head will stay put, it will be like that until you squeeze the trigger.

Screw handle turns without binding which gives you a hassle-free smooth experience. The grip of the handle is impressive.

Moreover, the reversible clamping will convert clamp to a spreader that will not only make the whole tasks easier but also be a time saver.

After all, it is a very good clamp with perfect size. Jet provides a limited lifetime warranty. It means the manufacturer is confident enough about its product. The built quality is good and reliable materials are used.

Drawbacks

Some users have experienced that the screw slips when they tried to tighten it. Some had reported that the screw sometimes does not slide.

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5. Bora 571140 Parallel Jaw Woodworking Clamp

Perfect clamping for different sized projects.

Why pick this?

If you work with workpieces of different sizes and want perfect clamps for all, then the Bora 571140 Parallel Jaw woodworking clamp is here. It is available in 5 different rail lengths!

Jaws are perfectly parallel which ensures 90-degree clamping. Bora assures rock-solid clamping by designing perfect parallel jaws.

A huge 1,100-pound/500 Kg clamping force can be applied to these jaws. It is not less or not more, just perfect as you’ll need.

The special design ensures that the jaw will be in place even while winding the clamps, that not only ensure perfection but also increase the safety.

Besides, gripping quality is out of the level having on both sides and also at the top-notch handles. There will be no chance to be slipped away from your hand even at tough conditions.

The rail is something eye-catching. End stops are there to ensure safety and to help to increase the rail-length. Screw travels faster than others ensuring fast clamping.

Drawbacks

Some users experienced that the clamps are not perfectly parallel. Some had questioned its poor design as they experienced that the jaw is not in position rather 8 to 10 degrees twisted.

Check on Amazon

 

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Who Makes the Best Parallel Clamps?

Our Top Picks

Best Overall. Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar. …
Best Bang For The Buck. POWERTEC 71368 Woodworking Parallel Clamps 24-Inch. …
Upgrade Pick. JET 70411 Parallel Clamp Framing Kit. …
Best Heavy-Duty. Bessey KR3. …
Best Kit. Bora 4-Piece Parallel Clamp Set 571550. …
Also Consider.

Are Parallel Clamps Worth the Money?

They’re expensive, but worth every penny when you are trying to get good square fit-ups in glue joints. I gave up on pipe clamps and switched to the original Bessey clamps about 12 years ago. The switch was very expensive as I have at least 4 of each size up to 60″ and even more of some of the heavily used sizes.

Why Are Parallel Clamps So Expensive?

Wood Clamps are expensive simply because it’s made of metal. Also, manufacturers of high-quality wood clamps make sure to give every woodworker the toughest wood clamp possible. In addition to that, woodworkers use wood clamps longer without the need for replacement. So, supply and demand also affect the price.

Are Bessey Clamps Made in USA?

Even Bessey makes their clamps in Germany. Revos / Jr. clamps are actually assembled in USA I think from German parts. Not woodworking per se but Kant Twist’s and Wright Tool C clamps are also made in USA.

How Many Clamps Do I Need for Woodworking?

If you are a beginning woodworker, these will serve you fine for years. Bottom line: 4 bar clamps, 4 pipe clamps and a strap clamp. You actually may not ever really need anymore. Of course, if you’re like most woodworkers, you will probably accumulate more clamps than the essentials.

What Are Parallel Clamps Used For?

Parallel clamps are used to hold on to objects that are hard to grip or need extra support when working on them.

What are parallel clamps? With steel-reinforced, resin-covered jaws 3″ to 4″ deep that tighten up parallel to each other, beefy steel bars, heavy-duty handles and screws, and loads of clamping strength, these clamps have gained a reputation for high performance and prices that keep hobbyists at a distance.

Q: Can parallel clamps be used for welding purposes?

A: Actually the parallel clamps are meant for woodworking purposes. It’s not clever to use them for welding. You can use C-clamps instead. If it’s a pipe or hose, bringing a pipe clamp into the scene would yield the best results.

Q: Can I use parallel clamps to glue-up non-parallel panels?

A: YES, you can! The jaws can hold the panels during glue-ups to serve your purpose.

Q: What are the safety measure for using bar clamps?

A: You must keep these in mind:-

1. Select the proper clamp size for your project.

2. Use pads or soft materials between the jaw and workpiece to prevent stain.

3. You don’t want stains on the panel, right? Do remove clamps after glue-up.

Conclusion

Parallel clamps are the heart of a woodshop. Manufacturers make parallel clamps for different purpose clamping. Some are really good for holding a heavy load, some are magnificent for clamping giant-sized workpieces, while others are for a better gripping performance.

If you work with huge workpieces, then Jet 70450 50-Inch Parallel Clamp is a better option for you. Bora 571140 Parallel Jaw Woodworking Clamp comes in different sizes. If you want similar clamps for all of your projects, then these should be the best parallel clamps for you. We strongly recommend you to ask yourself a simple question: “Why I need these clamps?” Do choose your clamping preference and then select the best fit.

Pick up your tools according to your needs; nothing else. Buying essential tools isn’t a waste of money rather it is an investment.  Happy clamping!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.