Pipe clamps add a lot of versatility to your work. Just like any other clamps, it holds the workpieces in place. But with the pipe clamp, the jaw gap can be changed and adjusted to any length.
Pipe clamps are best suited for edge clamping, these provide a lot more stability than any other form of clamps. But it lags behind on the fact that it can’t hold the workpieces perpendicularly. Yes, these are a lot similar to bar clamps but pipe clamps are a cheaper solution.
The construction isn’t all that complex thus reducing the chances of being damaged. There are only two parts basically, the adjustable jaw and the threaded pipe through the jaw. That’s all there is to it. Pretty simple and pretty sturdy.
Tips to Buying Pipe Clamps
Pipe clamps can be somewhat compared with tailored suits. One that’s for you might not be for another person. Needs and preferences vary from one person to the next. And you can never point out any single piece of pipe clamp and claim it to be the best.
There are multiple factors at play when you’re choosing a pipe clamp for yourself or someone else. So, here are some tips to help you make a decision that you won’t regret.
Type of project that you’ll be doing
Just as I’ve mentioned earlier, it is vital that you’ve cross-checked the features of the clamp before you decide on buying any particular pipe clamp.
It is your projects that’ll guide you to the stability, force or the grip depth that you require, not any buying guide on the internet. Hence, it’s pretty basic what you’re going to have to do. You’ll have to keep in mind the aspects, dimensions, and mass of your workpieces. And then you’ll have to cross-check it with the features of multiple pipe clamps and Viola! You’re good to go.
It is vital that the tool gives you enough space and mechanisms as to preferences and keeps you in the comfort zone. In the case of pipe clamps, you can get a proper understanding of utility by checking on the factors like the quick release, if the lock is sliding off or not. And then you will HAVE to make sure that the crank handle’s giving you enough clearance. Otherwise, you’ll be in a lot of distress.
Power & Stability
These are the core features of pipe clamp, this is why you’re buying it. The rule of thumb, in this case, is, the bigger the better. But what about the part where I went on and on about understanding what your projects require. Yes, you’ll have to trade power and stability to meet your necessities at times.
On a clearer note, a larger size is capable of generating more power. And even more, these are the ones that have more adjustability. Stability is brought to the clamp by its foothold and the jaws. Footholds with larger surface areas give more stability. The same is the case with the jaws.
Getting to know about the durability of any product directs one towards reviews. That’s right the reviews like the ones have down below.
But other than reviews, a simple rule of thumb is to check what it’s coated with if the threaded pipe comes with a black oxide coating and also if the clutches are electroplated.
Pipe Clamp Vs Bar Clamps
Pipe clamps and bar clamps sometimes its parallel clamps are two extremely similar things. Both have one fixed jaw and another mobile jaw. The displaceable jaw of the pipe clamp slides over the pipe and as for the bar clamp it slides over a pre-installed bar.
But the pipe clamp rules over the bar clamp due to the fact that its jaw gap can be changed to any length. Since you’re the one choosing the length of the pipe. It just might seem to be a tad bit hassle to get the pipe that matches your clamp and to thread it and all.
Best Pipe Clamps in the Biz
After long and tedious hours of going all over the internet and a couple of tools, freaks resulted in this list of pipe clamps, the best of bests. And the reason that these are here, can be understood from the brief description of each.
You’ll know all there is to know about each of the pipe clamp, all the bads, the goods & the features.
1. Bessey BPC-H12 1/2-Inch H Style Pipe Clamps
This is an ideal piece of equipment for pro woodworkers or hobbyists to give your workpieces a bit of height and stability. Stability is much more than what you’d expect especially since it’s an H-Style clamp. This gives the clamp that dual-axis stability.
The clamp also creates a bit of space between the table or your working surface and the working piece. Even the handle of the crank creates the work surface whilst rotation.
One very unique and advantageous feature of this very clamp is that it comes with jaw caps. These are extremely efficient and effective as soft pads. Thus, nullifying the chances of scarring or marring your workpieces. And the best news is you’ll get four of these.
Bessey’s BPC-H12 has proven to be durable over the years. Speaking of durability, there’re a couple of features that assure its longevity, I’ll be talking about each of them now. Most notable among them is the black oxide coated spindle. Besides the threads of the spindle is thicker than average, hence significantly reducing the chances of breaking off. Then there’s the durable powder coat finish, acts as a great repellent for rust and corrosion.
Most issues of pipe clamp emerge from its clutching components. But this one has set the bar in that regard by using zinc plated clutches.
Now The Bads
One issue with this clamp is that it’s been made out of cast iron and it less tolerable to immense pressure and prone to bends.Check on Amazon
2. Yost Tools YPC-Y12 1/2″ Pipe Clamp
I’ve put this on the list knowing that it’s not one of those heavy-duty clamps. But why then? As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s a miniature one. Hobbyists and even pros at times feel the need for a tiny clamp to cram up in their projects.
The pipe clamps designed such that a ½ inch pipe fits in it. The jaw height is also sufficient considering its dimensions, its 1.5 inches. The adjustability of the jaw gap is 2 inches since the screw itself is 2 inches in length. Its jaw width is 1.25 inches, thus providing adequate stability.
