The Different Types of Clamps – A Complete Guide

Hand tools that are specifically designed for pressing or binding two or more objects together for keeping them firmly in place are called clamps. They can prove to be incredibly useful when you need to hold or glue two or more items together, such as wood, plastic, paper, or certain metals. There are countless variations of clamps that you can find for all kinds of projects imaginable. There are clamps for woodworking, metalworking, lifting, and even special occasions. As you only have two hands, clamps can make it easier for you to do the task at hand because they can hold things in place.

Considering the huge help, they can be, clamps are relatively inexpensive. However, you do need to choose the right kind for your project in order to get the most out of it. For instance, roll bar clamps are incredibly useful, but work best when metalwork is involved, whereas C-clamps can work for both metalworking and woodworking. Let’s take a look at the different types of clamps available, as this can make it easier for you to pick one according to your requirements:

  • Hand screw clamp

Also known as ‘toolmaker’s clamps’, these are generally used when doing metalwork. They can come in handy for repairing furniture because the jaws can be easily adjusted to fit onto the angled material and hold it in place. They are mostly made of steel, which makes them long-lasting and hardy, even though there are some companies that are also making them in wood.

  • G or C clamp

Used widely, these types of clamps are very versatile. It can either be used for holding something to a table or for clamping two pieces together. The jaw openings can be anywhere between one to eight inches, which makes it very easy for people to find one that will suit their project. Generally, the screw section clamps onto irregular surfaces due to its swivel head.


  • Sash clamp

This clamp can be immensely useful when you are working on large projects, such as doors, tabletops, sash windows or cabinets. Generally, you have to use more than one at a time for ensuring that you have a strong grip. They have a heavy long flat bar and there is a fixed jaw attached to it. A screw can be used for adjusting this fixed jaw. Furthermore, they also have a sliding jaw that you can move along the length of the clamp and then lock it into position for holding the materials in place. They come in handy for clamping large projects together and enable the glue to dry. They are considered a more specialized and longer form of the bar clamp.

  • Pipe clamp

Also referred to as a gluing clamp, these are quite similar to a sash clamp, but the longer piece of metal is a round shaft rather than being a flat bar. The length of the pipe determines the length of the clamp and you can add more tubes for lengthening it. This makes them very easy to use and versatile. They are inexpensive and easy to lengthen after the initial investment, which makes them an excellent buy for a DIYer on a budget. The clamp’s jaw is adjustable and can be moved easily from its position.

  • Spring clamp

These types of clamps are very common and can be used in different ways. You can find spring clamps in different sizes and they can use for clamping together woodworking projects or holding onto wire for jewelry or beading projects. Generally, their handles boast PVC covers in order to ensure that you don’t get injured working with them and the tips also have removable PVC covers. These clips can easily be used for soldering. Opening these clamps is harder because of the tension spring, which means that once it is shut, it will hold the item tightly.

  • Bench clamp

These clamps are designed for holding something to a bench. This means that the bench works as the fixed jaw of the clamp. They can be used for welding, performing carpentry, or for making furniture. There are different styles that you can find and they are quite inexpensive.

  • Web clamp

If you are looking for clamps that work for frames, these web clamps are an excellent option. They come with nylon bands that securely and gently wrap around the object and there is a ratchet that can be used for tightening. This is helpful in keeping the object in place and the nylon ensures that it doesn’t get damaged.

  • Mitre clamp

Two pieces with mitred ends can be held with these clamps at a right angle. They come with screws, which are aimed at fitting underneath the frame they are holding. Even though you can find more complicated mitre clamps that have movable jaws and rigid bodies, even the most basic version of these clamps will get the job done quickly and easily.

  • Quick Action clamp

You can easily operate these clamps with just one hand, which makes them strong and powerful, and easy to use since they don’t involve a lot of hassle. They have a light enough release so you will be able to pull it with just a finger. This type of clamp is often associated by people with a sealant gun, as they boast a similar design.

  • Trigger clamp

A trigger is used by these clamps for adjusting the jaws and the head of the clamp and you can easily operate it with just one hand. They are incredibly versatile and strong. While most clamps are usually reserved for workshops, you can use these inside the home, as well as the garden.

  • Screw clamp

These clamps are quite similar to power clamps because they offer a lot of stability and are strong. The primary difference is in the way they operate. Power clamps tend to open and close in one quick motion, but these have a handle and thread that needs to be screwed.