Top 8 Best Parallel Clamps: Reviews 2020
Almost any kind of woodworking job you enlist of requires the help of a quality set of clamps. Without them, you would have a huge disadvantage when keeping timber straight and aligned.
But you don’t want just any clamps. You want the best parallel clamps. Here, we’re going to teach you all about them.
Whether you want to use them to do glue-ups or as spreaders, we have you covered. We've done intensive research, and we've determined the clamps below will come in handy for any job you want to tackle.
That being said, we'll also cover what you should take into account before buying parallel clamps and how you can use them. Keep scrolling for more!
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Top 8 Best Parallel Clamps Reviews
We'll go in-depth as to why you should buy each of the clamps below. This includes their best and worst features, so you can pick the ideal one without anything going under your radar. Check them out!
1. Jorgensen Cabinet Master Parallel Clamps
Whether you want to work on large or small projects, the Cabinet Master clamp pair is an excellent addition to your tools. With these clamps, you don't have to worry about sliding since they have a perfectly designed locking system, preventing any sliding on the job.
But it is not their stability that stands out, but their strength. Thanks to the heavy-duty steel bar, you can apply up to 1,000 pounds of clamping power. This amount of pressure is super helpful when gluing wood or keeping large pieces unmovable.
They were carefully designed so they would stay perfectly parallel to each other. This way, they won't add any bow to your work, and they'll ensure you can get an even glue line.
These parallel clamps have 3.75 inches of clamping depth and up to 24 inches of total length. Along with the practical handle on the bottom, they make clamping a lot easier than standard models.
Another feature that makes these clamps so versatile is that they can also be converted into spreaders. All you need to do is remove the foot, which can be found at the end of the clamp, take off the jaw, and then put it back on. That's it - you now have a spreader.
- Boast a super-high clamping force
- Also work as spreaders
- Come with an anti-slippery system
- Decent depth & length of clamp
- Require little effort to use
- Quite small compared to other options
If we had to pick the best parallel clamps for their overall product quality, we wouldn’t hesitate to go for this set from Bessey. When it comes to durability and clamping force, you really can't beat these.
One of the best benefits of getting these parallel clamps is that you can remove the jaws' faces. This means if you are doing glue-ups and some glue made it to the faces, you can take them off and clean them up. And if they ever got damaged, you can just buy a new set, and you're good to go.
If the previous model did not meet your expectations, then these clamps should do the trick for you. They can apply up to 1,700 pounds of clamping strength to ensure you have the best experience when holding wood.
The handle is pretty soft, which is always great to have when dealing with wood. Also, by merely tightening the handle, you can apply pressure with little to no effort.
They are also quite large, which gives you lots of room when working on large projects. And if that weren't enough, you can also use them as a spreader. All you need to do is remove the foot on the end, take off the jaw, and then slide it back onto the rail.
- Come with removable faces
- Ideal sprader-friendly design
- Tons of clamping force
- Comfy & easy-to-use handle
- They’re available in different sizes
- More expensive than other options
Sturdiness and reliability are what Bora is known for. If you want an excellent experience when working, these clamps got your back.
The most noticeable feature of these parallel clamps is that they have a reliable anti-slip system, which means if you lock the jaws into the railsand they won’t move. This feature comes in handy if you want maximum reliability on the job.
They can also apply even pressure when clamping wood, making them super safe to use on specific jobs where you can't afford to damage the material you're working on.
Moreover, the jaws are about 3.5 inches deep. They’re also about 50 inches long, which is perfect for woodworkers that need long tools.
To ensure you have the right amount of clamping pressure when working on your favorite projects, they can apply up to 1,100 pounds of clamping force.
With these parallel clamps, you can give your hands some rest. You have a well-made and comfortable handle that allows you to hold the jaws comfortably.
And finally, we strongly suggest these clamps for anybody that needs a long and sturdy clamp that don’t wear out any time soon. The quality of the materials is other-wordly.
- Excellent clamping pressure
- Practical & ergonomic design
- Ultra-long design for ease of use
- Won’t cause any marring on wood
- Even pressure for extra stability
- They can feel a little heavy
4. Jet 70431-2 Parallel Clamps
Super practical but simple, the 70431-2 from Jet will give your woodworking projects a quality set of clamps to rely on. Even in the hardest of jobs, these clamps will perform neatly.
They’re one of the most flexible tools in the market. For instance, the rail of these parallel clamps works just like a measuring tape, saving you some time and effort.
Now, they’re also comfortable. This set features an ergonomic SUMOGRIP handle to help you reduce the pain your hands might experience after a couple of hours of work.
Thanks to their acme style thread, they are super easy to tighten when it's needed. It doesn't matter if a little sawdust gets inside. The acme style thread will stop the sawdust from making it hard to turn the handle.
Even then, these are completely marring-free clamps. You won’t have to worry about damaging wood in the slightest.