The body of the clamp has been powder coated to remove the chances of rust or even worse “corrosion”. As for the clutches, they’ve been electroplated with zinc. This does the same job as powder coating, but better. It’s the same with the screw and its handle.
By the way, the handle’s not fixed to the screw. It runs through a hole in it.
Now The Bads
Its been constructed out of cast iron, but even so, the clamp has stood still taking quite a lot of weight. But doesn’t seem to be the case with the screw, it seems to break off at times.Check on Amazon
3. Yaetek (4 Pack) 3/4″ Pipe Clamp
This set of for clamps can indeed be an efficient addition to your workshop, especially if you’re a woodworker. The case will be so due to the re-strengthened cast iron, making the clampless prone to bending and fracture considering the fact that you’re “woodworking”.
The clamp can gobble in three-quarters of an inch of a plank, that’s more than efficient in box making, shelves, and even some complex furniture. The handy lever control system also lets pressure adjustment, thus reducing the odds of dents in the woods.
The jaw of the clamp depends only on the pipe’s length, the pipe that you’ll be supplying. Well, it’s recommended to keep an eye is a flaring tool is used beforehand.
Now The Bads
Everything about it is satisfactory and reasonable considering the price. But even so, managing an anchoring pipe of that precise size might be challenging at times.Check on Amazon
4. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP 3/4″ Pipe Clamp
IRWIN has earned its place and name with its ergonomic and efficient design and also the durability that it provides. Following in their own footsteps IRWIN with this product too gave a touch of innovation by eliminating the necessity of threaded pipe with a unique clutch system.
Enlarged feet of the clamp ensures enhanced stability. Even the handle is designed to reduce stress and fatigue on the hands. Needless to say, the pressure is adjustable.
The clamp comes with a throat depth of 1-7/8 inches. And as for the pipe that you’re going to have to use, has to be a ¾ inch pipe.
Now The Bads
It’s complained that the clutch slips off at times.Check on Amazon
5. Sure-Foot Plus Pipe Clamp
This one is from one of the underdogs of clamp manufacturers, Rockler. And they’ve done a pretty good job at making this, even from the looks of the clamp you’ll know that this one’s pretty durable. To my surprise, I haven’t found many negative reviews or complaints about this.
The entirety of the clamps been color coated with blue, heavily reducing the chances of rust or corrosion. The threaded pipe attached to the spindle for the purpose of jaw adjustment has very thick threading. This way the chances of the threading being damaged is reduced too.
Now to give a good idea about its dimensions, here are some numbers. You might not be able to realize from the pictures that this one has jaws about half an inch higher than usual, it’s 2¼ inches high in total. As for the pipe that you’ll be required, it has to be a ¾ inch BSP pipe, you’re sure to find it in local hardware stores.
The foot stand has sufficient surface area to keep standing and never lose balance. It even is a bit higher than usual, the foot’s 2½ high. This height of the foot and the higher base gives ample clearance for the handle. All in all this clamp is on par with the clamps from well-known brands like IRWIN, Bessey clamps, etc.
Now The Bads
Many pipe clamps come with handles which has swivel mechanism, unlike this one.Check on Amazon
Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
Are Harbor Freight Pipe Clamps Any Good?
They work fine. I like the type with the four plate clutch better than the toothed pivot.
What Size Pipe Clamps Do I Need?
3/4″ are the “defacto standard” when it comes to pipe clamps. Many more choices there, too, including some with “feet”.
What Pipe Is Used for Pipe Clamps?
There are two acceptable types of pipe you can use with pipe clamps: galvanized pipe and black steel pipe—the same type traditionally used for gas lines. Either will work fine, but the black pipe is less expensive, which makes it the preference for woodworkers on a strict budget.
What Size Wood Clamps Do I Need?
You know all woodworkers will tell you “you can never have enough clamps”. I think you should have a variety of clamps like “C” clamps or “F” clamps from 2″,4″ 6″ 8″ etc. I find myself using 12″ f clamps most often followed by 24″ and 36″ . you also definitely need at least 4 pipe clamps.
What Is an F Style Clamp?
An F-clamp, also known as a bar clamp or speed clamp, is a type of clamp. The name comes from its “F” shape. … There is a large screw on the lower bar to allow for the clamp to be tightened. F-clamps are adjustable which allows for them to be used on larger scale objects without the need for a large screw.
What Are Pipe Clamps Used For?
Pipe clamps are used to clamp a pipe to a flat surface – traditionally of two styles, grip type (anchor) or Non-grip type (saddle / guide).
Why Are Woodworking Clamps So Expensive?
Wood clamps are expensive because they are made with high-quality materials – primarily steel, iron, or metal. It’s also because wood clamps are not consumable. Other woodworking accessories like sandpaper allow you to buy on an ongoing and relatively frequent basis.
Just like any other clamp of any other form, these are meant to reduce your stress and workload. You’ll always be in need of holding your workpieces in a rigid fashion while you work on it. You’ll soon be running out of hands. And hence the pipe clamps.
Unlike tech products, you can’t benchmark these to claim that any particular one is the best pipe clamp. Just like I’ve told a couple of times, you’ll have to find one that caters to your needs. The buying guide along with the reviews of some of the best pipe clamps is bound to get you the absolute best one for yourself.