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Has anyone found a really good "machinist quality" bar clamp?

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  • Has anyone found a really good "machinist quality" bar clamp?

    Has anyone found a really good "machinist quality" bar clamp? Like something 12" with the tight, confident hold of a Kant-Twist? I haven't. Grip clamps don't qualify, nor do any woodworking bar clamps with a dowel handle not a cross bar. I hate the gas pipe clamps. Anything out there?
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

  • #2
    These are pretty good: I have the ones with the short tommy bars - the Mod 3p - no sign of them bending after years of abuse. The thread is shielded on the clamp side, so no problems with weld spatter etc. Ian
    All of the gear, no idea...


    • #3
      Piher make a good one, no twist on the clamp pad, also carver aren’t bad if a bit pricey


      • #4
        Right here:,880-lbs

        Every pro shop I've ever worked in has a set of these and I can personally vouch for them, they are amazing.
        Basically the last clamps you'll ever have to buy.


        • #5
          as nickel said above or these:


          • #6
            Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
            hold onto your seat: $233 EACH here:

            They must be solid - they weigh 13# (6 kg), how can that be?


            • #7
              I have been collecting old James Taylor bar clamps,
              made in Poughkeepsie NY. I have some a foot long
              which is a good size to have around the welding bench
              and doing fit-ups for mechanical projects.

              Poughkeepsie, NY 12603


              • #8
                Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                Oh ... these are only $80 (12" ones). Three of them for the price of a Bessey. What a bargain.

                For that kind of money, a HSM has to think about how hard it could be to make a really good clamp. What makes a clamp good: doesn't deflect (much) under load, faces don't flop around, what else?


                • #9
                  Don't know if they are available in the states, but Carver clamps from the UK are pretty bullet proof:


                  • #10
                    Looks like they have a us distributor. Nothing cheap looking about them.
                    I cut it off twice; it's still too short
                    Oregon, USA


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

                      hold onto your seat: $233 EACH here:

                      They must be solid - they weigh 13# (6 kg), how can that be?
                      Probably inflated for shipping cost purposes. I just weighed a pair of 12" Besseys on my scale, the pair was 12 lbs. 11 oz. together. They are great clamps, but not $230 apiece great! I got mine at a garage sale for peanuts, might have paid $10. Interestingly, they are made in Germany.
                      Edit: try here instead: $80 is a bit more tolerable.

                      Last edited by eKretz; 06-02-2020, 12:25 PM.


                      • #12
                        I have a couple of the Wilton F style clamps that have done fine.


                        • #13
                          Food for thought guys. I saw the Besseys, but that price point is crazy for a freakin clamp! I'd make em sooner. Urkos are similar. I guess I didn't realize there was a price range that high for clamps. But I'm so cheap that only makes sense if you think of them as a multigenerational investment!

                          I was once kicking around an idea for a hybrid Kant-Twist/bar clamp, maybe I should drag that drawing out and get rich!
                          Location: Jersey City NJ USA


                          • #14
                            Well, actually I think of all my tooling as a multi generational investment. I used to know weldors who had every type of clamp Bessey made. I always used the shops clamps, I can't afford that personally. But I have seen guys use them to lift 3/4 plates with the crane, and the clamps don't even seem to notice the load.

                            For heavy-duty c-clamps I always prefer these:


                            ...but they are in the same price range as the Besseys. Nope, you won't be able to break one in your lifetime. These are drop forged steel and available with bronze spindles. I have stood on the end of a 3-foot wrench on these and they don't care.
                            Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 06-02-2020, 02:07 PM.


                            • #15
                              Click image for larger version

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ID:	1878840 This is the biggest bessy I have seen check out the price. Click image for larger version

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