Lastly, the key feature in this pair of tools is their practical clamping trigger. You can activate or deactivate this trigger for easier widening and narrowing on demand.
- Help you measure stuff
- Offer practical locking system
- Comfy and pain-free handle
- Can reach 1,000 of clamp force
- High-quality aluminum build
- They are not budget-friendly
5. Bessey REVOlution Parallel Clamp
With the extra strength this clamp provides when doing glue-ups, you'll be able to pull off any project you want to work on.
If your project requires lots of strength, you'll absolutely love this parallel clamp. It is super strong and can apply about 1,700 pounds of clamping pressure. And it is easy to operate.
Not only does it an excellent clamping force, but it also has a system that prevents the clamp from sliding as you move it around, making it easier for woodworkers who want to have more control over their tools.
If you have injured your hands and need a comfortable handle, you'll need this one. It features an ergonomic design to provide a comfortable and smooth experience when you're using your bare hands to tighten.
What’s even better, the faces of this clamp can be removed if needed. You never know when they might get damaged, so replacing them becomes crucial for future replacement.
This is not a set of parallel clamps. However, if you're looking to get an extra clamp, this one will come in handy for your project.
- Boast a super-comfy handle
- Offer great clamping strength
- Have practical removable faces
- Thick & comfortable handle
- Fantastic price for the quality
- It’s only one clamp
6. Yost K5024 Parallel Clamp
For almost all kinds of projects, this single clamp can single-handedly help you get some work done. Even in the most difficult of projects, you can rely on the K5024 set from Yost.
The jaws are made of durable and heavy-duty aluminum to help you reduce the clamps' weight but still provide excellent results.
Despite being a single parallel clamp, it can still provide 880 pounds of clamping pressure, which is enough for small and mid-sized projects.
A heavy-duty main bar will make it even more durable and strong. Its powerful main bar allows you to have an easier time applying clamping force. Also, the tabs on the rail will allow you to slightly lift up the wood.
The best way to increase your grip strength is by using a comfortable handle. That is exactly what this model does. It reduces any pain you might feel when holding it. It features a rather comfortable and convenient handle that allows you to get that extra clamping pressure.
The acme style screw is also no joke. This type of screw allows the user to have a relatively accurate clamping pressure when perfection is needed.
Furthermore, you can also use it as a spreader. For this price, considering all you get, this single tool will be your greatest ally.
- Outstanding affordable
- They’re available in different sizes
- 880 pounds of clamping pressure
- Can be used as a spreader
- Jaws made of heavy-duty aluminum
- Can be somewhat fragile
7. IRWIN 2026501 Parallel Jaw Box
The grind never ends. You always need a second parallel clamp. This one from Irwin can be an excellent addition.
Whether you want to work on small or large projects, this single parallel clamp will come in handy. It is 48 inches long to ensure you have as much working space as possible for those large woods you want to deal with.
Besides being a large parallel clamp, it can also apply about 1,105 pounds of clamping pressure.
To eliminate marring and sliding, this excellent parallel clamp has a built-in mechanism that prevents the jaws from moving carelessly as you turn them.
It also boasts an ergonomic handle. It will help you mitigate pain and reduce the amount of effort it takes to clamp in and out jobs.
Uneven results can ruin someone's day. However, that is not an issue with this well-made model. It was designed to distribute pressure evenly throughout the wood without adding any bow to your work.
- Outstanding clamping pressure
- Boasts an anti-slip design
- Accurate pressure distribution
- Comfortable handle for easy use
- Large design works on any project
- May get stuck from time to time
8. Bora 571112 Parallel Clamp
Need an additional parallel clamp for your jobs? If so, we got the perfect one from Bora. This is a comfy, easy-to-use, and long-lasting clamp for any project.
It comes with padded jaws, which in practice allows you to distribute an even amount of pressure throughout the wood you're holding. Furthermore, the padded jaws will not damage the wood.
Lacking the strength to put together a tabletop can be a common issue with low-quality tools. Well, the nature of this sturdy parallel clamp is that it makes this process easier. It provides an excellent clamping pressure of roughly 1,110 pounds to give you the extra strength you need for tough jobs.
This set is smaller compared to the other parallel clamps we covered. However, you still get 13 inches of working space for your projects.
The number one thing that makes it frustrating to clamp is when your handle is way too slippery. Don't worry, though. These handles are super easy to hold, and they don't feel greasy at all, which makes it easier to slide the clamps along the rail.
These jaws are really something else. With their excellent mechanism to stop the jaws from moving every time you slightly turn the clamps, this clamp has a perfect anti-slip system to stop unnecessary motion.
And finally, this parallel clamp is super lightweight, meaning you'll have an easier time carrying this thing around if you don't want to deal with heavy tools.
