I made a picnic basket recently, and while doing so, I exposed a serious weakness in my arsenal of spring clamps. My “regular old” spring clamps that had served me well for all these years weren’t up to the task of basket making. They applied too much pressure, and dented the soft wood I used for making the basket. Yeah… I know what you’re thinking… just add some pads. Trust me, I tried that. The problem is the wider you open a “standard” style spring clamp, the more pressure it applies. Just the nature of the beast. Adding pads makes the spring clamps apply even more pressure. So there I was needing a lightweight spring clamp that allowed me to control the amount of pressure it would apply. Darn… is there even such a thing? Off to the internet I went. I was pleasantly surprised to find 4 spring clamps made by BESSEY Tools that looked like they would fill the bill. Basically there are two styles, and two sizes in each style.
I ordered 2 of each style spring clamp for testing. I was pretty sure they would help me in the future should I be faced with a similar clamping dilemma. That’s the way I am; I identify a problem, and make sure I have a solution in place for the next time. The testing proved these clamps were just what I needed and more. Here’s what I bought, and how each style works.
Ratcheting Deep Reach Spring Clamps. The smaller one on the left is a bit easier to handle, but the larger one on the right has a much greater clamping capacity.The amount of pressure these clamps apply is based on how much pressure you use to squeeze the handles together. The ratchet device locks the clamp, and the finger lever releases the pressure.
Variable Spring Clamps. The double sliding arm version is on the left, and the single sliding arm version is on the right. These are like spring clamps on steroids! The sliding arm allows you position the jaw anywhere along the arm. That gives you increased clamping capacity, plus the ability to fine tune the clamping pressure based on where you position the jaw on the arm.
The deep reach feature of the ratcheting style spring clamps allows you to clamp over the raised edge of an object, like here where I clamped an aluminum angle to the edge of shelf. The angle is held in place as the screws are inserted.
The pivoting pads of the ratcheting style spring clamps are notched giving them greater flexibility for clamping odd shaped objects. The pads of the variable style spring clamps pivot as well, but they are not notched.
Kieffer’s Opinion. I like these clamps. I’m worried I may need to retire all my old style spring clamps. That’s a shame, but so far I find my hands gravitate to these new (for me) clamps whenever I need a spring clamp. They are much more versatile than basic spring clamps, they have nice soft pads and grip handles, and they are solidly built high quality clamps. I’m sold!
Photos By Author
Ratcheting spring clamp, deep reach, clamping capacity 2″ #XCRU3
Ratcheting spring clamp, deep reach, clamping capacity 4″ #XCRU5
Variable spring clamp, single sliding arm, clamping capacity 4″ # XV5-100
Variable spring clamp, double sliding arm, clamping capacity 6-3/4″ # XV5-170
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