- Boasts an erogonomic design
- Comes with practical anti-slip jaws
- It is available in two sizes
- Padded jaws for even pressure
- Does not damage your wood
- Can be hard to operate
What to look for While Buying Parallel Clamps
Before you get shopping for a couple of parallel clamps, there are some factors you must keep in mind to choose the best woodworking clamps. Here, we’re going to show all of them. Take a look:
Most clamps are made of aluminum. This includes the bar and the clamping jaws. However, there are other materials like plastic and steel you may also find useful.
Plastic, for example, makes the clamps lighter. This is an excellent idea if you want maximum precision and ease of use. Steel models are made to last, while they can be a bit heavier, using them requires way less effort than usual.
You'd be surprised by how common incorrect clamping pressure is. If your parallel clamps can barely apply any strength when you're trying to fit two boards together, the end result will be a poorly glued board.
So, when looking for a parallel clamp, we suggest going for those that can apply at least 880 pounds of clamping pressure. Of course, you can go above that number depending on what you need.
Parallel clamps can offer both convenience and accuracy. However, here is the catch: if they don't have a padded jaw, you're not going to have much fun doing glue-ups.
A padded jaw acts as a special shield that protects the wood from getting damaged as you're tightening the clamps.
When you set your clamp to the position needed, some of them might move as you turn the parallel clamps, which is rather inconvenient.
The best way to ensure your jaws will remain in place even if you give it a shake is by making sure your parallel clamps have an anti-slip mechanism.
Otherwise, you'll have a hard time trying to set the clamps to the desired location without them constantly moving along the rail.
Ever felt as though your clamps feel pretty uncomfortable to hold, and it never got any better? Well, they probably don't have a comfortable handle.
Getting a parallel clamp that actually has a comfortable handle is crucial if you don't want to hurt your hands as you're working.
We want to stretch out how important it is to have a parallel clamp that also works as a spreader. While most parallel clamps can be used as a spreader, there are many of them that, unfortunately, do not offer much customization.
While you might not need the spreader right now, it always comes in handy to have that extra feature when you're dealing with wood.
How to Use A Parallel Clamp?
Are you a beginner who has no clue whatsoever on how parallel clamps work? If that's the case, well, then this guide will serve as a great starting point. Here, we'll cover how you can use those seemingly hard clamps you recently bought.
Adjust The Rail
The rail is where you place your wood. They have supports on top of them, which are often referred to as feet. Those blocks allow you to slightly lift up the boards you're trying to put together.
Some parallel clamps have a measuring system, which, as the name suggests, allows the user to measure their boards without any extra tools. So, to use parallel clamps, you must first place them next to each other.
You should keep in mind that you must leave some space for the wood to fit in. Also, before applying the glue, we suggest leaving some space for the boards.
Hold the Wood
The jaws will hold the boards together to ensure the glue you're about to apply does its job. However, before you glue the boards, you must make sure they're perfectly aligned with each other. Otherwise, you'll end up with an uneven result.
So, you have to glue the boards and then place them next to each other on the rail. Once you've perfectly positioned them, you're ready to move onto the next stage of this simple job.
Tighten The Jaws
Now you just need to turn the handle of your parallel clamps. With firm pressure, you're guaranteed to get a permanent bond for the boards. Follow these steps to ensure you apply the right amount of pressure:
- First and foremost, you want to turn the handles to apply pressure.
- After that, take two clamps and place them on the edge of your board. By placing an extra clamp on the edge of your board, you'll be able to level up the limber.
- All the pressure that's being applied from the clamps should produce an even glue line in no time.
And that's it for the parallel clamps. You've successfully learned how to use your new set of parallel clamps.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section, you'll find five useful questions about parallel clamps. Here are those five questions:
Are parallel clamps worth the money?
Yes, parallel clamps are worth every single cent if you're doing glue-ups. Joining two boards is super hard without them. You don't need that many, at least for now. As time goes by, you'll end up buying more of them.
Do I need parallel clamps?
Yes, you do need them. Doing glue-ups requires precision, and parallel clamps can do that without much effort. Furthermore, they are essential tools for any aspiring woodworker that is serious about making money off of it.
How tight should wood clamps be?
Those who clamp really tightly are just trying to make up for the insufficient amount of glue they apply. You don't need to tighten the clamps as hard as possible. You just have to make sure the boards you want to glue together fit nicely.
Are Bessey clamps any good?
Yes, Bessey clamps are one of the best clamps you can get. They are strong, hold your boards together, and, overall, they get the job done.
Finding the best parallel clamps can be a laborious task. And it might take several hours before you settle for the ones you like. But with our reviews and buying guide, you shouldn’t have a problem picking one right now.
The clamps we've gone through have been in the market for quite some time now. And they're backed by well-known companies. If you’re looking for quality, there’s nowhere else to go.
If you settle for any of the products we covered above, you won't regret your choice, especially if you're planning on getting several of them. So, what are you waiting for?